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TikTok Caregiver Chris Punsalan’s Grandma Dies at 97 After Illness

Anica Santos Manipon had severe arthritis in her hands and osteoporosis, according to a video shared by her caregiver and grandson last year

<p>Chris Punsalan/Instagram</p> Chris Punsalan and his grandmother Anica Santos Manipon

Chris Punsalan/Instagram

Chris Punsalan and his grandmother Anica Santos Manipon

Chris Punsalan, who amassed a social media following as a caregiver for his grandmother Anica Santos Manipon, has announced her death. She was 97.

Anica died in her sleep on Monday, several days after she was hospitalized with pneumonia, her daughter-in-law Len Ong Manipon said, per The Philippine Daily Inquirer.

Punsalan also shared the news of his grandmother’s death in a TikTok post to his 2.5 million followers, which included a carousel of photos featuring the Filipino-American content creator and his beloved elder.

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“My heart is broken,” Punsalan wrote in the caption of his post. He said his grandmother lived “a fruitful life,” adding, “i’m relieved she can finally rest and she’s in better hands than we could have ever provided.”

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He concluded, “i love you forever grandma 💔.”

Chris Punsalan/Instagram
Chris Punsalan/Instagram

Earlier in her life, Anica worked as a public school teacher at Banaba Elementary School and Bamban Gabaldon Elementary School, which the Daily Inquirer said is “the oldest educational institution in Bamban.”

Punsalan and his grandmother first went viral in 2019 with videos about their daily lives, according to The Philippine Star.

Anica had severe arthritis in her hands as well as osteoporosis, which impacts bone density, Punsalan said in an August 2023 TikTok video addressing frequently asked questions about their relationship.

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The 29-year-old said he began caring for his grandmother more than seven years ago, after she woke up and was unable to get out of bed while he was completing his final semester of college.

Rather than hire a full-time caregiver or put her in an assisted living facility, Punsalan said he opted to step in and take care of his grandmother, which he called the “best decision I ever made.”

Punsalan said he helped his grandmother “with pretty much everything,” including getting her in and out of bed and helping her eat meals. He also helped her with her weekly shower on Fridays and did his best to ensure Anica “is comfortable and happy for as much of the day as possible.”

In a TikTok video shared Tuesday, Punsalan thanked everyone who showed him and his grandmother support over the years.

“Thankfully, she went peacefully,” Punsalan said, noting that Anica “had lots of family around” and “was comfortable” when she passed.

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“Thank you for all the love. Thank you for all the prayers,” the content creator added. “We appreciate it.”

Services for Anicia will be held Feb. 6 at the Davis Funeral Homes & Memorial Park in Las Vegas, according to her obituary.

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