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15 November 2013, 16:17
A Cambridge nurse is anxiously awaiting news of family members caught up in Typhoon Haiyan.
Edgardo "Jojo" Velayo, who works for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust, has not heard from his uncle since the typhoon struck the Philippines a week ago.
Philippines-born Jojo [pictured], who has worked for CPFT since 2002, said: "My parents live in the north and they are safe, but no one has heard anything from my uncle, Jun Velayo.
He lives in the south, in the city of Iligan, and has a wife and three children and we are hoping and praying they are ok and that the only reason we haven’t heard from them is because all the communication lines are down at the moment.
It’s very difficult because it’s been a few days now. We are the other side of the world and feel that we can’t do anything.
I never imagined anything like this would happen.
The Philippines is used to typhoons, but this was so bad."
JoJo, who works on Willow ward for older people at Fulbourn Hospital, said he had been touched by the amount of money which had been raised for the Philippines relief effort.
He said: "I have spoken to many friends in Cambridge and we have already made contributions to the disaster funds.
We are really grateful, as Filipinos, to everyone for their help so far and all the money that has been donated.
We know that British people are very helpful and their hearts are really open to this kind of thing.
The amount of money which has been raised so far is amazing.
The Filipino people will never forget how generous people have been."
Jojo and many other Filipinos attend the St Philip Howard Church, in Cherry Hinton Road, Cambridge. Special collections to raise money for the typhoon appeal will be held at all masses this weekend.
Masses are on Saturday at 5.30pm and on Sunday at 10am and noon.