“I was bedridden and unable to see my children. It was better to die at that point!” – Grandma Wong on her stay at public hospital
Grandma Wong, 94, has lived in an elderly home since her husband passed away more than ten years ago. Last year, she was hospitalized after two fall incidents left her with fractures and cerebral hemorrhage. Being alone for so long, Grandma Wong slowly lost her will to live.
“Mom is naturally active and energetic. When she was not cooking up a feast for the entire family, she was playing boccia. She even has three medals from past competitions,” recalled third daughter Sandy. “After the fall, Mom was not able to walk well. She was eventually restrained to the hospital bed after attempting to move around. We felt so heartbroken and helpless at the time.”
As the pandemic persisted, it appeared Grandma Wong would be alone in her final days. Eventually, Sandy decided to apply for admission to JCHH where Grandma Wong could regain her experience of family warmth and support again. “The staff were so warm and caring. Mom’s room had a beautiful view with plenty of sunlight. It honestly felt like home,” Sandy said.
Under the compassionate care of the palliative care team, Grandma Wong’s recovery progressed well. In addition to improvements in appetite and mood, she was able to complete some light exercises with assistance from the physiotherapist. Meanwhile, her children took turns accompanying her around the clock to provide care and support.
Happiness returned to Grandma Wong after seeing her family again, according to first daughter Ying. “I took Mom out to the garden whenever possible. One time, we found a shy plant and she was so amused by it. It was nice to see her smile again.” As her condition improved, Grandma Wong also enjoyed participating in the day activities offered at JCHH.
A Welcome Change
When Grandma Wong first arrived at JCHH, she was very weak and dependent on oxygen. By the end of her stay, she was well enough to be unburdened of any medical device. “No amount of medicine can cure you if your emotional needs aren’t met,” Sandy explained while clasping Grandma Wong’s hand. “When Mom needed us most, we found JCHH where her will to live was rekindled. For that, I will be forever grateful.”
Love conquers all, as the saying goes. After nearly a month at JCHH, Grandma Wong was discharged with the support of both her family and the palliative care team. She was eager to return to the nursing home, catch up with old friends and most of all, play boccia again.
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This information was published with permission from The Society for the Promotion of Hospice Care. You can click here to read their newsletter as well as the Mandarin text for this article.
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