Over the years, Assisi has benefitted greatly from individuals from all walks of life who have left us a legacy of care. They include former patients, families and caregivers of former patients, and many others who believe in our mission to provide compassionate palliative care to patients with life-limiting illnesses. Their lasting gifts came in the form of residual bequest of estate, bequest of a sum of money stated in a will, nomination of Assisi Hospice as a beneficiary of CPF monies, gifts of insurance policies and other ways.
Valentine Chuah was a domestic helper at the Lim household, and also a former patient of Assisi Hospice Home Care service. Fiona, whom she had taken care of since young, shared her fond memories of “Aunty Val”, and why she decided to leave a legacy gift to Assisi.
“Aunty Val was born in Malaysia and at a young age, became an orphan who was raised by nuns. I believe her faith community was her family for much of her life. She had wanted to become a nun but when it was clear that was not the path for her, she chose to travel to Singapore and explore what else life had to offer. As it turned out, she became a fixture in many Church communities in Singapore, dedicating herself to the Church in countless ways.
While volunteering at the Church canteen and weekly cleaning of the church, she also worked for families as a caregiver and housekeeper. She eventually came to our family. Aunty Val was with our family for 35 years. She looked after my brothers and I when we were little children, while cooking and cleaning and marketing and ensuring everyone in our house was looked after. Her dedication and love were limitless, her patience was endless, and her presence is treasured forever. She went on to look after my cousins, my grandparents and even my mother and father. She was a nanny, an aunt, a friend, a confidante, a Goddaughter, a Godmother and above all, she was family. She has been an instrumental part of all our lives and has her own special place in family stories and happy memories.
She was at peace with her physical caregivers and she was at peace with her Spiritual Caregiver. And I do believe that it brought her great comfort and ease to know that they were both very much intertwined.
The legacy gift to Assisi is simply a way to pay forward Aunty Val’s gifts of Faith, Care and Meaningful Work. As we rush through our days and our lives, may we never forget the need to slow down and look beside us, to offer comfort and solace when it is needed most. May we start and end each day with reflection and gratitude, just as Aunty Val did.”
Mr Teo Joo Meng is a retired Mathematics teacher from Montfort Secondary School. His daughter, Clarissa, shared on his behalf on why he wrote a will to leave a legacy gift to Assisi.
“My father experienced poverty when he was young, and he always felt the need to help those who are poor. He was the eldest son of a large family. After completing his O levels, he could not pursue further education but had to go out to work to contribute towards the financial needs of the family. He worked hard for more than 40 years as a teacher. He was the sole breadwinner of my family of seven. My parents were married for 56 years before my mother’s passing.
My mother suffered from colon cancer and was referred to Assisi Hospice in September 2019. Even though she required full time care for her basic needs, she decided to stay home as my sister and I were able to take time off our work to care for her full time. We decided together as a family that she would go for inpatient hospice care if we could no longer cope with caring for her at home.
Caring for my mother at home did not mean that we were left on our own. My mother came under the care of Assisi Hospice Home Care team. A team of staff including a palliative doctor visited us at home the day after my mother was discharged. The team explained to us their services and checked that we had the equipment necessary to care for my mother. They also offered helpful suggestions on how to care for her. She passed on peacefully at home in October 2019.
In a small country like Singapore, we are truly blessed to have a facility like Assisi Hospice. The staff working towards the vision and mission of the hospice aim to provide the dignity everyone desires in their last days.
My father believes in the mission of Assisi Hospice and wants to help the Hospice achieve its mission. As such, he has been donating just a little each year to Assisi Hospice. He hopes to continue to support the Hospice and hence decided to put it in his will. My father hopes that anyone in need of hospice care will not be denied because of financial constraints, and that his small contribution will help other needy families, especially when they are already struggling with the difficulty of bearing a terminal illness.”
To find out more about leaving a legacy of care, please contact Ms Juliet Ng at firstname.lastname@example.org.