Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Parents eager to hear their late daughter's heartbeat

PHOTO: Mark with an article in ‘The Star’ on their late daughter’s funeral.
PHOTO: The Straits Times
Picture posted by The Star/Asia News Network on 13 September 2017

https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-UmnFI26xIAA/WbkrNFrDiZI/AAAAAAAAn7Y/xRiqK7qIYNURc1HPQvCoprmvGL3zDd71wCLcBGAs/s1600/makcarmen-thestar.JPG
http://www.asiaone.com/sites/default/files/styles/640x360/public/original_images/Sep2017/makcarmen-thestar.JPG?itok=Nw3s9zPE
http://www.asiaone.com/malaysia/parents-eager-hear-their-late-daughters-heartbeat-after-singaporean-woman-contacts-them


GEORGE TOWN - The sound of their daughter's heartbeat is all Mark Kok Wah and his wife Ariess Tan have longed to hear since their only child died two years ago at 18.

Their wish will soon come true when Serene Lee, 37, a part-time clinic assistant from Singapore visits them on Friday.

Lee is the recipient of their daughter Carmen's heart.

Mark, a 46-year-old building contractor, and Tan, 43, will meet Lee in Komtar on Friday.

Mark said meeting Lee would be exciting and nerve-wracking at the same time.

"This meeting will be an emotional one," he said at their home in Taman Hutchings here yesterday.

Mark could not hold back his tears as he showed reporters farewell messages to Carmen, written by relatives and friends at her wake two years ago, as well as a handmade thank-you card from Lee's children.



Anxious wait: Tan and Mark preparing Carmen's room for Lee during her visit.
PHOTO: Anxious wait: Tan and Mark preparing Carmen's room for Lee during her visit.
Photo: The Star/Asia News Network
Picture posted by The Star/Asia News Network on 13 September 2017

https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-Qd4i3fsGcLU/WbkrNAQ6bFI/AAAAAAAAn7U/BccHKixwyzII706IMzAhuoJ9Uh9AshjfQCLcBGAs/s1600/228_1505263458.jpg
http://www.asiaone.com/sites/default/files/inline/images/228_1505263458.jpg
http://www.asiaone.com/malaysia/parents-eager-hear-their-late-daughters-heartbeat-after-singaporean-woman-contacts-them



Mark added that there are also plans for Lee to visit the spot where his daughter's ashes were scattered near the second Penang Bridge as well as a meeting with his (Mark's) mother, who he said had been against his decision to donate Carmen's organs.

Mark said he received a Facebook message from Lee in August, expressing her intention to visit them.

"She introduced herself as the recipient of my daughter's heart and said she would fly to Penang to let us hear Carmen's heartbeat.

"She said she wanted to continue with Carmen's legacy at the National Heart Centre Singapore, where she (Carmen) was supposed to be posted upon graduation. Lee is the chairperson of the heart patients support group at the centre," he said.

Mark reportedly said in October last year that his daughter's ambition since she was a little girl was to be a nurse.

Carmen, a former student of Penang Chinese Girls' High School, worked towards that dream and secured a nursing scholarship at Nanyang Polytechnic in Singapore.

Her joy was, however, short-lived when she fell into a coma in July 2015 following an arterial rupture in her brain, and died three weeks later.

Part of Lee's message read: "Dear Mr Mark, firstly, I am sorry that I have been looking at your Facebook posts since August 2015. And twice you posted that you wish to hear your daughter's heartbeat.

"I will fly over to Penang to let you hear. Yes I am Serene, the heart recipient from Carmen, your daughter. It made me cry to see how much you miss her."

Tan said she, Mark and Lee have been in contact through a WhatsApp group.

"It was really heart-warming when Serene would send us greetings and refer to us as 'Daddy Mark' and 'Mummy Ariess'," she added.

At a press conference earlier, state executive councillor Phee Boon Poh said a "Gift of Life" event is scheduled to take place at 3pm on Friday at Komtar, where Mark, Tan and Lee will meet.

Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng is also expected to be present.



Ms Serene Lee (left) with her children Jasher, 14, Jazaree, seven, and Joash, 17. The photo was taken in March last year during her first trip to Taiwan with a new heart.
PHOTO: Ms Serene Lee (left) with her children Jasher, 14, Jazaree, seven, and Joash, 17. The photo was taken in March last year during her first trip to Taiwan with a new heart.
Parents of heart donor to meet recipient, Serene Lee, who tracks them down after reading about teen girl's tragic death in the papers.
Ms Lee, a part-time clinic assistant had no heartbeat of her own. Her heart was fully powered instead by a mechanical pump that ran on a set of external batteries that had to be recharged every 12 hours.
She suffered from dilated cardiomyopathy, a disease of the heart muscle which causes a weakening of the heart such that it is unable to pump blood efficiently. This condition often leads to heart failure.
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 that Carmen's legacy can continue. [2]
PHOTO: Courtesy of Serene Lee
Picture posted by Audrey Tan, The Straits Times on 12 September 2017 at 5:00 am SGT

https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-naCec5ptDr4/WbkrNOqrHlI/AAAAAAAAn7c/thjyXeWInJUlBZdxXaiUXRknXSyrPesBQCLcBGAs/s1600/ST_20170912_AUHEART120TE6_3411820.jpg
http://www.straitstimes.com/sites/default/files/styles/article_pictrure_780x520_/public/articles/2017/09/12/ST_20170912_AUHEART120TE6_3411820.jpg?itok=AxsKZevL
http://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/parents-of-heart-donor-to-meet-recipient

 

Carmen Mark in her student nurse's uniform.
PHOTO: Carmen Mark in her student nurse's uniform.
Carmen, who had been studying to be a nurse at Nanyang Polytechnic, had suffered an arterial rupture in her brain.
But in death, she became a lifesaver - her heart, liver, kidneys and pancreas were donated to four patients. Her parents signed their consent for her organs to be donated under the Medical (Therapy, Education and Research) Act, which was what she had wanted. [2]
'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.' - Serene Lee, the recipient of Carmen's heart
Picture posted by Audrey Tan, The Straits Times on 12 September 2017 at 5:00 am SGT
https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-623pfDYczek/WbkrNnnW6sI/AAAAAAAAn7g/HN0j8JGk06s4r4-3fEpFlkQY_enYzMoCACLcBGAs/s1600/st_20170912_carmen_8_3411819.jpg
http://www.straitstimes.com/sites/default/files/articles/2017/09/12/st_20170912_carmen_8_3411819.jpg
http://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/parents-of-heart-donor-to-meet-recipient
http://veryfatoldman.blogspot.sg/2017/09/couple-to-meet-woman-who-received-their.html


By The Star/Asia News Network, 13 September 2017



Reference
[1] The Star/Asia News Network, Parents eager to hear their late daughter's heartbeat, posted on 13 September 2017,  http://www.asiaone.com/malaysia/parents-eager-hear-their-late-daughters-heartbeat-after-singaporean-woman-contacts-them

[2] Audrey Tan, The Straits Times, Parents of heart donor to meet recipient, posted on on 12 September 2017 at 5:00 am SGT, http://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/parents-of-heart-donor-to-meet-recipient

Link