From Despair to Acceptance and Hope

For many years, Mr. Hong suffered from high blood pressure, and in 2006, he was diagnosed with kidney failure. Back then, he was still working as a humble maintenance contractor, making ends meet for his three young boys. The idea of being attached to a machine for four hours, three times per week devastated Mr. Hong, putting him into a state of shock and despair, even contemplating suicide.

Life was not going as Mr. Hong had planned. He was ready to throw everything down the drain. Fortunately, there was Grace, his loving wife, who stood as his pillar of support. He also kept a health insurance plan, which helped by partially paying for his dialysis treatment. Mr. Hong could take a small load off his mind.

In search for a dialysis centre that he could trust and build relationships with staff and patients at, Mr. Hong went from one to another. Until finally, he found RenalTeam Dialysis Centre at Ren Ci Hospital. From the spacious yet warm environment, he found an extended family out of staff and co-patients. Since then, Mr. Hong has been coming here for the past three years.

One Friday afternoon, all the nurses were gathering around him. It turned out that it was already his last day with us, as he was transferring to RenalTeam at Woodlands Peak, a branch much nearer to his home. We took this time to speak to Mr. Hong. As he unfolded his story to us, one could sense the determination and courage of a man who has battled through a life of pain and despair, but fought and never gave up hope.

We asked him what he would miss the most here at Ren Ci. Without hesitation, Mr. Hong spoke with a tinge of sadness in his eyes ,“I will miss the staff here. They have been like friends to me. I will also miss many long-time patients here. They have become my good friends.”
We throwed him some more questions, to which he answered inspiringly every single time. When asked how he has managed to come so far in his dialysis journey, Mr. Hong told us he has accepted his fate and has learned to face the reality that living with dialysis is not easy but it can be done. He often daydreams—visualising good times and hopeful dreams. Having hope for a brighter future drives him to continue working and learning new skills.

What’s next for Mr. Hong, you might ask? He wants to continue working and learning new skills. In his spare time, he enjoys playing computer games, and being up to date with his friends and family through Facebook. Nothing, neither kidney dialysis or kidney disease can stop Mr. Hong from living life to the fullest. Surprisingly, at 60 years of age and walking with the help of stick, Mr. Hong still works part time as a security guard.

What is Mr. Hong’s advice to those who may experience the same condition? “Look forward to the future and accept what you cannot change.” These are the words that Mr Hong said as he walked towards the door to return home to his wife, 3 sons and 2 grandchildren. He turned to again and smiled as he said, “By the way, love your food and eat everything in moderation. You’ll never know when your last day will be.”

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