I want to show my two daughters that women are strong and can overcome any situation when we put our minds to it

I was 21-years-old and feeling really excited 29 weeks into my first pregnancy. Everything was going really well and my husband and I could not wait to meet our first child. My husband accompanied me when I went for a check-up with my gynaecologist. It was supposed to be just another routine check-up when my doctor informed me that my blood pressure was dangerously high and my baby was at risk – she had to be delivered immediately.

I was in shock as I felt fine. There were no negative symptoms at all, so it was really an unexpected news. I was unable to accept the news when they rushed me to the hospital for an emergency Caesarean. I was completely devastated as I was worried about the risks to my newborn who was only 1.2kg. My doctor informed me that my baby would need to stay in an incubator for another 2 months until she was healthy enough.

I cried a lot during this period as I couldn’t bear the thought of leaving my baby girl behind when I was discharged. To make matters worse, I had to visit the hospital and breastfeed my baby every day. I went through the pain of leaving her behind over and over again when it was time for me to go home.

I am fortunate to have my parents and husband supporting me, giving me words of encouragement to stay strong for my baby’s sake. I would not have pulled through this difficult period if not for them. I focused on positive things and felt blessed that my baby did not have any serious health condition despite being born so early.

This experience has strengthened me and taught me the importance of family. I also learnt that whatever difficulty I have, I can overcome it. I did not have the opportunity to study when I was younger and always wanted to upgrade myself. So, last year, at 39, I pursued my dreams and completed my Diploma in Service Management while juggling work, family and studies. I am now planning to go for my advanced diploma.

I am proud of our nation - the government has helped people overcome challenging times with the various Covid-19 support measures. I also want to contribute and do my part to help in any way I can. When the opportunity came for me to volunteer at the dormitories, I immediately signed up!

During the Ramadan period, the PPE can be quite unbearable in the hot and humid dormitory environment. I felt dehydrated as my body was drenched in perspiration and my last sip of water was at 4.30am. But when I saw the fear and helplessness of the foreign workers, I persevered with my discomfort and put my personal needs aside. Many of the foreign workers did not know what was happening due to the abundance of false information being circulated. I conversed with them in Tamil whenever I could, to reassure and explain that with early diagnosis and care, the chances for recovery were good.

I am glad that I volunteered and did my part as a healthcare worker. I want to show my two daughters that women are strong and can overcome any situation when we put our minds to it.
Ali Fathimah Binte Mohamed Hassan

About Ng Teng Fong General Hospital & Jurong Community Hospital

The Ng Teng Fong General Hospital (NTFGH) and Jurong Community Hospital (JCH) are members of the National University Health System (NUHS), a leading academic health system and one of three public healthcare clusters in Singapore.

Known as the JurongHealth Campus, NTFGH and JCH are Singapore’s first integrated healthcare development designed and built together from the ground up. Designed around the patients’ needs, the twin development enables NTFGH patients who no longer require acute care to be easily transferred to rehabilitate and recuperate in JCH. Both hospitals are also managed by one healthcare team to facilitate integration at all levels to enable better patient care, greater efficiency and convenience. NTFGH is also the first in Singapore and ASEAN to attain HIMSS EMRAM Stage 7, with JCH at HiMSS EMRAM Stage 6 – an achievement which recognises hospitals with the highest level of adoption and utilisation of electronic medical record functions.

As part of an integrated academic health system, NTFGH and JCH, in collaboration with partners in the healthcare continuum, aims to transform healthcare to deliver holistic and seamless patient-centred care.

For more information, please visit www.ntfgh.com.sg | www.jch.com.sg | www.nuhs.edu.sg

Delivering ‘Incredible care and health, together!’