THE FILIPINO CHAMP: MENCHU SANCHEZ’ EXTRAORDINARY CARE

By Don Tagala, ABS-CBN North America Bureau

New York–It’s been a week since Filipina nurse Menchu Sanchez was thrown into
the national limelight during President Obama’s state of the union
address.

She was honored by Obama for her heroic act that saved 20 newborns when superstorm Sandy
slammed the New York University’s Langone Medical Center.

Congratulations from co-workers and strangers still keep on coming.

“I’m so happy na nare-recognize nila ako,” Sanchez said. “Sa Mount Sinai, pagdating ko, paglabas ko ng elevator yung mga kasamahan ko palakpakan sila saka sigawan, tuwang-tuwa sila, meron
pa silang maliit na picture, na ginawa dun,”

Sanchez was sitting between First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden when Obama told the whole world the story of her heroism.

“We should follow the example of a New York City nurse named Menchu Sanchez. When hurricane Sandy plunged her hospital into darkness, she
wasn’t thinking about how her own home was faring, her mind was on
the 20 precious newborns in her care and the rescue plan she devised
that kept them all safe,” Obama said during his State of the Union address.

In darkness, Sanchez and other nurses carried 20 sick babies from the
neonatal ward down eight flights of stairs, with only their cell
phones to light the way.

Meantime, rising floods threatened her own home in Secaucus, New Jersey

Sanchez said knowing that she had saved 20 little angels is the best
part of this whole experience. Meeting and being honored by the
President was just a bonus.

“Na-meet ko si President Obama right after his speech,” she recalled. “(Obama)grabbed me and he
hugged me and he said he was glad that I was able to get there.”

Born and raised in Catanauan Quezon, Sanchez graduated with a nursing
degree at the Mary Chiles Hospital in Sampaloc, Manila.
She later obtained a bachelor’s degree in nursing at the Makati Medical Center school
of nursing before migrating to America in the 80s.

For ten years she worked as a nurse in Saudi Arabia, before moving to the U.S.

She has been working as a nurse in New York for 20 years now.

“Wala na akong masasabi pa sa nagawa ko sa buhay ko, siguro ito na ang
pinakamagandang nangyari, one of the highlights of my life will be
this. To inspire other people, other nurses around the world,” Sanchez said.

If you know a kababayan like Menchu Sanchez who inspires you and makes you proud, you may nominate him/her by sending an email to thefilipinochamp@abs-cbni.com or calling (650) 508-6137.

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