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           (Journal GlobaLinks)


CHICAGO (JGL) – ALMIRA Tagala-Manuel has been helping patients get back on their feet as a physical therapist

in a hospital in Maryland.

Now, she will be asking her colleagues in the hospital to help her regain her footing if she survives a rare medical condition called hemorrhagic stroke that was caused by a massive blood clot that blocked the blood flow in her brain's vein.

Her distraught elder brother, Don Tagala, a star reporter of ABS-CBN news based in New York city, NY, reached out to PM (philamessenger.com) for help to spread the word that his sister needs prayers and money that would be used to defray the expenses that will no longer be covered by her health insurance in the event that she is discharged from the hospital.


ALMIRA TAGALA MANUEL in her hospital bed.

Mr. Tagala said he is hoping against hope that his sister, who is ten years his junior, will survive a medical procedure that had not been done before – removal of a massive blood clot in the mid sagittal section of her brain.

The medical team at the Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, MD, said to be the best neuro hospital in the world according to those in the medical field, will use an unconventional method of using a ballon inserted thru jugular vein to force the clot out. 


It has never been done before to remove a big blood clot in someone's brain. If successful, this will be historic,” according to Don.


ALMIRA TAGALA-MANUEL is shown at work

The team of doctors, according to Don's Facebook post, had to ask Almira's husband, Macoy Manuel's consent to use this method that has a success rate of only 30% and he needed to give his answer in about five minutes as the clock was ticking to save Almira from the bad effects of pressure and clot in her brain.

Macoy agreed to the procedure.

It took six hours to carry out the procedure. Almira was rolled back into her room in the Neurosciences Critical Care Unit (NCCU), the equivalent of intensive care unit in other departments.

Dr. Jose I. Suarez, leader of the neurological specialists at Johns Hopkins Hospital, who performed the procedure, told Don that “the procedure went as planned.”

Almira is now in a medically induced coma to protect her brain and her body from further swelling and pressure in her brain. 




Prior to her transfer, Filipino Dr. Romer Geocadin came to visit. Dr. Romer is a friend of Doctor Ian Soriano – the famed UPenn Medicine surgeon, who performed the world’s first robotic surgery for breast reconstruction.



DON TAGALA with his little sister, Almira Tagala Manuel.

It was Dr. Geocadin, who made the call to airlift Almira from Columbia, MD to Johns Hopkins Hospital. Dr. Geocadin told Macoy and Don that Almira is in the best place to be, given her condition.

The procedure was successful and blood is now flowing from her heart to the brain and back to her heart.

About 30% to 60% of people with intracerebral hemorrhage or bleeding in the brain dies.

And Almira survived.

The Tagala and Manuel families are grateful and have only but respect for the wonderful work the Johns Hopkins medical team did for Almira.




ALMIRA TAGALA-MANUEL with her husband Macoy Manuel and her elder brother, Don Tagala of ABS-CBN-New York, NY bureau. Don hopes that they will have a  happy reunion once his sister recovers.

Her next CT scan and assessment by the team of doctors could mean they can finally take her out of the medically induced deep coma so they are going to able to assess her brain's condition and hopefully it was not compromised or damaged by the hemorrhagic stroke.

The Manila-born Almira and Macoy came to Jersey City, New Jersey around December of 2016, just right after the US Presidential elections.  


Almira, who would be turning 27 on June 17, could almost smell the American dream as a physical therapy job awaited her in Maryland where she and her husband relocated to in 2017.

As a physical therapist, Almira has seen countless patients with neurological conditions such as ischemic stroke, hemorrhagic stroke, heart attacks etc. 


DON TAGALA (second from right) sets aside his video cam to have photo op with his longtime fellow residents from Chicago, Illinois from right Marlon L. Pecson, Joseph G. Lariosa, Jerry B. Clarito and host Eric Lachica during the 20th anniversary of the National Federation of Filipino American Associations (NaFFAA) gala event in Washington, D.C. in 2017. (JGL Photo) 

Now, the community will return her the favor when the hospital staff will nurse her back to her feet.

Almira’s mother, who is currently in the Philippines, would also want to visit and care for her daughter during these challenging times.

For those, who would like to contribute so Almira can be “Back on her Feet,” they can click this GoFundMe so Almira can continue to help others as a physical therapist. (Contact reporter: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.philamessenger.com)


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