Keep giving the gift of life
What a difference three months has made for little Supash.
When I first met him last November at his Bukit Batok home, he mostly lay listless on the sofa and had to be carried by his mother from place to place.
His dark yellow eyes were unmistakable, even from far, and his bloated stomach was a worrying sight.
But on Tuesday, three weeks after his liver transplant operation, Supash looked nothing like the sickly child of a few months ago.
The jaundice in his eyes and skin was gone.
His eyes, for the first time since he was born, were white. The previously pale yellow tinge on his skin had faded.
He was in good spirits as he played with toy cars on his hospital bed. He giggled and smiled at his nutritionist and was almost as active as any normal three-year-old boy.
And this would not have been possible if not for the selfless donation of part of his liver by a man whose name is not known to Supash's parents.
Clearly, he did it not for money or fame but because of an altruistic wish to save a life.
When actor Pierre Png donated part of his liver to his wife Andrea De Cruz in 2002, his noble act tugged at the heartstrings of many Singaporeans.
The culture of giving has grown in Singapore in recent years, with many reaching deep into their pockets to help others in needs, including foreigners such as the Vietnamese man who was allegedly cheated at a mobile phone shop in Sim Lim Square.
But giving away part of your body to a stranger is another thing altogether.
Yet, in the last two years, such acts have grown more common, perhaps emblematic of the increasingly kinder and more sympathetic nature of Singaporeans.
For example, The New Paper reported in December that nursing lecturer Regina Lee planned to donate part of her liver to a stranger after reading about his condition in the papers, despite her family objecting.
Earlier last year, 10-year-old Phyllis Poh received a new liver from another stranger after her older brother, Skye, expressed a wish in The Straits Times for someone to save her.
As Supash prepares for a new lease of life during this festive period, I hope that this spirit of giving and selflessness will be here to stay because there are still many more who need help.
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