Father's cancer spurs junior college dropout to pursue physiotherapy
Nurses' dedication to his father inspires son to work towards being a physiotherapist
He had to drop out of junior college after repeating his first year.
Meanwhile, his father was battling colorectal cancer.
Mr Daryl Lim, now 23, turned these obstacles into a source of strength, to discover what he truly wanted to be - a physiotherapist.
He is now one of the 74 recipients of the Singapore Polytechnic (SP) scholarship, a $3,000 award for students who have excellent co-curricular activities and academic records.
He is in his first year in SP's diploma in nutrition, health and wellness.
"I did not expect to receive the scholarship and was pleasantly surprised. This is indeed a big achievement," he told The New Paper.
Mr Lim first entered the science stream in Pioneer Junior College, but did not do well enough and was retained.
He switched to the arts stream and took up ballet as he had been interested in dance since secondary school.
While he enjoyed ballet, he did not meet the criteria to get promoted to the second year of JC, and had to drop out.
They forged friendships with us and I felt like they really went beyond their call of duty. I had never seen anything like that before.Mr Daryl Lim
Mr Lim found himself in limbo and decided to do national service first.
"I felt confused and demoralised because I wasn't sure of what I could excel in academically," he said.
Then, towards the end of NS, another cancerous tumour was discovered in his father's body and he had to undergo surgery.
This became the turning point in Mr Lim's life.
The surgery left a gaping wound in his dad's lower body, and a team of specialised nurses had to be sent to his house to care for his dad.
Throughout the one and a half months they were with his father, Mr Lim was amazed by their skills and service.
"They were so professional in their work, but had so much empathy for my family.
"They forged friendships with us and I felt like they really went beyond their call of duty. I had never seen anything like that before," he said.
This inspired him to be a physiotherapist for dancers, after his friends told him that there was no specialised treatment for dance injuries.
He said: "Since I cannot be a dancer, I want to help people like me who are passionate about dance.
"By giving them more treatment options, I hope I can encourage people to dance without fear of injury."
After his father's death in 2015, Mr Lim enrolled himself in SP's diploma course because it covers topics in both exercise and nutrition that would be useful in his future career.
Dr Carol Leung, the course chair for the diploma, told TNP that Mr Lim is a "proactive" student who has volunteered for community health projects and the school's outreach activities.
"Since I am the only man of the house, I felt it was time to take things seriously and support the family.
"I have more motivation in what I do because I have clear direction now," he said.