Sometimes, I pray to God to take Siti Home first, so I don't have to worry that no one will take care of her when I pass on.
My name is Madam Jamilah. I stay in a HDB-flat in Geylang Bahru with my husband, two daughters and son-in-law. I used to lead a fairly normal life, with nothing unusual. But when my daughter, Siti Nurlela, was born premature, blind and with cerebral palsy 33 years ago, many things changed and I had to become a full-time caregiver to her.
It has been a lot of hard work raising Siti in her condition. She is unable to walk or talk, and requires supervision throughout the day. Her condition also puts immense strain on our finances. On top of medical bills, we also have to pay for adult diapers and milk powder. My husband’s health condition is getting worse too. The doctor has recommended that he gets a pacemaker, but we are unable to afford it right now.
I’ve also applied to multiple organisations for financial aid without much success. My husband works two jobs back-to-back with barely enough time to rest, but it is only enough to cover a portion of our expenses. Thankfully, we do get support from Home Nursing Foundation. Susan, one of their nurses, comes to assist us with changing Siti’s feeding tube so that we don’t have to go to the hospital to get it done. They also provide us with some adult diapers that has been donated to them. These little things have definitely brought some relief amidst the strains.
It is also extremely strenuous to bring Siti around. The wheelchair and Siti’s combined weight come up to about 80kg. I applied for a dedicated ramp to be built for Siti, but was rejected because Siti is not above 55 years old. But the wheelchair is also a reminder of the help we have received from both friends and family. My husband’s colleague of 25 years had rallied and raised funds for Siti’s wheelchair. And the other wheelchair Siti needs to use when bathing was paid for by pooling together funds from our relatives.
Sometimes, I pray to God to take Siti Home first, so I don't have to worry that no one will take care of her when I pass on. But till then, all I know is that no matter how difficult it becomes, I must persevere for my family.
Mdm Jamilah Bte Jabin