Wednesday, Aug 23rd

Last updateWed, 11 Nov 2015 11am

Tuesday, 12 December 2006 15:42

Give Your Supporting Hands

Written by  Sorted by Sun Wei Hao, Tham Yok Seng and Ng Sin Lim / Translated by Tey Peh Leng

【Caring Case/Tampin.Nganas】

"I feel very grateful to you for because of you, he was well regarded and lived well with your love and concern. Now that he is gone and is no longer suffering, I feel so gratified" Nganas's mother said thankfully. Nganas's son, Jimmy, and his sister, En Ting, also came to attend the funeral.

 

Bukit Payung, which is about 15 minutes' drive from Tampin, is the largest village in Alor Gajah with about eighty families and four hundred villagers. About three decades ago, the area was surrounded by green trees, and the residents collected cane, cut wood and hunted for their livelihood. Due to the progress of society, the villagers are now tapping rubber, collecting produce from the jungle or having part-time jobs as their source of income.

Since their parents' do not have an adequate educational background, they do not place much emphasis on their children's education. Most children discontinued their studies even though they received government grants for education. For those from poor families, they even have to do extra work to help support their families. It is a common sight to find the locals living in poverty and insanitary conditions.

The 15 October 2006 was the first time that Tzu Chi volunteers from Tampin conducted a site visit to Bukit Payung. On that day, the villagers brought the volunteers to inspect the conditions of their living area.

Brother Zhang Yi Jing recalled, "Luo Zhang Xiang reported that there was a man in a wooden house who needed help. I knocked on the door, but there was no response. As I opened the door and stepped into the house, I smelt a bad odour. Lying in bed was Nganas. His hands were paralysed and his bed, which had three holes, was saturated . Due to Nganas' immobility and lack of care from families, he was left alone and confined to a limited space.

No baths for three years

On the afternoon of 19 October, several volunteers visited Nganas to help clean up his house. Zhang You Jia, who joined the activities for first time, said, "We go to a place nearby to get water for him to bath. I feel that I have to help him, even if it means cleaning up his filthy bed."
 
After getting Nganas' permission, the volunteers removed the bed's wooden planks, cleaned the house, and made a new wooden bed. Zhang Yi Jing then carried Nganas to the outside of the house and prepared a bath for him.

Sister Peng Jia Si said, "He has not bathed for the past three years, and as such, he has filth all over his body. We had to wash his body a few times until he was cleaned."

The forty-two year old Nganas stayed in the hospital for a couple of weeks after a car accident which happened three years ago. Upon discharge from the hospital, he could not walk. After a period of time, frustration stepped in and he became hot-tampered. As a result, his wife and two children left him and moved to the another village. Throughout the three years, he depended on his sister for his daily meals.

The doctor from TIMA, Melaka diagnosed that Nganas suffered from a heart condition which caused his legs to swell up, and ulceration to his left leg. Experienced in nursing, the volunteers treated Nganas, and taught his niece basic nursing care. Nganas' sister, Alus Besok, came voluntarily to learn more about her brother's condition after she had seen the work carried out by the volunteers. As a result of the care provided by Tzu Chi volunteers, Nganas' family accepted him.

Initially, Nganas was mentally affected by his condition and as such, all his family members except his sister, could not tolerate him. "We dare not get close to him," Alus said.

Yearn for Indian fried noodles

Alus still dared not pass a drink to his brother by hand but their relationship was on the mend. She cleaned the courtyard of his brother's house, together with Tzu Chi volunteers. The news about Tzu Chi volunteers helping Nganas spread throughout the whole village. His relatives and neighbours also came to help him voluntarily.

After witnessing the care and support from all the volunteers, Nganas showed his gratitude. The volunteers asked what he wanted to do and he replied that he wanted to apply for a replacement Identification Card. He also wanted to eat Indian fried noodles which the volunteers bought for him from town. Nganas said, "All of you have helped me a lot without expecting anything in return, and for this, I am very grateful." However, Nganas was not willing to listen to the volunteers' advice and go for treatment in the hospital.

Willing to be treated in the hospital

On 21 October, the volunteers went to visit Nganas again, and found that he was not optimistic about his condition and did not want to be admitted to the hospital. Therefore, the volunteers went to see Nganas' mother and hoped that she would be able to advise Nganas. The old mother, however, pushed the responsibility to the volunteers.

Brother Huang Sheng Bang said, "At the first meeting with him, it was not easy to persuade him. When I chatted with him about his childhood, he gave us a positive response. Slowly he recalled the incident which took place three years ago. 

"Now that I am paralyzed, my family has left me and all the happiness has disappeared." Nganas said sadly.

Sheng Bang advised him, "God has granted us this life on earth, as such, we should be grateful and be joyous!"

"Okay, I will go to the hospital!" Nganas did not resist anymore.

On 4 November, Tampin volunteers went to the Melaka General Hospital to visit Nganas, who was lying in bed 17. Seeing the volunteers was like seeing his family and he started a conversation with them.

"Did the Melaka Tzu Chi volunteers in uniform visit you?"

"Yes, they did. They are so nice! Very nice! Thank you so much." Nganas pointed his thumb upwards and said this repeatedly.

"Are you satisfied with the food here?" The friendly volunteers asked him. He nodded his head. The volunteers recalled that Nganas had told them that he liked to eat Fried Bee Hoon, and promised to buy some for his dinner. He then smiled happily.

Knowing that Nganas could be discharged from the hospital, the volunteers hurriedly went to clean up his house and changed his bedsheet, as well as washed his blanket. They also informed his family of the good news. Since Nganas was still very weak, and had difficulty in moving his body, the volunteers contacted the Tampin St. John's ambulance to ferry Nganas home from the hospital at 1pm on the 6th day.

On the journey back, sister told Nganas, "Your mother and your family are waiting for you at home." Nganas felt so touched and his tears rolled down his face. The ambulance drove into Bukit Payung, and when his mother saw his sickly and weak son, she walked towards Nganas and hugged and kissed his face. His sister also went closer to him and allowed him to hold her hands. This scene touched the volunteers and the neighbours.

The end of the hardship

Two months after being taken care of, Nganas finally passed away on 22 December. When volunteers heard about his demise, they were shocked. The volunteers had earlier arranged for him to rest at a medical care center but had to transfer him to the Melaka General Hospital when he had a relapse. On that day, he passed away at 9'clock in the morning.

Early the next morning, Tampin volunteers reached the hospital together with Nganas' sister and foster daughter to receive the body. Nganas' family cried sadly. Even sister Ye Guan Feng who had been concerned about his welfare until he passed away, cried too.

When Nganas' body was sent home, his mother said with gratitude, "I feel very grateful to you. Because of you, he lived in high regard with your love and concern. Now he is no longer suffering and I feel so gratified." The sixty-nine-year-old mother said with a little smile on her face.

Tzu Chi volunteers' good deed has touched the villagers. They also came to render their assistance. All the volunteers lined up with flowers in their hands, to bid Nganas farewell. Nganas' son, Jimmy, and his sister En Ting came out and when a volunteer tried to comfort Jimmy, he cried uncontrollably. It was believed that there was no longer hatred between the father and son.

When Nganas' sister was informed that his brother had passed away, she said very sadly, "I have been taking care of him for so long, and now that he has left, I feel very depressed. "Even though Nganas has not been kind to her, she missed her brother because of the love and affection she had for him.

 

Due to a road accident three years ago, Nganas had been bedridden since.【Photograph by Low Shi Yee】 The volunteers cleaned up the house for Nganas.【Photograph by Low Shi Yee】

Due to a road accident three years ago, Nganas had been bedridden since.【Photograph by Low Shi Yee】

The volunteers cleaned up the house for Nganas.【Photograph by Low Shi Yee】
The washing removed not just the dirt from his body but also the years of loneliness.【Photograph by Low Shi Yee】 At the Melaka General Hospital, medical personnel attended to Nganas. 【Photograph by Yen Chee Hau】

The washing removed not just the dirt from his body but also the years of loneliness.【Photograph by Low Shi Yee】

At the Melaka General Hospital, medical personnel attended to Nganas. 【Photograph by Yen Chee Hau】
Tzu Chi volunteers chanting sutra for Nganas.【Photograph by Ng Sin Lim】 Jimmy, son of Nganas, comforted by volunteers as he was sobbing away.【Photo provided by Tzu Chi Tampin】

Tzu Chi volunteers chanting sutra for Nganas.【Photograph by Ng Sin Lim】

Jimmy, son of Nganas, comforted by volunteers as he was sobbing away.【Photo provided by Tzu Chi Tampin】