When a JKM officer called me up last Friday regarding arranging for a home for Amy’s father, Ramli, I told the officer about the existence of a non-religious based shelter home up north. I told her I’d have to check with the home and then discuss the matter further with Amy.
Since it was already a Friday, I figured I’d make the necessary calls on Monday.
Came Sunday evening, a text message came in from Amy, saying that the JKM officer told her that I had managed to find a home for her father. Wah, kita belum apa lagi the officer already told her dah dapat tempat??? Was she trying to lepas tangan or what?
I told Amy I’d be calling her on Monday after I call up the shelter home. Even though chances were that there should be no problem for them to accept Ramli at the home, I’d still have to check first… who knows, they may be fully occupied, or they may have changed policies on accepting people to the home.
On Monday morning, before I could call up the home, I received another call, this time from a district hospital. A doctor sought my help to find a place to stay for a male patient, Chong, who had been hospitalised for a few months already. Chong could have been discharged earlier, but because he didn’t have a place to stay, he was transferred from Ipoh GH to the district hospital. Now even the doctors at the district hospital felt that despite his HIV, Chong is already healthy enough to work. Only problem is, before he can start finding a job, he’d need a place to stay.
Again, I told the doctor about the existence of the shelter home up north. The doctor then passed the call to Chong so I could speak to him personally. After confirming that Chong was indeed agreeable to move up north, I jotted down his contact number and told him I’d call him back once I could confirm the home would accept him. Chong then asked if I could get a Chinese-speaking volunteer to call him. I agreed, to reduce the possibility of miscommunication.
Good thing that call came in before I called the person in charge at the shelter home. Otherwise I would have had to call the home twice.
Anyway, by now the lady at the home had already stored my number in her handphone, so there was no longer a need for introduction when I called. There was no problem whatsoever for the home to accept the 2 cases. They are even willing to help out Chong to look for a suitable job. Only thing was that the lady reminded me to remind Ramli’s family to come and visit from time to time and not just dump him there and goodbye forever! Well yes, that was what I had in mind too – to advise Amy to visit the father whenever possible.
Immediately after the call to the shelter home, I called a Chinese colleague of mine, to inform him of Chong’s situation. I told him I’d be giving him all the necessary details, after which he’d need to call and talk to Chong, and tell him what to do. Chong’s problem, settled.
Next person to call was Amy. I told her about the home, and, not wanting her to be too dependent on others, told her to make the necessary arrangements to transfer her father’s appointments from Ipoh GH to the hospital nearer to the shelter home, to make it easier for the people at the shelter home to bring him for his hospital appointments. I taught her how to go about, and that she need not bring her father to Ipoh to get the necessary referral letters from the doctor.
When I gave her a friendly advise that she should be visiting her father from time to time once she sends her to the shelter home, Amy said, “Memang kami nak melawat, bukan nak tinggalkan terus. Nak hantar ni pun saya serba salah, tapi saya betul-betul dah tak upaya nak jaga dia.”
I hope she meant what she said.