OFW hit-and-run victim returns to Cebu

CEBU -- Teresita Castro flew to Dubai in March 2013 to work as a domestic helper, but a road accident left her paralyzed less than a month later.

For almost two years, the 43-year-old Asturias, Cebu native stayed in a hospital under the care of Filipino nurses, unable to talk and walk.

She was flown back to Cebu yesterday with the help of a group of professionals from Asturias who are working in the Philippines and abroad.

She arrived at the Mactan Cebu International Airport on a stretcher with her Filipino nurse in Dubai at 4 p.m.

The Asturias Municipal Government sent an ambulance to take her from the airport to an infirmary clinic in the town.

Castro has six children, the oldest of whom is 16 years old and attends high school.

Jihan Aguanta, 35, a member of the Asturiasnons Who Care, said they raised funds to help bring Castro back to the Philippines.

She said Castro’s husband is unemployed.

“We learned about her situation through social media,” Aguanta told reporters.

Workers in Dubai who are from Asturias posted videos and photos of Castro on Facebook. “We formed a group to raise funds for her,” she said.

Aguanta said professionals from Asturias living abroad and in the Philippines launched fund-raising initiatives.

Some of their members are working in Australia, the United States and United Kingdom.

They sent a letter to the Asturias Municipal Government asking for help in Castro’s repatriation. They also communicated with the Department of Foreign Affairs.

Aguanta said Castro’s employer in Dubai helped shoulder the airfare. She declined to answer further questions about Castro’s employer.

Castro suffered severe injuries after she was hit by a motorbike on April 19, 2013. The accident damaged her brain. She now breathes through an opening on her neck.

Crystal Balatayo, 31, who works at the Rashid Hospital where Castro received care, said that it will take a long time for Castro to recover from paralysis. She said Castro needs regular medication and therapy.


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