Tomasita Bucoy Paulino, fondly called Mama Machy by her grandchildren, is currently in the hospital suffering from multiple illnesses brought about by her existing conditions such as diabetes and hypertension.
A mother of five, grandmother of 16, and great grandmother of 8, Mama Machy has lived a full life - but not without sacrifices and challenges. At the tender age of 35, and while pregnant with her youngest daughter, she became a widow when her husband was killed due to business disputes. With five children to raise on her own, and with a heavy grief caused by the untimely demise of her husband, she soldiered on with poise, grace, unfaltering strength and faith in the Lord.
With no one to turn to, she used her skills to her advantage in order to support her family. As a graduate of UST's Conservatory of Music with a major in Piano, she became a teacher of the musical instrument to some of her wealthy friends' children and other clients in her hometown of Cavite City. Through this profession, she was able to provide a good education for all five of her kids, all of whom graduated in private colleges and universities to ensure them a bright future.
Mama Machy with her five children
As a grandmother, she loved taking her grandkids to eat out, go around town, or walk around malls even for just window shopping. Nothing delighted her more than hanging out in McDonald's for hours and hours with her just sipping coffee, talking about life, and spending time with her grandkids -- a memory that each of her grandchildren will fondly cherish and remember forever.
Mama Machy with her granddaughters
At 55, she was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, brought about by her love of sweets. She's always enjoyed baking and could whip up the most delectable chocolate cake or brazo de mercedes, which her grandkids would always fight over for. Nevertheless, the disease never stopped her from enjoying meriendas where she would fondly reminisce about good times, or tell tales about the hardships of war.
In 2016, at the age of 84, she suffered a stroke, which left her almost unable to speak and wheelchair bound. The once talkative grandmimi became limited by hand gestures, slurred speech, and facial expressions. Stories that she would repeat over and over again, multiple times a day, about the war, about her piano lessons, about her children, about her husband, were untold since then. But one thing that wasn't taken away from her was her sophisticated laugh. It wasn't a loud laugh. It was poised but heartfelt -- it was her go-to expression. No matter the challenges she faced, she was able to still laugh heartily that would almost make one wonder: was it all that easy for her? Because while it obviously wasn't, her laugh gave the confidence that everything was okay. That she's okay.
Mama Machy with grandson Enzo, and great grandson Drew, still laughing
That laugh hasn't been heard in a while. Her health has been deteriorating and as of yesterday, June 24th, her doctor reported that her kidneys have high creatinine that has caused an infection, which affected her appetite making her even more volatile to other illnesses. Her CBC results show that her hemoglobin count is low, she's had difficulty breathing and her diabetes has caused sores to develop on her legs that - as with other diabetic patients - aren't healing easily. It is these sores that are quite concerning as her doctor has mentioned that it has already caused some bone erosion and would already require debridement. This, along with her other medical maintenance has caused us, her family, to seek help in funding the needed operation and the maintenance required thereafter.
The pandemic has been challenging for us with three members -- breadwinners -- were left without jobs, and the rest with slashed salaries. And while we have been creative and strategic in finding ways to keep afloat, the last 18 months saw our funds and savings go down significantly, and the added hefty medical bills have left us struggling even more to fund Mama Machy's needs, let alone our own.
Mama Machy is set to turn 89 years old in September 24. While we know that we don't have much time left with her, we don't want to give up just yet. She's been the strong glue that kept us all together.
We are knocking on your hearts for any donation you may spare to help us buy more time with her. Any help will go a long way for us, most especially, for Mama Machy.
FOR MAMA MACHY
Thank you and God bless you all.