I’ve been helping out with The Sunday Times ‘This Week in 1965’ page, that looks back on news events 50 years ago. Last week, I wrote about the first few patients in Singapore who went through an open heart surgery. I tried searching for them but could not find records or contacts of them anywhere. I found the surgeon, Dr N.K. Yong, who carried out the operation, but he, too, had no idea what had happened to them, neither did the National Heart Centre.
Then I got a pleasant surprise early last week when one of them, Maureen Lim Gek Lian, contacted me to say she is one of the patients I mentioned. And because I had left ST, she found me through this blog! I met her last Friday, and had a good time chatting with her while my kids were in school. She’s a bubbly, cheerful lady, full of gratitude for life and the people in her life.
In the last 50 years, she had often hoped she would one day have a chance to thank the doctor who saved her life. While he was unable to meet up with us last week, I’m glad I helped them to reconnect on the phone on Friday.
Stories like these keep me going (albeit on a freelance basis!), and remind me about why I went into journalism 12 years go – to make a difference in someone’s life.