Thursday, April 30, 2009

The Thomas Hunt Saga Hits A New Low

I was going to stay out of the dirty details of the sad case of Mr. Hunt because they didn't bear directly on the survival and rescue of Thomas Hunt, a foreigner who recently died penniless and without needed medical treatment here in The Philippines. However, certain people involved in this man's situation have stooped to a truly low level, and I cannot stand by without shining a spotlight on their actions.

The reason that Mr. Hunt received no help from the American government was because he was not officially destitute. (We'll get to that part.) Thomas Hunt had a Filipino wife, named Janelaze Hunt. Thomas Hunt left Yuma, Arizona for The Philippines by himself to try to find a home for himself and his wife. His wife stayed behind in America because she was supposedly waiting for her green card to "mature" at which point she would be able to follow along.

Instead, as best as can be determined, after Mr. Hunt left for The Philippines, his wife immediately left Arizona and went to live with another man in Virginia.

Janelaze never got on a plane to visit her dying husband. Thomas Hunt died without ever discovering his wife's infidelity. All parties involved decided that was best for Mr. Hunt.

If someone ever was guilty of "green card fraud", it would be Janelaze Hunt. She obviously married this poor old man for no other reason than to get residency in America. That was bad enough in and of itself, but according to one report,
"After speaking to the family of Thomas, they stated that since Janelaze arrived in 2006 she spent money recklessly and traveled to a number of states visiting friends and left Thomas in Yuma. It is my understanding that to accommodate the excessive spending Thomas re-financed his home of many years a couple of times and sold vehicles and equipment. Apparently he had adjustable rate loans that after about one year he could no longer afford and lost his home."
So after Janelaze purportedly took this man for everything he had, she then left him on his deathbed while she shacked up with another man... Frankly, that's morally criminal.

So that was the tawdry story of what went on in America. Now we come to The Philippines...

Janelaze Hunt's family here in Cagayan De Oro was taking care of Thomas Hunt. He stayed at their home until his condition deteriorated to the point where he needed hospitalization. From that point, Janelaze's family visited Mr. Hunt occasionally in the hospital, and reportedly paid certain expenses from money that Janelaze was sending from America... though exactly how much of Janelaze's money (and Thomas Hunt's social security money) made it to Thomas Hunt's care is open to debate, and will probably never be known since no record exists either of what was sent or what was received by Janelaze's family.

However, records or no records... it was enough money to keep the American Government from getting involved: Thomas Hunt had people here in Cagayan De Oro that were responsible for him, and therefore he was not officially destitute. However, Mr. Hunt's in-laws were not able or not willing to contribute substantially to Mr. Hunt's medical bills. His condition deteriorated.

Along came The Expatriates' Ladies Charity ("The ELC"). They started raising money for Mr. Hunt's care. They started buying everything that Mr. Hunt needed out of their own treasury funds. (They provided regular receipts and expenditures by e-mail to all involved parties.) They scoured websites and legal sources and government agencies for information to help Mr. Hunt, and pleaded with Janelaze to get more involved. (I'll make a personal hat tip to Janelaze's new boyfriend in Virginia, because he was actually somebody who did get involved to help Mr. Hunt.) The ladies of The ELC got in contact with everybody they possibly could to help Mr. Hunt.

To no avail.

Mr. Hunt finally succumbed last week. The ELC made one final effort on Mr. Hunt's behalf to try and arrange to have the body shipped back to Arizona for burial, but Janelaze's family here in The Philippines insisted on burying the Mr. Hunt here. (I won't argue with that: An old man wouldn't move to The Philippines without the expectation of dying and being buried here.)

Now is when things take a turn that is truly remarkable: The ELC ladies tried to go to Mr. Hunt's funeral yesterday, and were yelled at by Janelaze's family, called awful names, accused of somehow making a profit from Mr. Hunt's illness and death, escorted out of the funeral home by security, and threatened with a lawsuit.

These wonderful ladies who spent weeks of their time helping a dying man — with no expectation of anything other than the results of their good works — were repaid with insults and threats. If evil needs an example, that is it.

Janelaze, this is a personal message to you: You make for a poor human being, and your family is truly despicible. If this situation continues on without abatement and apology, the full force of a united and insulted expatriate community will be brought to bear upon the legal defense of our wives and to make a concerted effort to ensure any condign punishment the judicial system may inflict upon your family for their awful actions.

Even if these threats and animosity against The ELC die quietly, I personally still hope that as a result of your actions, you and yours come to regret that you were ever born. If disease and cancer were ever to be attracted by moral turpitude, I am sure they will infect each and every one of you.

I'm not a religious man, but if there is a God I hope he hears this imprecation: may he punish you and your family with sorrow and misery beyond imagination. Fuck you all.

God bless the poor Thomas Hunt and his real friends and family.

Janelaze and her boyfriend write an apology on behalf of Janelaze's shit-for-souls family. As far as I'm concerned, apology not accepted. Apologizing for that kind of behavior is like spraying air freshener at a fart: It doesn't change shit. That woman's family said what they said, did what they did, and threatened what they threatened... and they meant every word of it when they said it... with full knowledge of who the people they were saying it to were, and the good deeds that those people did. And it still doesn't change the person that Janelaze is, what she did, who she did it to, and why.


Kris Wong said...

Hi Jil. Very sorry to hear about what happened to Mr Hunt. He's in a better place now, God rest his soul.

You did however, touch a subject that concerns all of us expats.

I was thinking about Mr Hunt this afternoon while visiting my 89-year old grandfather in hospital here in Western Europe. Last week, he suffered a slap lung at home and was rushed to hospital by a special medical unit called the "Mobile Urgency Group". They have special vans in which they can perform operations while driving at 100 mph if necessary.

He's been in hospital for a week now and he's recovering nicely. The first 4 days he was in a special ICU room, hooked up to a whole lot of medical equipment while a nurse in his room kept an eye on him at all times, day and night. The past few days he's been on a regular room.

The doctor told me that the first 10 minutes had been crucial for him. They had reached his house and had started operating on him in their van a mere 5 minutes after my grandmother had called hospital.

While healthcare here in this part of Europe still is very good, I am convinced his excellent (and also expensive) hospital insurance saved his life, enabling a very fast intervention by the Mobile Urgency Group.

Every time we visit him, which is usually twice a day, I cannot help but think what the situation would have been like if this would have happened in Hong Kong (or across the border in Guangzhou, China), where my HK wife and I are planning to move soon(ish).

While Hong Kong hospitals are not quite Somali hospitals yet, the situation would have been dire, especially in a public hospital without private insurance. Private hospitals in Hong Kong are an entirely different matter, but so is the price tag obviously.

Food for thought. It's all fun and games living in Asia, enjoying the sunshine and at times the anarchy and funny disorganization until something like this happens. At a moment like that, what you really want and need is German organisation and efficiency.

I'd be quite happy to contribute a few thousand $ a year or more for the next 25 years of my working life if that would ensure me & my wife & futur kids of first class treament those few precious seconds that make the difference.

It'd be interesting if someone took the initiative to collect more info about global hospital insurance and especially to what extent they are usefull those few precious minutes when it really matters.

Maybe someone has done so already? Maybe some of your readers know of some website that has this info? Maybe some of them have the time, energy and medical connections to collect all of this info??

I guess since it concerns all of us expats & their families, some initiative in this matter would be very useful & possibly life-saving for all of us.

Thank you!

Jungle Jil said...

One of my best friends, Steve Blumenthal, died in Pattaya Beach 2½ years ago because medical assistance was not available quickly enough... but his heart had stopped and he was 30 minutes from the nearest hospital. He even had a CPR instructor there at his side. If he had collapsed near a defibrilator, or if he had made it to an emergency room within minutes, maybe-maybe-maybe he would have survived.

About half of the work I transcribe is emergency room reports. A huge percentage of the people coming in are old folks having chest pain.

Very few people coming into the emergency room receive life-saving therapy before they reach triage. Less than 1% by my experience in transcribing the reports. (At least that is the number who arrive alive. Apparently doctors don't dictate the D.O.A. folks.)

Time, of course, is of the essence in any emergency situation. However, in most cases, we are talking about the difference between 15 minutes and 30 minutes... and only occasionally 5 minutes versus 8 minutes... and only very, very rarely 2 minutes versus 3 minutes... from on site to an emergency room cot.

And, I hate to say it, but if you were to give $100,000 to a hospital in The Philippines for a new state-of-the-art ambulance, that money would either be spent on more important... or misspent on less important things. (Either way, they would forget to change the oil in the thing, and the engine would burn out after a year anyway.)

Anonymous said...

I have been following Mr. Hunt situations over a month ago when my good friend C. Dunn send me an email about Mr. Hunt and his so called "Wife" JANELAZE DEMON i mean DERMOTT she dont deserve to use the old good man's last name, anyway all i want now is a happy ending that janelaze will be sent back where she belongs, she dont deserve to stay here in america, i just hope and pray that someone will make sure that justice will serve and make her residency be revoke!!
for Mr.Thomas Hunt may you rest in peace and for you janelaze and albert dermott may you also REST WITHOUT PEACE!! i mean it from the very bottom of my heart, and for all the people who helped the good old man 'til the day he died, may God Bless you all..

shen b.
Vallejo, Ca

Anonymous said...

these kind of stories give a bad name to the Philippines and to the Filipino people, it's good to know for all the foreigners living the dream that even if the Filipinos speak English and sometimes you might be tricked to think that they actually think like westerners, well it's not like this, here in the Phillipines it's all about the food and exploiting a dying foreigner to support the "pamily" is ok, maybe I'm too rough but hey that's reality, open your eyes guys!!!

Anonymous said...

these kind of Filipinos make me ashamed of being one. i hope the b*tch and her family will get what is due to them.

i pray for Mr. Hunt, may the poor man rest in peace.