Laila Elumbra, an immigrant from the Philippines, working as a nanny, now faces deportation while trying to recover from a condition that left her in a coma.
In June 2005, she began suffering seizures, and was later diagnosed with a rare disorder called porphyria.
In October, the disorder caused Elumbra to lapse into a coma that lasted four months. Since regaining consciousness, she has been under constant medical care and remains unable to work.
Due to immigration rules, her work permit has expired, and she now faces deportation. In addition, her health insurance expired along with her work visa, and she now owes some $20,000 for her medical care.
This particular immigrant has my sympathy, since she entered the country legally and made every effort to play by the rules. Face it – lapsing into a coma is not your standard shortcut to permanent residency status.