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His mum inspired him to help stranger

MOVED: Mr Ng Hoe Ghee (right) with Mr Patrick Ooi (in bed) and wife Mrs Shirley Ooi (in pink) at the hospital. He helped them because he wanted to be selfless like his mother. - PHOTO: LIANHE WANBAO

MOVED: Mr Ng Hoe Ghee with Mr Patrick Ooi and wife Mrs Shirley Ooi at the hospital. He helped them because he wanted to be selfless like his mother (above with child on lap). - TNP PHOTO: GAVIN FOO

During his stay in the Singapore General Hospital, Mr Ng Hoe Ghee was warded next to Malaysian Patrick Ooi.

While chatting with Mr Ooi, he found out that the 40-year-old, who was here on holiday with his family, had shattered his knee after he was hit by a car on Christmas Day.

He was on his way to buy buns at Teck Kee Tanglin Pau in Outram Road, which was highly recommended by the cabby who had driven them from the airport.

His wife and two-year-old daughter were resting in the hotel when the accident happened in the early afternoon.

BAD START

Mr Ng said: "They were supposed to spend Christmas and New Year's Day here, but their holiday had such a bad start. So I wanted to help in whatever way possible."

He got his wife to buy the buns for the Oois. Then he took Mrs Ooi and her mother-in-law on a mini excursion after he was discharged on Dec 29.

"Mr Ooi's mother had flown in from Malaysia to care for him. She looked so tense and worried. So I thought, why not take her to the temple in Waterloo Street to pray?"

After 45 minutes at the temple, the elder Mrs Ooi was "a changed woman" who was laughing and joking with the group, said Mr Ng.

They then went to Mustafa Centre in Little India, where the Oois bought souvenirs while he got a blood glucose meter.

Asked why he had helped the strangers despite being in pain, Mr Ng said: "It's the way I live my life."

Breaking down for the first time during the interview, Mr Ng said he was inspired by his mother, who died suddenly seven years ago at the age of 63.

"She always gave as much as she could without expecting anything in return. And this is the way I hope to carry on her legacy," he said.