Employer of Maid Who Jumped Off HDB Faces Growing Hospital Bill of Over $100,000, Seeks Donations from Public
"My parents are both hawkers, selling yong tau foo. My brother is an office worker. I, myself, am a student. We do not have the ability to pay for this bill," the employer's son said.
A family in Singapore whose foreign domestic worker jumped from a HDB block on Sunday (16 Aug), is now seeking donations from the public to pay off hospital bills.
The employer’s son, Goh Meng Huang, set up a fundraising campaign on GoGetFunding site seek help for both his hawker parents who face a hefty sum from the multiple surgeries their 26-year-old helper underwent. According to the post, the sum then was at $80,000, but according to website Mothership, the growing bill has since passed the $100,000 mark.
While the Myanmar helper, May Thu, had survived and is said to be recovering well from the multiple fractures sustained, she is currently still bedridden in the hospital.
It is said that the hospital is unable to provide an estimated date for the helper’s discharge at this point in time, which means that the hospital bill is expected to continue ballooning.
According to Goh’s mother, the helper’s employer in an interview with Shin Min Daily News, the bill per day is over a thousand dollars.
Apart from growing hospitalisation bills, the 51-year-old hawker also said that she has to pay $500 a month for her mother’s accommodation in an old folks home. But as much as she wants to help, her earnings as a hawker makes it difficult for her to do so.
Following the incident, she got in touch with her helper’s family to inform them about the situation.
Employer Had to Foot Balance Amount Not Covered by Insurance Payout
While it is said that the domestic helper’s insurance provided a payout, it only amounted to $15,000 which meant the family had to foot the balance amount.
“But no money has been paid out at this point of time,” said Goh.
As of writing, $43,262 has been raised by the public, less than half of the $100,000 goal—causing the family to utilise the fundraising platform to seek further help.
“My parents are both hawkers, selling yong tau foo. My brother is an office worker. I, myself, am a student. We do not have the ability to pay for this bill,” Goh added on the site.
“We might need to hold back on some of the subsequent surgeries as we did not expect a bill of this size,” he added.
Background of Maid Who Jumped off the Block
May Thu is said to have worked as a foreign domestic helper in Singapore since December 2017. The family later extended her contract after her 2-year contract ended in 2019.
She was in fact, due to travel back to Myanmar as part of home leave for three months, from 1 May 2020 to 31 July 2020.
However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic May Thu was unable to return to Myanmar in April as promised due to the suspension of flights, with “at least nine further extension [of flights]”, according to the site. She grew depressed as a result.
The employer also explained to May Thu about the cancelled flight, although May Thu did not seem to understand.
In early August, May Thu complained that her knees were hurting and requested to take a break. Her employer acceded to her request and paid for her to rest in the maid agency’s dormitory for a week.
According to the boss of the maid agency, May Thu often kept to herself despite her roommates’ attempts to socialise with her. She also suggested that May Thu extend her rest as she saw that her situation had not improved.
May Thu later jumped from the fourth floor of the maid agency’s dormitory on 16 August, according to police.
Attempted to Stab Housemate Before Jumping Off Block
Before May Thu jumped, she was said to have tried to stab her housemate but was unsuccessful.
According to Shin Min Daily, one of May Thu’s housemates said that she stepped out of the shower to find May Thu attempting to stab her with a pair of scissors.
The housemate ducked the attack and escaped into the living room. There, others living in the house also tried to hold May Thu back.
However, May Thu managed to break free.
According to police, May Thu tried to “stab herself, bang her head against the metal gate and eventually leaped off the 4th floor common corridor of her block”.
She was reportedly found lying motionless at the foot of the block and was conveyed conscious to Tan Tock Seng Hospital.
Showed Worrying Signs Since Move into Flat
The housemate revealed that May Thu showed worrying signs ever since she first moved into the flat, and the housemates would see her crying and laughing regularly.
There was a time when May Thu said that her work permit was about to expire, but the language barrier between her and her housemate prevented her housemate from understanding further.
According to the housemate, May Thu also attempted to burn her passport at one point in time as well.
“We are saddened and dumbfounded. It is a possibility that May Thu has become depressed or facing other worries that has not been communicated with us or her agent,” said Goh.
- Samaritans of Singapore: 1800-221-4444
- Singapore Association for Mental Health: 1800-283-7019
- Care Corner Counselling Centre (Mandarin): 1800-353-5800
- Institute of Mental Health’s Mental Health Helpline: 6389-2222
- Silver Ribbon: 6386-1928
Lead image source: GoGetFunding Website/Meng Huang Goh
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