“What a wonderful painting! You have won the first prize in our art competition!” These words were entirely unexpected for Mr Neo Seng Chwee, a pleasant surprise in his palliative care journey.
A man of few words, Mr Neo possesses a heart of gold that radiates love and warmth to those around him. He is the patriarch of a large family, blessed with seven children who adore him dearly. Even in his 80s, he remained active and open to learning new things, including computer skills. He was the handyman in the household, fixing and mending anything that needed attention.
The abrupt decline in Mr Neo’s health, due to a cancer diagnosis, was a disheartening blow for him and his family. Recognising the need for specialised care and support, his family collectively decided that palliative care at St Luke’s Hospital was the best option for him.
As soon as Mr Neo settled into the palliative ward, he was pleasantly surprised by the activities and programs designed to cater to his emotional and psychological well-being, on top of clinical care. Recognising his deep passion for music, his music therapist, May, carefully curated sessions that brought immense joy and comfort to his soul. Together, they sang many of his favourite songs, such as “山顶的春天”, allowing Mr Neo to reminisce about his younger days and share his stories.
One of the happiest moments for Mr Neo was taking part in an art competition organised by the hospital’s leisure therapy team. Participating patients had to tap on their creativity to create a unique painting with their handprint as a foundation.
Despite Mr Neo’s limited experience with art, he decided to take on the challenge. With meticulous strokes and a heart full of passion, he transformed his handprint into a beautiful rooster, exuding a sense of joy and vitality. Since winning the first prize, he has been displaying his drawing proudly by his bedside.
“Who knew my father held such artistic talent? This painting is a treasure we will hold dear through the years,” said Maggie, Mr Neo’s daughter.
“In my last days here, I am blessed to be under the caring hands of the hospital’s staff and loved by my family,” said Mr Neo, his voice brimming with gratitude.
Palliative care is one of the core areas of care provided by St Luke’s Hospital. This year, themed “Celebrating Silver – Circle of Life”, SLH’s annual fundraising campaign aims to raise awareness and underscore the importance of holistic palliative care and support in maintaining the quality of life for patients at the end-of-life.
♡ To donate, please visit https://www.giving.sg/slh/charitydinner23