$42,000 raised for maid who suffered stroke

Madam Dora Sern massaging the foot of her Filipino domestic helper of 25 years, Felicidad Muna Mico, who suffered from a sudden haemorrhagic stroke.
PHOTO: The New Paper

It was an earnest plea for help.

And over the past two days, the story of a Singaporean family trying to raise money for their beloved domestic helper after she suffered from a sudden stroke touched many hearts.

The strong bond between the family of Madam Dora Sern, 57, and their Filipino domestic helper Felicidad Muna Mico, 57, was first reported in The New Paper on Monday.

After TNP highlighted her plight, the donations rose sharply from $8,000 to more than $42,000 on crowd-funding site GiveAsia yesterday.

Madam Sern, a masseuse, said she was surprised by the overwhelming response of more than $34,000 in two days.

She told TNP: "My family and I are very grateful that the public gave generously, along with their words of encouragement.

"It really shows (Singaporeans) have a big heart for others."

Employer hoping to raise $86,000 for maid who suffered stroke

  • For 25 years, Filipino domestic helper Felicidad Muna Mico, 57, has cared for Madam Dora Sern and her three children. But last month, their roles were reversed when Madam Mico suffered a sudden haemorrhagic stroke.
  • It was the start of a harrowing period for the Singaporean family as they watched their beloved "Felice" hooked to various tubes at Changi General Hospital's (CGH) intensive care unit (ICU) for a week.
  • Then came another shock - Madam Mico's hospital bills will cost an estimated $55,000. Madam Sern shared her helper's plight on crowd-funding site GiveAsia last Wednesday.
  • She hopes to raise $86,000 to cover the cost of sending Madam Mico home by air, rehabilitation care in the Philippines and basic provisions for her family for a year.
  • The doctor's diagnosis was initially bleak. The family was told that she might not be able to move the right side of her body and may never speak again because she will need a tracheostomy tube in her windpipe to help her breathe.
  • Madam Sern and her children, who are in their early 30s, took turns to keep their helper company at the hospital every day.
 
FREE TIME

Besides their fund-raising efforts, Madam Sern and her three children, who are in their 30s, had also spent all of their free time with Madam Mico at Changi General Hospital since Oct 28, when she was first admitted into the intensive care unit.

They massaged her, comforted her, and did some simple exercises with her when she was eventually transferred to a normal ward.

Their kindness to their helper moved many people.

Donor Jill Toh wrote on the GiveAsia page: "Dora, thanks for showing society what it means to extend love and care to their helpers to see Felice as one of you, and not someone less.

"The world truly needs more people like you. Hope Felice has a speedy recovery."

Madam Sern also shared some good news on the website that Madam Mico had returned safely to Manila on Monday.

Her condition was stable enough that she could fly back in business class on Philippine Airlines with a nurse, instead of returning home by air ambulance.

Because of the savings, Madam Sern has lowered the fund-raising target from $86,600 to $49,600.

She had turned to crowd-funding when she realised the insurance she had bought covered only $15,000 in hospitalisation.

She told TNP earlier she had not been aware that she could sign up for an insurance plan with better coverage as the family had automatically paid it every year.

Although Madam Sern is happy that her helper is back home with her family, she is still concerned about her medical care in the Philippines.

The doctors in Madam Mico's hometown decided she was well enough to recuperate at home and a nurse would visit every day.

Madam Sern plans to fly over to visit Madam Mico in two weeks and may stay for a while.

She said: "Felice's daughter had wanted her to go back to the Philippines as soon as possible because she was so worried about her.

"She also thanked me for giving her mother a job and treating her like family for the past few years."

"Felice has also told her daughter that she misses us.

"My family told me I should stay with Felice to take care of her if needed."

About the stroke

Filipino domestic helper Felicidad Muna Mico, 57, suffered a sudden haemorrhagic stroke on Oct 28.

It was the start of a harrowing period for the woman and the family she had served for 25 years, reported The New Paper on Monday

Madam Dora Sern and her three adult children watched their helper suffer at Changi General Hospital's intensive care unit for about a week.

Madam Mico was told then that she might not be able to talk or move the right side of her body.

Madam Sern shared her helper's plight on a crowd-funding site GiveAsia last Wednesday after she realised the insurance she had bought would not cover Madam Mico's medical bills.

By last weekend, Madam Mico had made enough progress to be moved to a normal ward.

This article was first published on November 23, 2016. Get The New Paper for more stories.