35 Years 35 Stories
Hannah, 1978 (est.) – 1998
Abandoned baby, spent her life lying on her back but lived a full life with much joy!
Hannah (her registered name by Malaysian Care) was abandoned as a baby at Taiping Hospital Outpatients Clinic. She had cerebral palsy and spent her life lying on her back. At Rumah Rahmat (Malaysian Care’s home for people with disabilities), she was blessed with a big brother Yap Khen Siong, a younger brother Wong Thin Choy and other family members. Indeed, she was not alone.
To quote Dr. James C. Dobson, “Every child is of equal worth, without respect to physical beauty, intelligence, health or productivity. That inherent value is a gift from the Creator, who loves us all with infinite fervour.” Though unable to speak or sit unaided, Hannah attracted many people with her radiant smile. She did articulate different sounds (oohs and ahs) and those close to her understood what she needed. As the saying goes, “communication is not limited to words only…LOVE overcomes barriers”. Hannah “spoke” with her eyes and facial expressions. She could discern who was coming and she clearly recognised the “footsteps” and “voice” of her favourite auntie. She chuckled loudly when her auntie seemed lost in her driving, keeping the rest of us amused by her sense of humour and laughter that melted tiredness away.
Hannah could not hold her head up due to floppy weak neck muscles and needed full physical assistance for all her personal needs. It was no easy task to feed her though the staff learnt the technique so that Hannah could enjoy her meals. O, how she enjoyed food and special treats like KFC, McDonalds. Through this, many of us learnt patience and perseverance. She was a “teacher” for many to be more caring and compassionate. Most of all, Hannah displayed such childlike faith, fully and wholly trusting you to care and love her…how she reminded us to be childlike in our relationship with our God the Father.
Hannah also had to live with seizure attacks and spasms that often left her cringed with painful expressions. But she never complained and groused. Instead, she displayed the sweetness of contentment with whatever attention and comfort you gave her. Hannah was not a helpless pitiful child, she was loved and she used her obvious talent of a joyful smile fully. “She has her own ministry….Many people are drawn to her – even telling her their troubles! And they are always touched and comforted by her lovely smile.” * Being with Hannah helped some people to accept their situations and come to terms with the difficulties they faced rather than running away from them. On occasions when Hannah was hospitalised, the medical staff and parents of the other patients were amazed with the flow of visitors and the 24-hour care she received, they could not believe that she was an “orphan”.
In the routines of an ordinary life, Hannah enjoyed life to the full. Daily worship, weekend services, up in the air on a helicopter ride, Christmas luncheon in 5-stars hotel, picnic at Templer’s Park, sending her auntie off at the international airport, enjoying the beach at Port Dickson with friends and family, and the list goes on. To top it all, Hannah and Lee Fong, both had cerebral palsy, were bridesmaids at the wedding of Simon and Susan (both staff of Rumah Rahmat). “Hannah flushed with excitement in a pretty white frilly dress with a wreath of white flowers on her head…We were so taken with this procession that we almost forgot about the bride!”, wrote Betty Young.*
Hannah was called Home to the Lord on June 2, 1998, sadly missed by her many aunties and uncles,
Even though her life was short in years, she made her life counted for God’s glory. Hers was a beautiful life indeed!