Wednesday, 23 April 2008

I Hate Bad News

I hate bad news, I really do. They get me down and I feel lousy throughout the whole day. Bad news should be outlawed. No one is suppose to bring bad news. Yes, I know, it is a stupid thing to ask for but I was just saying what I feel out loud.

Okay, what brings about this stupid outburst? We have to start from the beginning. I have a friend who is also a neighbour in the block next to mine. Daphne knows the family. The husband is a school clerk and the missus a housewife. They are an average family, not rich, but happy. The wife supplements the family income by baby-sitting, much like my wife, meaning my family too is just an average family. The husband used to moonlight driving a taxi in the evenings. Life is hard here in Penang living on a clerk's salary and should I add, a teacher's.

This couple has two daughters, one 19 and the other 8. Yes, quite far apart. I don't know if it was by design or some difficulties. The wife is a very close friend of my missus. One day about a year and a half ago, when my wife visited her, she cried. She said she was pregnant. My wife asked why greet such good news with tears of sadness? She said she was already approaching 40 and that economically, they were not prepared to have another child.

Upon scanning, they found that the baby they were about to have was a boy. I could see the change in the father's face. He was extra cheerful. Like all Asian families, they too would like to have a boy to sort of complete the whole set. Soon it was time for her to deliver but we heard no news from them. It was about a month or so that my wife and another friend decided to pay the wife a visit because there simply wasn't any communication from her.

As they walked in they were greeted with tears again, and again it was tears of sadness. The wife told my wife and her friend that her boy is suffering from Down Syndrome. That was when, Daphne visited my house for Raya and during our conversation, I spoke about it. She then contacted her friend who has a Down Syndrome baby herself and that friend of hers visited the lady and told them how to handle such a situation.

I could see that the wife was cheerful once again. Having a Down Syndrome baby means full time work, so the father quit his part-time work of driving a taxi to be with the baby more. The wife who usually baby-sits about 3 children, reduced the number to only one. Things got hard, but they were happy. I could see the joy in the husband's face as he carries his baby boy around, although the baby is not really normal.

The baby is now about 7 months old. Yesterday my wife paid them a visit and was again greeted with sadness. This time it's a sadness that would not go away; a sadness that cuts deep into one's heart. The wife told her that, the baby boy has a hole in the heart. It was confirmed by the specialist in the Penang GH. I was taken aback. I was quiet for a while but then said that this condition is quite common and that countless operations have been done to correct this abnormality. Then my wife broke the knockout news. The doctors said that this particular abnormality cannot be operated on. The baby would suffer this added malady for the rest of his, it seems, brief life.

The wife told my missus that the baby could expect to reach, at most, 15 years of age, that is if he does not suffer anything serious arising from the hole in his heart. I couldn't say anything for quite sometime. The only thing that I could say is that they get a second opinion. My wife told me that they intend to do just that but private specialists are very expensive.

Yes, in the end it comes to money, which not many us average people have to spare. I know they would do whatever there is within their means. They would beg borrow or steal, maybe not steal, but they would give their lives to save this one life. That is why, I don't like bad news, I hate bad news. Should there be any, let it be the type that could be remedied not this devastating type. I hate bad news, I really do.


Zabs said...

Salam Chegu,
Kita hanya boleh simpati dengan keluarga ini. Mungkin Ramai akan berkata, ada hikmah di sebalik apa yang dijadikan Allah itu. Tetapi bagaimana berat sekali mata memandang, tentu berat lagi tangungan keluarga ini.
Semoga mereka dapat menghadapi dugaan ini dengan tabah. InsyaAllah.

monsterball said...

kata tak nak...So sad to hear that bad news...but there are worst bad news than your friends...and hope they will be enlightened with the truths of life.
I have a friend...with two more than 20 years old. From day one ..born...both children have water in their heads....and need to pumped out monthy. They are not ordinarychildren. Cannot be married.
The father is a successful worker with a degree..and he needs to spend half of his salaries...all his take care of those two daughters.
Now the father is more than 60 years old...still working...but medical bills are much lesser...supported by good government hospital....providing free or low fee for consultations...operations and medicine.....but he still needs to buy health food and other medicines he feel good for his daughters...and that cost him a pile....every month too. He is a Pharmacist...thus he knows about good as a doctor.
An just last week.....a retired teacher friend of mine.age 70....just enjoying few years of great life...with two daughters married two brothers..good husbands...and all love him so much....producing 3 grand children.
He lived in fishing...riding a motor cycle. I gave him a car worth RM17K...telling him to stop riding a bike at his age.
He sold his house and car.also fr RM17K.after few years.still same value......and moved to stay with daughters in K.Lumpur.
Last week..he met with an accident...riding his bike..and died. He was my childhood best friend.
He struggled all his give his two daughters education..and both have degrees....wife and much.
He was at prime of his relax and enjoy a blissful contented life....without worries nmore...but he is so used to riding a motor bike...and that took his life away. Had he listened to my advise...kept the car I gave him...he should be alive today.
I have few good friends...all died young too.
I hope your couple friends read this...and learn to let go.
Trully...children are born from the wombs of mothers....but the souls are not from them.
It's the right condition of sex....that attract the soul give personalities....character.....usually different from parents.
In shot...we are simple...temporary "parents" be responsible...and let them fly their own destinies.
So if dead...there must be reasons and purposes..not easy to understand...but need to be their time is up...on Earth.

tokasid said...

Salam Che'gu:

That is the test that many average incomed ppl have to go through these days.

Its like sudah jatuh ditimpa tangga mata pulak di patuk ayam.

I think this is where the Jabatan Kebajikan Masyarakat should play their role, to help families like these. And in helping with less red-tape and procedure like robots but with more humane and compassion. And hopefully families like these doesn't need the recommendation from Ketua Kampung or JKKK before Welfare Dept entertains their applications.

Daphne Ling said...

Hi Chegu,

Actually, I have never met the family myself...The last time I went with my parents, they were out ma...Which is why we passed the gift through you...

Anyway, this IS sad news...But I wanted you to know that I have worked with a Downs child who is now 18 years old, who has a very severe heart condition...

She gets blue just by walking (long time)...

BUT...She is doing well, in the sense that she goes to school, and she even goes horse-riding! Seriously...

The doctors told her mum she won't live for long either, but she's doing well, under her circumstances...

What Im trying to say is that there is hope...Im not trying to downplay the situation, k?

I know it sucks big time, but I guess the most we can do is to give the family the support they need, whteher it be financially or emotionally, or just being there...

Let me know if I can be of help...

suealeen said...

this is the same case like one of my friends. anak down syndrome, pastu ada hole in heart. saya panggil kawan saya ni dengan nama Wak. anak dia 8 orang, tinggal di padang jawa. rumah sewa dia tu ada 1 bilik tido je. kerja dia pun tak menentu jugak...

anak dia masih hidup sehingga kini. umo lebih kurang 4-5 tahun kot. part paling best - adik-beradik dia tak sisihkan dia pun. hopefully Allah gives her long life, insyaAllah

Mat Salo said...


So sedih. Like Tokasid said, fall from stairs, staircase fall on you, and the snake bite your eyes .. I know.. in translation it doesn't quite gel.

Joke aside, the only thing to do is provide as much love and joy to this boy. No matter how brief his life is, with love, even if its for a very short time ... will be worth it. I think the parents and siblings are up for it.

Encouragement and a little fulus is just what the family needs...

OK, I'll put my money where my mouth is. Depa ada MBB account kah chegu? Kalau takda chegu ada?... lani nak tolong sket... Email me chegu ASAP.

Kata Tak Nak said...

That's the worst part, we could only look and see and not be able to do anything. Just imagine how the parents would feel.

Kata Tak Nak said...

Yes, we have to accept reality but sometimes reality is just too hard.

Kata Tak Nak said...

I don't know if the JKM would be any help. By the time you eventually get help, the baby would have been dead.

Kata Tak Nak said...

I'll tell them about what you said. I'll let you know if there is any way you could help. Thanx

Kata Tak Nak said...

Yes, life can be very testing. I pun tak tau apa nak buat.

Kata Tak Nak said...

I'll have to ask them first. Kita tak tau sama ada dia mau atau tak. Actually they should accept any help that is forthcoming. Anyway I tak ada Maybank account. Thanx.

Life is like that!!!! said...

Hello Chegu..

Hmm this is very sad..and they can't afford to go to a specialist...Is it possible to get some details about this family..possibly maybe I could speak to a few people that could help out this family..If you don't mind could you email me the details to my email

Don said...

Feel so sad and touched by these reality of life. But not much different when we feel sorry without action. Please also do e-mail me the account number if the family sudi. Maybe the small amount that i barely can afford won't make any different to them, but at least we do our part. My e-mail: pantaier at gmail dot com.


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