A professional musician, Osman Bin Rahman has performed at many hotels including some overseas feats, as a pianist and guitarist. Five years ago, he decided to slow down in his career and took up a job as a barber. Osman had picked up hairdressing as a hobby as he also saw it as “a form of art”.
One morning when Osman, 69, was at work in his barber shop, he suddenly felt numbness in his body and collapsed. In an instance, he lost mobility of the left side of his body due to a stroke.
Devastated by the onset of stroke that rendered him handicap to mobilise and do the things he enjoyed; Osman was dispirited. “Now I cannot play any instrument,” he says, “I felt like my life was ruined.”
Osman was transferred to St Luke’s Hospital eventually and started seeing improvement after a week of rehabilitation. His arm and leg felt less stiff and he could move them. He attributed his progress to the physiotherapists, “They would go all out and give their full effort to help me get better.”
Knowing Osman’s passion for music, the ward team also arranged for the hospital’s music therapist, Isabel Tan, to meet him. Isabel played the guitar and invited Osman to sing along and also try his hand at the guitar again. “The sessions light up my life. I felt like I was at a staycation,” Osman recalls with much joy. Isabel says, “Music therapy helps improve mood and increase confidence, and in this case, trains Mr Osman’s finger dexterity as well.”
After discharge, Osman continued to attend outpatient rehabilitation sessions at the hospital. He was overjoyed to regain his ability to walk. He hopes to be energetic and active like how he was before the stroke, and even working again as a grab driver or busker which would give him more “flexibility and freedom”.
Osman Bin Rahman was overjoyed to be able to walk again under the guidance of physiotherapist Tang Wei Mun, who greatly motivated and encouraged him.