Nurse Florence's condition stable; her first word: Mama

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/09 October) — “Florence,” the 21-year old volunteer-nurse who was gang-raped and left for dead in Upi, Maguindanao on September 25, is now in stable condition and is showing steady signs of improvement, the chief of Mindanao’s biggest government hospital said Friday night.

“She is out of stupor. There is slight movement in her legs and she can already say a few words,” said Dr. Leopoldo Vega, chief of the Southern Philippines Medical Center.

“Florence called for her mother this morning. That was her first word,” he added.
Vega told reporters that “Florence” (not her real name) can now respond briefly to “little commands” and is conscious for “a longer period.”

“Her condition is a big difference compared to three days ago when she was in stupor,” Vega said.

He said they are looking for improvements on the right side of her body after it showed signs of paralysis from the vicious attack by her attackers.

Vega said they expect the condition of “Florence” to greatly improve in the next 30 days.

“Today she no longer feels drowsy. She can see all the love and support from her parents and our nurses. We hope for a better observation in the next few days,” he added.

“Florence,” daughter of a farmer couple, was gang-raped in Upi town, Maguindanao, on September 25.

The crime created uproar among health practitioners, prompting President Benigno Aquino III to order the Justice Secretary to look into the case especially given earlier reports that some prominent people were among the perpetrators.

Vega said some of the nurses and doctors at the hospital here have taken to wearing black arm bands to dramatize their call for justice for “Florence.” (Froilan Gallardo/MindaNews)