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Aunt Germaine and Uncle Henry’s world nearly collapsed when they heard from their gynaecologist that their 5 months old foetus might be born with down syndrome – a medical condition that is typically associated with a delay in cognitive ability and physical growth which affects the quality of life significantly. Though the test they had gone through does not claim 100% accuracy, the probability was high in their situation as advised by their gynaecologist.
However, when presented with the option to abort, both decided that they would keep the foetus. They also decided to name her, Faith. 3 months later, Faith was born prematurely. She weighed only around 2 pounds and just 10 inches in length. However, to Aunt Germaine and Uncle Henry’s delight, she was a perfect normal baby.
Since young, Faith has been very a sensible and thoughtful child. When she reached home after school, she would make it a point to help out with the household chore before she proceed to do her homework. She would also help to get the groceries on behalf of Aunt Germaine and Uncle Henry when they are occupied.
Unfortunately, tragedy struck when all seem well. At the age of 10, Faith’s kidneys were severely infected due to a food poisoning incident and had to be removed urgently so that other organs would not be infected. Without an emergency kidney transplant, the doctor advised that Faith would need to undergo dialysis for her entire life.
Without hesitation, Aunt Germaine made the decision to donate one of her kidneys. Lying on the operating beds in adjacent theatres, Faith muttered apologetically, “Mama, I am sorry that I have to put you through all these.” Aunt Germaine responded, “Silly girl, you have been a wonderful daughter. It (kidney) is my gift of love to you.”
Fast forward 20 years, Faith is happily married to a lawyer with 2 children. She would call Aunt Germaine regularly to update about their grandchildren developments or discuss any topics under the sun. On 8 May 2011, Faith received a call from Uncle Henry. With a sad tone, he said, “Faith, your mum has a liver failure and is at the hospital now. She may not make it through tonight. The reason why I did not call you earlier is that your mama did not want you to worry.” After putting down the phone, Faith quickly made her way to the hospital. She had a word with the doctor and realised that a portion of her liver could be used to save Aunt Germaine’s life though there may be some form of complication risks as a liver transplant is a major sophisticated operation.
Without hesitation, she quickly agreed to take the compatibility test and eventually to undergo the transplant operation if her liver is found to be suitable. Within hours, the test result showed positive and both Faith and Aunt Germaine were pushed to the operating theatres. Both were lying on the operating beds beside each other in adjacent theatres when Aunt Germaine muttered, “Girl, mama is old already and has live long enough. You should not have taken this risk.” To this, Faith replied, “Mama, please do not say that. I cannot repay you enough for what you have done for me. Today is Mother’s day and it (liver) is my mother’s day gift to you.” After a 5 hour operation, the liver transplant was successful.
Till to date, both women never forget the significance of the Mother’s day on 8 May 2011.
Written by Chin Hock
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Chin Hock (Holdinghands in the Media)
Founder of Holdinghands and Filial Piety Award Recipient 2013