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Elderly tourist injured in escalator fall

10 May 2018

By Daisy CL Mandap

An elderly Filipina tourist who said she was a “missionary” returned home to Manila on Apr 21, one week after suffering a bad fall from an escalator at the International Finance Centre in Central.
Lolita Naval was taken to Queen Mary Hospital on Apr 14, the day she arrived in Hong Kong, and was immediately operated on.

According to the Consulate’s Hermogenes Cayabyab who responded to an appeal for help on Naval’s behalf, the elderly woman had a steel plate inserted into her leg as it was badly injured from the fall. Luckily, the hospital bill which ran up to more than $90,000 was waived, reportedly at the request of Consul Paulo Saret.

Naval’s picture lying in her hospital bed was posted online by concerned Filipinos, who noted that she did not have any relatives in Hong Kong, and needed help. Among those who responded called up Cayabyab, who in turn relayed the information to Saret.

According to those who managed to speak with Naval, she fell due a misstep. “Nagmamadali daw kasi siya at akala flat na yung inapakan nya, hindi pa pala.”

Her fall was so bad that she still had dark bruises on her body even after she was discharged from the hospital on Apr 20 and taken to a shelter before her return flight to Manila the next day.

Lolita Naval in her hospital bed.

The elderly woman, who was reportedly from Caloocan City, told those who visited her in hospital to cheer her up that she was a missionary, but did not contact any church before coming here.  She reportedly said she had only borrowed money for her trip to Hong Kong, where she had thought of spreading the word about God.

Naval told her new acquaintances that she vowed to serve the Lord after being declared clinically dead when she gave birth to her youngest. She said a tall, thin man in white who appeared before her made her pledge to work as a missionary in exchange for getting her life back.

Cayabyab picked up Naval from the shelter on Apr 21, and took her to the airport for her return flight to the Philippines.

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