People staying in Jurong area may be familiar with 67-year-old Mr Kwan Fook Chuen, who used to travel there on his motorised scooter to sell tissue paper.
Mr Kwan became an orphan when he was 7 years old. Despite losing both his parents since young, he completed his O levels and found an administrative job at a shipyard to support himself. Growing up without parental love, he eventually found someone to share his life. He met his wife, who was also an orphan like him, in 2004. Marriage life was simple but cosy as they settled down in a 2-room rental flat, which they shared with a co-tenant.
Their peaceful life was disrupted when Mr Kwan was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2010. Despite the blow, he went through treatment bravely and recovered.
However, in March 2018, Mr Kwan felt a sharp pain in his leg which affected his movement. To his dismay, he discovered that his cancer is back and this time, it had spread to his bones. He had to use a walking stick and could no longer continue working. He was unable to support himself and his wife.
Assisi Hospice reached out to him when he felt helpless and lost. He was referred to our free Home Care service. Our Home Care nurse visited him regularly and helped with managing his pain. Understanding his need for independence and mobility, our social worker helped in his application for a motorised scooter. She also noticed that his eyesight was failing when he mentioned that he could not read the newspaper or see the bus numbers clearly when he went out. She brought him to an optician and make two pairs of glasses for him when he could not afford to do so. The pair of reading glasses helped him to enjoy the simple pleasure of reading the newspaper, while the other pair of glasses for short-sightedness enabled him to travel safely on his motorised scooter.
In August 2018, Mr Kwan’s condition deteriorated. He fractured his hip bone and could no longer stand for long periods of time. Our team encouraged him to visit our Day Care Centre for customised therapy sessions to help him maintain his mobility as much as possible. Our door-to-door transportation from and to his home helps to make this service accessible to him and he now comes to our Day Care Centre regularly in his wheelchair. He takes part in therapeutic activities including movement, art and music and interacts with other patients, staff and volunteers.
He said, “I was reluctant at first. People associate the word ‘hospice’ with the dying. However, after I came (to the Day Care Centre), I realised the staff here are all so nice, helpful and friendly. You can never find any place better than this.”