Sengkang GRC MP Jamus Lim was quick to offer help to a cancer-stricken resident, after finding out that she has been going for her chemotherapy treatments alone since her daughter is stuck abroad.
In a Facebook post published on Saturday (24 Oct), Dr Lim said that he found out that Mdm Zhuang is living alone in her daughter’s apartment during a series of house visits on Friday evening (23 Oct). Mdm Zhuang’s daughter is working overseas and cannot return home to accompany her mother to the hospital because of travel restrictions brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Mdm Zhuang told the Workers’ Party (WP) MP that she takes a bus to Sengkang General Hospital and takes a taxi home whenever she has to go for chemotherapy treatments since she does not know anyone who can help take her home.
Dr Lim said he was prompted to offer Mdm Zhuang his team’s help after hearing her story. He wrote: “One resident, Mdm Zhuang, explained that she was living alone—in her daughter’s apartment—while the latter was working abroad. This isn’t entirely unusual, except that Mdm Zhuang was also undergoing chemotherapy.
“As a result of #COVID19-related restrictions, however, her daughter had been unable to return for even brief stints, to aid her during her scheduled treatments. She shared that she had been taking a bus to Sengkang General each time, then taking a taxi home by herself, because nobody she knew was available to help take her home after each round.
“We immediately offered to assist her with her next session, and hopefully, we will be able to continue to support her until her daughter returns.”
In the same post, Dr Lim described how the house visits he conducted the previous night gave him a “visceral reminder of the vastly different experiences that Singaporeans are facing as a result of the pandemic.” He described meeting a young family whose bonds have been strengthened amid the pandemic and wrote:
“Another family related their comparatively happier COVID-19 circumstances. They had young boys, and one had just completed his PSLE. The pandemic, while presenting challenges in terms of home-based education, nevertheless offered an opportunity for the family to foster stronger bonds at home.”
Sharing that understanding these varied realities help his team shape policies, Dr Lim added: “The very different realities faced by Singaporean households in navigating COVID-19 is something we think about a lot, and we hope that we can help shape policy that avoids the emergence of large inequalities as a result of the crisis.”