Nursing student wants to help lighten family's burden
She was separated from her mother when she was three as her father did not care for them properly while their mother was at work.
Miss Rojan Shamugam was sent to live in a children's home with her three sisters.
She has now become a first-year nursing student at Nanyang Polytechnic (NYP) and has even used her skills to save her mother's life.
Nurses' Day was last Tuesday and Miss Rojan, 19, was one of many nurses honoured that day. She recalled the hardships she had to overcome to be a nurse so she can help others in future.
She said: "We stayed at the home for four years. When my mother remarried, my stepfather managed to bring us home."
But their flat got repossessed several years later.
At 11, Miss Rojan had to live in a shelter with her mother and sisters for two years. Her mother fell very ill when she was 12.
She said: "My mother was unconscious for a week and I thought we were going to lose her.
"But the kind nurses helped me pull through. They ensured I had food and gave me emotional support.
"I wanted to be like them, to be caring, and help those in need."
Last month, her nursing instincts kicked in when she noticed her mother wheezing and having trouble breathing.
She was having a severe asthma attack and Miss Rojan rushed her to the polyclinic, which saved her life.
Miss Rojan had obtained a Nitec in Nursing with Merit from the Institute of Technical Education College East last year.
Its principal, Dr Yek Tiew Ming, said: "Her love for nursing really shone through during her clinical attachment and her quiet strength and good character have won the hearts of many."
NYP's senior nursing lecturer, Madam Susan Loh, said: "Rojan is able to integrate theory into her practice. She is a good nurse in the making."
On Saturday, Miss Rojan received a bursary worth $2,500 which she said will help with her home expenses.
She said: "My motivation is to study hard, get bursaries and lighten the financial burden of my family. I want to help my sisters further their studies. The struggles I face today will be my strength for tomorrow."