About Clinical Record

01

About the diary: This was the clinical record kept by the doctors and nurses of President Manuel L. Quezon during the last months of his life, from April 18-August 1, 1944.

The clinical record, a small notebook, was in the possession of Mrs. Zeneida Quezon Avanceña, President Quezon’s daughter, until the year 2003, when she gave it to Manuel L. Quezon III.

The entries are in different hands, though it does not identify who, specifically, made each entry on the various dates.

The first page of the diary contains the following entry:

This Clinical record for President Quezon commenced from the time we took the train from Miami, Florida, April 18, 1944.

The diary begins with the standard doctor’s orders for the patient:

2-3

Drs. Order:

1. Temp. 8 a.m., 4 p.m., 6 p.m. + 10 p.m.

2. Vitamin pill one every a.m.

3. Sponge bath 2 times a week.

4. Full diet. Can have anything as desired.

5. Cough mixt. p.r.n. z 1/1, may be repeated after 1 hr.

6. Ephedrine pill ⁒ /c Sod. bicarb. **/11 S.O.S.

7. Strych_Her. pill 1/1 p.r.m.

8. Evedylate injection /g other day.

9. Nembutal gr. 1/155 at bedtime & may be repeated once.

10. Agasol z 1/1 at bed time.

April 14, 1944

1 {asp. caf. gr. V. tab. 1/25

sod. bicarb gr. X

every day after lunch/dinner 

half hr. before lunch + dinner

This diary, perhaps the only one of its kind, as far as chronicling the last months of the life of a major historical figure, is published online both for the insights it provides into the treatment of Tuberculosis patients in the 1930s and 1940s, and the glimpse it provides into the last months of the life of President Quezon.

About the doctors of President Quezon:

Commonwealth government-in-exile and members of the Filipino community, Leesburg, VA, shortly after President Quezon's arrival, May, 1942.  President Quezon's doctors are: (2nd row, first on right) Benvenudo R. Diño; (2ns row, 2nd from right) Dr. Andreas Trepp; (2nd row, 1st from right) Emigdio Cruz.

Commonwealth government-in-exile and members of the Filipino community, Leesburg, VA, shortly after President Quezon’s arrival, May, 1942. President Quezon’s doctors are: (2nd row, first on right) Benvenudo R. Diño; (2ns row, 2nd from right) Dr. Andreas Trepp; (2nd row, 1st from right) Emigdio Cruz.

 

Dr. John N. Hayes: Tuberculosis expert in Saranac Lake, New York;  there is a profile in the HSL Wiki.

 

Dr. Emigdio Cruz: A profile of Dr. Emigdio Cruz, who was the lone recipient of the Medal of Valor from President Quezon, can be found in View from the Pampang.

President Quezon confers the Medal of Valor on Major Emigdio Cruz, Miami Florida, March, 1944.

 

In this account in the Philippines Free Press, Dr. Cruz wrote, of the death of Quezon:

On the morning of August 1st, 1944, I entered the room at a quarter to eight to relieve Dr. Diño. The President was awake and reclining against the back rest. He asked me to read the Sermon on the Mount to him.

After I had finished reading, the President snapped his fingers and pointed at the back of his left wrist. I looked at my watch and said, “time for the broadcast, Mr. President,” at the same time turning on the radio.

“Gen. MacArthur made a successful landing on Noonfar just 600 miles from the Philippines,” came the announcement. Almost simultaneously we clapped our hands. “It won’t be long now,” he said, and told me to step out of the room as he needed the attendant. I stayed in the lobby just outside the door, looking for the President’s favorite passage in the Bible.

All of a sudden I heard a noise. I rushed into the room and found the President coughing spasmodically, with blood coming out his mouth and nose. He was being held by the attendant. When I got near his side he said, “Trepp.”

I rushed downstairs and called Dr. Trepp and dashed to the chapel and told Mrs. Quezon to pray hard for the President.

Then I went up again and gave the President stimulants. I requested Dr. Diño to call up Dr. Hayes.

Dr. Trepp was holding the President, who was at that time in a very cyanotic condition. His pulse became very weak, so I went down and called Mrs. Quezon.

Mrs. Quezon and the children entered the room. She tried to go to the bedside of the President. The President waved her aside to spare her feelings. Then I saw the President gasp so we turned him upside down to get the blood clots out of his air passages. A big clot was recovered. I started giving him artificial respiration. I was still astride him giving artificial respiration when Dr. Hayes arrived. The President breathed a few more gasps. He died fifteen minutes after ten o’clock in the morning of August 1st, 1944.

Dr. Benvenuto R. Diño: Accompanied President Quezon into exile.

Dr. Andreas Trepp: First director of the Quezon Institute; Swiss Tuberculosis expert; accompanied President Quezon into exile; died in Washington, D.C.

Gen. Basilio J. Valdes, Secretary of National Defense and Chief of Staff of the Philippine Army, was also with President Quezon in Saranac Lake.

Dr. Benvenuto R. Diño with President Quezon, March 23, 1944

 

Historic Saranac Lake summarizes the last weeks as follows:

Manuel Quezon, the president of the Philippines, came to Saranac Lake in June 1943 and again in June 1944. He had been invited by President Franklin Roosevelt to establish a government in exile in Washington, DC, but Quezon had tuberculosis and was looking for a better summer climate.

The McMartin camp was secured for the visiting head of state, as were the services of Dr. John N. Hayes, a specialist at the Trudeau Sanatorium. Quezon and his staff stayed at the lodge on the lake and he claimed to be much improved after his first Adirondack summer. However, when he came back in June of 1944, he was much worse, and he died on August 1st. After a high mass celebrated by Dr. Hayes’ brother, the Most Reverend Ralph L. Hayes of Pittsburgh, who just happened to be visiting, the body was taken by special train to Washington, D.C.

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