Born to a large family with six children, Mr Tan used to stay in the Bukit Merah area and his parents raised the family by selling coffee in an attap hut. Though he was not good at studying, he became an apprentice at a traditional Nanyang bakery in his teens and was promoted as chief baker.
However, he fell into bad company. When he was 19 years old, he got involved in a fight and was sentenced to jail. He got to know gang members when he was in prison. After he was released, his friends cajoled him with drugs. His life went downhill, going in and out of jail.
Throughout the 30 years of repeated prison time, Mr Tan’s mother and sisters never gave up on him and constantly visited him. It was their persistent love that made him decide to turn over a new leaf.
However, his newfound peaceful life was short-lived. In December 2022, he was diagnosed with end stage gall bladder cancer. Staying alone in a one-room rental flat, there was no one to care for him after he was discharged from the hospital.
Mr Tan was admitted to Assisi Hospice inpatient ward in January 2023. His condition deteriorated rapidly and he soon became bedbound. Our doctors and nurses managed his symptoms and pain, and our medical social worker looked into financial assistance for him.
When asked about his final wish, he said, “I am afraid of pain. I just hope to leave well without being in too much pain. I like it here. The nurses are kind. When I feel unwell, I will let the doctors and nurses know and they will give me medicine that helps with the pain.”
Mr Tan passed away peacefully on 1 Mar 2023.
Support us as we provide care and comfort for patients like Mr Tan to live their final journey with dignity.