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Athletic Pinay dies of stroke

11 May 2019

By Vir B. Lumicao and Marites Palma

Jennelin (with yellow cap) on a hike with friend Rosamie

Jennelin S. Gariando was preparing dinner around 5pm on Wednesday, May 8, when she collapsed in the kitchen of her employer’s house in Happy Valley. At past 11am the next day, she passed away. She was 51.
Jennelin, who came to Hong Kong in 1998 and had worked for the same family for about 20 years, was comatose when an ambulance called by her employers took her to Pamela Youde Nethersole Eastern Hospital in Chai Wan.

Doctors in the hospital told the employers that Jennelino had a fractured skull, apparently caused by her head hitting the concrete floor when she collapsed.
Her sister Mary Grace Gariando, 44, told The SUN that her elder sister had no known ailment. Friends said she was a volleyball player and a hiker.

But Mary Grace said her sister might have been suffering from high blood pressure without her knowing about it. She said their mother also died of a stroke at age 75.
The Gariandos are natives of Hinigaran, Negros Occidental. The deceased was married and had a 27-year-old daughter and two young granddaughters in Bacolod City whom she was helping send to school.

Her daughter Cristina said in a phone interview that her mother initially spent 10 years working for the Lau family in Happy Valley. She went home when she fell ill but the Laus asked her to return to them after she recovered. In all, she had been employed by the family for 20 years.
Mary Grace said she had invited her sister to join her on a vacation to Negros earlier this month, but the deceased declined because she was processing her contract renewal.

So Mary Grace, who works for a sister of the deceased's employer, went home alone on May 5. Three days later she had to fly back to Hong Kong after her employer told her about her sister’s stroke. But she did not get to see Jennelin alive again.
The Lau family was shocked and saddened by Jennelin’s death, Mary Grace said. The deceased had looked after the employers’ daughter while she was growing up, so she is particularly in grief over her che-che’s death.

Friends of Jennelin said she was a volleyball player who regularly hiked with them in the cool months when their team Crasherz had no scheduled matches.
“Nagkakilala kami sa volleyball team Crasherz tapos yun na, lagi na kami sa bahay ng amo niya. Mabait ang amo niya, doon kami natutulog kapag Saturday night. Minsan, pag may mga sunud-sunod na holiday doon kami sa kanya,” said Rosamie Borromeo.

Borromeo said they last hiked in January, and Jennelin had not complained of any health problem.

Jennelin was known to be some sort of a daredevil. She was once shown in a photo on an OFW webpage standing precariously outside the window of her employer’s high-rise flat while hanging laundry.

Soon after Borromeo posted on Facebook on May 9 the news that Gariando was in hospital, her many friends and hiking buddies expressed their wishes for her recovery.

 “Te Jen, kaya mo yan, laban lang, Tol. Maghahiking pa tayo ulit,” said Lorena David.

In her last Mother’s Day message to Jennelin, her daughter Cristina had written: “Gusto kong magpasalamat sa lahat-lahat ng hirap niya para makaahon kami sa hirap. Salamat sa sakripisyo kahit nakikita namin na nahihirapan na siya, di nya iniinda. Mahal na mahal ko siya, ng mga apo niya, pati na si Papa… at nasa puso siya naming lahat.”

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