Being the eldest in your sblings is never easy.

Being an eldest in your siblings is never easy. All the burden and responsibilities will be passed to you, after your parents. I totally felt it when my dad was first diagnosed with colon cancer stage 3. I was in my second year of my degree, and had to hold my studies for a while to take care of the siblings, as my mom was fully needed by my dad. In this case, my mom was the hero and I was just the person who took care of my siblings. I'm just blessed that my dad survived those chemotherapy days and now, I can proudly call him a cancer survivor. This, inspired me to study hard in finishing my degree.

But our family was strike again with another test, where my mom was in coma for almost 4 months last year. It was a sudden news; my mom looked fine in the morning, we had our family time and suddenly, she fell down in her room. We rushed her to the hospital, and she was admitted to the ICU directly. The next day, her doctor decided to perform craniotomy, a surgical procedure to her skull to remove the excess fluid in her brain. She was put to sleep because she was in pain, and we never heard her voice after that. She also had tracheostomy since she had difficulties in breathing.

You see, looking at your loved one with all the wires and machines, not knowing whether she can hear you or she's gonna wake up again was extremely hard. But I had high hopes that she's gonna wake up and see us again. I even told my siblings to not cry in front of her; even she couldn't see us, because I was so afraid that she would see us sad.

All praise to Lord, she woke up again. But because she had the tracheostomy tube, she couldn't speak to us directly at that moment. She went to all physiotherapy and occupational therapy sessions that we scheduled so she could gain her functions back. Now, she's having her good time with my dad, even though she's not quite the same person as before.

Looking back at those times, I would feel grateful to still have my parents, after all that we've been through. My sacrifices were not that much, I just went back and forth for my work and my family, but it actually meant everything.
Afiqah Abd Ghani