A tightly knit, loving family can overcome any challenge that comes their way, but if they face a dreaded illness, their strength, determination, fortitude, and faith in God take over in their resolve to overcome it.
In the first of a two part series, Maalaala Mo Kaya’s July 3 episode “Dialysis Machine,” the family of nurse Andy Dayto (Zaijian Jaranilla) showed that kind of resolve in dealing with terrible crises that befell them. Though struggling with their daily needs, Andy’s father Abe (Nonie Buencamino) remained a responsible and loving head of the family, and husband to Mila (Lovely Rivero).
But when Mila got afflicted with chronic kidney disease, she needed the special care and attention of her whole family, given that she needed at least twice a week dialysis sessions. With the help of Abe, Andy, and the rest of the family, Mila endured the illness, yet her health was slowly deteriorating.
During Andy’s high school graduation, Mila had been so ecstatic seeing her son reach his milestone, but would later collapse due to her worsening condition. Mila would later succumb to her illness, and this left the whole family devastated with their loss.
Andy pursued his nursing degree, while his siblings led their own lives after their mother’s demise. And with his father’s support, Andy achieved his dream of finishing college, and passed the nursing board exam.
Andy became a dedicated and responsible nurse, assisting and providing the needed care to patients at a local hospital. While he first had difficulty adjusting to the demands of the profession, Andy would cope with the challenges and became a reliable, efficient health worker, always keeping in mind the words his parents always tell him: “Kaya mo ‘yan!” and “Laban lang!”. Above all, Abe was proud of Andy’s achievements, as he likewise continued to help make ends meet for the family.
Then, another ordeal befell the Daytos, when his sister Dideng (Karen Reyes) also got afflicted with chronic kidney disease. She also needed the twice-a-week dialysis sessions just like their late mother, and would exhibit the same frail, weak condition common among chronic kidney disease patients. Yet despite this, she felt the love of her family that continued to strengthen her as she faced the illness. Andy, being the nurse in the family, was particularly helpful in making Dideng endure the disease, as he watched her diet and medications.
But as Andy was busy at work, he would also feel the same symptoms of that disease that claimed the life of his mother, and is now afflicting his sister. A laboratory test would show high creatinine levels, similar to his mom and sister that indicate impaired kidney functions, confirming that he also had chronic kidney disease.
But despite having the disease, Andy still continued his work as a nurse. He would still report for his regular shifts at the hospital, while allotting time for his dialysis sessions. Andy’s supervisor was concerned about how his illness could affect his work, given the demands of the profession. But Andy assured her that he can handle it, pleading his supervisor to allow him to stull continue working for the sake of his family.
Even Abe tried to persuade Andy to stop working and just rest to help him endure the disease, but Andy said he would not allow the illness to stop him from living a normal and productive life, reminding his dad what he always tell him, “Laban lang!”. He did try to keep it manageable, but there were things beyond his control. A dialysis machine malfunctioned as Andy was undergoing dialysis, leading to serious complications that led to his cardiac arrest. A doctor tried to revive Andy using a defibrillator, but the sound of a flatline was clearly heard at the background.
Both heartwarming yet heartbreaking, MMK “Dialysis Machine” inspires with the “family goals” it fosters while showing their grit and resilience despite all the challenges that may come. Director Jerry Lopez Sineneng made the impact quite clear and affectual by accurately presenting all the facets of renal disease, and guiding all the cast members in making spot-on and moving portrayals of characters undergoing such difficulties.
The actors indeed gave impressive performances, with Nonie Buencamino giving a deep, credible, and identifiable portrayal of a hardworking, responsible, and loving father. Nonie’s acting craft is impeccable, and his performance in this episode truly proves his continuing excellence in taking on a variety of characters onscreen.
Again, Zaijian Jaranilla marvels with his brilliance in taking his character not only understandable or comprehensible, but a real person with whom viewers would share a deep emotional connection. Zaijian also showed his diligence in knowing and understanding what his character went through, especially the details on how the renal illness has gripped his family for generations, and has threatened to even take his own life. He gave a performance that was deeply felt and riveting, making us eagerly anticipate what would happen next in the second part of the series next Saturday.
WATCH: Zaijian Jaranilla shares learnings after talking to MMK “Loving2Care” letter sender
Netizens were also impressed: