Doctor remembers frontliner wife who succumbed to COVID-19

Published August 25, 2020, 12:21 PM

by Gabriela Baron

The Philippines lost another medical frontliner in the battle against the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.

(Photo courtesy of Dr. Jerome Senen)

Dr. Kathlynne Anne Abat-Senen, a neonatologist and infectious disease expert of the Philippine General Hospital (PGH) passed away Sunday morning, August 23.

Dr. Jerome Senen, Kharen’s husband penned a heartfelt letter to his wife who spent 44 days in the hospital.

“I will always love you, and keep you close to my heart. I will still say ‘I love you,’ even if there is no physical reply. But I will always feel your presence as if you’ve never left my side,” Jerome wrote on Facebook.

Jerome remembered Kharen as someone who “excels” in any field she puts her mind to: “May it be art, photography, calligraphy, medicine, singing, or simply just being a wife, a daughter, a sister, or a mom.”

“As I held your hand physically one last time yesterday, I made a promise to you that I will try my best to be as good as you in the roles and things that you do. But I do think I can’t hold a candle to you. You’re that good,” he added.

Kharen was also a member of the UP Medicine Choir and was nicknamed as “Mama Sop.”

According to a report on 24 Oras, Kharen first tested positive for COVID-19 in June and was discharged last July 1 after testing negative.

Two days later, she started experiencing symptoms again and was rushed back to PGH on July 11 where she was confined and intubated in the intensive care unit (ICU) before she died on August 23.

Kharen is the 40th medical frontliner in the Philippines to succumb to COVID-19 as of Sunday.

The local government of Valenzuela City in a Facebook post Tuesday expressed their sincerest condolences to the family and paid tribute to Dr. Kharen who is a resident of Barangay Gen. T. De Leon.

(Valenzuela LGU)

“Dr. Senen was a beloved neonatologist and frontliner at the PGHand was also part of the Department of Pediatrics of Valenzuela Medical Center (VMC) as a consultant,” the local government said.

“She was the only neonatologist in Valenzuela City and also served patients in Bulacan,” it added.

“August 23, 2020, 7:46am. This is the exact date and time when my lovely wife, Kathlynne Anne Abat-Senen, lost in her biggest and longest fight ever. No more pain and suffering, hon. It was a hard fought 44 days in the hospital. We, your entire family, were there with you every step of the way,” Jerome posted on Facebook.

Mayor Rex Gatchalian said the local government extended a P300,000 cash assistance to Senen’s family as a small tribute.

The city council also passed an ordinance and resolution to honor Senen. (With a report from Joseph Pedrajas)