A Filipino woman who was hospitalized after suffering a stroke said to be caused by stress from having her wallet stolen by pickpockets in a shopping mall in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates, now faces a giant hospital bill that she must pay before she is able to fly home to the Philippines.
Estrella Belaro, 65, lost her wallet containing 3,000 dirhams (US$817) to pickpockets in Sahara Mall in Sharjah. Although she reported the incident to the police, it was not recorded by the mall’s security cameras, Gulf News reported.
Five days after the theft, Belaro suffered a stroke and was hospitalized for two weeks. Belaro’s husband Rolando, 58, who works as a machinist in Sharjah, said the stress of the incident was behind the stroke.
“I told her not to worry and that we would make the money back, but the stress and tension was too much for her,” Rolando said.
Belaro can now be discharged, but her family is faced with a hospital bill of 220,000 dirhams (US$59,905). Rolando is appealing for help from church groups and charities.
Rolando said the Philippine Consulate will assist them in flying his wife back to the Philippines, but they must first settle the hospital bill.