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A Father's Dilemma

*Ahmed's wife was nearly 9 months pregnant when she had a lung infection that affected her breathing. She was put in an ambulance and rushed to the nearest hospital. That night, Ahmed's wife was admitted into the emergency ward to stabilise her condition.

What we hoped would be a two-nights stay at the hospital dragged on for more than a week because of the many complications that arose. One night, she developed a high fever and began having seizures.

*Ahmed's wife had to do an emergency c-section to save their baby, who was then admitted into the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) after birth for monitoring.

While all this happened, *Ahmed kept worrying about his wife, child and the increasing hospital bill. He rotated between going to work and sleeping in the hospital's emergency waiting area to standby for any updates. The pressure on *Ahmed was overwhelming as the sole breadwinner of his family.

"Kalau mati, mati dekat rumah." [Translation: If (she's going to) die, die at home.]

It had been a little over two weeks since the wife was admitted to the hospital. *Ahmed grew weary because the end was nowhere in sight. That was when he said, "Kalau mati, mati dekat rumah."

Those were the last words we would think to come out of his mouth at such a crucial moment, and it broke our hearts. We devised a finance plan to help *Ahmed and his family pay for the hospital bills and encouraged Ahmed to hold onto hope because he is not alone in this journey.

As we queued up to pay the hospital bill, a security guard from the emergency department recognised our team from the wife's ambulance drop-off a few weeks back. Out of pure curiosity and awe, he asked us, "Kenapa kamu tolong orang macam dia? (Why do you help people like him?)".

This was when it hit us. What we do is not normal, what we do is inconvenient, what we do takes sacrifice--but if we don't step up, who will? What would happen to *Ahmed's wife and newborn baby?

This is why we do what we do--for *Ahmed and many more like him.

*Name(s) have been changed to protect the identity of the individual.



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