HCA Star PALS patient Amelia Yeo, 20, may be a girl of few words, but her artworks reflect a wealth of hopes, dreams and loves. Over the years, the prolific young artist has completed numerous paintings, depicting her favourite animals, cartoons and random inspirations that spring to mind.
Some of these artworks have even been shared publically – Amelia’s artwork “To Singapore with Love” was featured on the 2018 National Day Parade Funpack. Today, the Funpack – autographed by President Halimah Yacob, no less – takes pride of place in the Yeo household, along with newspaper clippings on the Funpacks.
Beside the Funpack is a colourful mask, showcasing another of Amelia’s creation – a picturesque scene of Mount Fuji. “One morning, Amelia woke up and told us she wanted to visit Mount Fuji,” Jeannie Lim, Amelia’s mother, shares. “She sat down and painted the scene of Mount Fuji after.”
The scene of Mount Fuji was subsequently adapted onto a mask by Make-A-Wish Singapore, to commemorate World Wish Day last year.
Beyond being a medium of expression for Amelia, the process of art making also serves as family bonding for the Yeos. On weekends, Jeannie, Amelia and her elder sister, would organise their own art jamming sessions in the comfort of their home.
“My elder daughter is usually the one who comes up with new ideas and purchases the materials online for our art sessions,” Jeannie explains. “We usually work on a painting each, and there was once we painted a Bearbrick together.”
For Jeannie, who juggles full-time work and caring for Amelia, these art sessions enable her to take a breather. “Painting is a form of relaxation and it allows me to de-stress,” she says.
The trio’s artworks are displayed prominently in the living room, testament to their collective love for art.
An Exhibition to Remember
Most artists can attest to the joy of sharing their art with others – and this was certainly the case for Amelia, who held her own exhibition at HCA’s newest Day Hospice, Oasis@Outram, last month.
Organised by the Star PALS team, the exhibition featured a selection of Amelia’s artworks, including her favourite character, Elsa, from popular fantasy film Frozen, as well as her beloved teddy bears and dinosaurs.
Diagnosed with various heart problems at birth, which have affected her physical development, Amelia has gone through numerous surgeries ever since she was six years old. Despite life’s immense challenges, Amelia finds joy in simplicity – spending time with her family, friends and working on paintings and handicrafts.
On one of the team’s visits to her home, Amelia expressed a wish to hold her own art exhibition. The Star PALS team worked quickly, putting together all the logistics for the event. “Her prognosis is poor and we wanted to fulfil her wish to hold an art exhibition, as quickly as we could,” explains HCA Senior Palliative Care Nurse Low En Yun.
More than 100 guests turned up to support the event, to the delight of the young artist. Several paintings were sold, and the Yeos generously donated part of the proceeds to HCA.
For Jeannie, who faithfully prepares all the colours and materials for Amelia’s painting sessions, it is a mother’s wish come true – to see her happy and loved. “I just want her to be well, to carry on her life, discover the things she wants to do and continue painting,” she says.
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