|Holland Village is a trendy hangout filled with restaurants and watering holes. In the midst of this hip enclave, Mr Quek Yee Boey resides in a 12-storey block of rented HDB flats.
Mr Quek, aged 73 years, came from a poor family. Living in a kampong in the early days, he started working as a construction apprentice at the young age of 13; he then became a construction worker, building many of Singapore’s landmarks in the 60s. When recession hit the construction sector in the 1970s, he left home to find work elsewhere. The sector rebounded in the 1980s and Mr Quek found opportunities as a sub-contractor. But the following recession in 1983 wiped out his savings. His wife divorced him soon after and left with their two daughters.
For the next 25 years, he did odd jobs whenever they were available. Things became very hard, savings dwindled, and as a last resort, he had to move from his home in Ghim Moh into a one room flat with his brother.
As he aged, even odd jobs at construction sites became too physically demanding. In 2012, he found work as a cleaner, and began receiving a regular income after so many years. In June 2016 however, he was plagued with frequent fainting spells that caused him to fall. The last fall landed him in hospital for one month, during which doctors found a large cancerous tissue mass in his back muscles.
There was no cure and Mr Quek, who lost his job, could not afford further hospital treatments. He was referred to Assisi Hospice in March 2017 for home care, and is currently being cared by our Home Care team.
Mr Quek has been managing the impact of his disease symptoms since, and living on social assistance of $370 per month, counting down to the last cent every day. Mr Quek’s brother, who works as a security guard, uses most of his salary to pay for rental and utilities. They both struggle on a single income and have difficulties making ends meet.
Assisi Hospice is journeying with Mr Quek, and there are many others like him that we look after too. Should his symptoms deteriorate such that he can no longer care for himself, Mr Quek would be considered for inpatient care at Assisi Hospice. Your support would ensure that our patients can live their remaining days with disease symptoms well managed and in comfort and dignity.