Dubai: A young Filipina, recovering from a congenital brain tumour, has been left to fend for herself after her father - the sole breadwinner of the family - was diagnosed with coronavirus and is now in quarantine at a workers’ accommodation in Dubai.
Eula Cynthia Enoc, 26, an assistant teacher at a local nursery, underwent a major surgery on February 12 this year to remove a tumour which had grown to the size of a ping pong ball.
A local charity footed the hospital bill after the insurance provider refused to cover costs, saying the tumour was present from birth.
Four days later, Eula went under the knife again. This time for decompression craniotomy - a neurosurgical procedure in which a part of the skull is removed to relieve brain swelling.
Besides a third surgery to restore her skull, Eula now needs physio and speech therapy.
She was discharged from hospital on February 26 after her medical bills mounted to Dh62,000.
Her father Antonio, who earns Dh8,000, was struggling to raise money, but then he got infected by coronavirus.
Eula, who suffers from mobility and speech impairment, is now left pondering her cruel fate. She is currently living in a shared accommodation in Mankhool, Bur Dubai, with her mother Eulalia, 57, who is also suffering from a brain tumour.
“This is a catastrophe. At a time when Eula desperately needs help, she is practically on her own,” rued Alessandra Rocchi, the parent of a child where Eula was employed as a school teacher from April 2018 to February 2010.
Together with friend Elda Plani, the Italian expat has been trying to drum up support for Eula.
In fact, it was these two Good Samaritans who brought Eula’s plight to the attention of a local charity which subsequently paid for her first surgery. But now Rocchi and Plani have exhausted their resources. “We don’t know who to turn to for help. Eula’s father Antonio has tested positive for COVID-19 and is in quarantine in a worker’s accommodation. This has compounded the problem as he was taking care of his daughter,” said Rocchi.
Plani said Antonio is unable to afford Eula’s treatment as he’s saddled with a personal loan. “If this was not bad enough, the person with whom the family was sharing the accommodation hasn’t paid his share of the rent as he’s stuck in Philippines, so the burden fell on Antonio,” she said.
Rocchi said besides a third surgery to restore her skull, Eula urgently needs physio and speech therapy to resume a normal life. Her right side is affected and her speech is impaired. “Sadly, she has stopped taking her medication because of financial constraints. Eula is at a critical juncture. With a little support she could be back on her feet. She desperately needs help,” said Rocchi.