DAVAO CITY, Philippines – Attending physicians said the 21-year-old volunteer nurse, who was gang-raped in Maguindanao recently, has suffered from memory loss as a result of the physical and psychological trauma she experienced during the ordeal.
Dr. Leopoldo Vega, executive director of the Southern Philippine Medical Center (SPMC) here, told The STAR that the victim is already able to say some words but that her cognitive level remains low.
The victim was rendering volunteer services in the Maguindanao town of South Upi when she was sexually molested last Sept. 25.
Vega said the victim, who sustained brain contusions, has shown some signs of recovery, as she now could say some words but could not still complete a sentence.
“Her speech is usually a repetition of what you tell her. Like if I tell her ‘I am Doc Vega,’ she would say ‘Vega.’ And when we ask her where she is at that moment, she would say ‘balay’ (house),” Vega said.
He said the victim is still disoriented with regards to time and place and other things.
“But what is good is she already says audible and comprehensible words and that she no longer mumbles unlike when she was first brought here in SPMC,” Vega said.
He said lapses in her cognitive level could be a result of the physical and psychological trauma she went through in the hands of her attackers.
Vega added that she could already eat slowly unlike before when she was dependent on tube-feeding.
The SPMC chief cited the need to carry out strict measures to help the victim recover, such as no television or newspapers in her room.
“We do not want her to listen to the news on TV because it might add to the trauma she is experiencing right now. We also do not want newspapers inside her room so she could not read about what is going on,” he added.
Her attending physicians also recommended that only female nurses would take care of her.
“We have only allowed female nurses and female physical therapists to help lessen her trauma,” he said, adding that security has also been tightened in the vicinity of her room at SPMC.
“As to her full recovery, we really could not tell yet. It really all depends on her improvements as days go by,” he said.
In Maguindanao, six suspects arrested after the rape have been released as the provincial prosecutor found insufficient evidence against them.
A former militiaman, who earlier had owned up to the crime but later retracted his confession, remains under police custody. - By Edith Regalado (Philstar News Service, www.philstar.com)
Reposted From Philstar.com and GMA News.TV