A home away from home
After suffering a “near-fatal stroke”, Irene Tan was transferred to St Luke’s Hospital for rehabilitation. Her husband had insisted on St Luke’s Hospital as it was named after one of Jesus’ disciples, not to mention its reputation. Below is her story.
“I tried to get up in bed to sit and eat, but my limbs did not move in tandem with my brain. The nurse bringing in the breakfast immediately seemed to understand my plight. With a broad smile and a cheerful ‘good morning Mrs Tan’, she raised my bed and made me comfortable. At the gym, my physiotherapist was a young lady who never stopped smiling at me. She led me from machine to machine, always watching to see if I am stressed out.
One morning, my physiotherapist wheeled me to the bottom of a staircase. Grabbing the harness around my waist, she coaxed me to take my first few steps up the first staircase I had faced in a few months. I struggled but kept going as she kept urging me to take the next step. We reached the top, then came the bigger shock: going downstairs. One step at a time we went down, to be met with applause from my worried husband at the bottom. For speech therapy, it was another young lady who had tonnes of patience. It was such a joy to be able to recover my speech.
When it was time for my discharge, with joy, yet with a tinge of sadness, I went to say goodbye to the wonderful staff and nurses at St Luke’s Hospital. It had become a home away from home, a second home.”
Condensed from a story in Uphill and Beyond, a publication by Barker Road Methodist Church.
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Irene Tan with her husband Tan Gee Paw