Maz De Roxas an entrepreneur from Manila, Philippines had just arrived to the UK last June 2021 and as always, she has a lot on her plate when it comes to her work, businesses and studies. According to her, “Support is great but it is best to learn how to stand on the ground without leaning. You have do everything on your own because at the end of the day, you are your own hero. No matter how prepared you are for all challenges life throws, you still find it hard to cope with it when everything falls on you. But at the end of the day, you have to be brave and face everything positively.” In 2021, she decided to fly to the UK away from her family to study MBA and expand her skills and professional career. She was excited, passionate, and above all happy. Little did she know, she would be in the darkest phase of her life just after landing in the UK. London was not kind to her when she arrived, as she contacted Covid in a foreign land, but she dealt with everything bravely and strongly, and more importantly with utter grace.
Maz has always been a person who loves to gym or exercise in any form. She was convinced that the secret to a healthy and happy life is to work on the body and make it strong. She was also a vegan for eight years, and that was her first baby step towards a healthy life. Following an active lifestyle, she knows that she is healthy and blessed with the best life. But COVID can affect anyone, whether you are a healthy individual. One of the biggest mysteries about Covid-19 is why some people who shouldn’t really be harmed by it very much at all get really sick, and end up in hospital. As when she arrived in the UK, she encountered Corona Virus. Since she had been into fitness much, she thought she would beat it easily but she was wrong and unaware of what was coming for her. Her body is always tired from every activities that she has been doing.
“I do a lot of things. Work, study, gym and travel. And with my busy schedule, I had taken my health for granted. I wasn’t sleeping well enough, I woke up very early even I sometimes slept late, not eating enough calories that my body needed because I just kept on moving around. But I do not drink alcohol and I don’t smoke at all. And my body just gave up on me when I got COVID.” The virus made her weak physically, emotionally and mentally. “It was so bad because I had never been this sick in my entire life and being away from my family made everything even worse.” She said. To add the cherry on the top, the entire Covid period on her didn’t last for two weeks as it promises to everyone and that was a shock for her since she was healthy and had an active lifestyle. Her virus stayed with her for almost three months as she was a workaholic, her body really was so weak during the time she contacted the virus and even made her hospitalized just for a day, but for her, it was something that she never awaited.
With serious Long COVID, she also fought with pleural effusion and pneumonia, and all that was the mercy of Corona. “Almost everyday in three months, I kept checking my weight, my heart beat per minute, oxygen saturation level. I was so paranoid. It was so traumatic for me. Good thing was, I never felt any shortness of breath nor any other pain even my X-ray showed a large pleural effusion. It was more of a mental and emotional battle for me.”
She was in the darkest time of her life and just then it hit her, how big a blessing our health is, and so she decided to not give up and fight with it. Like us, she is puzzled about why she got so much sicker than her other family members in the house in the UK. “I think young people don’t realise this can happen to them even how healthy you are. COVID is abstruse. I didn’t think it could happen to me,” she says. “You don’t see it coming, it is just there and suddenly it can take you and leave you so ill.” After getting discharged from the hospital, she set straight to the gym. Not because it was her habit to exercise but she knew it was the only way to bring some bliss to her life and to make a change. Exercising all that time made her strong. She was a happier version of herself.
The entire disease period made her feel bad about everything but at the same time, it was a life-changing experience for her. It opened her eyes and made her realize to pay gratitude to God for each blessing she has. From her family and friends by her side to her ability to work, she was thankful for everything.Her disease took her to the lowest point but the brighter side is she also learned even more to stay happy and positive all the time as always and to embrace all the challenges with her strength. Her relationship with God improved and she got a lot closer to Him. She acknowledged even more the value of her family, friends, work and other blessings she has. In any of these situations, according to her, “One thing that you should never let go of is your strength and positivity in life. Life is all about accepting all problems yet deciding to walk through them. If you can do it, you can conquer the world easily.” She is drawing some positives from the experience and with her positive thoughts and utter determination, she healed completely. “This whole thing has made me stronger. I’m lucky I’m still alive today. You really learn the value of true life – you know, that every breath is vital and so important. Just to be sitting here right now, every breath I take, I’m so grateful for it.”