A Filipino whose family members had not been contacted at the time of his death in a hospital in Taipei two years ago has finally found a way back his family and motherland thanks to continuous efforts by social workers.
In February 2015, the man was diagnosed with oral cancer and tuberculosis and treated in isolation at National Taiwan University Hospital, where he passed away after the Chinese New Year, Taiwan Apple Daily reported on Monday.
As he spoke English and little Taiwanese, no one visited him while he was in hospital, and with no information known about his family, his body could only be kept in the hospital morgue.
A social worker at the hospital surnamed Hui set off the search for the deceased man’s friends and relatives. According to his medical insurance, his residence was checked out in Sanchong district in New Taipei City, where police recovered his identification documents, suggesting he was a Filipino national.
With help from the Manila Economic and Cultural Office, it was learnt that the deceased man’s family could not come to Taiwan to conduct a funeral for him, as they could not afford to fly or pay for a ceremony.
Hui and other social workers helped complete the funeral and cremated the body on behalf of the Filipino family in September 2015.
Volunteers tried to persuade the family to come to Taiwan to claim the man’s ashes, by offering to provide air tickets. But, unfortunately they had another terminally ill family member to look after.
Then early this year, the Manila Economic and Cultural Office informed Hui that the deceased man’s family could finally collect his ashes – and he was able to “return” to the Philippines in May.