By Ben Garcia
KUWAIT: Two days after returning to work, a Filipina seamstress was run over by an SUV in Mirqab. The accident took place at 7 pm on Aug 24, 2020. Luzviminda Adornado, 73, was in a hurry to catch the bus before the curfew at 9 pm. She was injured but conscious; however, the car that hit her sped off, and no one witnessed the hit-and-run. “The person who helped me was the haris of a nearby building, who called an ambulance, which took me to Amiri Hospital,” she told Kuwait Times.
She suffered multiple bruises and a head injury, while x-rays revealed her left arm was dislocated. The doctor at Amiri Hospital referred her to Razi Hospital. She was brought to Razi Hospital at 2 am and underwent another x-ray. The doctor checked her again, realigned her dislocated bones and told her to pay KD 70. But Luz had no money at the time of the accident. “I had KD 5 in my wallet, but it was taken home by my roommate, so I had no money. They told me the injuries were not very serious and I could go home. But they said I had to pay KD 70 for applying a tourniquet,” she said.
“At 5 am, a Filipina nurse told me to leave the hospital but come back after four days for a checkup and pay the KD 70, but I told her even after four days I won’t be able to pay, because most of my friends have no money and my employer also said they have no money to give,” Luz said.
She asked for medicine and painkillers, but the doctor only gave her paracetamol. “Maybe because I didn’t have money, they only gave me paracetamol. It was very painful – I could feel excruciating pain all over. My arm was so painful that I couldn’t even move it a bit; I had several bruises all over my body, but all I got was Panadol.
I told the Filipina nurse that I do not have any money, so she gave me KD 3 to take a taxi back home that morning. The following day, I asked help from a Filipina in my building because I couldn’t bear the pain anymore. When she saw me suffering, she immediately took me to Amiri Hospital. The doctor at Amiri told me to go to Razi. The problem with going back to Razi was that I had to pay the KD 70. Everyone was complaining they had no money, so I endured the pain,” Luz recalled.
Living with the pain
Luzviminda stopped working on March 14 when the government of Kuwait ordered almost every establishment to cease operations in an effort to stop the spread of the coronavirus. “After my last Amiri Hospital visit, I did not go back to hospital. I am living with the pain until now. I went to the Philippine Embassy to appeal for help, but I was not allowed to enter the embassy,” she said.
She tried to contact Filipino community organizations in Kuwait and was connected to AKO OFW, an NGO, which referred her to Embassy Welfare Officer Llewelyn Perez. “Through AKO OFW, I was able to get connected to our welfare officer Attorney Perez. I told her I wanted to go back to my family in the Philippines so I could see a doctor there,” Luz said.
If the accident hadn’t happened, she was willing to stay and work in Kuwait. “I love Kuwait – I do not want to go back to the Philippines despite repeated requests by my sons and daughters for many years, because I know I will miss this country very much. I told them I want to stay until I am able to work and do my job. I told them until I’m unable to direct a thread in the eye of a needle, I will stay in Kuwait,” she said.
Luzviminda came to Kuwait in 1994 after she terminated her contract as a family seamstress in Saudi Arabia in 1990. She went back to the Philippines after the death of her husband to tend to her six children. “I stayed with my sons and daughters and tried my luck in small businesses. But I was not very good in business, plus it required lots of my time for little profit.
So when a friend convinced me to go with her to Kuwait in 1994 as a family seamstress, I agreed. I left the care of my kids to my relatives. In a few years, I was in love with Kuwait. I didn’t like to stay long in the Philippines, but only in Kuwait. But after the accident on August 24, 2020, I came to realize that Kuwait will not care for me when I am old, so I am bowing out,” she said.
The Philippine Embassy has reserved her ticket and she will be on the next chartered flight to Manila. As of now, there are no commercial flights to Manila pending a decision by the Kuwaiti government to resume flights to 32 countries where coronavirus infections are widespread, including the Philippines.