My Heroes

8:53 AM


After highlighting the plight of a medical doctor in Kuala Krai Hospital last week (read here), this week I wish to share a doctor's experience in Temerloh. She is a friend of mine and wants to be known as DrPayaJauh. She was personally affected by the rising waters in Temerloh with her 19 month old girl in tow.

Musings of a Temerloh Medical Officer 

Dear all , 
As we commence into the new year ; let us also reflect on our blessings. When I first came to Temerloh, I was the typical city girl, not used to small town life; waking up to cows, goats, bulls and sheep on my driveway and impatiently waiting for them to cross the road so that I could pass by; seeing the occasional snakes gliding on the road.

Grumbling why my makcik-makcik and pakcik-pakcik Temerloh don't want to eat their meds and keep taking ubat kampung. I swore to myself, I would submit my transfer in 6 months. Almost 3 years later; here I still am in Temerloh. I have grown fond of this town and its zero traffic. I now even know where some of my patients live. They even bring me food during their appointments. My daughter loves chasing the goats nearby our house.

This year brings a new experience. I entered the year 2015 as a flood victim; ground zero: Temerloh, the area worst hit by the floods in Pahang. I have volunteered in medical relief missions before, but this is the first time that I too am a flood victim. I currently find myself homeless, vehicle-less, with barely any of my belongings with me. My main concern is my 19 month old not-so-little girl. However, as doctors, we cannot evacuate, it is our responsibility to serve our community . 

My husband and I have been physically separated most days of this week, as we have different tasks to do. Here I wish to share my personal experience of the devastating effect of the flood that occurred here. I am one of the medical officers posted in Pusat Pemindahan Banjir SMK Seberang Temerloh. There are almost five thousand victims registered here; at this one school alone. There are thousands registered at all the other various pusat pemindahan banjir in the district of Temerloh. There were days when I received news that formula milk ran out at some of the centers, to the extent that some mothers diluted condensed milk to feed to their children. When I was informed of that, as a mother myself, that broke my heart.There were victims who literally hadn't eaten for days!

There were many places that were cut off by land and had very minimal supplies, if any, including the kampung where I live , Kampung Paya Jauh, which has now become an island , surrounded by hills , with rivers and lakes at the valleys of those hills. One of the most heartbreaking moments was when one of the pakcik at my kampung asked me if I could help him cross in the sampan to help bring minyak masak to our area as they have no supplies. Electricity has been cut off at our kampung. Most of them are the very young or elderly and too frail to cross the deep banjir pools using one single sampan, and walk 2 km, up and downhill. They had no electricity or supplies for almost 5 days. 

Thanks to a dear friend, who shared with me her military contacts; in which I was able to discuss with the military to send supplies into the area. Alhamdulillah, we were able to send in supplies via helicopter this evening. Thank you, to all the military majors, IPD officials, JKM for listening to me when I shared regarding this issue . We are very grateful . I would also like to thank my close friends, orthopedic and paediatric department of HKL, for all the supplies and help extended to us. And of course, to my colleagues at orthopedic department HOSHAS, who has provided us food, shelter and transport. This has truly been an eye-opening experience , and I am touched by the kindness shown by those who helped us. 

Welcome to the year 2015, and have a happy new year.


Another friend of mine, currently in HUSM, recently posted this on his Facebook page which made me suddenly had sand in my eyes.

Tok Wan is a family man. He values time with his wife and kid but he was there in Kota Baru throughout the ordeal. He even went the extra mile by getting some funds together to purchase some basic medicine to treat the rescue workers and anyone needing basic medicine around Kota Baru. 

He just called me a few minutes ago and has another bright idea. The school term will begin in a week and many children affected by the floods has been left sekangkang kera. They only have the clothes that they are wearing. No books. No school bags. No school uniform. Tok Wan plans to pull resources together to aid these children with a Back To School Project.

The plan is to distribute a school bag containing stationary and 5 buku latihan to children 6 years old and above that were most affected by the floods. He just needs the resources for the bags and its contents. He will distribute the bags with the help of some 4 x 4 enthusiasts in Kelantan. At the time of writing, we haven't figured out a way to collect the funds and resources. I will update later through my Facebook page.

Despite all these efforts by Malaysians of all walks of life, especially medical personnel, rescue workers and NGOs; some people still question the need to praise these people who risked their lives to help others in need. 

Yes, these people get paid to work. Do you expect these medical staff and rescue workers to punch out from work at the end of their shift?! Some of them didn't get a proper rest for FIVE straight days. They worked tirelessly with whatever limited resources they have trying to save lives. They had family members and friends worried of their safety as there communications were totally cut off. What kind of allowance can compensate for all that effort? Would anyone want to work in those tough conditions?

Well, cukup cukup lah emo. All I know, everyone out there did a great job. As long as you were there to help out in whatever way, you are MY HERO.


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  1. Isteri saya juga terlibat dlm event ni, MO Hospital Tanah Merah. Oncall 5 hari berterusan, terputus hubungan dgn kami di rumah, dengan perlu juga bagi semangat kepada staff2 bawah lain untuk terus bekerja walaupun masing2 tak tahu nasib keluarga masing2. Ia satu pengalaman baru bagi saya sbg suami seorang doktor tapi jika berlaku lagi, saya tetap akan lepaskan dia ke hospital, kerana saya tahu, dia juga milik masyarakar


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