Family donates $20,000 thanks to caring nurse
Patient's grateful son donates $20,000 to ITE to start nursing scholarship for needy students
Warded in Changi General Hospital (CGH) with pneumonia, he suffered an infection on his right foot.
Nurse Angie Guo came in to do the bandages, had a rapport with the patient and cared for him for 1½ weeks.
Five months later, he died from heart failure.
But Ms Guo had made such a lasting impression on the man's family that his son donated $20,000 to the Institute of Technical Education (ITE) College East, where she had studied.
Yesterday was Nurses' Day, which recognises the hard work put in by nurses in Singapore.
ITE College East has a Nursing Course which was started in 2000 and has produced more than 5,000 graduates.
Miss Guo, 26, a senior enrolled nurse at CGH, graduated from the course in 2009.
In September last year, Mr Tham Wai Him, 76, was warded at CGH with a leg infection and pneumonia.
His son, Mr Tham Chien Ping, 37, human resources director told The New Paper last Friday how his father was in pain because of the leg infection and called for a nurse.
Ms Guo tended to him and helped to make him feel a lot better.
The younger Mr Tham said: "When she came in, it was obvious there was rapport between herself and my dad.
"She started to tend to (my) dad, talking to him while re-doing the bandages for him.
"It was like she was distracting him from the pain."
Ms Guo would also take care of Mr Tham Wai Him at night, washing him and helping him to the toilet.
When his wife stayed overnight at the hospital, Ms Guo would come in to have a chat with her.
Describing Ms Guo as truly passionate and professional, his son said: "She would check on him regularly every night.
"She knew what was going on and wanted to do her job well.
"My dad's fondest memory of a nurse would definitely be Angie."
The late Mr Tham even asked his son to write an e-mail to CGH to compliment the young nurse.
But Ms Guo said it is common for her to chat with patients and check on them. She works in Ward 28, a Class A ward with 20 patients.
She said: "I treat all my patients the same by giving them the best quality nursing care - this is what the school taught me.
"I also like to talk with old patients (because) I find them very cute.
"When I come to work, they're the ones who greet me with a smile."
Five months after being discharged from CGH, the elder Mr Tham died of heart failure.
When Ms Guo found out about his death, she was upset.
She said: "I feel very sad because I always build relationships with my patients.
"I treat my patients like my own parents."
His family did not forget Ms Guo and, last Friday, his son donated $20,000 to ITE College East.
The elder Mr Tham had two other children, aged 46 and 42.
Mr Tham Chien Ping said their father left each child $30,000 in cash.
He said he wanted to donate $20,000 of his inheritance because he wanted to honour his father.
"I just want people to remember my father," he said.
The Tham Wai Him Scholarship will benefit 20 second-year needy Nursing students from ITE over a period of two years.
The course manager of ITE's Nursing department, Ms Mae Tang, 39, said she was proud to see how Ms Guo had grown.
Ms Tang said: "She has definitely grown more mature, more calm (and) more confident."
Ms Guo was thankful to ITE, which taught her how to build rapport with patients.
She said: "I need to build rapport with them so they trust me to nurse them.
"The most fulfilling part of this job is seeing the patient get stronger and return home."
"I treat all my patients the same by giving them the best quality nursing care - this is what the school (at ITE College East)taught me."
- Miss Angie Guo, senior enrolled nurse at Changi General Hospital