Red Cross Memories: Choo Peck See and mother, Mdm Teo Choon Kim

I was busy preparing for my ‘O’ levels, my mother came down with a stroke. Overnight, my father and I became my mother’s caretakers. I was only 16 years old then and I was the only child.

Unfortunately, within the year, I was also diagnosed with kidney failure. Dialysis took its toll on me. After a renal transplant in 1992, the anti-rejection medication slowed down my healing process. Minor knocks and cuts would result in large bruises on my limbs. I lost my father when I turned 28. In May this year, I learnt from the doctor that my kidney had collapsed. I am undergoing kidney dialysis again.

My mother, 65, suffers from diabetes and stroke. She relies on me as her only caretaker. As we do not have an income, we rely solely on gifts from our relatives. Our maid was paid by our relatives. Amid the visits to the hospital or eye centre for routine check-ups and blood tests, we try to maintain an optimistic outlook and we are grateful for all we have received.

We have been utilising Singapore Red Cross’ TransportAid service to shuttle between home and hospital for six years. Through these six years, we have developed a close relationship with TransportAid responders.

The TransportAid team does not just provide transportation, they also provide their priceless gift of friendship. Laughter alleviates pain, and conversations with them help take our minds off our worries. The TransportAid responders are very patient, they treat everyone with respect and good humour, we really enjoy every interaction with them.