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Boards from the Heart
20 April 2017

These dexterity boards may not look like much, but they are unique and specially tailored for the needs of HCA’s day care patients. They are also the brainchild of a 15-year-old Eagle Scout aspirant.

ANDREW’S DEXTERITY BOARDS AT THE DAY CARE CENTRE

It all started from a desire to do something meaningful for the patients of HCA Hospice Care.

After spending time with the patients who regularly attend day care, Andrew Greene, a 15-year-old boy at the Singapore American School, discovered that they had limited exercises engaging the use of their hands.

For many of HCA’s patients, simple everyday tasks like turning a doorknob, pressing switches and getting dressed present monumental challenges. Afflicted with various conditions including stroke and debilitating illness-related deterioration, these patients often lose a significant degree of their independence. While physiotherapy is part of day care activities, there is limited focus on fine motor coordination. “Some of our patients experience numbness or tingling in their hands, which is why dexterity exercises are important,” explains Ms. Nancy Soon, HCA’s Day Care Supervisor.

MS. NANCY SOON, HCA’S DAY CARE SUPERVISOR, WITH ANDREW

Andrew’s keen sense of observation, uncommon in one so young, inspired him to kick-start a project to build dexterity boards for HCA’s patients so as to earn his Eagle Scout honours. The resourceful boy garnered support from his friends and family — from fundraising to assembly — who contributed generously. Andrew’s initiative culminated in the creation of six dexterity boards, a collective effort from him and his friends.

ANDREW POSES WITH HIS MASTERPIECES

The sturdy wooden boards are meticulously fitted with everyday items such as clothes pegs, zippers, laces and door handles. The same level of detail extends to Andrew’s fondness for precision. “It took us 40 hours and 20 minutes to complete,” he announced proudly.

His fundraising efforts were so successful that he had $400 surplus after purchasing the materials needed for the dexterity boards, which he donated to HCA. On the day Andrew visited the Day Care Centre with his mother to present the boards and donation to CEO Ms. Angeline Wee, he crept away to a quiet corner for a good five minutes, before returning with a handwritten thank you card.

MS. ANGELINE WEE WITH ANDREW

Andrew’s simple handwritten message encapsulated the heartfelt compassion that HCA hopes the youth and community at large — be it locals or expatriates — will take on board. Andrew’s act of kindness and initiative also showcases how there are no limits when it comes to reaching out to the elderly and terminally ill — we can all play a part in our own way.