Maid hospitalised for brain inflammation suffers stroke, but insurance doesn't cover cost of surgery

The New Paper
January 17, 2024

On Jan 10, Indian maid Jomhao Veinthutheng spent her 26th birthday worrying about her health.

Ms Jomhao, who started working for Ms Sanjani Basdeo in January 2023, was hospitalised in December for meningitis and brain inflammation.

On Dec 28, Ms Jomhao had taken Ms Sanjani's brother to the hospital for his medical appointment when she experienced an intense headache and severe vomiting. 

Ms Jomhao was hired to look after Ms Sanjani's elderly mother and her brother, who suffers from traumatic brain injuries due to an accident.

"She learnt how to administer insulin and how to care for my brother," Ms Sanjani told Mothership, adding that Ms Jomhao was hardworking and selfless.

The maid, whose family in Manipur was displaced in May 2023 due to the civil unrest,  would send them most of her salary so that they could build a home and send her siblings to school.

Ms Jomhao had gone to a clinic and was prescribed some medicine to manage the symptoms she experienced on Dec 28. 

She went to the hospital when her conditions did not improve and was found to have "abnormalities in her brain". Doctors eventually found inflammation and bleeding in Ms Jomhao's brain.

Ms Sanjani started looking at hospitals in India for Ms Jomhao, who had requested to be sent home for treatment.

However, Ms Jomhao suffered a stroke on Jan 13 and needed an emergency surgery to remove the blood clots.

As she was hired under the hiring requirement, her medical insurance coverage is only up to $15,000.

According to Ms Sanjani, the maid agency had told her to send Ms Jomhao back to India.

"This is a young girl, this is a young child. I treat her like my own child, my own sister," said Ms Sanjani, who told Ms Jomhao's father that she would raise money for his daughter's treatment.

Ms Sanjani has set up a fundraising campaign at GoGetFunding. The money raised will go towards Ms Jomhao's treatment here and in India when her conditions stabilise enough for her to be flown home.

On Jan 16, Ms Sanjani shared that Ms Jomhao had started responding and could follow basic commands. The bill for her treatment at National University Hospital stood at $24,966. 

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