Dubai: A Filipina expatriate who woke up from a long coma finally flew to her home country on Sunday after undergoing treatment at Rashid Hospital for more than two years.
Perlie Almonte, 36, was taken to Rashid Hospital on April 18, 2015 after she was found unconscious in the bathroom of her house. According to doctors who examined her, Almonte had slipped into a coma following a stroke.
In an earlier statement from Dubai Health Authority (DHA), doctors said Almonte fell into a coma because of intracerebral haemorrhage, a life-threatening type of stroke caused by bleeding within the brain tissue. The same statement said Almonte gained consciousness sometime in January 2016, nine months after being hospitalised.
My whole experience was challenging but encouraging at the same time. I have all but gratitude to the people who took care of me, Dr Zeyad and the doctors and nurses at Ward 26 ..."
- Perlie Almonte | Filipina expatriate
Dr Zeyad Al Rais, Head of Critical Care Department at Rashid Hospital, immediately started intensive active physiotherapy on Almonte when she gained consciousness and placed her in a neurological rehabilitation plan.
Around 860 days after she was first admitted to the hospital, Almonte was all smiles when she boarded her flight home early Sunday.
“I am so excited to go home. The first thing I’d love to do is hug my two kids,” Almonte told Gulf News while typing it on her phone on the night of her flight.
Almonte, who worked as a supervisor at a courier company, still could not speak as doctors earlier performed a tracheostomy on her. She communicates by either nodding, smiling, or typing some words on her phone.
“My whole experience was challenging but encouraging at the same time. I have all but gratitude to the people who took care of me, Dr Zeyad and the doctors and nurses at Ward 26, Kuya (brother) Rey Angulo, the people from church — all of them treated me as if I’m their own,” Almonte said.
To the people around her, Almonte’s recovery was a miracle.
“This is an answered prayer. Her recovery is a miracle and I am witness to that. She’s very different from when she was first admitted to the hospital. She’s now very coherent and she has learnt to accept her condition, that’s very important,” Angulo, a DHA-accredited social worker who handled Almonte’s case from day one, told Gulf News.
“She has befriended pain and she’s finally going home thanks to the collective efforts of so many people.”
Almonte’s mother, Lily, who earlier flew to the UAE to take care of her, thanked everyone who took care and prayed for Almonte. She also thanked Almonte’s employer, DHL, that shouldered all of Almonte’s hospital bills and repatriation.
Once in the Philippines Almonte will be taken to Laguna Doctors Hospital in Sta Cruz, Laguna to continue her rehabilitation.
“I’d always hoped that I’d get better,” Almonte said. “The fact remains now that I am fit and well, and that’s the most important part.”