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Last updateWed, 11 Nov 2015 11am

Tuesday, 14 March 2006 11:43

Build The Bridge of Love, Taking Away The Pains and Sufferings

Written by  By Low Siew Lian / Translated by Le Wat Su

【Caring Case/Klang.Thivia】

Judging from the 'teeth filling' process, we can imagine how a simple task of brushing teeth can mean a 'big project' which requires the assistance of a few adults, day in day out. 【Photograph by Lim Yen Kuan】

At about 8.00pm on 14 March 2006, Dr Huang Xiao Wei, a dentist, closed her Klang Clinic after a hard day's work, and followed a volunteer, Lai Chi Yong, to Thivia A/P Thayalan's house to provide dental care. This marks the first dental outreach undertaken by the Klang TIMA.

Thivia suffers from cerebral palsy after contracting measles and has been bedridden since the age of thirteen. She is now seventeen and because of her condition, her physical and mental developments were also retarded.

Building the bridge of love

Thivia has been ill for the past four years, and in order to care for her, her mother, Sivaniswary A/P Raman, had to quit her kindergarten job. The sole breadwinner of the family is Thivia's father, Thayalan A/L Palaniandy, who works as a traffic police. Besides Thivia, there are two other siblings in the family, aged nine and thirteen respectively.

As Thivia grew older and her body weight increased, the task of carrying her up and down has been a heavy burden on her mother. As the family's financial situation still permits, they have engaged two maids to help take care of Thivia. In addition, Tzu Chi volunteers visit them on a monthly basis, providing the moral support and care  that they require.

Quite recently, Thivia's mother discovered that her daughter has a decayed tooth which needs to be attended to. A visit to the dentist has been delayed due to Thivia's immobility, and there was also the trouble of carrying her up and down the staircase for the family. It was not until last Thursday when Sivaniswary bumped into a Tzu Chi volunteer, Lai Chi Yong, who has visited the family a few times, and the problem was highlighted. Without delay, Brother Lai arranged for this  'house call'  dental treatment for Thivia.

The big project ─ tooth filling

Thivia was obviously very nervous to see Dr Huang. With a tube in her nose, she even frowned upon seeing the dental equipment. When Dr Huang commenced with the examination, Thivia struggled and cried for help; her mother and the maids had to hold her hands and legs in order to calm her down.

The first few attempts to examine Thivia's teeth were in vain as she refused to open her mouth or held on tightly to the equipment placed in her mouth. Dr Huang then resorted to using a soft mouth prop to hold Thivia's mouth at a certain position and eventually managed to carry out the examination.

The examination revealed that Thivia has no major dental problems except for one molar tooth that needed filling. This shows that she has been well taken of by the family.

Using the mouth prop, Dr Huang started to fill the molar while the others tried to calm her down by holding on to her hands and legs. This is indicative of the problems the family have to go through daily when brushing her teeth ─ a task that requires a few adults to help out.

After the treatment, Thivia's mother took out a tooth paste, rinsing water and sought Dr Huang's advice on how to keep her daughter's teeth healthy. While demonstrating the correct way of dental care to her mother, Dr Huang also complimented on the thorough care and attention that Thivia's mother has given to her daughter. Dr Huang then presented to the mother a piece of mouth prop in the hope that this simple equipment can assist her in her daily task of cleaning Thivia's teeth.

It was Dr Huang's intention to do a normal 'house call' and she did not expect this reaction from Sivaniswary who had this to say,  "I didn't expect a dentist who is willing to do a house call and treat my daughter; as well as provide such good care and attention."

A mother's problem was finally taken care of with assistance from Tzu Chi volunteers and Dr Huang's contribution. With the combined efforts from all concerned, Thivia managed to get the best dental treatment without having to leave her house.



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