Sutana Binte Ja’afar’s hearty laughter is symbolic to her fighting spirit. Nothing seems to be able to bring her down. 44-year-old Sutana, a single mother with three school going children, was admitted to St Luke’s Hospital (SLH) for rehabilitation care. After a weight-loss surgery, she
suffered postoperative complications including lower limb weakness and finger numbness.
Weighing 160 kg at 155 cm, the immense pressure on her knees caused severe pain, to the point where she was unable to travel to work. The surgery was a last-ditch effort to regain her mobility and independence.
When she was admitted to SLH, she could barely get off the bed.
“I was in the hospital but I was actually happy. After the nerve issue, I could not move at all and spent all my time lying in bed. My therapist is very encouraging, and she will often massage my feet to alleviate the numbness. There were a lot of bed exercises. When I could finally stand, I was not confident. I would go ‘Oh no, I am going to fall!’, but the therapist will always encourage me.”
Now, Sutana has returned home. With a long recovery outlook, it is unlikely that she can go back to work in the near future. Seeing her medical bills build up, her Medical Social Worker tapped on the SLH Patient Welfare Fund to help her with ambulance fees, home nursing and home
therapy. She was also linked up with a Social Service Officer for financial aid.