Cancer-stricken Pinay repatriated from Jeddah
RONALDO Z. CONCHA, GMANews.TV03/10/2009 02:40 PM
MANILA, Philippines - A 32-year-old former domestic helper who had been bedridden for the past seven months at a hospital in Jeddah will finally be reunited with her two children in the Philippines.Aida Salud Manapad boarded a Saudi Arabian Airlines flight on Monday on a stretcher and arrived at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Manila on Tuesday morning, accompanied by officials of the Philippine Consulate General.
She was then fetched by representatives from the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA), who then brought her to an undisclosed hospital in Manila. Before leaving Saudi Arabia, the Filipino worker told the story of her experience in Jeddah before being bedridden with cancer.
Manapad said that she had previously been operated on in the chest even before she left for abroad.“Pinilit kong umalis sa kabila ng karamdaman ko pero wala akong magagawa sa hirap ng buhay. Kailangan kong maitaguyod ang aking pamilya [I tried to leave despite my condition but I had no choice, I had to work for my family]," she said.
She said she arrived in Jeddah on August 21, 2005 and worked for almost a year and half as a domestic helper before running away from her employer, who she said was cruel to her.“Kami ang bumibili ng aming mga pagkain at ibang gastusin, tama po ba yun? [We are the ones who buy our food and pay for other expenses, is that right?]" she said.
After a few months since she ran away, she felt particular pain on her feet and could not even walk, prompting her to finally ask help from the consulate.She was then taken to a hospital for treatment by the Assistance to National Section of the consulate led by Vice Consul Lorenzo Jungco.
For almost seven months, Manapad stayed at the government-run King Fahd Hospital for treatment, while the Philippine Consulate tried to contact her former employer who cooperated upon learning of Manapad’s condition by giving her an exit visa.Based on the medical report, Manapad had terminal breast cancer.“Tanggap ko na ang aking kalagayan Alhamdulilah [I accept my condition, praise God]," said the Filipina, a native of the town of Dimatalin in Zamboanga del Sur province in the southern Philippines.
Manapad said that she wanted to spend her remaining time with her mother and two children — an 11-year-old boy and a five-year-old girl. She said she has been separated from her husband.Through GMANews.TV, she thanked the people who took care of her while she was confined in hospital..
“Hindi ko po malilimutan ang walang-sawang pagtulong sa akin ng lahat lalo na ng mga taga ANS nang konsulada at si Miss Elsa Masa. Salamat po nang marami sa buong konsulado [I will never forget your help, especially those from the Assistance to National section and Miss Elsa Masa. Thank you very much to the whole consulate]," she said. - with Kimberly Jane T. Tan, GMANews.TV