The 37-year-old Indonesian domestic caregiver in Singapore, who had a stroke in early April and was hospitalized for three weeks, has settled her mounting medical fees with the help of her employer and the public and returned home last Friday.
On April 1, her employer found Ani Sumarni – who reportedly had had a serious headache since the morning – unconscious on her bed late that night. She was sent to Tan Tock Seng Hospital, where she was diagnosed with a stroke, Shin Min Daily News reported.
Being a retiree and having bought only basic medical coverage which covers only S$15,000 in medical bills per year, her employer made an appeal online for assistance and public donations to pay for two brain surgeries and more than 10 days in the intensive care unit.
On May 7, the maid had another major surgery, with the bills running up to S$86,564. Fortunately, the operation left Sumarni in a stable condition.
On give.asia, the online campaign platform, people donated a total of S$75,854 to Sumarni, which allowed the employer to settle the medical fees for his sick worker.
The Centre for Domestic Employees also learned of the case and Yeo Guat Kwang, chairman of the Centre for Domestic Employees, said their staff had been accompanying the sick worker and offering her emergency aid that she and her family would need using the Domestic Employees Welfare Fund.
By May 17, Sumarni was declared sufficiently stable to return to Indonesia to be with her family. Her transfer was jointly carried out by the Centre for Domestic Employees, Singapore and Indonesia branches of the Red Cross and the Indonesian embassy.