GoFundMe page created for Vancouver writing couple facing tens of thousands of dollars in hospital and travel bills

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      One of Vancouver's most celebrated magazine writers and his wife are coping with a double whammy: a serious health condition along with huge hospital and travel bills.

      Vancouver resident Crisanta Sampang suffered a heart attack while visiting family members in the Philippines.

      She didn't have travel insurance and when she arrived in hospital, doctors concluded that she required open-heart surgery.

      Because the cost was going to reach six figures, her husband, Vancouver writer Daniel Wood, started looking for alternatives.

      In the end, he decided that Sampang's daughter, who has medical training, would fly from Seattle to be with her in the Philippines. Then the two of them will fly back to Canada on March 20 with the help of MedEvac Canada, which will have a doctor onboard to monitor Sampang.

      A medical evacuation is necessary because otherwise, Sampang wouldn't be permitted to fly unless she had the operation.

      This will cost tens of thousands of dollars. But it's still less expensive than Sampang having open-heart surgery in the Philippines and remaining there to recuperate for up to six months.

      The couple's friend, former Vancouver Sun writer and editor Joanne Blain, has created a GoFundMe page to try to raise $10,000 to defray some of the expenses.

      Wood has won many magazine awards and has written many articles for the Georgia Straight over the past 50 years, including several features on major environmental issues. He's also taught magazine writing to scores of students, some of whom went on to great success in the media.

      Sampang wrote a well-regarded book, Maid in Singapore, about her experiences as a live-in caregiver in Singapore in the 1980s before moving to Canada. She has been a contributor to the Straits Times in Singapore and has worked as a filmmaker, news researcher, and a media specialist at Multicultural Helping House Society in Vancouver.