A long-time Filipino expatriate in the United Arab Emirates is asking for help to settle a hospital bill amounting to AED220,000 that was incurred by his wife who suffered a stroke after falling victim to pickpockets inside a mall in Sharjah.

According to Rolando Belaro, her wife, Estrella, 65, suffered a stroke last January 5 due to the immense stressed caused by an unfortunate incident when her wallet containing AED3,000 got stolen by pickpockets inside Sahara Mall in Sharjah.

The Belaro matriarch reported the incident to authorities, who needed an immediate report from the store where the incident took place. However, the store involved in the investigation could not find the exact moment on its CCTV when the purse was taken from her.

The stress of the incident apparently took a toll on Estella Belaro, who suffered a stroke later that week.

“I told her not to worry, we would make the money back but the stress and tension was too much for her,” Estrella’s husband Rolando, who earns AED4,500 working as a machinist in Sharjah, told Gulf News in a report.

A plain housewife and a mother of two daughters, Estrella Belaro has spent two weeks in an intensive care at a private hospital in Sharjah, where she is now in a ward and cleared to fly by her doctor.

But Rolando admitted he won’t be able to have Estrella discharged unless they can settle their hospital bill.

“The Philippines Consulate says they will fly her home to Philippines, but first I need to settle the hospital bill, which has reached AED220,000,” added Rolando, originally from Marikina City, Metro Manila.

Rolando has been in the UAE with his wife and two daughters Rochelle, 29, and Rachelle, 26, for the past 11 years.

“We’ve appealed to church groups and charities to help us,” he said.

Interested individuals who are willing to extend assistance to the Belaro family may go to the Philippine Consulate General in Dubai and Northern Emirates.