Red Deer foreign worker in hospital without health insurance

Friends of Jenilyn Soler Pabrua are raising money to help pay for her care

A 33-year-old foreign worker from the Philippines, who was living in Red Deer without health insurance, is in intensive care due to blood clots in her brain.

Jenilyn Soler Pabrua was transported from Red Deer to Calgary Foothills Hospital where she has been for the past two weeks.

Her concerned friends and acquaintances started a GoFundMe campaign to try to raise money to cover Pabrua’s medical costs, which they fear will be considerable. So far, about $5,500 has been raised towards an approximate goal of $200,000.

Red Deer merchant Jeanlyn Dolaus Rayco, who started the campaign, said Pabrua is in a terrible situation.

She had been employed with a fast food outlet in Gasoline Alley until September, when her employer did not renew her temporary work permit. Pabrua’s sister, Jo Soler, had applied to sponsor her as a landed immigrant in the meantime.

Soler said this meant Pabrua was allowed to stay in the country until the paperwork is processed, but is caught in a grey area, without health coverage. Pabrua’s health insurance ended with her job in September. And she won’t qualify for new health coverage unless her landed immigrant status is approved.

Soler, a resident of Canada, is very concerned about her sister. Pabrua came down with a migraine-like headache, nausea and paralysis to half of her body earlier this month. “It was like a stroke,” said Soler.

When a brain scan at the Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre revealed several blood clots in her head and neck, she was transferred to the Calgary hospital, where her clots weren’t immediately dissolving with medication.

Pabrua’s condition has since stabilized and she’s waiting for a hospital bed to open up in Red Deer to be transferred back to Central Alberta, where she will need therapy.

Soler remains worried about the cost of Pabrua’s hospital stay, and hopes to speak to Alberta Health officials to discover how much the family will owe.

Pabrua, whose husband is also living in Red Deer as a temporary foreign worker, had been hoping to be eventually reunited with their young son, who’s in the care of relatives in the Philippines.

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