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Tzu Chi, Taiwan employer help comatose worker return home to Philippines

Migrant worker, family will continue to receive assistance once home in Davao

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Ireneo Jr. Estoy Muana was transferred to Rizal Medical Center upon his arrival in Manila Saturday. (Tzu Chi Manila photo)
Tzu Chi volunteers visiting Ireneo Nov. 22. (Tzu Chi Foundation photo)
Tzu Chi volunteers accompanying Ireneo and his wife to Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport Saturday morning. 

Ireneo Jr. Estoy Muana was transferred to Rizal Medical Center upon his arrival in Manila Saturday. (Tzu Chi Manila photo)

Tzu Chi volunteers visiting Ireneo Nov. 22. (Tzu Chi Foundation photo)

Tzu Chi volunteers accompanying Ireneo and his wife to Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport Saturday morning.  (Taiwan News photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A migrant worker from the Philippines who fell into a coma following a debilitating disease flew home Saturday (Nov. 27) thanks to assistance from the Buddhist Compassion Relief Tzu Chi Foundation, and his employer.

Ireneo Jr. Estoy Muana, 37, of Davao City in Mindanao, had been working in Taiwan since 2018 and was preparing to return home this year when he fell ill in March. He contracted tuberculous meningitis, causing acute hydrocephalus, leaving him in a comatose state.

Early Saturday, a medical team accompanied him and his spouse, Arile Yu Pasulohan Muana, to Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport for the flight home. After his employer had helped out with the supply of medical equipment and with the registration for social support, the Tzu Chi Foundation also volunteered to care for the family once back in the Philippines.

At the airport, Arile thanked her husband’s employer, his colleagues, the nurses who had taken care of him, and the Tzu Chi Foundation for their practical support and strong morality.

Their flight arrived on Saturday at noon in Manila, where the government’s Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) arranged for an ambulance to the Rizal Medical Center for quarantine and checkups. After a checkup, the OWWA will book a flight for the family to their hometown of Davao.