'We don't want to give up': Family to raise $120,000 for maid who suffered brain aneurysm

PHOTO: GiveAsia/Kayley Ong

After 22 years of service, a domestic helper has become a part of the family, so much so that her employers are hoping to raise $120,000 for her medical bill. 

The maid, whose name is Neng, 48, suffered a brain aneurysm on Aug 12. She collapsed in the kitchen and was rushed to Tan Tock Seng Hospital's emergency department.

She then underwent a major operation. 

Speaking to Shin Min Daily News, her employer said: "Her life was hanging by a thread. We didn't think that much at the time and agreed to let her undergo surgery." 

Despite doctors telling them that Neng might end up in a vegetative state, they were willing to take the risk as "she was still young and we didn't want to give up." 

Neng's medical expenses came up to more than $120,000 but her insurance only covered up to $15,000 of the expenses, said the employer's daughter, Kayley Ong, 28.

Even after taking out their savings, the family could only afford to pay a quarter of the sum. 

Hi my dear friends, y’all would know by now how our family helper is just like a mother and a family member to us. In...

Posted by Kayley Ong on Thursday, September 23, 2021

To raise money to foot the rest of the bill, Ong created a fundraiser on GIVE.asia and made a Facebook post in September to appeal for donations. At the time of writing, the campaign has raised $56,326. 

PHOTO: Shin Min Daily News

Ong shared that Neng was the "sole breadwinner for her family back in Indonesia" and described her as someone who had become "a motherly figure, a best friend and a sister" to her family. 

Since the operation, Neng has been recovering well.

However, her doctors have suggested she return to Indonesia so that her family can continue to care for her.

To facilitate this, social workers and the Indonesian Embassy are working with Neng and her employers. If all goes well, Neng will be able to go home by the end of the month. 

In March, another Singaporean had to foot a $156,000 bill when his newly employed maid fell gravely ill and had to be hospitalised for a month

She was diagnosed with severe blood poisoning as well as tuberculosis. 

The domestic helper was eventually repatriated to the Philippines. 

claudiatan@asiaone.com