- Kuwait Times Extra
KUWAIT: The prayers have been answered for a Filipina patient who is at Kuwait’s Ibn Sina Hospital, having been bedridden for seven months while awaiting repatriation. Loida Lai Dang-aoen (Dang-Awen), who is from Abra, Philippines, can now go back to her family at the soonest possible time as the Kuwait’s Patients Helping Fund Society has already shouldered most of the cost to repatriate Loida.
“I was overwhelmed when the Patient Helping Fund called today, I can’t say a word but many thanks,” said her female Kuwaiti employer. “The total amount is KD3,860. I told them that I could only pay up to KD500 because I was unemployed, they told me to hand over some documents and the KD500 I promised, I gave the amount instantly. The Patient Fund Society will shoulder the remaining amount, which is KD3360,” she explained.
“It was fast, I went there for assistance last July 18 and I received their response Aug 1. They told me that my case with Loida qualified for assistance, so I was really grateful. Special thanks to Dr Faisal Al-Thoweni (neurosurgeon), Dr Ali Abudhassan (head of neuro department) and Anood from Ibn Sina Social Worker and all the staff of Patient Fund who assisted me. Thank to the community leaders who also expressed concern on Loida’s welfare,” she said.
The Kuwaiti employer earlier went to the Philippine Embassy to seek assistance, but was allegedly advised by some officers there ‘to let her die in hospital’ as the dead body costs less to be repatriated than alive. The embassy vehemently denied the employer’s accusation, although the sponsor said she would stand by her claim.
Kuwait Times published the report about Loida in mid-July. In that report, the embassy stressed that a request for assistance was already forwarded to the Philippines Department of Foreign Affairs. In fact, in a bid to seek further assistance, the employer had also sent a request for financial assistance to the Philippines Overseas Workers Welfare Administration and the Office of Philippine Vice President Jejomar Binay, but, according to the employer, there had been no positive response, as of this writing.
“What I got was a receipt from the Office of the Undersecretary for Migrant Workers’ Affairs (OUMWA), but from other departments I haven’t received even a receipt,” she added. Loida was admitted to Al-Amiri Hospital on January 25, 2012 after suffering a stroke and lapsing into a coma. She was eventually shifted to Ibn Sina Hospital for an emergency decompressive craniotomy and was operated on for the second time the following day. Loida has recovered now, though half of her body remains paralyzed.
She can communicate with her eyes and using hand movements, but could not talk when visited by the Kuwait Times. The hospital advised that she be discharged, but since repatriation costs to the Philippines are high, her employer decided to seek assistance from the embassy. “Maybe they couldn’t help. I was surprised they told me that it was better for Loida to die and to leave her in the hospital. Haram, she has a family back in the Philippines and I will help with whatever I can, though the amount is too much for me to bear,” the Kuwaiti employer told this reporter earlier.
She added that she was doing her best to help Loida reunite with her family as soon as possible. “I want Loida to be with her family. I will do my best for her to be delivered to her home, even as I beg for my friends to help her. Nobody wants to be in her shoes,” she said. And now the employer’s work has been rewarded. Also, a meeting by the Filipino community leaders was held last Friday in bid to help Loida.
By Ben Garcia, Staff Writer
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