Husband and group of Japanese men helped save a woman’s life


Terry and Joselito Jose, who have been married for 47 years, pose at the Garapan Fishing Base Wednesday afternoon. (Ferdie De La Torre)

For 60-year-old Terry Muna Jose, 71-year-old Joselito Jose is not only her husband for 47 years; he is also her savior. Together with a group of drunk Japanese men, they pooled together the 18 bags of blood needed to save Terry’s life 39 years ago.

Terry was pregnant with their fourth child in 1982 when she slipped on the floor in their bathroom, had a miscarriage several months later, and nearly lost her life after losing so much blood.

At first, Terry seemed okay after the accident. In fact, the doctor told her that she and the baby were fine. But when she reached five months with her pregnancy, the baby was found in distress and had to be taken out at once. Terry said she was taken to the Commonwealth Health Center—at the time called the Dr. Torres Hospital—after she had internal bleeding and needed 18 bags of blood to survive.

Fortunately, it was found out that Joselito has the same blood type—A positive—as Terry. Joselito said a bag of 500 CC blood was taken from him, but the doctor told him that it wasn’t not enough. After an hour or two, another bag of 500 CC was taken from Joselito. With Terry bleeding profusely, more blood, however, was needed.

“After taking my blood, I get up right away and the doctor stopped me and said, ‘No, no, no, you cannot [get up]. You need to rest,’” said Joselito.

He ignored this, insisting that he needed to go out and look for A positive blood. Joselito went to see his Japanese mechanic friend, who at the time was with about 10 Japanese men who were either tourists or hotel workers. He said the Japanese men, who were all drunk, were supposed to go to Managaha Island that day. Instead, they agreed to follow Joselito and his mechanic friend to the hospital to have their blood checked and see if they could donate.

“I talked to the doctor if they can check their blood and what type of blood they have. And I told the doctor that all of them are drunk, but the doctor said it’s okay as long as the blood type is the same,” Joselito recounted. Good news: the blood type of some of those Japanese men matched Terry’s blood type.

It was not all hunky-dory yet. Joselito said his wife’s condition already appeared helpless so the doctor told him to bring a priest to bless her, which he did.

All in all, Terry was in the hospital for a month.

Terry said that before she left the hospital, the doctor told her that he cannot promise her if she could have another child, that she would be lucky if she will still be able to conceive.

“But [after] four years I got pregnant [again] with a miracle baby,” said Terry.

In fact, the couple had five children in all: One lives at their compound in Dandan, two are in Guam, and two are in the U.S. mainland. They have 20 grandchildren and five great grandchildren.

Terry was only 16 years old when she met Joselito, who was then 26 years old and staying at the Sablan Construction barracks in San Antonio.
Terry had just come from a family vacation in Guam and had stayed at her sister’s place, which was near Joselito’s barracks.

Joselito, who hails from Manila, Philippines, first arrived on Saipan on Feb. 10, 1974, to work as a welder at the airport. Two years later, he met Terry.

“I was so sexy at the time,” said Terry with a hearty laugh.

With her parents’ consent, they married on June 14, 1976, at a community church. In 1977, they had their first baby. In 1984, Joselito started work as a body and fender welder at Microl Toyota. He only retired from Microl Toyota after Super Typhoon Soudelor struck in 2015.

Terry said Joselito is her life. “I would never change him and my children,” she said.

Saipan Tribune interviewed the couple at the Garapan Fishing Base, where Terry accompanied Joselito, who was fishing.

Ferdie De La Torre | Reporter
Ferdie Ponce de la Torre is a senior reporter of Saipan Tribune. He has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and has covered all news beats in the CNMI. He is a recipient of the CNMI Supreme Court Justice Award. Contact him at

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