TUGUEGARAO CITY, Philippines- Melody Albano Castro, the Cagayana overseas Filipino worker (OFW) who died in the 6.4 magnitude earthquake in Taiwan, was her family’s breadwinner.
Castro’s body was retrieved in a collapsed building on Thursday, February 8, two days after the earthquake. Taiwan authorities said she died of suffocation when a cabinet fell to a bed she was under in.
She was retrieved from the building’s 7th floor, Migrante International -Taiwan Chapter confirmed in their Facebook page.
In a phone interview on Friday, Mary Jane Abig, Castro’s aunt, said the victim left her six year-old daughter Grace and her paralyzed husband.
Abig said the husband sustained injuries in his head and limbs, making him stroke-stricken since the accident in 2014.
“‘Her husband had a job before as a security guard but was paralyzed after an accident in 2014. He suffered injuries in his arms and legs, and the doctors also had to take a portion of his skull due to swelling,” Abig told Forum in Filipino.
After her husband’s fate, Castro was forced to apply for work abroad to sustain her family’s need, Abig said, noting that Castro had worked as OFW for three years now.
Aside from being caretaker, Castro also sells products online, such as whitening products and jewelries.
Castro’s death is a big challenge for the family, especially that her child is about to enter the grade school.
“She (Castro’s daughter) already knew her mother died. She tells people, ‘I already don’t have my mama. How can I finish my studies now,'” Abig said in cracked voice.
Castro’s body is set to be flown home next week, or as soon the release papers will be approved, Abig said, adding that representatives of the Overseas Workers Welfare Association (OWWA) have reportedly talked to the family. Northernforum.net