Former People’s Action Party (PAP) MP Amrin Amin was among those who paid respects to a Woodlands resident who tragically passed away on the day she was supposed to celebrate her son’s O-Level results last week.
Joyful that her son had passed his O-level examinations and qualified for the course he was set on taking, preschool teacher’s assistant Or Cheng Khim decided to pick up sushi on her way home from work on Tuesday (12 Jan).
Ms Or’s son had been worrying about the possibility of failing the national exams before getting his results and his proud mother wanted to surprise him and celebrate his achievement by getting his favourite food – but she never returned home.
The 52-year-old was hit by a lorry at the junction of Yuan Ching Road and Yung Kuang Road in Jurong, just a short distance from her home. She was critically injured and conveyed unconscious to Ng Teng Fong General Hospital, where she passed away from her injuries on Thursday (14 Jan).
Ms Or’s son, 17-year-old Ng Song Chin, told The New Paper: “When I realised my mother was late for dinner, I called her mobile phone. A doctor answered and told me that she was in the hospital. I was very shocked and scared.”
Song Ching and his 15-year-old sister subsequently went to the hospital and met their relatives there, including their grandparents who are in their 70s.
The teenager told the publication that his mother had always given him the freedom to carve out his own path and was happy as long as he was. Revealing that he had planned to discuss his future plans with his mother during that fateful night, Song Ching said: “She was happy with my results. We thought I was not going to do well, but it was good enough for me to apply for the course I want.”
Ms Or’s younger sister, 42-year-old Samantha Or, told TNP that doctors informed the family that Ms Or was in critical condition and that a scan had revealed severe swelling in the brain. The family subsequently agreed to donate Ms Or’s organs, including her kidneys, liver and corneas.
Ms Or’s brother, 48-year-old Or Zhi Cai, added that the donation of her sister’s corneas would not only aid others but can also help her to continue to see the world. He told the Chinese daily:
“This would, to some extent, bring comfort to our family. Our mother also remarked that Or would still be able to see the world. Our family was thinking if there was a day outside and we encounter a pair of familiar-looking eyes, perhaps it may be hers.”
On his mother’s organ donation, Song Ching said: “This is something that we knew my mother would have wanted. She was a generous person who liked to help others.”
On Wednesday (20 Jan), Mr Amrin revealed that he visited Ms Or’s wake and paid his respects after he was alerted to her passing by a social media follower.
Calling Ms Or a “most gentle and kind person,” Mr Amrin said that his heart sank as he spoke with her family at the wake. He wrote: “I can only imagine the depth of their pain and sorrow.”
Praising Ms Or and her family for their decision to donate her organs, the former Sembawang GRC MP added: “Even in death, Ms Or gives with her kidney, liver and corneas donation. May our condolences console Ms Or’s family during this very painful time.”
Mr Amrin was not the only one who was touched by Ms Or and her family’s memories of what a positive person she was. Interviews Ms Or’s family gave the press in the wake of her untimely passing inspired many who appreciated the zeal Ms Or had for life.
Describing his mother as an active person who enjoyed balloon sculpting and raising caterpillars at home, Song Ching said that his mother loved nature and also enjoyed growing numerous kinds of plants and flowers.
With a penchant for making arts and crafts, Ms Or had stumbled upon the art of sculpting balloons some years ago. Aside from bringing joy to children at schools and private celebrations with her work as a freelance balloon sculptor, Ms Or was even invited to sculpt balloons at a function hosted by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong in his home.
She was also a part of a local team that achieved a Guinness World Record in 2012 for the largest balloon sculpture.
Ms Or also had a hobby of rearing up to 50 caterpillars at any one time and releasing them as grown butterflies into the wild. She actively volunteered at the Bukit Panjang Butterfly Garden, as well.
Ms Samantha Or added that her elder sister always kept busy and had a newfound interest in baking. Revealing that her sister used her SkillsFuture credit to sign up for cooking courses two months before her untimely passing, she said: “She always wanted to upgrade herself and learn new skills.”
To pay tribute to Ms Or, some of her balloon sculpting friends came together to build a butterfly-themed sculpture comprising 3,000 balloons for her wake. The effort took 18 people sculpting balloons non-stop for five hours. One of the sculptors told the press: “It is a good way to send her off.”
Ms Or’s family also made butterfly and dragonfly stickers and put it up at the wake, in the hope that her beloved butterflies and balloons can accompany her on her final journey.
The police have arrested a 69-year-old male lorry driver for careless driving causing death and investigations are ongoing. Ms Or’s sister, however, told the press that their family has forgiven the driver.
She said: “It was difficult for our family, but we are doing what my sister would have done. She was forgiving and helpful.”
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