Inquirer Read-Along volunteer undergoes surgery for encephalitis

Inquirer Read-Along volunteer undergoes surgery for encephalitis

MANILA, Philippines — John Percival Gapas, a storyteller and volunteer for the Inquirer’s Read-Along program, has been in the hospital for the past two months after he was diagnosed with encephalitis.

After undergoing brain surgery on June 12, he spent a week in the intensive care unit before being transferred to a regular room.

“He takes an antibiotic, Amphotericine B lipid complex, to [combat] the fungal attack on his brain,” said Gapas’ younger sister, Marionella, a recent dentistry board passer.

She added that before he was diagnosed, her brother was losing weight and complained about recurring stomach pains and headaches.

As a manager for a popular mall chain, the 33-year-old Gapas conducted onsite visits to new branches about to open.

Outside of the office, however, he had a passion for storytelling which he developed as a mass communication student at Adamson University.

“He joined this original reading group, called ‘Alitaptap,’ along with his friends, including (resident Inquirer storyteller) Rich Rodriguez. He must have enjoyed it so much that even in adulthood, he has continued helping and inspiring schoolchildren to read books,” Marionella told the Inquirer.

So far, Gapas’ family has paid close to P900,000 for his hospitalization at the University of the East Ramon Magsaysay Memorial Medical Center. But there is still a balance of P700,000, including doctors’ fees.

Marionella Gapas can be reached at 0916-6335862. Donations can be deposited in her BDO account No. 3000161114326.