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Comatose Pinoy Tourist on Europe Flight Flown Home
« on: November 23, 2007, 03:33:16 AM »
Aurea Calica
The Philstar

 A Filipino tourist who fell into coma while on board a trans-European flight arrived yesterday morning at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport aboard an ambulance airplane from Irkutsk, Russia.

The Philippine National Red Cross facilitated the airlifting of the patient, identified as Romulo del Rosario, more than a month after he suffered a heart attack.

Sen. Richard Gordon, chairman of the PNRC, said the special flight was costly, which made it difficult for the family of Del Rosario to bring him back to the country immediately.

Reports said that chartering a special hospital-type plane would cost $125,000 (around P5.3 million). The amount excludes more than $3,000 in hospital bills of Del Rosario.

Mindful of the anguish of the patient’s family and the urgency to give medical attention to Del Rosario, Gordon coordinated his immediate repatriation.“In this instance, we could not wait for government to bring him back home.”

Gordon persuaded the insurance  company that covered Del Rosario during his flight to Europe to facilitate the flight of the ambulance plane.

He said the Philippine government must have the capability to act swiftly in similar circumstances, considering the big number of Filipinos abroad.

“There  are millions of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) out there who will have peace of mind knowing that their government can come to their succor quickly,” Gordon said. “At present, we do not have that capability yet.”

Red Cross medical personnel and the close relatives of Del Rosario helped in bringing him straight to the Philippine General Hospital from the NAIA.

Del Rosario, 78 and his wife, Leticia, were on a commercial flight bound for Hong Kong from London on Oct. 19 when he had a heart attack. The plane made an emergency landing at Irkutsk Airport in Russia to offload him. He has been comatose at the Irkutsk Regional Hospital for more than a month before he was flown home.


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