While we have heard painful news of many loved ones passing away during this pandemic, a few stories linger in our memories as they carry with it more than their fair share of grief. One such story is the account of a daughter visiting sick father before he succumbed to his illness.
Daughter visiting sick father
Zeng Hui Jing, a Malaysian who had been working in Singapore, recently travelled to her homeland to visit her terminally ill father who was suffering from last-stage cancer, for the last time.
Despite having travelled all the way back home to Malaysia to spend time with her father, she was only allowed by the health authorities to spend 30 minutes in full personal protective equipment (PPE) gear, on her initial visit.
Her father passed away on the day she was allowed to spend her time freely with him.
Last family picture together. Photo: Sinchew daily
Allowed to spend only 30 minutes in his presence
A fisherman by profession, Zeng’s 61-year-old father had been suffering from late-stage cancer.
According to media reports, she was not informed of the seriousness of her father’s illness because the family did not want her to worry, and was only told after her father’s condition had severely deteriorated.
Despite travelling from Singapore back to her hometown in Perak to see him, Zeng had to avoid immediate interaction with him as she had to serve a 14-day quarantine notice in keeping with Malaysia’s Movement Control Order (MCO) that requires all foreigners and nationals coming back into the country to be quarantined.
After appealing several times with officials, she was finally allowed to see him on the ninth day of her quarantine notice in full PPE gear and was accompanied the whole time out of her quarantine leave by a healthcare professional.
Zeng’s father. Photo: Sinchew Daily
Due to misinformation, she had initially travelled to the hospital her father was admitted at in Teluk Intan, but was told there that he had been discharged and had returned to his home in Bagan Sungei Tiang.
After travelling yet again to her family home, she was only allowed to spend half an hour with her father who was very weak, and the pair were able to exchange around five sentences with each other, according to media reports.
Despite looking very weak and exhausted, her father told her that he was fine in order to console her and not add to her worry. The family also took one last picture together.
Zeng had reportedly donned the PPE gear from 11am to 6pm, and confided with media that “even though it was uncomfortable and stuffy, at least I got to see my father and reunite with my family. It was worth it.”
Daughter visiting sick father loses him on the day she is allowed unrestricted access
The family in happier times. Photo: Sinchew Daily
However, right on the day when she finished serving her quarantine notice and when she could freely spend time without being restricted by rules and health laws with her father, she received news that he had already passed away.
Zeng finished her 14 days of quarantine and was finally allowed to go home, on the 3rd of June at 10am. Sadly, her father passed away at 6am in the morning on the very same day.
Her father leaves behind two other children between the ages of 19 and 26, who managed to spend time with the dying man. Zeng was the only one who was working in Singapore and could not make it in time to be with her father before the MCO was enforced.