Physical Therapist. Healer. Let me tell you about my beloved Kuya Ritchie. Before he truly pursued the PT profession, Ritchie worked in different fields while waiting for his visa: call center agent, English tutor to Koreans, Japanese, American, and Indian missionaries, even a government employee.
In 2011, Ritchie finally landed a job in the USA in the field he studied for in college.
For 9 years, he worked hard away from his family. Nine years he was not able to come home and to spend time with his mom, brother, and sister in the Philippines. Ritchie initially struggled during his transition to work-life in the US. He was a PT in Dallas and finally landed a good job in New York where he stayed with a Filipino family.
Being Ritchie's family who watched him grow up, we weren't surprised at all to hear about his positive effect on people, his love for life. He was a great peer, hard worker, his actions were always kind. He has a generous hand and gives help to anyone who might need it. He was truly a loving son, a protective brother, and a faithful friend to all.
A devout member of the INC, Ritchie made regular visits to church for worship services. He was the church organist and a Choir Member.
After experiencing difficulty breathing, he was admitted to Montefiore Nyack Hospital in New York on March 26. My brother fought hard. fighting to stay alive in the hospital for almost 20 days, but his body has grown so weak. Imagine our intense worry and unending distress to learn of his fight out there in New York, all alone, with nobody to hold his hand. We couldn't cross the ocean to be by his side no matter how hard we prayed.
Prayers were our only consolation as Kuya Ritchie rallied the last of his strength to fight the COVID 19 virus. His journey on this earth ended and he succumbed to the virus on April 15, 2020.
Our family was drowning in tears as we learned of his passing at only 44 years old. When we could see through our tears, we decided to look upon his death as a "coming home." It is with joy that we realized he had now finished his race to answer God's calling. Our pain is still unrelenting, so fresh with the memory of his death, but we will honor Kuya Ritchie's memory by remembering his best moments in life.
Rest now, my brother.
Our family humbly requests you to include Ritchie in your prayers. We greatly appreciate your benevolent contribution to his fundraising campaign which we intend to use to defray family expenses, as a memory fund for the loss of his livelihood, and financial assistance.
Thank you so much in advance for your kind support to our family during this time of grief. ~Karen Villena (Sister)
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