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Edward Lagman with his sister Apolonia Lagman Gueco recently Courtesy: Edward Lagman Image Credit:

Dubai: A Filipino expat is struggling to pay the Dh57,000 hospital bill of his sister, who died last week during a visit to Dubai.

Edward Lagman, 26, said his sister Apolonia Lagman Gueco, 46, died in hospital on December 21, a week after she was admitted for bleeding in the brain.

Gueco had arrived in August to help Lagman’s wife care for their newborn daughter. On December 14, she was taken to Al Zahra Hospital in Dubai as she vomiting, dizzy, and had a severe headache.

Lagman said tests revealed she was bleeding in the brain and despite a surgery and subsequent efforts to save her life, Gueco passed away last Friday.

I need help with the hospital bill, which was almost Dh95,000. They have given me a 40 per cent discount and allowed me to pay the remaining Dh57,000 or so in six monthly instalments, of around Dh9,500 per month. But that’s still too much for me.

- Edward Lagman, brother of the deceased

Gueco leaves behind her husband and seven children — three daughters and four sons — aged between 15 to 30 years.

Lagman, a Dubai resident for three years and employed at a food products company in Abu Dhabi, is currently completing the paperwork and formalities needed to repatriate his sister’s body to the Philippines.

He said the Philippines Consulate in Dubai will pay for the expenses of repatriating the body. Gueco was from Capastarlac, around a three-hour drive from the Philippines capital Manila.

“I need help with the hospital bill, which was almost Dh95,000. They have given me a 40 per cent discount and allowed me to pay the remaining Dh57,000 or so in six monthly instalments, of around Dh9,500 per month. But that’s still too much for me,” Lagman said.

His monthly salary is Dh5,710, but he is left with Dh4,477 after a loan deduction of Dh1,233. “My friends and colleagues are trying to do what they can for me and also trying to find someone who can help,” he added.

Lagman said Gueco was in good health and spirits when she had come to visit him in August. “She came to help my wife after her delivery and to spend time with us. She was doing fine. [On December 14] all of a sudden, she felt really sick. My other sister and friends took her to the hospital in a taxi.

“Tests showed she had really high blood pressure and she was bleeding around the brain. She was operated upon to drain the fluids from her head. Before she died, she went into a coma, suffered brain damage and was braindead. She was put on a machine to keep her alive.”

Lagman added: “We didn’t get a chance to say goodbye to her.”