FDH dies in Tseung Kwan O two weeks after it was discovered she had terminal cancer
A 32-year-old Filipino domestic worker in Tseung Kwan O died yesterday (Nov. 25) just two weeks after it was discovered that she had end-stage cancer, a Philippine Consulate General (PCG) official said.
Consul Paul Saret, head of the PCG-Assistance to Nationals Section, said the worker, a native of Benguet, died of terminal colon cancer at the Tseung Kwan O hospital.
“She was confined at the hospital three weeks ago because she had fallen ill. Then a week later or two weeks ago, it was discovered after a battery of tests that she had Stage 4 colon cancer,” Saret said in an interview.
“The cancer had metastasized to her lungs,” he added.
Saret said the cancer apparently did not appear in the worker’s medical tests before she came to Hong Kong a year ago.
Saret said the consulate was helping the worker’s family—she has four children back home—get their benefits from the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA).
He added that the Filipino woman’s employer was also cooperating with the consulate as it prepares to repatriate her remains back to the Philippines.
“The employer said she was strong a month ago but all of a sudden she fell ill,” Saret said.
Reports of the worker’s death went viral online on Sunday night, especially among members of the Filipino community in HK.
A friend of the worker had posted on Facebook that the worker complained that her employer had dismissed her complaints that she felt sick.
She added that the worker had complained of coughing up what appeared to be dried blood.
“They can come here and execute a sworn affidavit. As of now, the employer is cooperating with us,” Saret said.
Edwina Antonio-Santoyo, executive director of Bethune House Migrant Women’s Refuge, also met with consulate officials to ensure they get proper assistance.
Saret urged overseas Filipino workers, particularly domestic workers, to take care of their health and avail of the consulate’s free medical check-ups.
“If they notice anything out of the ordinary, they can also have themselves tested at the hospital,” Saret said.
“They can inform their employer, who have the obligation to look after their health,” he said.
“If the employer’s refuse, that is a ground to file a complaint with OWWA or the Labour Department,” he added.