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In the latest episode of Quan Yi Fong’s Hear U Out, Singaporean model-actress Sheila Sim opened up about her heartbreaking childhood days. Specifically, she shared about her brother who passed away from leukaemia at the age of 14; she was only nine then.
“When he just passed away, I was too young to comprehend everything. When everyone cried, I also started crying,” she said.
Sim’s relationship with her brother was not great then as they “didn’t really get along” and were “always bickering.” After he fell ill, his attitude seemed to change overnight and “he became a caring brother.”
The model-actress also revealed that she had donated bone marrow to her brother, “My parents asked me if I was willing to be his donor. Of course I was willing if it could save my brother’s life.”
After the bone marrow transplant, her brother was apparently very worried about her, asking their mother how Sim was doing, and even told her to give Sim some grapes.
However, there were complications after the bone marrow transplant. “I was very upset because the doctor said I could save him,” Sim confessed. “For a long time, I was very upset and didn’t like to see a doctor. I felt doctors were all liars.”
According to cancer.net, bone marrow transplant can come from your own body or from another person, with “siblings from the same parents” often as “the best match”. It is “not always a perfect match”, but they are a “50% match.”
Sim said that she let go of her resentment after coming to terms with the realisation that the doctor had done his best. “Given the technology then and all the help he could offer, he’d done his best,” she said. “A donor’s bone marrow may be incompatible with a recipient’s bone marrow. The doctor couldn’t foresee the complications.”
Sim added that her kind brother had “remained cheerful right till the end”, despite going through the tough chemotherapy. He even did a “magic trick” by pulling out “a handful of hair”, just to make Sim laugh. Suffering from oedema, he had also offered to show Sim “something interesting” by asking her to press his hand, which caused an indentation.
“Since I grew up, I’ve begun to understand life and that death is permanent, not transient. I’ll never see him again after his death. I didn’t understand that then,” she reflected.
Sim also revealed that her brother’s condition “worsened very quickly in the final stage”, and the doctor advised them to be “mentally prepared for it.” Although many people were by his side and watched him go, Sim lamented, “Regrettably, I wasn’t by his side. I’ll always regret this.”
Watch the full episode here: