A petition could save a family from deportation

 

Emily and Jojo Nanez, with daughter, face deportation from Texas home

Emily and Jojo Nanez, with daughter, face deportation from Texas home

By Bert Eljera

Things were going well for Jojo and Emilyn Nanez. After moving from Davao City with practically nothing but the clothes on their backs, they settled in an unlikely place –  Gonzales, Texas.

A small city of less than 8,000, Gonzales, in North Texas, has less than 1 percent Asian in its population and Jojo and Emilyn kind of stood out.

Emilyn,34, found a job as a lab tech at the Gonzales Healthcare Center, while Jojo, 38, a college professor back in the Philippines, stayed home because as a dependent, he was prevented from working.

Despite the challenges, the Nanez family was thriving, especially after the birth of their first child, Almira Isabelle. But in March 2013, following the birth of their second child, Emilyn suffered a stroke.

This was followed by another stroke in June.

In an interview with the Gonzales Inquierer, Jojo Nanez said he remembered his wife coming home from work one night saying her blood pressure was high, and he thought she would just sleep through it and be OK.

But around 10 a.m. the following day, Emily began screaming in pain and asked him to get her some Tylenol.

“So I went to the kitchen to get it,” he says, “and when I got back she was slurring her speech. I called 911 and EMS got here minutes later.

“I haven’t been able to work since the stroke,” Emilyn said. “Now I am on short-term disability.”

Her working visa is expiring in July, but unless she gets back to work, which is uncertain because she remains partially paralyzed, the family can be deported back to the Philippines.

Jojo said they have enlisted the services of an immigration lawyer from New York but he said their case remains uncertain.

A short cut to prevent deportation is a petition currently gathering signatures that would designate the Philippines with a Temporary Protected Status (TPS).

A TPS designation provides a variety of benefits to Filipinos living in the United States, including a hold on deportation and faster adjustments of immigration status.

A country may be designated for TPS if it has been impacted by a natural disaster that has “result[ed] in a substantial, but temporary, disruption of living conditions” such that the country is “unable, temporarily, to handle adequately the return” of its nationals currently in the United States.

The US has provided the TPS designation to countries hit by disasters in the past, including Haiti, Nicaragua and El Salvador.

Filipino-American leaders say a TPS designation will allow Filipinos like the Nanez family to continue working in the United States and send money to their families in the Phliippines, instead of being an additional burden if sent home.

The TPS petition comes on the heels of super typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda that killed more 6,000 people and rendered more than 4 million homeless.

However, the online petitions are encountering difficulty in gathering the 100,000 signatures needed for the White House and the Obama administration to act on the proposal.

As of Jan. 26, the petition on the We the People website has generated only 80 signatures for the Feb. 1 deadline fast approaching.

The URL for the petition is:https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/authorize-department-homeland-security-grant-temporary-protective-status-tps-philippines/T8t1ZZxq.

Another We the People petition was started by a Filipino-American in Houston, Texas on Jan.8, but so far garnered only 376 signatures as Jan. 26. The deadline to gather 100,000 signatures is Feb. 8.

An online petition started by San Francisco lawyer Rodel Rodis is posted on the change.org website and essentially proposes a similar request..

It is asking President Obama to extend TPS to the Philippines for “Filipinos in the United States who are out of status and who lost their homes, offices, jobs, businesses, friends, families and communities when Yolanda struck their neighborhoods, their towns, their islands.”

“(This) will provide temporary relief that will allow them to remain in the United States where they can work to earn income to remit to their families in the Philippines.”

The petition gained added weight  when President Benigno S. Aquino III threw his support behind the proposal.
Aquino said it would be a big help for the Philippines’ rebuilding and reconstruction if Filipinos could remit additional funds, instead of becoming a government problem if they are sent back home.
In addition, U.S. legislators have endorsed the idea of providing a TPS designation to the Philippines. New York’s Chuck Schumur leads a bi-partisan group of senators in favor of granting a TPS designation.
Rodis and other Filipino-American leaders say, however, that the online petitions should be only one way of pushing the proposal.
He said state legislatures and city councils throughout the US have endorsed the TPS proposal. “We’re dealing with it on multiple fronts, the White House petition is only one of them,” he said.

Another Filipino-American leader behind the TPS proposal, Arnedo Valera, said a more effective way to gain TPS is direct political  pressure on the Obama administration and the Department of Homeland Security.

“Raise our demand to a high level,” said Valera, co-commissioner of the Washington, DC-based Migrant Heritage Commission. “Keep sending your letters.”

Valera said that with political pressure and the support of some members of the US Congress, and the endorsement of President Aquino, the Obama Administration will relent.

But for the Nanez family, time is of the essence.

While Emilyn battles with her illness and keeping the family together gets harder everyday, there does not seem to be a solution in the horizon.

“We don’t know what do,” Jojo said, as he cuddles his second baby, one-year old, Arwen Faye.

Jojo said they hoping for some breaks. “But there are exceptions,” He said. “Under his discretion, the [immigration] director could make an executive decision saying certain people could stay, based on their situation.”

The fact that their daughters were born in Texas and therefore are U.S. citizens can be considered in their immigration status.

In a way, Jojo said they are thankful Emilyn was here in the U.S. when she had her strokes.

“Had it happened in our country, she might not have survived because hospitals there Editdemand down payment before treatment,” he said. “But here, you get treated and receive the bills later.”

That is so sad. But so true.

Murders in Sin City

The Paris Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas

The Paris Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas

By Bert Eljera

LAS VEGAS – Beneath the silky haze of a glittering city where dancing lights invite visitors and locals to try their luck in the gaming tables and slot machines, is the reality that life can be tough, really tough.

This toughness often explodes in violence.

At least 30,000 Filipinos and Filipino-Americans (some say the number is actually as many as 100,000) make their living here, a burgeoning community that is now heavily courted by politicians and wooed by business owners.

Most work in the casinos as card dealers, slots machine techs, cashiers, cocktail waitresses, and in the healthcare industry as doctors, nurses, and caregivers.

Each is trying to carve his or her own American Dream, but still truly rooted to Philippine traditions, including what could be the worst in Filipino culture.

Close family ties help Filipinos cope and survive in a foreign land – and also triggers animosity and bad blood even among the nearest of relatives.

In October, a 31-year-old Filipina given shelter by her brother at his apartment stabbed to death her sister-in-law, also killing the 9-month old baby in her womb.

In January, a 40-year-old former chef used three knives to cut up to death his 28-year-old wife, a nurse, in their Las Vegas apartment.

“These are horrific crimes,” said Rozita Lee, a long-time Las Vegas resident and known Filipino-American community leader. “You can only cringe in disbelief.”

If convicted, Richard Magdayo Dahan, the chef who killed his wife, and Elinor Indico, who stabbed to death his sister-in-law, could get the death penalty.

The case of Dahan is particularly appalling. He and his wife Daisy met in Bohol and married in 2011 after living together for a while. They moved to the United States shortly after getting married.

Trouble started right away in the marriage because Dahan, then employed as a chef at Mandalay Bay, maintained his relationship with an ex-girlfriend and his two kids with her.

Friends of Dahan said she began asking for divorce, which Richard said was unacceptable, and the abuse, mostly verbal, began.

Magdayo Dahan, who surrendered to police right after the killing, provided gruesome details of the crime.
In a police report released the week after his arrest, Richard said he got angry when Daisy again asked him for divorce.

 

He said he took a large knife out of their dishwasher and then walked up behind Daisy and stabbed her in the base of her neck.

 

Daisy began fighting with him but he forced her to the floor. He then began trying to saw at her neck with a serrated knife, but the knife became tangled in her hair.

 

Dahan next used a meat cleaver. He struck her several times on her head. After that, he stabbed her in her abdomen and placed the knife in her mouth, cutting outward from the corner.

He then showered, dressed up, and drove to a police station, where he said, ” I think I have killed my wife.”
His first appearance on Jan. 17 was postponed and he indicated he would want his own lawyer and request a Tagalog interpreter. Prosecutors indicated they will seek the death penalty for Dahan if convicted of murder with a deadly weapon.
Dahan’s next court appearance is Feb. 3.
Indico’s case is as horrific and just as sad.

Indico, who has a history of drug abuse, was asked to moved out from the house where she was temporarily staying with her brother’s family.

 

According to the charge sheet, Indico stabbled Ashley Indico after the two had a fight in the North Las Vegas apartment that they were sharing.

 

Ashley Indico sustained stab wounds in her neck, the back of her arm and her ankle, police said. Indico, who was found bleeding from minor wounds, claimed she acted in self-defense when her sister-in-law attacked her.

At the time of the incident, Ashley Indico’s two other younger children, a five-year old son and a three-year-old daughter were home. It was the boy who called neighbors, telling them his “mom was bleeding,” police said.

The presence of the children in the house during the killing forced prosecutors to add the charge of child abuse, neglect and endangerment to murder and manslaughter.

 

That also prompted Judge Linda Bell to hold Indico without bail.

 

Indico is represented by her attorney, Deputy Public Defender Norman Reed.

While the community seems to be mired in sin in Sin City, a ray of virtue cleared the deteriorating Filipino reputation.

A taxi driver from Mabalacat, Pampanga and Silay City became literally a hero and became the toast of Las Vegas.

On Christmas Day, Gerardo Gamboa found $300,000 in cold hard cash left behind by a passenger in his taxicab.

The 54-year-old Gamboa, a 13-year veteran of Vegas streets, said even briefly he did not think of keeping the money, and instead turned the money over to his supervisor at Yellow Chcecker Star.

With police help, they were able to trace – and return – the money to the owner: A professional poke player quite popular in the Strip, but asked to remain anonymous.

The poker player rewarded Gamboa $10,000. His taxi company awarded him another $1,000 and a steak dinner for him and his wife.

In addition, Nevada Senator Harry Reid and Nev. Gov. Brian Sandoval wrote letters of commendation to Gamboa, hailing him as an example of honesty and good citizenship that must be emulated by Nevadans.

“I’m happy that we can show to the world the Filipino is a good person, and can not be easily dazzled by money,” Gamboa said.

The good and the bad can all be mixed in the pursuit of dreams in a city where fun seem to have no end.

But when the curtains close, the dancing and singing stop, and the reality set in, even the strongest immigrant seeking a better life have to rely on his or her sturdy roots from going over the edge.

Petition to grant TPS status to Ph shifts into high gear

A poster on the petition for a TPS status for the Philippines

A poster on the petition for a TPS status for the Philippines

By Bert Eljera

LAS VEGAS – With an online petition to designate the Philippines with a Temporary Protected Status (TPS) in danger of not gaining enough signatures, Filipino-American leaders are turning to other means to pursue the proposal.

Just 13 days are left before the Feb. 1 deadline to gather 100,000 signatures on the We the People petition to the While House and a measly 22 signatures have been posted.

But San Francisco lawyer Rodel Rodis and other leaders of the petition are not worried – they are using other means to pursue the TPS proposal that is vital to helping Filipino victims of  typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda.

” Mine is not the only White House petition for TPS I learned, ” Rodis said in a statement. ” The other one, by Z National Association of Domestic Workers, is also gathering signatures.”

Rodis said the White House petition is not the only avenue. State legislatures and city councils throughout the US have endorsed the TPS proposal.

” We’re dealing with it on multiple fronts, the WH petition is only one of them,” he said.

With the Feb.1, 2014 deadline looming, the We the People petition on the White House website has generated too few signatures that  it is not even publicly searchable.

A notice on the website says:

“It’s up to you to build support for petitions you care about and gather more signatures. A petition must get 150 signatures in order to be publicly searchable on WhiteHouse.gov.”

A number of Filipino-Americans have complained that they have not seen the petition posted on the website.

The website’s URL is https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/authorize-department-homeland-security-grant-temporary-protective-status-tps-philippines/T8t1ZZxqAmerican

Another Filipino-American leader behind the TPS proposal, Arnedo Valera, said a more effective way to gain TPS is direct pressure on the Obama administration and the Department of Homeland Security.

“Raise our demand to a high level,” said Valera, co-commissioner of the Washington, D.C.-based Migrant Heritage Commission. “Keep sending your letters.”

Valera said that with political pressure and the support of some members of the U.S. Congress, the Obama Administration will relent.

A bi-partisan group of Senators, including New York’s Chuck Schumer, and Philippine president Benigno S. Aquino III have endorsed the proposal.

A TPS designation provides a variety of benefits to Filipinos living in the United States, including a hold on deportation and faster adjustments of immigration status.

A country may be designated for TPS if it has been impacted by a natural disaster that has “result[ed] in a substantial, but temporary, disruption of living conditions” such that the country is “unable, temporarily, to handle adequately the return” of its nationals currently in the United States.

The U.S. has provided the TPS designation to countries hit by disasters in the past, including Haiti, Nicaragua and El Salvador.

Another online petition, initiated by Rodis, is posted on the change.org website, with basically the demand as the White House petition.

It is asking President Obama to extend TPS to the Philippines for “Filipinos in the United States who are out of status  and who lost their homes, offices, jobs, businesses, friends, families, and communities when Super Typhoon Haiyan struck their neighborhoods, their towns, their islands.”

” (This) will provide temporary relief that will allow them to remain in the United States where they can work to earn income to remit to their families in the Philippines.”

Moving memorial for slain Filipina nurse

memorial
By Bert Eljera
LAS VEGAS – They gathered at her old workplace and talked tenderly of her, how funny she can be sometimes.
Holding candles in the late-afternoon,  the memorial attracted more than 100 people, drawn to pay homage to a nursing assistant who they said was a dear friend and joy at work.
But while she was a fun co-worker, she was also living a life they only now know was hellish at home.
Daisy Dahan, who died last week at the hands of her husband, was honored in a memorial Friday at the Life Care Center on Vegas Drive, with the event also serving as a fund-raiser to raise money to send her body to the Philippines.
Today we raise the voice of Daisy Dahan ,the Filipina victim of domestic violence,” said Minddie Minddie Lloyd, who belongs to the group Bamboo Bridges, a non-profit that seeks to create awareness of domestic violence within the Asian-American community in Las Vegas.
Lloyd and other friends of Dahan believe she was long a victim of domestic violence but like many in the Asian-American and minority communities did not cry out or sought out help.
it is a sad reminder that this kind of thing happens with regularity in the immigrant community,” Lloyd said.
Dahan, 28, was killed by her husband, Richard Magdayo Dahan, a 40-year-old unemployed chef who used three knives to cut her up last Friday in their Las Vegas apartment.
Magdayo Dahan surrendered to police and has described in gruesome detail how he killed Dahan, saying if he were to do it again, he will still do the same.
In a police report released Monday, Magdayo Dahan said that he got angry when Dahan again asked for divorce last Friday.

Dahan said he took a large knife out of their dishwasher. He then walked up behind Daisy and stabbed her in the base of her neck.

Daisy began fighting with her husband and he forced her to the floor. He then began trying to saw at her neck with the serrated neck, but the knife became tangled in her hair.

Dahan next used a meat cleaver. He struck her several times on her head. After that, he stabbed her in her abdomen and placed the knife in her mouth, cutting outward from the corner.

He then showered, dressed up, and drove to a police station, where he said, ” I think i have killed my wife.”
As they gathered Friday, many of Dahan’s friends and co-workers were just learning the extent of the situation in Dahan’s home.
A certified nursing assistant, Dahan worked caring people at Life Care Center, a nursing home, and was loved by her patients and co-workers. Her trouble at home and her efforts to get out of her marriage, however, was only known to a few.

“She always assured us that she’ll get out of it,” friend and co-worker Elizabeth Fisher told a local television reporter.

She was one of the only people Dahan told about the abuse,  and Fisher said she should have been more persistent to know more and help.

“We have some guilt. She just kept telling us, ‘give me some time, we’ll take care of this, just a little time.'”

Domestic violence expert Lisa Lynn Chapman of Safe Nest told KLAS- TV Las Vegas, abuse often goes unreported, especially in Hispanic and Filipino communities.

“There’s very large pressure from community leaders not to air any dirty laundry,” Chapman said.

For some women, seeking help comes with even more barriers.

“If you don’t speak English very well then having that language barrier at a mainstream organization like Safe Nest can be very intimidating,” she said.

When Fisher saw Daisy crying, she said the 28-year-old tried to hide it.

“You want to hold on to the culture, in your marriage, you stay with the marriage and divorce is not an option,” Fisher said.

Part of the solution is to teach girls and women to expect and demand to be treated with respect and to be valued, added Lloyd.

“This also behooves us to teach men and boys to value women by being loving and be respectful to their women on their lives,” Lloyd said..

In addition to the memorial service, Life Care Center is holding a car wash and bake sale Saturday, Jan. 18 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. The center is located at 6151 Vegas Drive near Jones Boulevard.

Friends raise funds to send slain nurse’s body home

Daisy Casanta Dahan (Provided by Elizabeth Fisher Facebook Page)

Daisy Casanta Dahan (Provided by Elizabeth Fisher Facebook Page)

By Bert Eljera

LAS VEGAS – Friends are scrambling to raise money to send home the body of a Filipina nurse slain by her husband in a horrific killing in their Las Vegas home.
Elizabeth Fisher, a friend of Daisy Casanta Dahan, who was killed five days ago, posted a message on her Facebook Page on Wednesday, asking for donations to send the slain woman’s body to her home in Bohol.
” I am again asking all my friends, family and co-workers to please, please help us raise money so we can send Daisy’s remains to her family in the Philippines,” Fisher posted on her page.
“Another devastating news we just received today..Daisy’s grandmother in the Philippines just passed away today. This is hard for the family back in the Philippines.”
Fisher said to send donations to:
WELLS FARGO
ACCT.# 8686883912

This developed as the arraignment for the suspected killer, Richard Magdayo Dahan, the 40-year-old husband of Daisy Casanta Dahan, was postponed for Thusday.

Richard Magdayo Dahan appeared confused Wednesday and Las Vegas Justice of the Peace Deborah Lippis delayed his initial appearance to Thursday to obtain a Tagalog language interpreter.

The Associated Press reported that Dahan said he may also try to hire his own lawyer.

He’s being held under custody with no bail on a first-degree murder charge in the Friday killing of his 28-year-old wife.

Fisher, a co-worker of Dahan’s at Life Care Center, a nursing home and assisted-living facility on 6151 Vegas Dr. in Las Vegas, was outside court on Wednesday.

She said that she and her friends had feared Daisy Dahan was in a dangerously abusive marriage before she was killed.

She also said that Magdayo Dahan’s request for a Tagalog interpreter was a ploy because he “speaks fluent English.”

They were upset that there was a postponement.

Richard Dahan turned himself in at a police station a few hours after the slaying and provided a grim account of attacking his wife with a serrated chef knife, a meat cleaver and filet knife.

On Weednesday, Richard Dahan appeared in court in shackles, with a heavy bandage covering his right forearm, hand and ring and pinky fingers. Police had said he had severe cuts on his hans and a broken finger when he surrendered.

He told investigators he was a kidney transplant recipient in failing health, and recently lost his job as a chef at a Las Vegas Strip casino resort.

In a written statement, Dahan told police that Daisy Dahan wanted a divorce after a little more than two years of marriage, but he felt that was unacceptable because his parents stayed married until his father died.

They met in the Philippines and moved to the United States in 2011, where Magdayo Dahan’s relationship with his kids from an ex-girlfriend caused some tension in the marriage.

Former chef kills nurse wife

Daisy and Richard Magdayo Dahan

Daisy and Richard Magdayo Dahan

By Bert Eljera

LAS VEGAS – A Filipino-American former chef is in police custody after stabbing and killing his wife,a certified nurse assistant, in their Las Vegas apartment after his wife told him she wanted a divorce.

Richard Magdayo Dahan said he killed his wife on Friday using two knives and a meat cleaver before showering, driving to a police station and turning himself in, according to a Metro Police report.

Magdayo Dahan, 40, said if he has to do it all over again, he will still do the same.

Magdayo Dahan and his wife, Daisy Dahan, 28, met in the Philippines and lived together for seven months before getting married in October 2011.

According to the police report, trouble started when the couple moved to the United States where Magdayo Dahan had two children with an ex-girlfriend.

A recent recipient of a kidney transplant, Madayo Dahan  also had lost his job as a chef at a Strip resort.

Daisy Dahan also expressed jealousy of Richard’s continued relationship with the mother of his children and was angry when he gave money to the children.

As the relationship deteriorated, Daisy Dahan started asking for a divorce. But Magdayo  Dahan said divorce was unacceptable.

According to the three-page police report, the situation grew to a head on Friday after lunch.

The Las Vegas Sun reported that  Magdayo told police he went into the couple’s kitchen where his wife was sitting and stabbed her in the base of her neck with a serrated knife. His wife, while trying to grab the knife, yelled, “No, no, no, oh ord, no.”

Because the knife was entangled in Daisy Dahan’s hair, Magdayo told police he retrieved a small meat cleaver and struck his wife several time in the top of her head. Then, grabbing a fillet knife, stabbed Daisy Dahan in the abdomen and cut her from the corner of her mouth because she continued to make noises.

According to the Las Vegas Sun, Magdayo told police he walked into his bedroom and began pacing, trying to determine what he would do next. He got into the shower fully clothed, washed the clothes, removed them and finished his shower.

After dressing and without looking at his wife’s body, Magdayo Dahan got into his Toyota Tackoma pickup truck and made the 6.5-mile drive from the couple’s Camden Vintage Apartments home at 6500 Vegas Drive to Metro’s Northwest Area Command building at 9850 W. Cheyenne Ave.

Shortly before 3 p.m., Magdayo Dahan walked into the building and announced to a Metro support technician, “I stabbed my wife to death.”

Meanwhile, The killing shocked the Filipino-American community here, particularly friends oF Daisy Dahan.

She was not working on her divorce papers but here immigration status, one friend,, who did not want to disclose her name said.

“Amidst her suffering she didn’t even tell us,” another anonymous friend said. but she did pass. “That’s why I am, we are just shocked. We are devastated by the whole thing. You know, for me, we could’ve done something more.”

Magdayo Dahan is set to face the Clark County District on Wednesday. He is facing open murder with deadly weapons.

Filipino family faces deportation

 

Emily and Jojo Nanez, with daughter, face deportation from Texas home

Emily and Jojo Nanez, with daughter, face deportation from Texas home

By Bert Eljera

A young Filipino family is in danger of being deported and sent back to the Philippines because of an unfortunate thing – the wife got sick.

Jojo Nanez and his wife Emilyn, both originally from Davao City, are in the United States on a working visa, which are expiring in July.

Because Emilyn, who has suffered a stroke and can’t work, the family – along with their two young daughters – will be deported from their Texas home.

According to the Gonzales Inquirer, which reported their story on Jan. 3, the Nanez family is working with a New York-based immigration lawyer, but unless Emilyn is able to work again, deportation is a distinct possibility.

“If they find out you’re working, they deport you back home,” Jojo Nanez told the Gonzales Inquirer.  “Both our visas expire in July. It would be much easier on us if the hospital would continue to extend her H1V (working visa), but it can’t happen because she can’t work.”

Since her stroke in June last year, Emilyn has been on disability leave. It’s not certain that the Gonzales Healthcare System, where she works as a lab technician, will renew her visa in as much as she can’t work.

Jojo, a professor back in the Philippines but is in the United States as a dependent and is restricted from working. Their two daughters – Almira Isabelle, who is almost 4, and Arwen Faye, who will celebrate her first birthday in March – were both born in the U.S.

These circumstances may allow them to prevent deportation, but Jojo said he was informed by the immigration lawyer that there is no assurance they will not be sent back home.

In his interview with the Gonzales Inquirer, Jojo said that in a way, he was happy that his wife got sick in the United States.

“Had it happened in our country, she might not have survived because hospitals there demand down payment before treatment,” he says. “But here, you get treated and receive the bills later”, Jojo told the Gonzales Inquirer.

Since Emilyn has to get blood work done on a weekly basis, it would be virtually impossible for her to get it done in her country because she wouldn’t be able to front the bill for it.

“In Philippine hospitals, most patients are put in a wheelchair or in a bed beside the registration and just wait to die,” Jojo said. “It’s sad, but that’s the way it is. She didn’t do anything wrong. It just happens that she got sick.”

So far, no Filipino-American organization has come to the aid of the couple, even though the television program Balitang Amerika, has reported their story.

Under an online petition asking the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to designate the Philippine with a Temporary Protected Status (TPS) the Nanez would qualify and prevented from deportation.

The petition posted in the We the People website of the White House seeks to put all deportation proceedings against Filipinos on hold in the wake of typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) so these Filipinos can help in the rebuilding efforts.

The movement has gained support of some members of the U.S. Congress and President Benigno III has formally asked the Obama administration to approve the petition.

Jojo,38, and Emily, 34, arrived in Texas from Davao five years ago. With her work visa, Emily worked as a lab technician sinc 2008.

Things were going well for the couple, the Gonzales Inquirer reported, until Emilyn suffered a stroke after the birth of their second child in March 2013.

She had a second stroke in June of that same year, rendering her unable to work because she became partially paralyzed.
Jojo said he remembered his wife coming home from work one night saying her blood pressure was high, and he thought she would just sleep through it and be OK.
But around 10 a.m. the following day, Emily began screaming in pain and asked him to get her some Tylenol.“So I went to the kitchen to get it,” he says, “and when I got back she was slurring her speech. I called 911 and EMS got here minutes later.
“I haven’t been able to work since the stroke,” Emilyn said. “Now I am on short-term disability.”