Can We See The Sea? Our Little Wish
By Jessy Ooi
7 Days to go before the special outing day. To most of the people, this is just a very short trip and the outing is not special at all because you may go to these places frequently. However, to a group of former leprosy patients, this outing is an extremely special outing arrangement which they are really looking forward to.
We have planned the itinerary to bring them to three tourist spots which include Fo Guang Shan Dong Zen Temple in Jenjarom, Tanjung Sepat and Morib Beach. They are excited but worried. They have a lot of fear in their mind because they have not travelled for long. Some of them even haven’t joined any outing in their entire life. They would like to go out and see the world but they are worried that they cause troubles to people who take care of them.
These senior citizens are our heroes. They are strong fighters who finally beat leprosy. They have a wish to see the sea. It is time for us to help them to make their wish come true. The first challenge is to convince them to go for the trip. Many of them are reluctant to join the outing because they don’t want to be the burden to caretakers. Although the doctors in the ward have allowed them to go for the short trip after evaluating their health condition, some of them still say NO. A lot of hard effort has been put in by the committee members to convince them to go and finally there are about 37 patients participating.
Now here comes the next challenge. We need to make sure that all of them are well taken care of during the trip. Hence, a half-day practical training was conducted by physical therapist, Mr Gerold Roy one week before the trip to train the volunteers to have the skills to lift and transfer them safely when they travel from one tourist spot to another. There are also nurses and medical assistants from the wards who join the training to provide assistance.
However, the biggest support actually comes from the former patients. They are playing a very important role - to be the “Models”! They accompany the volunteers to practise under the hot sun. They even practise themselves to get on and get off the bus on their own. They consider this outing as their most precious outing in their life!
Can these heroes see the sea? Yes! The little wish will come true very soon.
Other photos of the event: