Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Couple to meet woman who received their daughter’s heart

Source Website: http://www.tnp.sg/news/singapore/couple-meet-woman-who-received-their-daughters-heart
By Audrey Tan, The Straits Times, The New Paper, 12 September 2017 at 06:00 am


Carmen Mark, 18, died in 2015 after suffering an arterial rupture in her brain.
PHOTO: Carmen Mark, 18, died in 2015 after suffering an arterial rupture in her brain. Organ recipient tracks down donor's parents. The parents of the Penang girl who passed away while studying in Singapore in 2015 are expecting an emotional visit from the recipient of their daughter's heart this friday (15 September 2017).
Photo courtesy of Mark Kok Wah
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http://www.tnp.sg/sites/default/files/styles/rl680/public/articles/2017/09/12/NP_20170912_AUHEART12_1622757.jpg?itok=Q69IPtET
http://www.tnp.sg/news/singapore/couple-meet-woman-who-received-their-daughters-heart



It has been two years since Mr Mark Kok Wah, 46, and his wife, Madam Ariess Tan, 43, received the worst news any parent could hear. Their 18-year-old daughter and only child, Carmen, had died.

Carmen, who was studying to be a nurse at Nanyang Polytechnic, had suffered an arterial rupture in her brain.

But in death, Carmen helped save the lives of four others. Her heart, liver, kidney and pancreas were donated.

Her parents signed their consent for her organs to be donated under Singapore's Medical (Therapy, Education and Research) Act, which was what she had wanted.

Recently, her Malaysian parents, who live in Penang, heard from the Singaporean woman who received Carmen's heart.

Ms Serene Lee, 37, had messaged Mr Mark on Facebook to ask if she could visit them. She had tracked the couple down after reading about Carmen's death in The Straits Times.

The reunion will take place in Penang on Friday, and ST will be making the journey there with Ms Lee.

Before she received Carmen's heart, Ms Lee, a part-time clinic assistant who is married with three children aged between seven and 14, had no heartbeat of her own.

Her heart was instead fully powered by a mechanical pump that ran on external batteries that had to be recharged every 12 hours.

She suffered from dilated cardiomyopathy, a disease of the heart muscle that weakens the heart such that it is unable to pump blood efficiently.

This condition often leads to heart failure.

"I will treasure this heart and live life to the fullest. I'm grateful to Mr Mark... as he could have chosen to say 'no'.

"Now I want to carry on Carmen's legacy (of helping others) and promote organ donation together with her parents," said Ms Lee, who volunteers at the National Heart Centre to help patients waiting for heart transplants.

RAISE AWARENESS
Mr Mark and Ms Lee said they are coming forward with their stories to raise awareness about organ donation in this part of the world, so more lives can be saved, and for Carmen's legacy to be continued.

Mr Mark is a specialist construction applicator and his wife, a financial consultant.

"I hope that (our) coming forward can create an impact and change people's mindsets about the gift of life," Mr Mark said.

"The taboo among Asians on organ donation is hindering many lives from being saved."

He added that he had faced objections when he signed the form allowing Carmen's organs to be donated.

"People said she must go in a complete body. It was very hard for me, but I had to do it, for I believe she is not completely 100 per cent gone. She is still around in Singapore to me."



Ms Carmen Mark (right), with her mother Ariess Tan and father Mark Kok Wah.
PHOTO: Ms Carmen Mark (right), with her mother Ariess Tan and father Mark Kok Wah.

Carmen’s liver, kidney and pancreas were also given to three other patients. The Penang couple will meet the recipient of their late daughter’s heart.

In her first message to Mark, Serene Lee revealed she had been reading his Facebook posts, saying it made her cry when she realised how much he missed Carmen.

"And twice you posted that you wish to hear your daughter’s heartbeat. How much I wanted to tell you: here I am. I will fly over to Penang to let you hear," she said in the message reproduced by ST.

"If you are willing and ready to see me, and hear her heart beat, I will fly over this September. I will bring a stethoscope to let you hear (Carmen’s heartbeat). If you are willing I would like to also say my thanks to her," she added.

"So I promise you. Carmen’s legacy will live on and I will walk the hospital wards until this heart stops, to be an inspiration to other patients for as long as this heart beats." [2]
Posted by FMT Reporters on 11 September 2017
Picture posted by Audrey Tan, The Straits Times on 11 September, 2017, 2:08 pm SGT

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http://www.straitstimes.com/sites/default/files/styles/article_pictrure_780x520_/public/articles/2017/09/11/lwxtan110917.jpg?itok=EKJruKKl
http://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/parents-who-lost-daughter-in-2015-to-get-to-hear-daughters-heart-beat-again



This is the message that Ms Lee sent to Mr Mark via Facebook. The Straits Times is publishing it with permission from both Mr Mark and Ms Lee: [3]

"Dear Mr Mark,
Firstly, I am sorry that I had been looking at your Facebook posts since Aug 2015. And twice you posted that you wish to hear your daughter's heartbeat. How much I wanted to tell you: here I am. I will fly over to Penang to let you hear.

"Yes I am Serene, the heart recipient from Carmen your daughter. Since Aug 2015 I have been looking at your Facebook posts. It made me cry to see how much you miss her. I think partly because, of all organs, I took her heart!! And so it was really emotional for me. I even promised this heart that I will bring her home (to Penang) every year. Which I did in 2016, and I finally had peace. However you posted twice about wanting to hear Carmen's heart beat and I really can't take it any longer. I had no peace until I told myself I needed to contact you. As you know I am not allowed to contact you. But I decided to do it! Two years have passed and it's really tugging at this heart of your daughter. I don't know how to express it but I'm very sure she misses you. If not, why (could I find) no peace until I stepped into Penang last year. I even went to Komtar (a large shopping mall in Penang) because you posted on Facebook that you had a job there.

"Now the ball is in your court. If you are willing and ready to see me, and hear her heart beat, I will fly over this September. I will bring a stethoscope to let you hear (Carmen's heartbeat). If you are willing I would like to also say my thanks to her. I had been walking the National Heart Center (NHCS) wards way before I had a heart transplant. I am in charge of the patient support group for heart failure patients at NHCS.

So I promise you. Carmen's legacy will live on and I will walk the hospital wards until this heart stops, to be an inspiration to other patients for as long as this heart beats.
"

ST reporter Audrey Tan will be accompanying Ms Lee on her journey to Penang as she meets the parents of her heart donor. Their stories will be featured later this week.



When you die give someone the gift of life!
PHOTO: When you die give someone the gift of life!
There are heavenly bodies and earthly bodies, but the glory of the heavenly is of one kind, and the glory of the earthly is of another. The earthly bodies come first. The heavenly bodies come only after the death of the earthly bodies (the resurrection of the dead). The earthly bodies are the natural bodies. The heavenly bodies are the spiritual bodies. The earthly bodies are from the earth, make of dust; and to dust they will go when they die. The heavenly bodies are from heaven and not from the earthly bodies make from dust. The earthly bodies borne the image of the man of dust. The heavenly bodies bear the image of the man of heaven (in heaven all are perfect). The earthly bodies are perishable; The heavenly bodies are imperishable. The earthly bodies are flesh and blood which cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. The perishable goes back to dust.

What happen at the sound of the last trumpet; we shall change from the earthly bodies to the heavenly bodies. The earthly bodies, natural bodies make from dust, perishable and mortal will be replaced by the heavenly bodies, spiritual bodies make in heaven, imperishable and immortal. (1 Corinthians 15:35-58). The records of our labour remain and are not in vain, including our demonstration of love for God as well as for our neighbours (Matthew 25:40). Being willing to donate an organ from our own bodies would seem to be an extreme example of selfless sacrifice for another.

The utmost example of this is the sacrifice that Jesus Christ made as He gave up His body for all of humanity. John summed up the command well when he wrote, "Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another" (1 John 4:11). As Jesus was trying to convey this message of unconditional love for others, He spoke of caring for the hungry, thirsty, homeless, naked, sick, and imprisoned (Matthew 25:35-46). He went on to clarify: "I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me" (
Matthew 25:40). Note: "Everything belongs to God, and all things were created by his power" (Hebrews 2:10). Jesus also used the parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37) to teach that we are to be kind and to show love toward everyone. [4]
Picture posted by Helen Hinson‏ @HelenHinson4 on 15 April 2017 at 3:53 PM
 

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https://twitter.com/helenhinson4


By Audrey Tan, The Straits Times, The New Paper, 12 September 2017 at 06:00 am



Reference
[1] Audrey Tan, The Straits Times, The New Paper, Couple to meet woman who received their daughter’s heart, posted on 12 September 2017 at 06:00 am, http://www.tnp.sg/news/singapore/couple-meet-woman-who-received-their-daughters-heart

[2] FMT Reporters, Penang couple to meet recipient of late daughter’s heart, posted on 11 September 2017, http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/nation/2017/09/11/penang-couple-to-meet-recipient-of-late-daughters-heart/

[3] Audrey Tan, The Straits Times, Parents who lost daughter in 2015 to meet woman who received the teen's heart, Posted on 11 September, 2017, 2:08 pm SGT, http://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/parents-who-lost-daughter-in-2015-to-get-to-hear-daughters-heart-beat-again

[4] Got Questions Ministries, What does the Bible say about organ donation?, https://www.gotquestions.org/organ-donation.html

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Hebrews 2:10 - https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Hebrews+2%3A10&version=CEV

Luke 10:25-37 - https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Luke+10%3A25-37&version=NIV

Matthew 25:35-46 - https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+25%3A35-46&version=NIV

Matthew 25:40 - https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+25%3A40&version=NIV