On August 13, Randy Santiago lost his beloved son Ryan. In an interview with ABS-CBN’s Rated K, the actor-singer wept as he remembered his second son, who he describes as the most ‘malambing’ of his three kids with wife Marilou. He also fondly recalled how adorable Ryan was as a kid.
Ryan with his dad Randy and brothers Raphael (left) and Raiko (middle) (screenshot from ABS-CBN’s Rated K episode)
Ryan was only 24 when he passed away, succumbing to a 4-year battle with a rare brain disease along with multiple sclerosis. He was diagnosed in 2013 after his parents brought him to a specialist because of persistent headaches.
Multiple sclerosis is disease of the brain and spinal cord, which can lead to disability. In MS, the immune system attacks the nerve fibers, causing nerve deterioration and permanent damage. The signs and symptoms are often unpredictable. They include fatigue, vision problems, numbness, muscle spasms, pain, and speech problems. There is no known cure for MS, but treatment can help manage its symptoms.
Initially, doctors managed to keep Ryan’s symptoms at bay thanks to treatment. But sadly, his condition recurred, causing him to be admitted to the hospital once again, where he would stay for four months.
In 2015, he underwent his first surgery to address the symptoms of multiple sclerosis.
Ryan Santiago with dad Randy and mom Marilou (photo: Ryan Santiago instagram)
On the last night of his wake, family and friends, including those from the entertainment industry, paid their respects.
One of whom was the eldest daughter of Marjorie Barretto with ex-husband Dennis Padilla, Dani.
“Siguro it’s time na rin para magpahinga siya. Ang message ko for Ryan is I will live my life the way he always wanted me to live it, for me to be happy, and aalagaan ko yung pamilya niya,” she said.
In response to the outpouring of love and support, Randy got emotional once again.
“Nakakagaan ng pakiramdam kapag niyayakap ka ng kaibigan mo,” he said tearfully, thanking his friends and family for being there for him during this tough time.
“Ang tagal ko nang hindi umiiyak. Ngayon lang akong umiyak,” Randy confided, adding that he breaks down every time he’s alone and sees Ryan’s empty bed.
In closing, he commended his son’s bravery, who tried to mask his suffering for the sake of those who loved him.
“Napaka-tapang mo anak,” Randy said, crying. “Alam naming hindi mo kinakaya pero never mong pinakita sa amin na hindi mo kakayanin.”
Our heartfelt condolences go out to the Santiago family and their loved ones.
sources: ABS-CBN news, Mayo Clinic, NHS UK
READ: Losing a child – What it’s like and how to deal with the loss