Dubai: An uncertain future awaited 26-year-old Eula Cynthia Enoc. Roughly two weeks ago, she had no clue how she could possibly fend for herself let alone afford an expensive brain surgery. She had lost her job as an assistant teacher and her father, the family’s sole breadwinner, had been quarantined in a workers’ accommodation after being diagnosed with coronavirus.
But a Gulf News story describing her plight has put these worries behind her. Since the May 9 report, several UAE residents have come forward to help the young Filipina who is recovering from a congenital brain tumour.
A British expat alone has pitched in with Dh60,000 while a special needs centre has offered free speech and occupational and therapies. The parents at the school where she taught have also contributed towards her treatment.
“The way people have opened their hearts and purse strings for Eula is truly incredible. I am overwhelmed,” said Alessandra Rocchi, the parent of a child where Eula was employed as an assisant school teacher from April 2018 to February 2019.
Together with friend Elda Plani, the Italian expat has been trying to drum up support for Eula whose mother Eulalia, 57, also suffers from a brain tumour.
“The biggest benefactor is this British expat who gave a cheque of Dh60,000 to cover surgery costs. The Good Samaritan, who wants to remain anonymous also got Eula a walking aid. He visits her at her Mankhool home every week to monitor her progress,” said Elda.
Alessandra said the hospital has offered them a Dh10,000 discount. “It will come in handy to pay for post-operative care,” she said.
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Eula Cynthia 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 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.
He has tested negative twice and is likely to be resume work.
“We are indebted to all those who have come to the aid of Eula. The UAE has shown that it’s a country that cares and the help extended by people has reinforced that fact and restored our faith in humanity,” said Elda.