Saturday, May 29, 2010

Letter to the New Paper: MODEL HEALTH-CARE WORKER - She's concerned for caregivers too

Raymond's letter on the above subject is published in The New Paper today, Saturday, 29th May 2010, Page 32.

I refer to the report, “ Got bitten but she's not beat” (The New Paper, May 23).
I am glad that senior nurse manager Doris Koh has been recognised for her dedication and commitment in helping psychiatric patients on the road to recovery.
What is also remarkable about Madam Koh is that, besides showing love and compassion for psychiatric patients, she also comforts and shows concern to caregivers.

This is an exceptional virtue, and must be promoted because caregiving is extremely tough.

A few years ago when my wife suffered a relapse of schizophrenia, she needed Electro-Convulsive Therapy (ECT) to help in her recovery.


During ECT a brief current is passed through electrodes on the scalp to stimulate the brain. The seizure activity during ECT causes changes in brain chemistry, which bring about an improvement in the illness and agitation.

It has never been easy for me to allow my wife to go for ECT.

It is a most painful decision, but experience has taught me that the only way my wife can be stabilised is through this method.

On the appointed day, my wife refused to undergo ECT.

But Doris Koh held my wife's hand and pursuaded her to complete the treatment.

Her caring nature, assurance and comforting words eventually convinced my wife that she was in good hands.

Madam Koh also comforted me and gave me the support that I so badly needed.

She understood the anxiety and stress I had to deal with.

My regular phone calls to her on my wife's condition during this difficult period were met with patience, assurance and understanding.

Believe me, it helped.

Congratulations, Madam Koh.

Your compassion and dedication to the sick should be an inspiration for all health-care staff in the Institue of Mental Health, as well in other hospitals.


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