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Meet Grateful Patients


  1. CCF Psychosocial and Supportive care Programme – Rachel's Story

    Being diagnosed with a brain tumour is an incredibly frightening thing. At just three-years-old, Rachel* had only been attending kindergarten classes for two weeks when she began experiencing pain in her neck and vomiting. A brain scan revealed a large tumour at the base of her skull. Rachel was diagnosed with medulloblastoma, a malignant primary brain tumour.

    Rachel then underwent two neurosurgeries and six weeks of radiotherapy, followed by eight doses of chemotherapy. With the cancer in remission and with support from the neuropsychologist, occupational therapists and speech therapists, Rachel began her journey of transition back to school.

    Rachel began attending a support center catering to the learning needs of children in remission. Despite a play-based and nurturing environment, Rachel fell sick so often during the early months after treatment that her school attendance was infrequent. Her family worried about whether Rachel would be able to cope with Primary school which she would be soon progressing to. Their fears were confounded when they noticed that Rachel appeared to have great difficulty making friends and seemed excluded in play. Rachel was referred to the Psychology Service at KKH.

    Rachel’s neuropsychologist conducted a neuropsychological assessment to better understand her cognitive abilities and emotional needs. The assessment found that Rachel had problems in attention and executive functioning (the skills required for planning, organising and completing tasks). Recommendations were made for ways to support Rachel in her new school. With support from her neuropsychologist, occupational therapist and speech therapist, Rachel completed Primary 1 and Primary 2, passing all her subjects.

    It was during Primary 3 that Rachel experienced a growing difficulty keeping abreast of her peers due to the demands of increased schooling and psychosocial interaction. A repeat neuropsychological assessment revealed a pattern commonly detected in child survivors of brain disease, and more areas requiring intervention emerged over time.

    Children with acquired brain impairment from medical conditions often suffer late effects, over many years, as their brain matures. Promising improvements may merge into new challenges, and they require periodic reassessment of their abilities to help them attain goals and manage their learning and emotional needs.

    To help more children like Rachel, KKH launched the CCF Psychosocial and Supportive Care Programme for Paediatric Oncology in 2017, with financial support from a transformational gift by the Children’s Cancer Foundation (CCF).

    Today, with ongoing help from her neuropsychologist and family, Rachel is steadily making gains across many intellectual and academic areas. She attends a social skills training program to help her navigate the challenging social dynamics of adolescence and life transitions, such as the move from primary to secondary school.

  2. KKH Health Fund – Nicholas' Story

    Unlike most children who are familiar with routes from their schools to shopping malls, Nicholas is most familiar with the specific journey from school to the hospital for his weekly injections and check-ups. Born with Noonan Syndrome, a genetic disorder that has detrimental effects on one’s hearing and walking abilities, Nicholas and his mother are no strangers to medical routines and hospital rooms.

    Ever since Nicholas’ admission into the hospital at a tender age of one due to a sudden high fever, his mother had described their lives as a ‘lifetime of bad news’. His mother since then has dedicated herself to taking care of him. The family of four depends solely on the father who works as a production assistant in a factory.

    Due to his condition, Nicholas has had difficulty with learning since young. His hearing aid, provided through funding from the KKH Health Fund (KKHHF), has made it possible for him to engage and communicate with others more easily. Nicholas now studies at the Association for Persons with Special Needs (APSN). Though it is something that he enjoys, there are periods when Nicholas cannot attend school. His low immunity makes his joints and legs swell up, causing him much difficulty and pain just to move around. While recuperating at home, his mother shares that he spends time gazing out of the window to watch the buses and trains pass by. Nicholas also likes to go out but is however constrained by his limited movement and can only go out when his mother brings him out on a wheelchair. His mother often struggles as she finds it challenging, especially when it rains or when others find it difficult to understand Nicholas’ condition. Today, KKHHF helps to fund the cost of Nicholas’ injections, amounting to S$700 each month, which reduces swelling and stabilises his condition. This helps Nicholas to live a healthier life just like any other child.

    Nicholas’ mother shares on how she feels about taking care of Nicholas, “Despite the difficulties, I have to be strong. In the face of such heavy responsibilities, it sometimes can be easy to forget that there’s something called Hope. This is why I am thankful for the support that the KKHHF has been providing, for being a big help in alleviating our load financially but more than that, for being a constant reminder of how Hope is present, allowing Nicholas to live a healthier life.”


    Photos of Nicholas when he was young

  3. KKH Health Fund – Khushi's Story

    Balancing the family’s financial needs and caretaking of a child with special needs is no easy feat for any parent. Congenital Rubella Syndrome, Congenital heart disease and Type 1 Diabetes are just three out of five medical conditions that Khushi* suffers from. Besides the medication that Khushi has to consume on a daily basis, she is heavily dependent on her parents for help with insulin injections three times a day. This is often a difficult task for her parents due to her being a special needs child and her refusal to cooperate at times. Conscious effort has to be also invested in keeping up with Khushi’s strict Diabetes regime. Besides taking care of Khush, her parents have to provide for her two older siblings.

    The KKHHF has helped to provide for Khushi’s needs costing more than $29,000 which includes the cost of diabetes consumables, special diet and cochlear implant. This has greatly provided much relief for the family and gives Khushi the medical treatment she needs.

  4. KKH Health Fund – Mark's Story

    Mark* was born with Spastic Diplegia Cerebral Palsy. Also known as ‘Little’s disease’, this form of Cerebral Palsy has more impaired movements on one’s lower extremities thus affecting one’s leg muscles than arm muscles. Mark experiences stiff muscle movements and uses an ankle foot orthosis (AFO), a brace for the ankle and foot, to move around. With much difficulty in moving around, Mark’s mother is his full time caregiver. Along with a younger brother in the home, the financial responsibility of supporting the family, rent and Mark’s medical expenses fall fully on Mark’s father.

    With help from the KKHHF, financial assistance was helped lessen the cost of the AFO mobility aid, lightening up the financial burden for Mark’s father.

*Name has been changed to protect identity