Mourning OFW couple seek help to settle baby’s hospital bill
An overseas Filipino worker (OFW) couple in Dubai who lost their two-month old premature baby last month are seeking financial help to settle their unpaid hospital bills and to eventually give their child a decent burial.
In a report by Gulf News, 38-year-old Rollie Tindugan said his wife Rhodora, who was then six-months pregnant, prematurely gave birth to their son Timothy due to stress after he lost his job as graphic designer in March.
“The stress got to her and her water broke… After rushing to the emergency of at least six hospitals where we were refused help we reached this hospital that admitted my wife and Timothy was born. Our hearts melted seeing him and I was confident things would work out,” Tindugan said.
“However, it was not to be. After two months when my baby weighed 2.45 kg the hospital told us it was safe to discharge him. However, we lacked the wherewithal to care for our child and he died in his sleep. The death certificate says he died of a lack of oxygen. With his death I have lost the will to struggle against the odds,” he recalled.
The report said the parents were wondering if the hospital discharged their baby earlier than necessary “perceiving their inability to pay.”
With their visas expiring last May 5, Tindugan said the hospital retained their passports as collateral but refused to return them as the bills kept mounting. The report said the passports were returned to the Filipino couple only after police intervention and a security check of Dh250,000 (UAE Dirham).
“Every single day I pray to the departed soul of my son, asking for forgiveness as I could not save his life, because I had no money to care for him,” said Tindugan, grieving for his child.
The parents incurred a fine for three months of overstaying in the hospital, with a warning that they will be turned over to authorities if the bill would not be settled by September 20.
Tindugan is now asking the residents of United Arab Emirates for help to settle his child’s neo-natal intensive unit bill, which amounts to Dh250,000.
“I have lost everything, my son is no more, I have no job, no visa and have no idea how am I going to pay this bill. But I have only compassion and guilt in my heart, not hatred for any individual,” Tindugan said. YG/CDG/rga
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