By Balitang America Staff, ABS-CBN North America Bureau
July 23, 2014
REDWOOD CITY, Calif. – All Mary Grace Demafeliz could now is wish she had more days to tell her two-year-old son Dave Gabriel how much she loved him.
But her boy died unexpectedly Monday night, four days after he underwent heart surgery at the Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital in Houston.
“You need to show your family how much they mean to you,” she said.
“Baby Dave” was the first candidate from the Philippines that was brought to the US by HeartGift Foundation to receive free treatment for his heart defect.”
“The doctors told me not to give up on my son because they won’t give up on him,” Demafeliz said. “They kept me strong. I saw how they tried to do everything to keep my son alive.”
The HeartGift Foundation has not released an official statement as to how Baby Dave lost his life.
“I called my husband to tell him the bad news — that Baby Dave is dead,” Demafeliz said. “He told me if I didn’t bring him here in Texas, he would have still been alive. But I explained to him that as a mother, you would take every opportunity to save your kid.”
On Tuesday night, the Houston Royal Oaks Lion Club and the Philippine American Chamber of Commerce in Texas offered a novena for baby Dave.
“We are doing this so Mary Grace and the family will know that they are not alone in this journey,” said Maria Emee Nisnisan.
“To the mother of David, I salute you. You did a valiant fight,” said Annie Pajarillo, a medical doctor.
Mary Grace told Balitang America that the doctors and nurses of Baby Dave in Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital in Houston all did their best to help her son survive.
“In every surgical procedure has its risks. Unfortunately, people react differently to a procedure that others may be able to keep up with,” said Vincent Texon, a registered nurse.
The Filipino community in Texas plans to continue raising funds for Baby Dave’s family and for the HeartGift Foundation, which has helped hundreds of children from all over the world. These Fil-Am groups say HeartGift offered to take care of Baby Dave’s memorial.
Demafeliz says parents should tell their kids how much they love them every single day.
“To all the mothers out there who are lucky to have their children with them, don’t miss an opportunity to tell them how much you love them, hug them whenever you can,” she said.