Plane crash survivor will miss his son's birthday

SHARJAH - Filipino plane crash survivor George Cruz who lies on a hospital bed at Al Qasimi Hospital does not mind the excruciating pain on his right leg.

By Ramona Ruiz

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Published: Mon 21 Jun 2004, 10:01 AM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 2:01 PM

What pains him more is not being able to see his son Geohn Gabriel who turns one today.

It has been over four months since the plane mishap that killed 43 of the 46 mainly migrant workers and crew on board on February 10.

He regained consciousness nearly a week later on his hospital bed with his wife Maritess Dizon-Cruz who flew from Manila to take care of him.

He agreed to be interviewed by Khaleej Times on March 20, and related his experiences on Kish Island, his recollection of the crash, and spoke at great length of his strong faith.

By April 2, Danny Buenafe, ABS-CBN Middle East News Bureau Chief, interviewed him, and the video footage was shown in Balitang Middle East a weekly news magazine on The Filipino Channel (TFC) beamed to almost every corner of the world where there are Filipino communities, including the UAE.

"Tess and I were earlier expecting to be home in time for Gabriel's first birthday, but it is unthinkable at the moment. The last time I saw my son was when he was five months old when I left for the UAE. I wanted to secure a good future for him so I had to make some sacrifices."

He added, "Even if we would like to join him in celebrating his birthday, my physical condition prevents me from travelling at this time. Tess can actually fly to Manila, but I can't be left behind here in the hospital. I'm still walking with the help of a frame, and I'm also using wheelchair." Due to the tragic air accident, George had a fracture on his right leg (tibia and febula), as well as in his left leg (femur), wounded left heel and multiple burns, as well as a deformed right ear. His left eye was also affected, as he could not see clearly now.

A fibreglass cast now supports George’s right leg, and he has to undergo surgery in the Philippines.

The couple is waiting for Philippine Consul Jose Cabrera to contact them to arrange a meeting with the lawyer of Kish Airlines to discuss the insurance claims.

"We are hoping that we will be home next month. But this will all depend on the talks of the insurance claims," he said.

The relatives and godparents of their son Maritess Dizon-Cruz are said to be celebrating his birthday in a grand way today.

"We advised them to keep the celebrations simple, and wait for us to throw a big birthday bash for him when we arrive. The occasion will also be a thanksgiving party for everyone who had lent us support and never ceased to pray for us," he said.

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