Singapore

Terminally-ill woman gets to see son wed, thanks to help from charity

Ambulance Wish Singapore fulfils wishes of terminally ill patients

When Madam Ng Yuet Hay, 71, was diagnosed with terminal cancer in July, her son Chia Fu Yong, 35, rushed to fulfil her long-cherished wish to see him tie the knot.

He and his girlfriend of four years, Ms Tan Mei Xuan, 28, planned their wedding in two months.

Mr Chia said: "I was afraid she wouldn't be able to see me wed. It's very hard to say how long she has left."

They were among the 876 couples who said their vows last Saturday - Oct 10, the most popular wedding date this year.

The couple had help from Ambulance Wish Singapore, a charity that fulfils the last wishes of terminally ill patients.

The charity sent Madam Ng, who is now bedridden and staying at home, to the solemnisation ceremony in an ambulance.

A nurse from Dover Park Hospice which provided palliative care to Madam Ng at home, alerted the charity of her wish.

Brimming with tears, Mr Chia said: "I saw my mum smile during the solemnisation and I could see she was very happy. I'm very happy I fulfilled her wish."

Mr Chia, a programme manager, had proposed to Ms Tan, who runs an ice cream shop, at the start of the year.

They had not set a wedding date, but he had next year in mind.

Tentative plans were fast-tracked when his mother, who used to work as an administrative assistant, was diagnosed with stage four pancreatic cancer.

Mr Chia, the eldest of three children, said: "The diagnosis came as a shock. The doctor said she probably has about one year left to live."

So the pair, who met while volunteering, decided to wed on Oct 10, as it was an auspicious date both sets of parents liked and the "10/10" date sounded nice, he said.

Two weeks before the big day, Madam Ng's condition began to deteriorate steadily and the family feared she would not live to witness his nuptials.

But she pulled through.

Madam Ng attended the ceremony at Marina One while lying on a stretcher, accompanied by a nurse. She cannot sit up for more than 10 minutes without experiencing pain.

Dr Ong Yew Jin, chairman of Ambulance Wish Singapore, said: "Madam Ng could barely speak, but she managed to whisper to the nurse and our volunteer that she was very happy."

Mr Chia said: "Ambulance Wish put in the effort to get to know my mum and to make her comfortable. It's really very nice of them to do so."

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