Saturday, May 28, 2005

Satu dua tiga!

I was on assignment last Wednesday, shooting this old guy who lost his voice because of vocal cord problem. I would say that it was one of the most interesting assignments I've done.

When I did the interview with him before the operation, I could hardly hear his voice. There was mostly air coming out instead. But he was really sporting and didn't hesitate to chat eventhough he had difficulty speaking.

The operation was to get his voice back by stuffing some special cloth in his throat. All this is done while he's awake! What's interesting is, this old man has to interact with the doctor while being operated to make sure his voice comes out right.

So he was going: "Satu dua tiga.." and the doctor went: "kuat lagi!". The old guy went: "Satu dua tiga!!" again. This was repeated until his voice comes out with just the right intonation and then they closed the incision in less than an hour.

I interviewed him about 1/2 an hour after the operation and he was definitely a happy man. His family was amazed. I was amazed. He was allowed to go home on the same day. I'll be visiting him at home pretty soon just to check on how he's doing. I'm sure he has lots of stories to tell ;)

While I was at the ward, I was approached by this lady, who is probably around her late 30s. She mentioned that she's a single mom with a 10 year old daughter. This daughter of hers was burnt by boiling water at the age of 4. Until today, her daughter has been suffering frequent high fevers and severe skin disorder caused by the burns. To make things worse, she can hardly make ends meet for her daughter and herself because she doesn't have a stable job and the treatment needed is quite costly.

She was asking me if there was a way to get funding to help her daughter. I've known that government hospitals subsidise a lot for the poor, depending on the situation I guess. So that was what I adviced her to do. I may not have done anything much but being able to reach out and listen to what people go through, it really opens up my mind. I think that's something I really like about my job :)

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