In a Facebook post dated September 16, netizen Eugene Wee wrote a moving birthday tribute to his wife, Puu Kanokrat, who endured a painful 30-hour labor knowing she would give birth to their stillborn child, just so that the fetus could be donated to medical research.
The post struck a chord with fellow Facebookers, who have shared his post more than 3,500 times.
During the Singapore summit, a young delegate asked me "Eugene, do you think your wife is pretty?" My answer was…
Mr. Wee told the story of losing their 5 month old baby, still in utero, a few weeks ago. The baby was diagnosed with Trisomy 18, an extremely rare genetic condition found in one out of 6000 pregnancies. The Wee’s baby’s particular case had the most severe forms of the condition, which are physical deformations, mental disabilities and an incompatibility with life.
The pregnant mom was being looked after at Chiangmai University in Thailand, where doctors and medical studnets carefully studied the fetus, due to the baby’s highly unusual condition. At one point Ms. Kanokrat endured a 4-hour ultrasound while medical students were learning about the case, an ordeal both physically uncomfortable and mentally and emotionally difficult for her.
The faculty asked to have the fetus after it was born, for the sake of advancing medical knowledge, which meant that Ms. Kanokrat would endure many hours of labor only to deliver a child who was stillborn.
The mother said, “if my child needs to die, then it should not have to be in vain.”
She bore 33 hours of painful labor to deliver the fetus. At times her husband would offer her the possibility of surgical removal, but over and over again, she refused.
Mr. Wee wrote to the university that received their child’s remains, Dear medical students of Chiangmai University, if you are reading this, this will be the story behind the fetus with trisomy 18.
A story of faith, love and sacrifice, to journey with you, in hopes that you will better mankind.
And to Ms. Kanokrat, he wrote, “To my wife, my hero, my better half :Your faith, your conviction, your values, your sacrifice has inspired me to embark on this journey to make a difference.
Happy birthday! I’m flying back to be with you soon!”
Netizens have been full of admiration for Ms. Kanokrat’s strength and courage, whilst at the same time offering condolences for their loss.