Saturday, July 4, 2009

June 23, 2009

OFW who woke up from 8-month long coma returns home
RONALDO CONCHA, GMANews.TV06/23/2009 01:55 PM

JEDDAH, Saudi Arabia - After waking up from an eight-month long coma, overseas Filipino worker (OFW) Ruben de Leon finally returned to the Philippines on Monday afternoon.

De Leon, 25, was working as a helper in Jeddah for two years when a car driven by a 16-year-old Saudi boy knocked him unconscious in September last year.

He left for the country past midnight on Sunday on board Saudi Airlines flight SV 860 and arrived in Manila at 5:45 p.m. on Monday.

He was escorted by Dr. Ashraf Abdelaziz Abdulrauf Ibrahim and Filipino nurse Edwin Homillano of the Dr. Sulayman Fakkeh Hospital until they reached the OFW’s home in Taytay, Rizal.

Tess Fogata, charge nurse of de Leon, said that the vehicular accident caused great damage to the patient’s mental condition.But Dr. Hazem Abdelkarim Mohamed, assistant director of the hospital, said that de Leon is already in a stable condition and just needs to continue his medication.

He recommended that the OFW undergo physiotherapy in the Philippines.Welfare Officer Romualdo Exmundo said that de Leon will be able to avail himself of benefits from the Saudi General Organization of Social Insurance (GOSI) and Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA).

According to the evaluation of the GOSI, the Filipino worker is 74 percent disabled and may receive 41,000 Saudi riyals or more than P500,000 in benefits. He will also receive disability benefits from OWWA, with the amount depending on its assessment.His employer, on the other hand, has also promised to also give him his benefits and unpaid salaries.

De Leon is one of the recently reported OFWs who were hit by minors driving illegally in Saudi Arabia. Last April, Ryan D. Fajardo was hit by a car while he was jogging along a street in Taif, a highland city in Saudi Arabia’s western region. Reports said a Saudi teenager on a “joyride" killed the OFW. [See: Teenage 'joyride driver' kills OFW in Jeddah] - With Kimberly Jane T. Tan, GMANews.TV

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