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Filipina Coma Patient Finally Goes Home



Patient had been lying comatose in a Dubai hospital for four months.

Alicia Del Los R. finally flew home to her loved ones on Thursday with the help of the Philippine Consulate-General in Dubai after lying comatose at a Dubai hospital for four months.

The 53-year-old Filipina suffered a heart attack in June that resulted in hypoxia (lack of oxygen) to her brain rendering her in a vegetative state. For four months, she had been cared for by Aster Hospital Mankhool.

Having entered the UAE on a visit visa and without medical insurance, Alicia’s hospital bill mounted to more than Dh500,000. However, with the help from the Philippine Consulate, she was finally able to fly home on an Emirates flight on Thursday afternoon.

Dr Sherbaz Bichu, CEO of Aster Hospital, said: “It gives me great pleasure and joy to know that Ms Alicia is now home in (the) Philippines, reunited with her family. After her four-month stay in our hospital battling for life, she escaped the mouth of death.”

“Aster Hospital Mankhool appreciates the cooperation and support of Philippine Consul-General Paul Raymund Cortes who has been involved in her repatriation. Living up to our promise of ‘We’ll treat you well’, our efficient team of doctors and nurses went over and above the call of duty and rendered compassionate care to her. During her stay in our hospital, she became our extended family member. Our health-care providers built therapeutic relationships with her. To our nurses and paramedics, she was like a mother. To our team of doctors, she was like a sister and so on. And as declared in the UAE this year as the ‘Year of Giving’, the Aster DM Healthcare initiative of Aster volunteers took a true stance in this survival story.”

For his part, the Philippine Consul-General earlier said that the Assistance-To-Nationals (ATN) section of the consulate had communicated with the hospital regarding Alicia’s case from day one and was assisting in her repatriation. Her travel date was finalised last week.

Assistance fund

Universal Medical Transfer Services facilitated the medical repatriation of Alicia from Aster Hospital up to her admission in Angono Medics Hospital in Angono, Rizal using the ATN Funds reserved for Filipinos in need of assistance. The consulate also gave Dh20,000 to the hospital as partial payment of Alicia’s hospital bills. Alicia’s son is planning to approach charitable institutions to help him settle the remaining bill amount with the hospital.

Alicia is just one of the four “stretcher” cases that have been assisted by the consulate for repatriation so far this year, said Aldrine Perez, ATN officer in charge of medical cases. Such repatriation costs between Dh40,000 and Dh60,000 each.

The consulate, through its ATN section, repatriated 1,080 Filipinos from January 1 to September 30. The section also released $559,162.72 (Dh2.05 million) from the ATN Funds to assist Filipinos in the first nine months of the year.

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