A supposed happy reunion between an overseas Filipino worker (OFW) and her mother turned into a tearful scenario.
Gem Comiso, an OFW caregiver for nine years, could no longer be recognized by her mother due to dementia, a condition defined by the World Health Organization (WHO) as “a syndrome in which there is deterioration in memory, thinking, behavior and the ability to perform everyday activities.”
The heartbreaking reunion between the two was captured in a video uploaded by the OFW on her Youtube vlog.
In the video, Comiso can be seen surprising her mother at their residence after spending weeks in a quarantine facility last August. She also self-isolated when she reached their hometown.
However, the mother seems to be puzzled by the OFWs presence in their home. Instead of a warm embrace, she greeted her daughter, “Sino ka?” (in their dialect in Catanduanes).
“Si Nene ‘yung nasa Taiwan… andito na ako Ma,” Comiso told her.
Gem promised that she will no longer leave her side, “Di na po ako aalis, dito na ako, magkakasama na tayo.”
In the subtitles of her video, Comiso said, “The mom I knew all my life is not there anymore. Pero yung pagiging mapagmahal, maalalahanin, generous at friendly, ‘di pa rin nawawala.”
“This situation has taken you from us, but it has taken us [closer to] you,” the OFW added.
She knows it may take a while before her mother can remember their memories together. But she believes that the love of a mother to her child will far outweigh any condition.
Meanwhile, Comiso’s sister told Kami website that the OFW had decided to come home for good to be able to take care of their mother. She worked in Taiwan for nine years.
“Every 3 years lang siya umuuwi,” her sister was quoted as saying. “My sister decided to go home 3 weeks ago kahit na may COVID-19 pa to take care of mama dahil nagiging worst na ang case niya.”
The National Mental Health Program currently does not have any official data on the number of Filipinos suffering from dementia.
According to Statista’s projection, the number of Filipinos suffering from dementia was approximately at 300,000 in 2015. This is expected to double by the year 2030.