3 cases were referred to me during yesterday’s clinic duty. However, one particular case really stood out, to me, at least. Why? Because based on this lady’s condition, I was expecting someone who’d be feeling really sorry for herself and who’d expect to live totally on other people’s help.
When SN came into the room, pushing a lady on a wheelchair, at first I didn’t realise the lady didn’t have one leg. She was wearing a batik sarong and I was looking at her face instead of the whole body. I knew this had to be an exceptional case because since SN now has 2 assistants, usually either one of the assistants would be accompanying the patients to the counselling room. This time SN herself came to explain the case to me as this lady really needed all the help she could get.
Sarojini had her left leg recently amputated – right up to her thighs. She’s still married, but her husband, who works as a lorry driver felt that since he was not able to take care of her, decided to send her temporarily to a welfare home. Their 4 children have been sent to another shelter home for children in another town.
Imagine having had her left leg amputated, and finding out at the same time that she had HIV – wow! I wouldn’t be surprised if she gave up on life.
But nope, Sarojini has the strength and determination which I truly admire. No doubt she’s worried – not so much about herself, but about the future of her children. Apparently her husband was not the type whom she could depend on to take care of their children.
“Dia tada suka balik rumah la akka. Dia mau keluar enjoy sama kawan-kawan saja.”
Oh dear, no wonder she was sent to a welfare home. It’s not so much that he could not take care of her at home, I don’t think he was even willing to go through all the trouble. He comes home only as and when he likes and not even bothered to visit the children at the shelter home.
Sarojini, of course, in her condition, had not been able to visit her children either. But she makes it a point to call them every week without fail to speak to each and every single one of them.
Now, without one leg, Sarojini is determined to get out of the welfare home as soon as possible and get her children to stay with her again. She is determined to live on and earn a living for the sake of her children. She may have lost a leg, but as she said, “Saya punya tangan masih boleh jahit la akka. Kalau saya tada kerja, saya punya anak mau makan apa? Mau sekolah macam mana?”
Wow! I truly admire her determination. I know of people without any physical handicap who’d go round asking for financial assistance – giving all sorts of excuses why they can’t work.
Of course, at this very moment Sarojini needs help. First thing is to help her apply for all the available sources of income like welfare aid and socso. Once she can get a fixed monthly income, then only can she move out of the welfare home, and get her kids out of the shelter home to stay with her again. Then we’d need to ensure her children gets all the necessary schooling assistance. And since she mentioned she can sew and plans to do tailoring work to earn her own income, hopefully after a while she’d be able to earn enough to feed her family. Meanwhile, we will try to source for monthly groceries to be delivered to her.
I could see tears in Sarojini’s eyes when I assured her that we’d be helping her out especially pertaining to her children’s education.
“Terima kasih banyak akka. Sekarang saya tada susah hati, ada orang mau tolong saya punya anak. Kalau saya mati pun dia orang mesti mau terus sekolah.”
Hang in there lady. We are more than willing to help those who are willing to take the effort to improve their lives despite all the trials and tribulations. You may be down right now, but definitely not out yet…