Lives Lost: the Indonesian doctor’s musical passion led to love

Lives Lost: the Indonesian doctor's musical passion led to love

JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) – Michael Robert Marampe knew from childhood what he wanted to be: a doctor and a pianist. He became both, and his passion for music even led him to his fiancé – a woman he should never marry because he got the corona virus.

Marampe met Tri Novia Septiani, a singer and worship leader, at the church where he played the piano in Jakarta, Indonesia’s capital. They formed the duo Miknov, which covered popular songs and composed their own music which they uploaded to Instagram and YouTube.

They planned to tie the knot in Bali in April, but postponed the wedding because the coronavirus began to spread in the Southeast Asian country in March.

“He made me a song. … The title is “You are the last.” It turns out I became the last one for him, ”Septiani said.


EDITOR’S NOTE: This is part of an ongoing series of stories about people who died of coronavirus around the world.


Lovers remembered 28-year-old Marampe during an online memorial service in June. The meeting started with laughter, but many couldn’t hold back tears when they remembered his short life.

His mother, Herlina Simbala, said she would never forget one of the last things her oldest son said to her: he promised to hug her again after he left the hospital. He never got a chance.

“He just texted me. “I think he was afraid to talk to me directly,” Simbala said.

Marampe always strove to become a doctor, following in the footsteps of his father, who is a doctor in a hospital. After completing his medical education, Marampe did an internship, sending him more than 2,000 kilometers (1,260 miles) from home to the province of East Kalimantan on the island of Borneo.

“He was happy with his job. Wherever and whenever it is. … He never complained, “said his mother.

Marampe discovered his other passion when he was young: he learned to play music on a mini keyboard before taking piano lessons.

His love for gospel music brought him into contact with his future fiancé, Septiani. They met in church in 2011 and a friend arranged a date a year later. Then they became inseparable.

As their romance developed, so did their love for music and formed their group despite both having busy jobs. Septiani is a fashion designer and Marampe was a general practitioner in a hospital.

Because of his work, Marampe was concerned about contracting the corona virus. Septiani said he told her that one of his patients had symptoms of the virus but did not want to be tested.

Marampe was self-tested in April and was positive for COVID-19. But he never blamed anyone, Septiani said.

He was treated in a hospital and on his eighth day there, Marampe shot a video that he posted on Instagram.

“For me, being a doctor is something I’m proud of. I can serve my patients. I can help so many people. And I don’t regret it at all. For my friends on the front line, take heart, “Marampe said in the video.

His condition improved and he was released from hospital after 13 days. But the next morning, his fiancé noticed that he was having trouble breathing.

He died on April 25 and became one of 38 doctors who have claimed the coronavirus in Indonesia so far. According to Indonesian Medical Association spokesman Halik Malik, there are many reasons for the death, including a lack of protective equipment, testing delays and limited medical resources.

Marampe spent his last days in a hospital isolation room, so he spoke his last words to Septiani as she rushed him to the emergency room.

“He said, ‘Honey, I really love you. I love you so much.’ … and then he said again, “Honey, I’m a doctor. I know my condition now, ” said Septiani.

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or distributed without permission.