TB CASES fall in 2013
More than 95% of TB patients cured
'I felt lost after getting TB'
Not deterred by downpour
This article was written on Sunday, March 22
Moments after he placed his photo montage for Mr Lee Kuan Yew at the designated area, it started to pour.
But that did not deter Mr Wilson Ng.
Despite having just arrived at the Singapore General Hospital (SGH) to leave his gift, he rushed to Bras Basah Complex where he had a new copy of the montage printed.
This time, he made sure to laminate it before taking it back to SGH, a process that took nearly four hours.
Said Mr Ng, a career coach: "Mr Lee is like the father of Singapore, so I wanted to come and show my support and best wishes for him."
He added that he first met Mr Lee in 1990 as a young sales assistant in Changi Airport Terminal 2.
"At that time, T2 had just opened, and Mr Lee was there to do an inspection so I got to talk to him," Mr Ng said.
Despite the afternoon's bad weather, hundreds of well-wishers continued to pour into SGH.
At any one point between 6pm and 8pm yesterday, there were about 50 people in the designated area outside Ward 7.
One of them, Madam S. Pushpa, 59, had travelled all the way from her Woodlands home. She brought with her a picture of the Hindu god Ganesh and some prayer items.
She had been at SGH since 9am and stayed till about 6.30pm, performing a Hindu ritual to pray for Mr Lee's health.
She had met Mr Lee about three decades ago when he visited the then Kandang Kerbau Hospital (now the KK Women's and Children's Hospital).
"He saw me and asked how many children I had. I told him I just gave birth to my third and he asked, 'can you take care of three small children? If not we can find some ways to help you'," she said.
She never forgot his show of concern, said Madam Pushpa.
Another well-wisher who visited SGH yesterday was former Tanjong Pagar resident, Madam Ee Pin Nee.
The 62-year-old, who now lives in Ghim Moh, wanted to convey her well-wishes to Mr Lee, but had been too ill to leave home, and was admitted to SGH yesterday.
By chance, she was placed in Ward 7, which overlooks the quadrangle where members of the public have been gathering.
In a wheelchair, and with an intravenous drip, Madam Ee came down, accompanied by her son Jasper Chang.
She also said a silent prayer for Mr Lee.
At least one family also took the opportunity to teach their children about an important figure in Singapore.
Madam Joy Lam, 44, brought her three children - Jodi, 12, Caleb, 10 and Oliver, seven - to SGH after they started asking about Mr Lee, about whom they had heard about through the news.
The family brought a card with messages, including one from the children's tuition teacher.
Pointing to a drawing on the front of the card (left, inset), Madam Lam said: "This was supposed to be a drawing of Singapore, but it somehow looks like a superhero."
Over at Tanjong Pagar Community Club, the art gallery had been converted into a "Get Well" corner. Markers were provided for people to write their messages on a giant banner on the wall, as well as on pieces of paper.
Paper cranes, a symbol of good luck, were strung around the gallery while bouquets and other gifts were placed neatly on tables.
Among the crowd of about 30 were Tiong Bahru residents Wendy Leong, 36, and Jasmin Tan, 45. They also visited SGH on Saturday to wish Mr Lee well.
Said Ms Leong: "I met him a few times at grassroots events and given what he has done for our country, we wanted to send our prayers and best wishes to him."