The Alice Ho Miu Ling Nethersole Hospital in Tai Po in the New Territories. Photo: Wikipedia Commons

A 62-year-old Filipino maid, who worked for the same family for 16 years, received an award before flying to the Philippines on Sunday to continue her fight against blood cancer.

Violy Madeja Macatol and her employer Edith Yuen received the Happy Homes award from the Mission in Migrant Workers, where Violy worked as a volunteer, reported.

Violy left Hong Kong on Sunday and Yuen and her siblings all went to the airport to bid her farewell, pray for her and wish her a speedy recovery. Violy had been in the intensive care unit of the Alice Ho Miu Ling Nethersole Hospital in Taipo in the New Territories fighting the disease which killed her father and brother.

A strong-willed woman, she left her impoverished life in Mindoro province and first worked as a housemaid in Manila when she was a teenager before later becoming a garment factory worker in Taiwan.

In 2002, she moved to Hong Kong where she was employed by Edith. With the support of her employer and her siblings, Violy’s spirit lifted to fight her illness. Now she has decided to return to the Philippines for further medical treatment.

Her employer’s family helped pay for the costly medical tests in private clinics as they didn’t want her to have to spend a long time waiting in a queue at a public hospital. During her stay in hospital, the family visited her regularly to bring her food and comfort.

When Violy told them that she wanted to go home, they contacted officials to work out her termination pay and other benefits. The Happy Homes award Violy and her employer received before her departure was a valuable gift to link the employer and the domestic worker, even though they will be apart.

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