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Another Filipina DH in hospital, battling stage 4 lung cancer

07 September 2020

By Vir B. Lumicao

Maylyn is hoping to get well enough to go home and be with her kids 
A 35-year-old Filipina helper who is waging a battle against stage 4 lung cancer remains hopeful the medical treatment she is getting in Hong Kong hospitals will restore her physical strength to at least enable her to travel home.

Maylyn Mauricio went public with her condition a month after she was admitted to Queen Mary Hospital in Pokfulam following doctors’ detection of her illness during a checkup for breathing difficulty on Aug 5.

The patient, a mother of a boy aged 16 and a girl aged 14, said she was shocked when she was told of the diagnosis. She is the second Filipina to have been reported to be in hospital fighting the disease in the past fortnight.

 Nagulat ako nang nalaman kong may lung cancer ako dahil hindi naman ako naninigarilyo,” said Mauricio, who hails from Batac, Ilocos Norte. (I was shocked because I don’t even smoke)
 Nalulungkot ako dahil may dalawang anak ako na nangangailangan pa ng suporta.”
(I am sad because I have two children who still need my support)

 She said she does not know how she got the disease.

 But in a post on the Facebook group DWC Help Group on Sunday, she said she often got  drenched in sweat while sleeping in her “cabinet-size” 18-square-foot room in a 500sq-ft flat with only a small fan to cool her. 

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She also worried about  having been constantly exposed to the formaldehyde that her employer used to disinfect their house against the coronavirus.

The maid said she was seven months into her work contract with her employer whose 80-year-old mother needed to have a companion at home, when she got sick.

The employer sent Mauricio to a private clinic on Aug 5, suspecting she had caught the coronavirus after complaining of painful breathing. The doctor said she needed to undergo further examination and referred her to Queen Mary that same day.

Tunghayan ang isa na namang kwentong Dream Love
She said she went home to tell her boss and get some clothes, then went to the hospital. After several clinical procedures the doctors said there was fluid in her lungs that needed to be drained and she had to be confined in the hospital.

The next day, she was transferred to Grantham Hospital, a hospital in Aberdeen which specialized in cardio-pulmonary diseases.

Dito ako dinala dahil kailangan ma-drain as tubig sa aking baga upang makahinga po ako ng maayos,” said Mauricio. (I was brought here because the fluid in my lungs needs to be drained so I can breathe properly).
Mauricio is confined at Grantham Hospital, which specializes in cardio-pulmonary diseases
Doctors at Grantham inserted a tube in her lung to drain the fluid and took a piece of her tissue for biopsy because of lumps in her neck and collarbone. On Aug 12, her attending physician diagnosed her with lung cancer.

On Sept 1, the doctor referred her to an oncologist at Queen Mary who found out that her lung cancer was at stage 4.

Mauricio said any day this week, she would be subjected to PET scan for a thorough check of her entire body to find out other cancers inside her.

She said doctors were baffled because she has both small triangular cells, which indicated lung cancer, as well as circular cancer cells.

Mauricio is also scheduled for a CT scan on Sept 18, but that could be precluded by the earlier and more comprehensive PET scan.

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Meanwhile, the helper said she chats regularly with her employer although they have not seen each other in person since she was admitted because visitors are not allowed inside hospitals.

The employer reportedly told Mauricio to inform her when the hospital would discharge her so her employment agent could assist in her repatriation.

Mauricio said she had also gotten in touch with the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration but no one from there or the Consulate has checked up on her.

But welfare officer Virsie Tamayao has reportedly promised to help book her flight and arrange for her transport back to her home in Batac.

The patient said her fellow members in the born-again church, Fishers of Men Ministry, have been bringing her food and other things she needs, although they can’t go beyond the hospital lobby.

“Ayaw ko munang umuwi dahil mahinang-mahina pa ako. Magpapalakas muna ako ng katawan. Natatakot ako sa Covid at hindi ko pa kayang magbiyahe nang malayo pauwi sa probinsiya,” the patient said.

Besides, she said she knows she can get better hospital treatment here than at home, and won’t even have to worry too much about the cost for as long as she has her Hong Kong ID.

 In her Facebook post, Mauricio said she ultimately looks to divine healing: “Despite this condition po, I am praying and hoping that God will help me to get through this. And I will be healed!”

(Those who want to get in touch with Maylyn for financial help and moral support may send her a message directly to her telephone number: 5286 4193)

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