UAE Helping Hands: mother of three needs urgent heart surgery

Manalita Antiporda found out she had a heart condition on Christmas day last year. Now she needs Dh50,000 for an operation to save her life

65-year-old salon worker Manalita Antiporda from the Philippines needs donations to pay for heart surgery. Victor Besa  /  The National
65-year-old salon worker Manalita Antiporda from the Philippines needs donations to pay for heart surgery. Victor Besa / The National

While most Christians will be celebrating Christmas tomorrow, 65-year-old Manalita Antiporda will be doing manicures and pedicures at the salon where she has been working at for the past seven years. December 25 marks one year to the day that she was diagnosed with a hole in her mitral heart valve. She still requires urgent heart surgery.

“On Christmas day and every day I will be working here at the salon. I pray that someone can help me with my operation,” Ms Antiporda said.

Last year, the mother of three found it had become difficult to walk a few steps without getting out of breath. Ms Antiporda went to a hospital in Dubai and doctors told her that she had a hole in a heart valve and must have surgery.

Surgery, they told her, would cost Dh80,000. “I managed to raise Dh30,000, but there is still Dh50,000 I don’t have,” she said.

To make matters worse, Ms Antiporda was put on blood-thinning medication until she has her operation done. This makes her bleed internally and her body is covered in bruises. “The doctor said that I can’t stop the medication, otherwise I might get a blood clot and die,” she said.

“I have been suffering for a year now. I can’t breathe and I am very tired. All I can do is work and pray that someone will help me raise the money.”

Ms Antiporda is a widow whose husband passed away eight years ago. She has been working in beauty parlours in Dubai since 1987 and for the same salon for the past seven years. She earns Dh3,000 of which Dh2,300 goes to rent. Her insurance does not cover the costs of heart surgery. “My insurance is very basic. I pay 25 per cent of the cost of my medication.”

Two of her three children are back home in the Philippines. “Only one daughter is here with me and she works with me at the salon doing manicures and pedicures. She helps pay for the food for us to eat.”

What little remains of her earnings is sent back to her children in the Philippines.

Hisham Al Zahrani, manager of Zakat and Social Services at Dar Al Ber said: “It has been a year and Ms Antiporda’s condition continues to deteriorate without surgery. Her life is at risk and she needs to have the operation immediately. We hope that readers can help raise the remaining Dh50,000 for the operation.”

Updated: January 11, 2018 04:59 PM


Editor's Picks
Sign up to:

* Please select one