Entry of a dying patient

Posted: 11th August 2010 by Jacky Yong in Current Affairs
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Chew (not his real name) has been coughing and wheezing more and more heavily. Each time he coughs, blood comes out. At first he thought nothing of it. But the bloodly came more frequent and his breathing becomes heavy and erratic. His job as a crane operator suffered as a result.
One day while having a peaceful dinner with his wife and little girl, 5-year-old Alice, Chew coughed non-stop. Blood was splattered all across the table, and suddenly Chew blacked out and fell on the floor. When his wife finally took him to the hospital, his condition was declared as “very bad”. Chew had lung cancer, and it has already spread to 70% of his lung. Now he is bedridden as he is too weak to go anywhere. He was given only 3 months to live. Chew was devastated. He didn’t know that life was so fragile, so delicate, and that he will leave the world so soon. What will happen to my wife, his little Alice? Mrs Chew works part time as a canteen operator, and her income will barely be enough to cover the daily expenses of both herself and her girl. Who will take care of Chew? What about his medical bills?
Though the doctor took pity on his condition, he cannot do much for this family financially. However he did recommend Hospis Malaysia for him. At least when he is there, there will be people who can look after him. It is a voluntary body who takes care of people like him who has difficulty taking care of themselves. Hospis took a look at his condition and did an evaluation of the family background, and accepted him into their care, for as long as necessary.
However as fate has it, Chew’s condition went downhill after that. He can no longer sit up without support, and he needed an oxygen tank to assist his breathing. Mrs Chew would come to see him whenever she could, and each time it never fails to bring tears to her eyes.
“If you are unable to come visit me, just stay at home and take care of Alice okay?” Chew pleaded to his wife.
“How can I stay at home if I know that you are in here all alone?” Mrs Chew tried to smile, but her trembling lips wouldn’t corporate with her. Chew held her hand, his oxygen mask makes a deep hissing sound everytime he breaths.
“I want you to promise me to take care of little Alice for me. I know I do not have much time left. I am sorry that I cannot take care of both you and Alice.” Tears welled up in Chew’s eyes. “Be strong.”
Today when I visited Chew, he was in a state of lethargic. He can barely even move his hands. When I introduced to him that I am part of a community service here to make him happy, he barely moved a muscle. I noticed his condition from the nurse.
“Mr Chew, is there anything I can do for you to make your day happier?” I said with a smile. That was my standard line as we were told to say. Chew looked at me. He licked his cracked dried lips and managed to tell me,
“Can you give me 6 more months to live?” I eyed his frail face, that deep sunken eyes. “My girl is going to school soon, and I would really like to see her wearing that school uniform to school.” I choked on his reply, my expression hardly containing the emotion building up inside.
The story above is purely fictional, but are based on typical scenarios you see everyday at Hospis. If you have the compassion, do make it a point to lend them a hand. I am going to cut off my hair in support of Bald4Good on 21st August. Come bid to see me bald. You can even hold the razor that shaves off my head. All proceeds will go towards making Hospis a better place to live.
  1. Kenny Law says:

    Very Touching Story, Jacky. I found your website when I was searching for my Toyota Altis Cobra Alarm.. =) Somehow found your blog with Toyota related.. Hehe.. Nice blogs! Keep it on!!

  2. libelly says:

    Wonder if Chew bought any Life insurance for himself, it will really help his family…