When Ms Jane Lee became a staff nurse at the National University Hospital’s medical intensive care unit, she fulfilled a childhood dream inspired by a charity that helped her lead a normal life.
She was born with a complex congenital heart disease that prevented oxygen-rich blood from going to her fingers and toes.
In 1989, aged five, she was sent to Australia for a vital operation after becoming the first beneficiary of the local chapter of the Ronald McDonald House Charity (RMHC).
Ms Lee, 29, recalled how, despite surgery, including an operation in the United States, she was frail and house-bound as a child.
“My fingernails, my lips – they would always be bluish. I couldn’t attend pre-school. My mum had to quit her job in accounts to look after me full-time,” said Ms Lee.
In 1989, her parents wrote letters to philanthropic organisations to seek funds for a major operation to give her a shot at a normal life.
A social worker passed her case on to the local chapter of the RMHC, which had just been set up. It donated $15,000 to send her to Melbourne for surgery to redirect the way blood flowed from her heart. It was a success.
RMHC has disbursed over $5million in grants since helping Ms Lee.
“I finally figured out that I want to work in a hospital, because this is where I feel the safest,” she said.
“If I could buy a house near here (the hospital), I totally would,” she added, laughing.
Source: The Straits Times