Assisi Hospice

S’pore cancer patient makes hand cast for pregnant wife, dies next day

published by Mothership on February 15, 2024

If you were on the deathbed, how would your love for your partner manifest?

One 44-year-old liver cancer patient surnamed Yiu mustered up his strength to make a moulded hand cast of him and his wife holding hands — to immortalise his love for her and their unborn child.

The next day, he passed away.

The couple’s story was shared in a Valentine’s Day post by Assisi Hospice on Feb. 14, 2024.

Terminal diagnosis

The post stated that Yiu was diagnosed with end-stage liver cancer in February 2023 after experiencing persistent pain in his abdominal area.

His tumour was too large to be removed, and his condition wasn’t suitable for treatment, so doctors recommended palliative care.

He was admitted to Assisi Hospice a month later, in March 2023.

Yiu’s wife was also pregnant at the time, but Yiu knew he wouldn’t be able to meet their unborn child.

He wanted to do something he could leave as a remembrance for them.

Making the hand casts

Yiu’s art therapist suggested he make a hand cast that his future child could hold.

“Even though he was already very weak, he persisted and even did one more hand cast, holding my hand,” Yiu’s wife shared in the post.

For the second cast, Yiu’s wife sat by his bedside, and the couple interlocked their fingers before dipping their hands in the alginate mixture.

The touching moment brought a smile to her face and tears to her eyes.

Memento for wife and future child

However, Yiu’s stay at the hospice would soon be cut short.

His condition quickly deteriorated, and he passed on the day after making the hand cast.

The completed cast was presented to Yiu’s wife at his wake.

Hospice therapists also helped create an artwork with handprints of his family and saved a recording of his heartbeat for his future child to listen to.

Yiu’s wife was impressed with the realistic hand cast.

“The hand cast looks very real, you can see the lines on his hand,” she said.

“When I miss him, I will look at his photos, and also the hand cast that we made.”

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