Family Affair: 74-Year-Old Surgeon Beats 'Severe' Coronavirus with the Help of His 3 Sons


Coronavirus media coverage is chock-full of negative news. For once, it’s encouraging to see something miraculous unfold.

Thankfully for one 74-year-old New York City physician and his three sons, the miraculous did occur — at least according to the doctor himself.

Dr. Manuel Bulauitan came down with a “severe form” of COVID-19, according to Fox News, and was remarkably able to survive.

The doctor’s age and previous medical conditions, including chronic anemia and hypertension, put him at a greatly increased risk for severe illness from the coronavirus. In fact, he was on a ventilator for 15 days.

Due to the fact that he met the Center for Disease Control and Prevention qualifications for compassionate care, Bulauitan was treated with hydroxychloroquine and other experimental medications.

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“I am grateful that I’m here and my deepest thanks to all the medical professionals — from attending doctors and nurses — [they] are deep in my heart,” he told Fox. “They tell me it’s a miracle I survived.”

It’s possible that Bulauitan contracted the disease at one of the hospitals or nursing homes that he normally frequents.

“This virus took me out of my practice that I love the most,” he said. “Since I was a boy I wanted to be a doctor and a surgeon and here I am.”

A lifelong and devote member of the Catholic faith, the doctor said that this trial even caused him to question his faith.

“I even questioned God. ‘Why did you save me?’ Do you have plans for me? Whatever plans you have, I will accept it,'” he said.

The doctor’s three sons — Dr. Philippe Bulauitan, Dr. Manuel Bulauitan Jr. and Army Reserve Major Dr. Constantine Bulauitan, all of whom followed in their father’s footsteps by becoming doctors themselves — made sure their father got treatment, and quickly.

After his sons noticed during a March FaceTime call that he looked ill, Philippe and Manuel Jr. flew in from North Carolina. They took their father to Hackensack Meridian Jersey Shore University Medical Center, where Constantine works.

During the ongoing crisis, all three of sons have been treating coronavirus patients.

“We grew up being inspired and admiring our dad for how he served his community and how hard he works,” Philippe Bulauitan said.

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“And for us, the ultimate sign of respect is that all three of us followed in his footsteps. For someone who has cared for us our entire lives, to have the opportunity to help care for him and help save his life, it was the best thing we could’ve done.”

“I think I am one of the luckiest survivors to have three doctors as sons and have them care for me. Especially the Almighty. I thank him,” his father added.

For several decades, the 74-year-old has traveled to the Philippines on medical missions.

“If God wants me to continue that, I will do it,” he told Fox.

Bulauitan is currently at home recovering with his wife, Leah, who also tested positive for COVID-19. He wants to get better as soon as possible so he can spend more time with his beloved family.

“Now the hardest part is to get back to my feet. I will do everything I can to stop this horrible coronavirus,” he said. “I was always independent my whole life and I want to go back to that so I can enjoy my four grandchildren.”

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Michael wrote for a number of entertainment news outlets before joining The Western Journal in 2020 as a staff reporter. He now manages the writing and reporting teams, overseeing the production of commentary, news and original reporting content.
Michael Austin graduated from Iowa State University in 2019. During his time in college, Michael volunteered as a social media influencer for both PragerU and Live Action. After graduation, he went on to work as a freelance journalist for various entertainment news sites before joining The Western Journal in 2020 as a staff reporter.

Since then, Michael has been promoted to the role of Manager of Writing and Reporting. His responsibilities now include managing and directing the production of commentary, news and original reporting content.
Ames, Iowa
Iowa State University
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