With a gentle touch of compassion, palliative care providers like HCA aim to soothe and alleviate physical and emotional pain. The following stories illustrate the dedication of our staff and volunteers, and explores what it means to live meaningfully even when one’s days are numbered.
Living Without Regrets
Amelia Ng may just be 20 years old, but she has endured numerous surgeries and hospitalisation stays. The journey has not been easy for her mother Jeannie Lim, who is also her primary caregiver. In May, Jeannie received the news no mother wishes to hear: Amelia’s condition was deteriorating and she had, at best, several months left.
Today, Jeannie, who has largely come to terms with the brutal reality, only has one wish: for Amelia to be happy in her remaining days.
Till Death Do Us Apart
For Mrs Ting, attending to all her late husband’s daily needs was a final act of love. In March, the couple jointly made a decision for Mr Ting to return home from the hospital where he was warded. Despite his wish to spend his last days at home, there was a worry that weighed heavily on Mr Ting’s mind – would his wife be able to cope with all the caregiving responsibilities?
Mrs Ting’s response was simple but resolute: “You are my husband; I will take care of you.”
The First and Last Meeting
It was the first time HCA Vigil Angel Foong Yuet Foong and Nurse Educator Amy Lim met Mr Lee – and it would also be the last. In a brief span of two hours, the duo tended to Mr Lee gently, carefully trimming his hair and delicately massaging away the aches from lying in bed.
Fleeting yet poignant encounters like these are par for the course for Vigil Angels like Foong. “It is fate that allows me to meet these patients. It may be transient, but I really cherish the few hours I have with them, and hope that I can help them feel comfortable in their last moments,” she says.
A Lengthy Marathon
Richard Ashworth has been a caregiver for much of his life – 23 years to be exact, when his adoptive father, John, was diagnosed with colon cancer. Over the decades since, Richard has lovingly nursed John through several health scares, and endured the latter’s erratic and sometimes violent behaviour, after he was diagnosed with dementia a decade ago.
Despite the arduous and lengthy caregiving journey, Richard was determined to return the kindness his father had shown him, by caring for him till the end.
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