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Helper gets transplant thanks to Hong Kong employer

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A Hong Kong-based domestic worker’s transplant operation was performed successfully in the Philippines this week, after her employers paid for the surgery.

The Philippine Daily Enquirer reported that 31-year-old Norma Wenceslao was diagnosed with end-stage renal disease in March, requiring a costly kidney transplant out of reach of her salary.

However, her employer Lyudmila Bikmullina, and Lyudmila’s former husband William Kaye, came to her aid financially, paying for her checkups and dialysis in Hong Kong and her treatment in the Philippines – a sum of about HK$82,000.

Lyudmila’s friend, Michael Davies, then stepped in to help find doctors and possible kidney donors in the Philippines for the mother-of-one.

The surgery was arranged at National Kidney and Transplant Institute (NKTI) in Quezon City and a suitable donor was found.

Michael then flew to Manila and met Norma at the airport, after her employer arranged her airfare, and organized a reunion for Norma with her husband Roberto and their six-year-old daughter.

Michael said the surgery went ahead on Monday and was a great success with the kidney functioning immediately upon transplantation.

The surgery and follow-up is estimated to cost a further HK$300,000.

Norma told the Philippine Daily Inquirer she did not how she would be able to repay the costs.

“Ma’am Mila [Bikmullina] has been really kind from the start,” Norma said. “Sometimes you hear horror stories about [maids and their employers] in Hong Kong. But Ma’am Mila, she is really good to me.”

Picture: Roberto Wenceslao with Michael Davies’ daughter, Chloe, Norma and Roberto’s daughter Leslie and Norma. Photograph courtesy of Michael Davies.

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