Monday, May 01st

Last updateWed, 11 Nov 2015 11am

Saturday, 11 March 2017 16:57

An Adjustable Bed – The Most Welcomed Gift

Written by  Tan Kim Hion, KL & Selangor / Translated by Goh Hwe Yong

The adjustable bed made it easy for Batriyah, the stroke patient, to sit up more easily, with the help of her husband, Abdul Karim (left). [Photograph by Yong Mun Fei]

Tzu Chi volunteers presented an adjustable bed to Abdul Karim at his home. It was the most valuable gift he had waited for 12 years.


 
Abdul Karim bin Muhdur was extremely grateful to receive the most useful gift for his paralysed wife, Batriyah bte Bakri, who had been sleeping on a mattress placed on the floor for 12 years.
 
With the bed designed for patient’s special needs, Batriyah could easily sit up by holding on to her husband with one hand and to the bed rail with the other. In the past 12 years, helping her up had been physically taxing for Abdul Karim.
 
On March 11, 2017, volunteers who brought the much-needed bed to the family felt their efforts were rewarded, knowing that the bed was of great help to the couple. In fact, the bed, along with a second-hand sewing machine, was obtained only after a month-long search by volunteers led by Ho Chan Won.
 
Livelihood went up in a blaze
 
Abdul Karim earnestly learnt to adjust the bed into various positions, to ensure the greatest comfort for his wife. His true love for his wife was thus felt by all who witnessed.
 
Two fires that took place on February 2 and 3 had destroyed five houses in Kampung Pandan Dalam. Thirty-seven occupants were left homeless. The village head then called Tzu Chi office for volunteers to visit the fire victims at a temporary shelter.
 
During the visit, when volunteers distributed emergency cash, eco-blankets and other daily needs, they noticed a very sad Abdul Karim. Further conversation with him revealed that he had lost not only his rented house, but also his means of earning a living, which was a sewing machine.
 
Abdul Karim came to Malaysia from Indonesia with his wife about 30 years ago to look for a better life. They worked hard, with Abdul Karim working as a construction worker, while Batriyah was a cleaner. After the arrival of their son, Abdul Karim bought a sewing machine and earned some side income as a tailor.
 
Life was blissful for them until 2005, when Batriyah suddenly collapsed and became paralysed, due to hypertension.
 
“My wife was paralysed on the left, so she could only lie down all the time…” Abdul Karim’s tone reflected how deeply troubled and helpless he was about his future. He urgently needed to get a sewing machine so that he could earn a living again. At that time, he was renting a room from his relative.
 
Chan Won, who fully sympathized with Abdul Karim, then went to Tzu Chi’s recycling centres to look for a usable sewing machine.
 
Medical appointment overdue for five years
 
Chan Won did find one, but it was too old to use. By passing the message via mobile messaging, a better one was acquired. It was given a touch up and repair, and looked like new.
 
After ensuring it was in proper working condition, volunteers took the sewing machine to Abdul Karim on February 11. Abdul Karim was pleasantly surprised. He quickly tested the machine, and was very happy with what he had, though it was a manual machine.
 
When Abdul Karim led the volunteers to see Batriyah in the room, she was surprised. Volunteers put her at ease by explaining that they were trying to help them.
 
Abdul Karim explained that since Batriyah was struck down by a stroke, he was forced to give up his construction work to care for her. She totally relied on him for all her personal needs. Therefore, Abdul Karim had to work as a full-time tailor.
 
When illness first struck, he did take his wife for medical treatments. However, each visit meant spending quite a sum on transportation, and it was also physically tormenting for Batriyah due to the long wait at the clinic despite given a full body massage by the husband before leaving home.
 
Unable to see his wife in pain at the medical visits, Abdul Karim then decided to execute traditional massage on her at home instead of paying visits to the doctor. Thus, he slowly stopped taking her to the doctor.
 
It was five long years since she last visited a doctor. She was not on any medication for her hypertension. She looked alert, though she was involuntarily motionless on the left side. Even though she was well-taken care of by the husband, volunteers were still worried about her lack of medical care for her hypertension.
 
Abdul Karim also expressed that he was worried that Batriyah would never be able to stand up again. He related that when the fire broke out recently, it was only with the help of his 16-year-old son, Hafis Daniel, and other housemates that he managed to save his wife at the nick of time.
 
He knew very well that Batriyah would be in danger should any disaster occur in future. Only when she could stand on her feet would she be able to run for her life. But medical visits seemed beyond hope, for livelihood was already a problem.
 
Complete help
 
Looking at their dire situation, Chan Won looked to TIMA for help, hoping that doctors from TIMA could make medical home visit to Batriyah.
 
On March 6, Dr Soo Jia Yin, accompanied by volunteers concerned, visited Batriyah. She was found to have very high readings on her blood pressure. After some reassurance and some body massage, the reading dropped a little.
 
The doctor instructed Abdul Karim on how to massage Batriyah’s limbs. She also asked Batriyah to practise arm movements and body turning to avoid getting stiff in the end.
 
Under the doctor’s instructions, Abdul Karim tried straightening Batriyah’s left knee. She cried in pain, and was told pain was a good sign that there was still sensation in the said knee.
 
“No doctors had ever given her any home visit. Thank you so much!” Abdul Karim thanked the doctor repeatedly.
 
The doctor prescribed medications for Batriyah’s hypertension. The following day, Chan Won obtained the medications from Tzu-Chi Free Clinic for Batriyah, which he passed to Abdul Karim at his home. At the same time, Chan Won reminded Abdul Karim to administer them as prescribed. And, as Batriyah was faced with the risk of a second stroke due to her rather high blood pressure, Chan Won applied to Tzu Chi KL & Selangor for the purchase of a blood pressure monitor so that Abdul Karim could check her blood pressure regularly.
 
When Chan Won asked Abdul Karim whether he needed a bed for Batriyah too, he nodded urgently.
 
Dr Soo then suggested Chan Won to get something like a hospital bed, adjustable for the patient’s comfort, and for easier care by Abdul Karim. “Favouring conditions always prevail when good deeds are carried out. We found an adjustable sick bed that looks new at the recycling centre,” remarked a happy Chan Won.
 
A long road to rehabilitation
 
Without further ado, a truck was arranged to deliver the bed on March 11. Volunteers helped Abdul Karim to move Batriyah up onto the bed. She did not feel at ease until she was snugly in bed. She then told the volunteers that she had a bad experience of falling off her bed 12 years ago, that was why she chose to sleep on the floor.
 
Chan Won also presented the blood pressure monitor to Abdul Karim, and taught him how to handle it. From the readings, it was obvious the medications worked for Batriyah’s blood pressure. Chan Won reminded Abdul Karim again about the medication and massaging for Batriyah.
 
Abdul Karim seemed more relaxed, but the volunteers were fully aware that this was only the first step of helping her on her long road to rehabilitation. They discussed the possibility of helping to take Batriyah to the Free Clinic for follow-ups and physiotherapy, or even acupuncture treatment at the same time for a faster recovery.
 
Abdul Karim deeply appreciated the volunteers’ sincere wish for his wife to get well. He stood for a long while waving to volunteers as they left.

  

Fire destroyed five houses in Kampung Pandan Dalam on February 2 and 3, and left 37 occupants homeless. Tzu Chi volunteers went to the scene to survey for help needed. [Photograph by Lim Chin Shein]   Abdul Karim received emergency cash and other aid in kind from Tzu Chi volunteers. [Photograph by Lim Chin Shein]

Fire destroyed five houses in Kampung Pandan Dalam on February 2 and 3, and left 37 occupants homeless. Tzu Chi volunteers went to the scene to survey for help needed. [Photograph by Lim Chin Shein]
 
Abdul Karim received emergency cash and other aid in kind from Tzu Chi volunteers. [Photograph by Lim Chin Shein]
 
Volunteer Ho Chan Won (right) managed to find a used sewing machine, and made it look brand new after some minor repairs and touch up. [Photograph by Lim Chin Shein]   Happy was Abdul Karim to get the sewing machine, though it was an old-fashion, manually operated one. [Photograph by Lim Chin Shein]

Volunteer Ho Chan Won (right) managed to find a used sewing machine, and made it look brand new after some minor repairs and touch up. [Photograph by Lim Chin Shein]
 
 
Happy was Abdul Karim to get the sewing machine, though it was an old-fashion, manually operated one. [Photograph by Lim Chin Shein]
 
A stroke patient for 12 years so far, Batriyah (right) relied solely on her husband, Abdul Karim (2nd right), for all her personal needs. Abdul Karim was indeed very worried about her condition. [Photograph by Lim Chin Shein]   Dr Soo Jia Yin made a medical home visit to Batriyah and taught Abdul Karim how to care for his wife. [Photograph by Lim Chin Shein]

A stroke patient for 12 years so far, Batriyah (right) relied solely on her husband, Abdul Karim (2nd right), for all her personal needs. Abdul Karim was indeed very worried about her condition. [Photograph by Lim Chin Shein]
 
 
Dr Soo Jia Yin made a medical home visit to Batriyah and taught Abdul Karim how to care for his wife. [Photograph by Lim Chin Shein]
 
With the adjustable bed, taking care of his wife will be easier for Abdul Karim (1st left); and his wife will have a bed to sleep on safely. It was a much needed gift. [Photograph by Yong Mun Fei]   Volunteers invited Batriyah’s son, Hafis Daniel (centre), to comfort her through chit chats. [Photograph by Yong Mun Fei]

With the adjustable bed, taking care of his wife will be easier for Abdul Karim (1st left); and his wife will have a bed to sleep on safely. It was a much needed gift. [Photograph by Yong Mun Fei]
 
 
Volunteers invited Batriyah’s son, Hafis Daniel (centre), to comfort her through chit chats. [Photograph by Yong Mun Fei]