73-year-old Mdm Leong Foong Meng was the eldest of three children, and her mother brought her to Singapore from Kuala Lumpur when she was 10 years old to seek shelter from domestic issues. Her mother supported the family by working as a production line worker, and she dropped out when she was in secondary school to supplement the family income as a garment factory worker. She was interested in sewing and making clothes, and would make colourful dresses for herself and clothes for her younger brother and sister, especially during Chinese New Year. Her highlight for Chinese New Year was the “goodies” that her mother whipped up for the reunion dinner, even though it was a simple meal in their one-room flat in Tiong Bahru. She said, “We would have chicken and my favourite fa choy (a type of seaweed that symbolises prosperity) with mushroom. We would also go back to Malaysia to visit our relatives.”
A serious road accident robbed her of her simple, contented life when she was 40 years old. She could no longer walk nor take care of herself and was admitted into a nursing home. Her mother, siblings and cousins visited her at the home. She also found faith, and she drew strength from God’s love as her pastor visited her regularly.
When her mother and siblings passed away a few years ago, she grew lonelier as she got fewer visits and Chinese New Year became quieter.
She was admitted to Assisi Hospice for inpatient palliative care in December 2020 due to uterine cancer. She came under our “No One Dies Alone” programme, where our volunteers befriended and journeyed with her in her final days. Our care team not only tended to her medical needs, but also provided a listening ear and cherished company.
She said, “I like to chitchat with the social worker and volunteers here. They also bring me to the garden. I like it here, the garden is very pretty.”
Mdm Leong missed her family greatly. Her eyes swelled up with tears when she spoke about her mother’s love. Our care team and volunteers stepped up to be the family that she was missing.
At Assisi Hospice, we provide palliative care for patients that preserves their dignity and quality of life. Patients of any race, faith and financial position are cared for by our team of specialist doctors, nurses, allied health and pastoral care professionals. 52% of Assisi Hospice’s patients are poorest of the poor and means tested to the lowest income level, and are in need of financial assistance. Your donation will enable us to continue to provide care and comfort to patients like Mdm Leong.
Bring cheer to patients like Mdm Leong at https://friends.assisihospice.org.sg/AssisiDMS/Giving/MyGift.htm.