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“Precious Gems” by CEO Ms Angeline Wee
23 May 2016

The First “Gem” by Ms Angeline Wee

On my very first patient visit after I joined HCA Hospice Care, I walked along the corridor of the rental block with trepidation, not knowing what to expect. A waft of foul smelling air hit me from the neighbouring units, as I neared our patient’s home. My first thoughts were “How do my nurses tolerate this as part of what they do every day?”  When we entered into Mr Lim’s* (not his real name) home, a straw mat on the floor greeted us in the one room flat. I could see the entirety of Mr Lim’s possessions right there, but his flat was clean and very neat. He was able to move around on his own and quickly brought out two stools and invited us to sit. He generously offered us drinks. One would have thought he was the caregiver, but Mr Lim was our patient.

Besides the physical exam, our nurse got to work quickly, expertly asking questions that would draw out all the necessary and important information from Mr Lim. In the short space of 20 mins, our nurse was able to get Mr Lim to tell her about his diet, his bowel movements, his sleeping habits and to even discuss about where he would like to be if his illness became worse. He spoke about his family situation – he is divorced but his ex-wife and children still visit him. Finally, he eagerly asked how quickly he could come to our daycare, a proposition that our nurse suggested.

I left Mr Lim’s home feeling rather sad that he had to sleep on the thin straw mat, but he seemed happy with it. I felt humbled as Mr Lim is very open and forward looking despite having little. Indeed, worldly possessions are not everything and I realised that being contented with what we have is important. After all, being in this world is only transient. Most of all, I was amazed at our nurse’s expertise and professionalism and I am very proud of what she had done for our patient. Now I know why I am with HCA Hospice Care!

Stay tuned for more stories on the series of “Precious Gems” by our CEO, Ms Angeline Wee!

HCA Home Hospice multidisciplinary team offers support and care for patients on their areas of expertise and the particular needs of patients and their families. Visit https://www.hca.org.sg/hospice/services/hca-home-care-service to find out more.