HELP CHEER ON A DIABETIC MUM WITH HER QUADRIPLEGIC SON AND WHEELCHAIR-BOUND HUSBAND TODAY
18 June 2017
By Bompipi Care (Writer: Ruo-Mei Chua)
How We Learnt of Them
We first got wind of Mdm. Maznah’s case through a friend of ours. Our friend, Wen (not his real name), had been abandoned by his father since young and grew up struggling in a single-parent household. So it came as a shock when he learnt Mdm. Maznah’s son, Yuri, had spent the last 18 years of his life as a quadriplegic- unable to move his own body or communicate beyond the occasional grunt or effortful blink. Yet his parents have never given up on him.
Hopes Dashed at 21
Woon was shocked. At 39, Yuri was the same age as him. He’d suffered traumatic brain injury after a horrific car crash during his time as an NSF policeman left him severely crippled and unconscious at 21 years old. Once a tall dark and handsome young man, Yuri had big dreams- before NS, he’d interned with Manhattan Chase Bank and hoped to work in a bank one day. Now, those hopes were but pipe dreams that will likely never be fulfilled- and the photos remain as bitter-sweet reminders of what could have been.
After two months on life support in the hospital, doctors gave Mdm. Maznah and Mr. Ismail the choice to ‘cut Yuri off’. They refused, saying it was against their faith to do so. Moreover, this was their beloved son and- crippled or not- they will take care of him for all the days he is given.
That wasn’t an easy choice, financially. And it has only become harder. Yuri’s father, Mr. Ismail was the sole breadwinner of the family, working as a company driver till his failing health as a hereditary diabetic left him unable to work since 2008.
The Stoic Family with A Crushing Burden
If you look at Mr. Ismail, he doesn’t fit the typical bill of a suffering diabetic. At 62, he’s relatively slim- sporting a smaller paunch than others his age who are able-bodied. Most of all, it’s his cheery disposition that will blow you off your feet. Always smiling with quiet equanimity while his camera-shy wife looks on, Ismail is stoic as he recounts their monthly expenses for Yuri. It adds up to Around $600 a month for Yuri's expenses alone- barely covered by his police pension of less than S$1,000. Ismail and his wife receive no financial assistance except for the standard subsidies for dialysis, and must continue to pay off the down-payment for their modest HDB flat and regular utilities. For now, the family of 3 lives off Ismail's rapidly dwindling savings, with no sight of extra income on the horizon.
Mr. Ismail recently had his right foot amputated due to diabetic progression, and it seems now he has to cut off his other foot as well. That leaves him fully wheelchair bound- which means Mdm. Maznah, also a diabetic herself, has to take care of both her quadriplegic son and her now-handicapped husband.
Mdm. Maznah is a petite woman of great faith. Lovingly, she attends to her son- wiping off his drool, turning him every 2 hours to prevent bedsores, changing his diapers and injecting his stomach tube with his liquid Jevity. Before his amputation, Mr. Ismail used to be able to help with the heavy-lifting. Now he can’t, and the responsibility lies with Mdm. Maznah alone.
When asked how she will be able to cope as she herself ages and struggles with her diabetes, Mdm. Maznah replied, “I’ll just have to pray extra hard. I’ll do this for as long as I am able to.” She smiles, with quiet acceptance.
How You Can Help
Every dollar counts. 100% of your donation will go towards Mdm. Maznah and her family. The money will be used to help offset their daily expenses and will be clearly apportioned into categories, such as Yuri’s expenses, utilities, medical bills and so on. To offer you, the donor, accountability and peace of mind, Bompipi Care will help set up accounts with the respective vendors, e.g. we will make arrangements with the Jevity reseller here in Singapore, and credit the account with funds, so each time they buy their food, they can draw down on supplies- ensuring the food remains fresh while not having to worry about cost.
We hope to raise $25,000 through this crowdfunding, and a recurring monthly $1400 through 140 donors with $10 donation to last the family for a year. With the less than $1000 compassion funds from Singapore Police Force for Yuri, in total they should be able to get by with $2400 every month.
If this campaign goes well, Bompipi Care—the non-profit arm of social enterprise e-commerce retailer Bompipi- has plans to sponsor the fundraising campaigns of another 10 beneficiary families to ensure they get the support they need.
Courtesy from The New Paper