I am not sure if the title is translated correctly. These are scanned pages of this month (June 2009) Feminine chinese magazine. Enjoy~
This is getting out of hand. While I enjoy that the awareness on organ donation increased, I do not really enjoy the focus on me donating the liver.
I MC-ed for a few events recently and in Ipoh, a few friends arranged that a reporter interviewed me. As I did great job in MC-ing, I thought the interview was on the MC skills. I didn’t expect the interview focused on the organ donation. Is good after all, I thought, because it could help raise organ donation awareness.
So, the interview was done in Ipoh and I thought is still good to have the news on Perak Edition, at least we go awareness state by state. Why not? The surprise was yet to come.
The news was on the national edition and to awe me even more, it was captioned on the front page of Sin Chew Daily 29th April 2009 newspaper!
My friend claimed Sin Chew was best seller on that day. Not too sure of it. Haha… anyway, I do agree that the news bring about organ donation awareness but I am less comfortable that it focuses on me almost 100%.
Sms-es and calls poured in and the next day, An Qi’s news was on the Local editions.
The links to the news:
Sin Chew Daily 29/4/2009
I don’t know you but I want to save you… here
周虹伶活躍於許多組織，她於2006年獲得頒發雪州傑出青年獎（義工領域）。去年更獲得THE MAL AYSIA WOMEN´S WEEKLY雜誌頒發傑出女性獎（教育與公共服務領域）。
她在求學時受邀參與電視台BICARA SISWA清談節目而被相中，於2002年至2004年受邀主持《大馬早安》（SELAMAT PAGI MALAYSIA）節目。
Sin Chew Daily 30/4/2009
Liver donation news receives hot feedback, Chew Hoong Ling promotes organ donation easier… here
(Perak Edition) Five friends follow suit… here
(Metro Edition) Thank you for your liver… here
The Star 30/4/2009
Ex-TV host donates liver to teenage girl… here
Thursday April 30, 2009
Ex-TV host donates liver to teenage girl
Other News & Views
A former television show host has donated part of her liver to a 13-year-old girl after she learnt about the girl’s plight on the Internet, Sin Chew Daily reported.
Chew Hoong Ling, 29, whose hearing is impaired in the left ear, donated 60% of her liver to the girl from Kuala Lumpur at a private hospital in Singapore on Jan 14.
The former Selamat Pagi Malaysia host said that initially her mother and friends objected to her intention to donate her organ.
“But a friend told me that once I have made up my mind (to donate), I should not consider too many other things,” she said.
Friday May 1, 2009
Other News & Views
Compiled by NG SI HOOI, NURBAITI HANIM HAMDAN AND A. RAMAN
>Sin Chew Daily reported that a 13-year-old liver recipient was thankful to her donor, a former television show host, for giving her a chance to live again. Li An Qi would be able to go back to school next month after undergoing the transplant in Singapore in January.
Li’s mother said the family was grateful to Chew Hoong Ling for donating part of hers liver though she did not know her daughter.
Chew, 29, whose hearing is impaired in the left ear donated 60% of her liver after learning of Li’s plight on the Internet.
Since this is my blog to record this mission, I am compiling all the news here.
Even St. John Ambulance in Penang has active webmaster!
We salute you… here
We salute you, Ms. Chew Hoong Ling
Webmaster on 29-Apr-2009 18:53
We salute you, not only you are St. John Ambulance of Malaysia, National Staff Officer (Admin), but your kind and sincere in service for mankind!
Although it was few months back, again, Sin Chew Daily reported your kindness in today’s newspaper.
Ms. Chew Hoong Ling donated 60% of her liver to a 13 years old girl who suffered from liver cancer, whom the girl has no relatives connection to her, the girl is totally a stranger to Ms. Chew.
Reported in the news, the girl who came from Cheras Kuala Lumpur, was looking for any potential liver transplant on internet. Ms.Chew who came across with the news online, decided to lend her a hand. It will required you to have a huge bravery when you wish to donate your organ to other people, furthermore, to someone unknown to you. But, Ms. Chew did it.
Today, a life of a 13 years old girl has been saved because of your great kindness and bravery. You make us proud, as a volunteer of St. John Ambulance of Malaysia (SJAM), you demonstrate the greatest in service for mankind.
Updated: Reader’s View on Sin Chew Daily… here
Hmmm many people asked me HOW ARE YOU NOW?
The below are just a few photos taken about two weeks after the liver donation
I have measured the scar – is a total of about 14 inches. Now the wounds are all dried up and I will post latest photos soon.
Any recommendations to reduce the scar?
Hmmmm I never thought an operation to save a life has got to change my life so much. Many things happened before, during and after the operation to donate part of my liver to An Qi.
I asked how long should the operation takes and the answer came – about 10 days. Well, is literally that – 10 days but I never expected I needed such long rest. So I sms-ed my boss to apply for 10 days leave for this mission – naive enough to think 10 days and that’s it, I can work right after! My boss knew better and he has expected 2 months.
It took tests after tests to confirm I can donate my liver. First test was done in BP Lab in Subang but alas, the doctor couldn’t find my left kidney! A second test done in Taipan came to be the same and I had the third ultrasound test in Cheras branch and confirmed – I have no left kidney! DISCOVERY!
I have a right kidney which is a duplex kidney and is about 12 cm big (normal ones are 10cm in size). I prefer to call this my TURBO ENGINE! I have to take care, drink lots of water and preferably do annual tests on the urine.
The tests include chest X-Ray, ultrasound, blood and urine tests.
After a few days, the results came in – mine matched!
Travelling to Singapore for a complete check – 10 days. Again, urine and blood tests done, chest X-ray again, ultrasound, too and this time a new test – CT scan. They poke something to my left wrist which has a valve to allow injections to my body during the scan. I was told to hold because it will be a little painful.
Since this is a liver scan they will need to inject fluids to my body very quickly. I drank 3 cups of water and then when the injection came – the excrutiating pain on the wrist was still clear in my mind. I screamed “Argghh…!” and I could feel the fluids flow to my body – going through all over and even flowing to the legs and all of a sudden my body was numb. I was pushed to the scan machine, asked to breathe in and hold and then the scan was done.
By the time the nurse actually said , “You can get up now,” I was still numb and thinking of the pain.
This is the first time in my life having so many injections, blood sampling and so many pokings to my hands, wrists and well…. all these within a month. And then, what more disgusting, I had to carry a container and store all my urine for 24 hours into it – to test whether my kidney functions normally.
hmmm… then a doctor to explain the procedure, risks involved – 0.5%-1.5% risk of death and 15% risk of infections.
Charges: SGD 150
Then psychiatrist interview to confirm I am making this decision under clear awareness. 15 minutes chat with memory tests, maths tests….
Charges: SGD 300
After that, a lawyer – to confirm no trade of organ involved because trading of organ is prohibited by law in Singapore. A signature on the paper after understanding the clauses.
Charges: SGD 100
I was made to understand that my medical tests cost about SGD 10,000 while An Qi’s cost SGD 20,000. So, you better not get sick – else ensure you have enough cash for the coverage.
Then an interview by the etiquette committee – they interviewed both me and An Qi’s father as well as the doctors involved. The interview is to ensure that a transplant is really needed and that the doctors do not screw your money by just saying a transplant is needed. It is also to ensure that we do not trade organs and that we understand the procedures well.
So…. at last, date of operation fixed on the 2nd January 2009. Phew…. I was relieved. At the time of announcement of the date, An Qi was already hospitalised due to high fever. So I visited her before leaving Singapore.
I have fears with me. Is the first time I am doing this and I still do not know what is the outcome. However, for the sake of the little girl, I have to appear strong. My jovial and humurous manner reduce my tension and of course laughters also helped ease the stress in the Lee family.
When I saw An Qi before I left, her aunt broke the news to her mom saying operation date is fixed. Her mom immediately turned to me and said “I really do not know how to thank you.” I myself was stunned by the response and felt like crying but I stayed strong.
Towards the end of December, the blood bank has got not enough blood for standby so the operation date was delayed to 12th January. I rescheduled my tasks and was able to clean my room and the kitchen before I leave to Singapore again.
We reached Singapore and again blood tests were done. Never in my life so much blood taken and pokings were done to my body.
My mom and aunt came to accompany me. They arrive in the wee hours of the morning of the day I was supposed to be hospitalised.
In the hospital, we had
1. Orientation – we visited the ICU, the rooms and the nurses ensure we know what to do and the procedures.
2. Pain management brieifing – explanation on the use of PCA
3. Anaesthetic briefing
4. Physiotherapy briefing
5. Surgeon briefing
6. Shaving of all the “bulu” at the abdomen part
Actually the tension and fears getting higher at this point of time although I tried to keep myself calm. Then all of a sudden my mom asked if I would like to go shopping. So I requested the doctor to allow and there we were in Bugis Junction. I bought more than SGD300 worth of G2000 clothes – new clothes for 2009 – XeerSoft sales, here I come with NEW CLOTHES!
We came back to hospital at about 6.00pm. I was advised to bathe with a pre-operation antiseptic at night and in the morning from head to toe. My second aunt and Rudi came to visit me at night. Right before they came in, the nurse has pumped soap water to help ensure I have a clear intestine before the operation. So within minutes, I rushed for the toilet as soon as my aunt stepped into my room….. then in the toilet, I heard Rudi’s voice.
While we were chatting, I can feel my stomach grumbling and bowels moving but I held on… after they leave, before I slept, I went to toilet once again and had a smooth business in the toilet in the morning.
I wonder why the nurse asked if I can sleep and if I needed sleeping pill. I guess most donors have sleepless nights but my shopping (especially when my mom said buy as many as you want and she will pay) has ease my tension a lot – I slept very well that night.
The next morning the nurse woke me up at 6.00am. I bathed, brushed my teeth and wore the gown they gave. As I afraid of cold – I had another T-shirt on and a jacket. When the trolley bed came in, I knew it’s TIME!
They asked me to remove the T-shirt – only the gown allowed so I did. I slept on the bed – my mom and aunt came in time to follow me along the path to the operation theater. I was glad to have my mom and aunt came for support. Without them, I am sure I wouldn’t have stood so strong.
I was pushed to the waiting area then to another waiting area NEAR the opeation theater where I have to part with my loved ones there. I was nervous and shivering. I wonder was it the cold temperature or was it due to my fears. Nurses ensure me it was the temperature so they gave me almost 3 plies of blankets!
When I was pushed to the operation room – it was so cold that I shivered even more. The doctors immediately poke my left wrist again just like the one they used for the CT scan. Then I repeatedly said it was cold and warm blankets were brought in again. I still manage to ask the doctor, how long will it take for me to doze off. 10 seconds… so I counted… one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten…. hey.. hmmm “Doctor!” I shouted…”is already more than 10 seconds!” The doctor was suprised and said “Aiyo, not that one la, I haven’t inject anything… You want to sleep is it? OK this is the one” So he gave 2 injections and I counted one, two, three… and dozed off…
When I woke up, all I knew was that I was being pushed towards the ICU – I saw my mom and aunt on my left and my first words “I am very COLD!!!” The pain management button was placed on my right hand and someone told me to press it if I feel pain. Since it was really very painful, all I knew was to press and press and press and press….. But I was so drowsy I dozed off.
By the time I woke up, I was in the ICU. Two days later I was moved to the general ward. Then discharged on the seventh day.
I bet I am FREE! I saved a life and I already achieved my mission!
Little did I know the life changing part was my DIET! While doctor said I can eat anything as long as they are low fats and low salt, the Chinese believe that is best to avoid certain foods for faster recovery.
I can’t eat chicken meat from a rooster… no eggs, no spicy foods…
dark soya sauce
fishes with no scales
seafoods – crabs, abalone, prawns are all NO NO!
anything which are seeds and nuts or made of it
liver is NO NO – not that you eat liver to recover your liver OK?
Yes foods – Ikan haruan, fruits and vegetables, pork, bird’s nests always a welcome…
I had to call my “supervisor” (my second aunt) to consult what I can eat and what I should not take everytime I want to eat something.
Another life changing part is to know how much people care about me. It was really touching to know that I have supporters and so many visitors came. My aunts took care of me so well. Since I cannot bathe, they have to help me clean my back and then I clean the rest of myself.
The most unforgettable one is when I can dine with my Dad and Mom on the same table after more than 20 years. My mom came before my Dad but both of them met while I was in ICU. So, I guess future dinners on the same table shouldn’t be a problem.
I also appreciate the brakes applied to my life – as I live life so fully, I missed many opportunities to slow down and appreciate, relax and reflect on happenings in my life. I also took the opportunity to resign from many organisations I joined and now focus on my life. If not for this operation, I do not know when I could apply brakes to my life and start appreciating moments of life.
I learnt to love myself more – especially in health. I have seen with my own eyes how much money spent for the operation – estimated more than RM500,000 spent for An Qi. I believe health is important and I must take actions to protect it. I have also increased my insurance policy premiums for higher coverage.
I am privileged and honoured to have visitors and more visitors when I am back to “tanah air”!
I travelled to Teluk Intan right after I touch down. The next day, Ling Hooi, Pei Ting and Shu Ying came to visit. The next day all friends of my batch came – I had Ai Chuen, Wai Kheng, Karen, Jenny and bf, Suet Sze, Wai Theng, Hoon Koon, Nusrat (Dr.) and Shiao Chin came. It was the first time my house was filled with visitors. Every year, I visited their homes and collected angpaus but this is the first time they came.
I sms-ed Shiao Chin that I was back to TI, she immediately replied she will bring the whole kampung to my house. And yes, she did! Since we have Dr. Nusrat in the “kampung”of friends, she became the advisor and consultant – everyone asked her questions regarding my operations.
On the second day of CNY, I went to Ipoh. In the morning at 7.00am, I woke up to prepare as the producer for Malaysia Hari Ini (TV3) will call me at 7.30am for a live interview on the show. At 7.20am, the call came and we have almost 10 minutes chat live on TV. I appreciate the chance to promote organ donation and the joy of giving.
The next day, my colleagues Elaine, Voon Pin and Allen came. Sharon and Alicia – An Qi’s aunts also came. Then my aunt who stay in Ipoh also came with my both cousins and my cousin’s gf.
At night, my 2 grandaunts and a granduncle came to see me, too. Then, when Ying Ching travelled back to Penang from Teluk Intan, her husband and her took the trouble to drop by and visited me.
Then the day after I also had Mr Kok, one of Dato’ Sri Ong Tee Keat’s secretary came to visit as he stays near Gopeng. In the morning, Amy – publisher for Money Compass business magazine so happened to be in Ipoh and came for visit, too!
I just got a call from Alicia – An Qi’s aunt. She said her father insisted to visit me and so they will need to fetch him here. So tomorrow I will have visitors, too.
THANK YOU and my appreciation is to all supporters and all visitors. My house now has Essence of Chicken, Essence of Ikan Haruan, Bird’s Nests in Rock Sugar, Cordyceps Soup in bottle, 2 big hampers.
THANK YOU but if anyone reading this blog and planning a visit – come in BODY, no presents/gifts required. I appreciate enough visits and all your support.
During my journey to the mission of life saving, it was really touching knowing that I have so many supporters for the mission.
Danny came to join Iewi and Michael but then nurses came in to sponge me and I was tired – it was time to sleep. So they left.
This is Lee An Qi and I. 60% or about 500grams of my liver is in her body now. Dying of cancer, this 13-year old girl must get her whole liver removed and replaced with a new one. So after tests and more tests, it was found that my liver matches hers. So surgery was done on the 14th January 2009.
Next to me is An Qi’s mother and father. We are now like family and I am grateful to have a new family in life. It was so touching when her mom repeatedly say thank you to me and how my mom said that An Qi’s mother always say ‘We are lucky we have your daughter willing to donate her liver’.
After surgery, I had tubes all over me. Note something colourful hanging over my neck – tubes for the drips, medicines, pain-killers and others. In ICU for the first 2 days I also had my left wrist with wires for measurement of blood pressure. I also had a tube through my nose going all the way to the stomach for removal of gas and acids from stomach. Oxygen for breathing also introduced tubes to my nose. On my left hand was provided a Nurse Call button and on the right, the pain-killer release button – to release pain-killers when I am in pain.
I also had another tube to remove fluids from my body – note the picture above – the tube was then removed and replaced with a small bag at the right of the lower abdomen. Hmmm…. another tube for removal of urine! Tubes everywhere!
I also thought that having a surgery = reduction in weight. Seems like I was wrong because the tummy stays and the fats content stays. No lipsuction involved, I sleep and sleep and sleep… and eat and sleep and eat and sleep… so expect my weight to grow steadily!
The menu – hey this is like a hotel – I get to choose what I want to eat – breakfast, lunch, dinner, tea and supper.
This is the tube removed from my neck. I asked the nurse to hold it up for my camera pleasure.
Sitting beside Anita Sarawak is an honour. What more to be interviewed by this elegant and charming lady! Anita Sarawak is one of the most beautiful ladies I have ever met. Being at this age, still keeping in shape is difficult.
This time I was invited as one of the panel speakers on the topic of organ donation. Being an organ donation activist (a title I start to call myself from today onwards), this is truly an honour. I am not attached to any organisation or clubs focusing on organ donation. In fact, I can find no organisations in Malaysia dedicating to organ donation.
However, as an individual active in various youth activities and being members in many organisations allow me to get involved and start promoting this noble act of donating organs after death. My enthusiasm in organ donation starts when I first read about it and pledged as early as when I was 13. Moved by a story of a young pledger and articles written by monks about the joy of giving, being a Buddhist, that messages push me to sign to pledge my organs.
I have organised various organ donation campaigns and worked closely with the National Transplant Resource Centre. Coming a long way in giving suggestions to improve organ donation rates in Malaysia through my few articles published in news, I feel that Malaysia has grown much in creating awareness regarding this issue.
While blood donation may take about a decade for people to accept the fact that blood donation is a norm and could help save lives, I hope that organ donation will take a shorter time in this technology advanced age.
More can still be done in organ and blood donation. As an individual, I call upon all interested people in this area to help me in the quest of promoting organ donation. Please find my contact details in this website and contact me for further actions in promoting organ donation.
BERSAMA ANITA – ASTRO RIA 7th may 2006 1pm – watch out for Hoong Ling on air!
I am surprised! Last morning I received a call from Ooi Gaik Lean, all the way from Penang. 8am in the morning my phone rang and I thought that must be someone dialling a wrong number but what surprised me was a call from a very enthusiastic lady wanting to know more about Organ Donation.
This is rare gem! Imagine someone waking up early in the morning and call me to talk about organ donation, ain’t this wonderful? Someone who care about the issue and willing to take actions but do not know how.
After a few questions, she actually found me through this website. Cool what internet can do heh? First, I got a call from TV3 to interview me, next a call from Penang. All about organ donation. This means that articles I wrote years ago is an attempt not futile. Cool to know this!
So, ‘What can I do as an individual to create more awareness about organ donation?’ I grew with excitement when Gaik Lean asked about this. I was thinking and finally here is what I can share.
As individual, anyone can start by just signing up as an organ donor AND inform your next of kins about your decision. Next, try to influence your relatives and friends towards this noble cause. As you answer their doubts and questions with open hearts and willingness to share your ‘life’ even after death; you will find strengths and rebuild confidence that your move to become an organ donor is always a definite right thing to do.
Secondly, Gaik Lean suggested a very good idea. She said that all the organ donors should form a small group to help create awareness among people in their community. Gaik Lean, for one, lives in Penang but do not have the resources and materials to start with.
Thirdly, with the use of Internet, I am sure information and technology always go together. With just a click of a button, everything can be automated. I have suggested in my article a few years back, we should automate and make organ donation available online. Imagine an article written in 1999 and no one in Malaysia has make that move yet.
NOT all who have their organ donor card in the wallet make it to donate their organs successfully. Unless you die in an environment where equipments are available to maintain your organs’ ‘lives’, you cannot donate if the organs ceased functions. In this case, tissues like corneas, bones and skin can still be donated. So, the number of organ donor card holders are very important. The more, the merrier!
Hoong Ling’s FB Page