MAID SPENDS OFF DAYS CARING FOR DISABLED SG TODDLER

45 year-old domestic worker Josefina Amparo Hosena cares for young Leona Heng, a young 5 year-old girl struck with Edwards syndrone. Sufferers of this rare genetic disorder are afflicted with heart defects, growth deficiencies and intellectual disability.

Because of her condition, young Leona consumes her milk through a feeding tube, which has to be regularly cleaned. Josefina spends the majority of her time caring for her young ward, waking up every few hours to care for the child, replenish her milk supply through her feeding tube and clean it.

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Besides ensuring that Leona is fed at regular intervals around the clock, she also has to respond to any potential emergencies, such as heart failure.

The pair have developed such a deep bond that even on Josefina's days off every fortnightly, the 2 go out together. On those days, Josefina brings the young child to her church.

Leona's father Marcus Heng, 46, a director at a corporate training company, said of Ms Josefina: "It's not just work to her, she puts her heart and soul into it. It's challenging as she doesn't get enough sleep on some days."

Leona's mother is a property agent. The couple have another daughter, Leia, eight.

In recognition of her dedication, Josefina was among 40 individuals given the 2017 Model Caregiver Award. The awards, which were started in 2007, are awarded by local non profit group AWWA Caregiver Service, the National Council of Social Service (NCSS) and the Agency for Integrated Care (AIC), among other charities.

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