Paralyzed Pinay worker granted permanent residency in Canada

  • Page Views 1908
  • Vicky Venancio dreamed of earning enough money to support herself and her elderly parents back in the Philippines, and to one day become a Canadian citizen.

    That dream shattered on a June day in 2012 when Venancio was struck by a car while biking to work in Edmonton.

    Quadriplegic and wheelchair bound, Venancio could no longer work. As a result, her work visa soon expired, along with her provincial health care benefits.

    Making matters worse, her  employer failed to honour her employment contract of providing disability insurance when she was hired, leaving her with no ability to cover the considerable medical and rehabilitation costs associated with her condition.

    But Venancio persevered. Left without any healthcare coverage, she volunteered for experimental treatments at the University of Alberta’s ReWalk program. She has made significant progress and is helping the research group to learn new directions in making post injury re-walking possible.

    Venancio is determined to recover, return to work and realize her Canadian dream.

    But she faced her her biggest challenge yet.

    Earlier, in a public hearing, the Canadian government has decided that she can no longer stay in Canada.

    At the hearing she stated “I Know I can’t have my normal life back. But I cannot let my disability take away my dreams.”

    On August 9, Venancio rejoiced after the Canadian government granted her permanent residency on compassionate grounds.

    “Yesterday I received it, and I was just bursting into tears in Canada Place,” Venancio, who is now 31, said in a report by the Edmonton Sun.

    While cycling to work at a Mill Woods McDonald’s in Edmonton in 2012, a vehicle struck her.

    She spent nearly three years in Edmonton without public health insurance, while friends supported her and fundraised to help her fight to stay in the country. Money from an injury settlement soon ran out.

    A family doctor who treated Venancio for free became an “angel in her life”.

    Three years, two months and 10 days after the crash — yes, she counted — a tenacious Venancio took her first step. She now lives on her own and moves around the apartment with a walker.

    “I don’t have any reason to give up,” she said.

    Edmonton lawyer Sol Rolingher lobbied federal politicians to consider Venancio’s unusual circumstances, instead of living by the letter of immigration law.

    “We owe this lady a debt of gratitude,” Rolingher said in a report by the Edmonton Sun. “We don’t turn out backs on people who are hurt through no fault of their own.”

    Even after securing a two-year work permit in 2015, Venancio lived in limbo. She was afraid to leave Canada — even to say goodbye to her dying mother in the Philippines — knowing she couldn’t get back across the border.

    Wanting to go back to school, the options available to her as an international student were limited and too expensive, she said. Now, many of those barriers have evaporated.

    She spends her days volunteering at the Glenrose and University hospitals, talking with others who have spinal cord injuries, and also speaking to students about life and recovery since the injury limited the use of her body from the neck down.

    Although she’s looking for a computer or clerical job to pay the bills, she wants to study to be a social worker.

    She also volunteers weekly in the constituency office of federal Amarjeet Sohi, the Liberal MP for Edmonton-Mill Woods and minister of infrastructure and communities.

    Sohi has lobbied on Venancio’s behalf since he was a city councillor. He’s inspired by her determination to get her life back together, and said he’s confident Venancio will be a successful Canadian.

    “This is a file that has been very close to my heart. So I am very happy to see the outcome,” Sohi said in the Edmonton Sun report.

    Share

    New Posts Recently publish post More

    • 06 October 2022
      1 day ago No comment

      Filipinos run in October 15 municipal elections

      At least 10 Filipinos are running in the October 15 municipal elections in B.C. The candidates are vying for posts in council and school board in different cities across the Greater Vancouver region. The most prominent of the candidates are Maita Santiago, who is running for council in Burnaby, ...

    • 22 September 2022
      2 weeks ago No comment

      Vhong Navarro under NBI custody for rape charge

      Metro Manila — TV host and actor Vhong Navarro remains under the custody of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) as of Tuesday, a day after he was slapped with two arrest warrants over complaints filed by model-stylist Deniece Cornejo in 2014. Navarro’s camp has yet to file a motion ...

    • 22 September 2022
      2 weeks ago No comment

      Meet and greet with Jinny, Ramon and Surrey Forward

      The Surrey Forward party is ready to serve the city and its residents. Surrey Forward is fielding Jinny Sims as mayoral candidate in the October 15, 2022 local election, and the party also has seven candidates for council. One of these candidates is Filipino Canadian financial professional Ramon Bandong. ...

    • Queen-Elizabeth-King-Charles-2022
      15 September 2022
      3 weeks ago No comment

      Farewell Queen Elizabeth, Long live King Charles!

      The world is mourning the death of Queen Elizabeth II, U.K.’s longest-serving monarch, who died on September 8 at the age of 96. Queen Elizabeth, whose reign spanned 70 years, was succeeded to the throne by her eldest son Charles, who has been proclaimed as King Charles III. The ...

    • 08 September 2022
      4 weeks ago No comment

      Filipino concert scene returns to Vancouver

      After a long hiatus because of COVID-19, the Filipino concert scene is revving up in Vancouver. A series of shows has been lined up starting in the month of September 2022, and ReyFort Media Group is calling on the community to support these events. The ReyFort Media Group wants ...

    %d bloggers like this: