When the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade told all Australians abroad to make their way home in March, Gina De Ruytor faced a dilemma.
Months earlier, she'd started the Malapascua Paw Heroes Animal Shelter in the Philippines to care for stray cats and dogs.
She was looking after 35 animals when the directive came down.
"It was really an ethical question," Ms De Ruytor said.
"Should I leave 35 dogs and cats to die because there's no one there to take care of them and get myself back to Australia or do I stay and make sure that it's going to be okay?"
She stayed but began making arrangements for others to continue her charity so she could return home to Canberra.
She missed a repatriation flight in May while ensuring the charity could go on without her.
But before the next flight, disaster struck.
Ms De Ruytor stepped in a hole dug by a rescue dog and broke her leg in two places. Since then, she's been scrambling to get back to Australia.
"My two broken bones, they were really bad, they wouldn't heal without surgery," she said.
"I looked into getting surgery in Australia, so putting it in a cast and going to Australia, but it looked like it would have been months for me to get there especially because a break isn't considered necessarily very urgent, so I wouldn't have gotten a flight for a few months and I would have had to have broken bones sitting in a cast not healing for months.
"I decided to take out my superannuation pay for surgery here, got it done and pretty much since the surgery it's been infected, like it's just been constant pus."
Ms De Ruytor been hospitalised twice since then and can hardly move.
When another repatriation flight came up, she could not get the medical and visa documentation needed within the short timeframe given in order to get on the plane.
Ms De Ruytor has been told she needs more surgery to remove the screws in her leg and stop the infections.
However all surgeries except for caesarean sections have been cancelled in the region she is in.
Public and private hospitals are filling up due to the growing number of coronavirus cases in the Philippines.
"The doctors here don't want to help because the doctors pretty much think I'm Australia's problem and just want me to go," she said.
On Friday, Ms De Ruytor is finally due to get on a plane to return to Australia and hopes to get the treatment she needs.
She praised DFAT and the Manila consulate for their help in getting her to this point.
However, as tens of thousands of Australians stranded all across the world struggle to get home due to the quarantine cap, she knows she is one of the rare lucky ones.
"I've received quite a fair bit of support from them which has been great but as well I know of other people other Australians here in the Philippines and they have absolutely nothing, they don't have any money so they can't book a flight, they can't even think about going to Australia without any assistance, I worry about what help they're getting as well," Ms De Ruytor said.
"There's one man in Cebu who bought a fishing boat and he's just fishing to keep himself living."
Ms De Ruytor said there are many people like herself who stayed overseas for legitimate reasons, but need help returning home.
While lifting the caps would help some people, she said others whose money was tied up in flight bookings needed more immediate financial assistance from the government.
"I wish I could have come back sooner but it just wasn't possible," she said.
"Yeah maybe some people think it's just dogs and cats but regardless that's still life and that needs to be taken care of. For me that's like leaving family behind.
"Some people just had cancelled flights, but some people you can't just walk away from a job or a charity."