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Filipina DH dies of suspected tuberculosis

16 March 2020

By Vir B. Lumicao
Melba Jean Gaygay expired at Prince of Wales Hospital in Shatin.
A 59-year-old Filipina domestic worker has succumbed to suspected tuberculosis at the Prince of Wales Hospital in Shatin three days after being taken there by her employers.

Melba Jean S. Gaygay, a native of Gattaran, Cagayan, died at 2am on Mar 15, said her daughter Madelene G. Seloza, who also works as a domestic helper in Hong Kong.

Her death ended more than 20 years of service to the San couple in Paitau Village, Shatin.
The death was reported on Mar 16 to the assistance to nationals section of the Consulate as well as to the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration.  

Seloza said that aside from doing house chores for the childless couple, her mother also took care of the employers’ 10 pet dogs of various breeds. At one time, the dogs numbered 17, she said.
The daughter said Gaygay was rushed to the hospital by her employers on the evening of Mar 12 after the helper complained of difficulty in breathing.

The attending doctor at Prince of Wales noted on the death certificate that tuberculosis was the cause of death, Seloza said.  But the doctor reportedly still wanted to do an autopsy on the body if tuberculosis was indeed the cause.
However, Seloza said she would rather take her mother’s remains home as soon as possible. Gaygay’s employers share the same view, saying the family’s wish should be respected.

Seloza said the employers had noticed that her mother had become sickly weeks before she was taken to the hospital.

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“Noon pa sinasabi ng mag employer na magpatingin si Mama pero ayaw niya. Nagagalit siya kapag sinasabihang magpagamot,” Seloza said.

The daughter said that the deceased also suffered from diabetes.

Gaygay is survived by her husband, their two sons and two daughters, who are all grown-ups. She had reportedly received an advance payment from her employer for her long service.

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