Lizabeth “Baby” Yumping-Enriquez, widow of the late Mike Enriquez, confessed that she hasn’t fully accepted the broadcast journalist’s death, but she finds comfort in the fact that he’s no longer in pain.
Speaking to Jessica Soho in an interview on GMA Public Affairs’ YouTube channel, Baby looked back at Mike’s final days in the hospital where he had “been through a lot” as his body was “full of holes.”
“It hasn’t sunk in yet… tapos ako na lang mag-isa sa bahay (I’m all alone in the house). I don’t know, I really don’t know. My only consolation is that he fought a good fight, even if I’m very hurt and sad, and I’m feeling pain,” she said.
“Iniisip ko na lang na tapos na ang paghihirap niya (I’m just comforting myself with the thought that he’s done with pain). Kasi he’s been through a lot. His body was full of holes, ‘yung huli niya was tracheostomy,” she continued, referring to a medical procedure where a tube is inserted through the neck to help in breathing properly.
During the interview, Baby shared that Mike suffered from an infection due to pneumonia which made him undergo dialysis at some point. And while his kidney transplant was “doing well,” his “anti-rejection” medicines eventually lowered his immune system.
“This is why the doctors had a hard time arresting the infection because of that. But on his last day, he was undergoing [routine dialysis] but his [blood pressure] dropped and suddenly, his heartbeat stopped,” she added.
Mike’s widow then revealed that she was “on [her] way to the hospital” when she was informed by the caregiver at around 1 p.m. of Aug. 29 that he’s “being resuscitated already.”
“When I arrived at the hospital, three times na ni-revive. Sabi ko, ‘Doc, tama na. Enough na.’ Nasa labas ako ng [intensive care unit] kasi I can’t bear to see him with so many tubes connected to him,” she said.
(When I got to the hospital, he had been revived thrice. I told the doctor to stop, and that it was enough. I was outside the ICU because I couldn’t bear to see him with so many tubes connected to him.)
“Noong una, I keep on telling him, ‘Fight, Mike. Kaya mo ‘yan. Do not give up.’ Pero bandang huli, nakita ko na nahihirapan na siya. Sabi ko, ‘Sige, kung pagod ka na—lalo na noong last minutes niya—pinalapit na ako ng doctor,” she continued, as her voice broke. “‘Sige, Mike. I’ll be fine. I know God will not forsake me kung pagod ka na. You rest na. I love you.’ ‘Yun lang sinabi ko, then I broke down.”
(At first, I kept on telling him, “Fight, Mike. You can do it, don’t give up.” But in the end, I saw how much suffering he was going through. So I said, especially in those last minutes when the doctor told me to say my goodbye, “Okay, if you’re tired. Go, Mike, I’ll be fine. I know God will not forsake if you’re tired. You can now rest. I love you.” That’s all I said, then I broke down.)
Outside of his career as a journalist, Baby described her husband as a “generous” man who insisted on shouldering their “bills, house repairs, and other expenses” at home.
“Spoiled ako sa kanya,” she said. “His [onscreen persona] is very far from the true Mike Enriquez. He’s very jolly, talkative, lahat na. Masayahin siyang tao.” (I’m spoiled with him. His onscreen persona is very far from the true Mike Enriquez. He’s very jolly, talkative, everything. He’s a cheerful person.)
Enriquez died at the age of 71 last Aug. 29. He was laid to rest at the Loyola Memorial Park in Marikina, which was witnessed by his wife, loved ones, close friends, and fellow journalists. EDV
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