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During my stay in the
ICU, I couldn’t remember any of the self-motivational books that I have read
before my gas explosion accident that could help in my situation. The only book
that I could recall at that time was some bits and pieces from “Man’s Search
for Meaning” by Viktor Frankl. This book chronicles the experience of the
writer as a prisoner in a few concentration camps including Auschwitz during
World War 2.
Trying to recollect what was
read previously, I was reminded that the right love and hope is crucial for
prisoners of war. Being dependent on others for my every needs and basic
necessities, confined to the hospital bed, it does feel like I am a prisoner
instead of a patient. Immobile and at
the mercy of others. Pain inflicted at every dressing change.
I recalled that during
one cold icy night, when the prisoners were forced to walk in the forest to the
worksite, Viktor Frankl remembered his wife to sustain him throughout the
exhausting long walk. Excerpt from the book:
mind still clung to the image of my wife. A thought crossed my mind: I didn't
even know if she were still alive. I knew only one thing—which I have learned
well by now: Love goes very far beyond the physical person of the beloved. It
finds its deepest meaning in his spiritual being, his inner self. Whether or
not he is actually present, whether or not he is still alive at all, ceases
somehow to be of importance."
Viktor Frankl (Image Source: Wikipedia)
Remembering that love is
important for survival, I reminded myself that I am indeed lucky that my
parents and sister are alive and that I do not even have to imagine that they
are alive. That my situation was definitely better than what was faced by the writer.
In the concentration
camp, the intellectuals or those who frequently used their brain for a living,
outlived those who does labour work or jobs which requires less thinking, even
though the latter initially started in a physically stronger state. I remembered
telling myself that my mental faculty needs to be in good shape. Luckily, I
have my sister who visited me every day and constantly gave me ideas and
questions to jog my memory.
Viktor Frankl’s book, “ Nietzsche's words, "He
who has a why to live for can bear with almost any how".
For Viktor Frankl, choosing the right hope is very important for
survival, especially with regards to future, “The prisoner who had lost faith
in the future—his future —was doomed. With his loss of belief in the future, he
also lost his spiritual hold; he let himself decline and became subject to
mental and physical decay.”
In his book, he illustrated the story of his senior block warden who had
a strange dream that the war will be over by 30th March 1945, he was
full of hope and convinced that he was right. However, as the date drew nearer
it was unlikely that they would be free on that date. On the said date, the
senior block warden became delirious and lost consciousness. On the 31st
March 1945, he was dead and to all outward appearances, he had died of typhus.
This book contains nuggets of
wisdom which arises from the suffering of the writer and those that he had crossed
path with. Despite the horror and atrocities of war, the writer could find it
in himself to bring out the humanity and courage within him and see the same
from others as well. I sincerely feel
that everyone should read this book at least once in their lifetime as it is
one of those books that is indeed worth reading.
In my mind, I have
already been saved twice, the first time was during the explosion itself when I
felt something had shielded me during the blast, especially my head area. The
second time was in the ICU, fighting between life and death, when I thought I
was dreaming and heard a voice calling me back to my body, “Come on, come on, take your
I know for certain in my
heart that God had saved me from a more terrible fate. I have yet to know the
full meaning of the words, but I do know that one of my responsibility is to
live this life. Not to give up on myself that easily. That gives me hope to
continue on living as I have been given a second chance or even a third chance
to live. Life is indeed precious.
Last week, I
visited a friend who is suffering from Neurofibromatosis type 2 (NF2), a hereditary condition that causes her body to produce multiple tumours
throughout her life. Link to Yvonne's blog .
Photo was taken from her Facebook She
was supposed to go to the United States of America in May 2018 for a
cervical spine surgery. Unfortunately, before the trip, she fell on
her back and hit her head. She had to undergo a critical brain surgery instead
in Kuala Lumpur. The money she collected for the surgery in USA was all spent
on the brain surgery.
When I saw her,
the first thing I noticed was the protruding feeding tube at her stomach. Food
had to be
inserted through the feeding tube. Yvonne is deaf and blind. She is still bedridden and immobile as
a result of the fall she had in May 2018.
with Yvonne, I had to write an alphabet at a time, slowly on her palm. If she
doesn’t get the word, it must be
written all over again. It is best to use few simple w…
We could not believe how fast the funds came in after we uploaded our video appealing for funds to Patrick's liver transplant surgery fees.
I admitted that money was one big worry for without it, the surgery would not proceed. Once HOC set up the appeal on our behalf, I prayed. I prayed hard to God.
Suddenly a thought came. A video of us as a family, making a plea to friends, family and public. To save Patrick by donating to his surgery fees.
So, we quickly set it into motion on 22 May 2019.
I could not imagine the responses came beyond Malaysia - Australia, Singapore and more. From people whom I had not talked to for a few years, willingly came forward to donate, send a kind word, prayers and spread the video to their friends.
Before we go forward to the public, another worry I had was my mother. She has anxiety over Patrick. There were times I had to calm her down, assure her everything shall be fine when I admit I do not actually know whether it is so. I don't wish for my mu…
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We were enjoying ourselves as new parents until something happened in the middle of November 2017 that changed our lives forever. "There is something not right with his stools."
My sister in law remarked to me while I tiredly changed Patrick's diapers. Mentally I can be exhausted as new mothers would be. We visited my s…