SL - Stroke survivor

SL came to Singapore in 2013 from Hebei to better support his family. As the sole breadwinner he was responsible for earning enough to fund his two sons' education and future. One of his son's also has respiratory issues whilst his wife is the main caregiver of his ill mother.

Unfortunately, last July, the family lost its sole breadwinner overnight in a turn of events. SL was subsequently diagnosed with stroke after fainting suddenly at work resulting in partial paralysis where he could no longer move the right side of the body. Initially, SL was unable to speak and had difficulty in movements. Along with the deep pain and suffering he felt he was constantly troubled about the finances of the family.

YB, a friend of SL who was also under the same employer, was at that time a beneficiary of HealthServe. Upon knowing what had happened to SL, YB informed HealthServe which enabled HealthServe to help him raise funds for SL's family’s living expenses through the Rays of Hope Initiative (ROHI). YB along with other migrant brothers, staff and interns was consistently on the lookout for SL, and visited him often both in hospital and later, the nursing home.

Gradually, SL made tremendous improvements with his motor skills. HealthServe also arranged TCM and Occupational Therapy sessions to prepare him to be able to become more independent with his movements when he goes back to China as even simple things like putting on a shirt was difficult for him.

SL is grateful for the financial assistance that he has received and has went back to China last month, he still maintains contact with the migrant brothers from HealthServe he has made friends with.

We are thankful that he is now able to recuperate at home with his family, especially during this festive season and we are encouraged by the kindness of our migrant brothers towards each other even when they face their own difficult circumstances.

HealthServe staff and intern visiting SL at the nursing home

HealthServe staff and intern visiting SL at the nursing home

YG - Finding Joy in the simplest things

Having a curious liking for wearing his glasses upside down - behind the nape of his neck - is just one of YG's many quirks that make him such an endearing personality. Hailing from Taishan, Henan China, YG was previously employed in a wine-processing factory, located just 600m from his house, before coming to Singapore to work as a construction worker. Since coming to Singapore, he has developed a number of unusual passions - like walking.

While YG frequents climbing a mountain in his native village of Taishan, there are unfortunately no "real" mountains here in Singapore. Still, YG is happy to make do with the many parks and community gardens in Singapore. On one occasion, he walked the full length from HealthServe's Geylang Clinic to Bishan, for a simple reason - he was "bored". As he walks, YG does not simply zone out, but is an avid observer who pays close attention to his surroundings. He recounts to us the sight of Hindu devotees circumambulating around an iron cauldron full of incense sticks at midnight, which proves to be such a novel sight that he cannot "un-forget" it. After all, there are no Hindu temples in China, so the plethora of "curious-looking" temples in Singapore must be intriguing.

While YG is currently seeking shelter with HealthServe for a workplace injury, he plans to return to Singapore again - this time to learn English. "Singapore is such a conducive environment for learning English", he claims, and he wants to maximize his next stint in Singapore by picking up a new language.

YG, we thank you for showing us what it is like to find joy in everything and to never stop learning!

- written by Yong Han Poh.

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