For as long as the family could recall, life has always been peaceful for them. However, one accident which occurred 7 years ago turned their lives around completely when Mr Lee, who was working as a crane operator then, met with a horrifying workplace accident. Since the accident where an overloaded crane that he was lifting fell onto him, Mr Lee has been certified permanently unfit to work. The accident not only robbed him of his health, it also placed the family of 7 in a state of loss, especially when he was the sole breadwinner of the family. It was also then when the family started incurring debts and arrears, including more than $3,000 for one of his son’s polytechnic school fees, as well as close to $700 for the utilities and town council.
Besides being certified by the doctor to be permanently unfit to work, Mr Lee also suffers from Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and is currently on anti-depressant medication. Two of his sons also suffer from several medical conditions. His 23-year-old son suffers from Mitral Valve Prolapse and mild Mitral Regurgitation, while his 15-year-old son was diagnosed with Nephrotic Syndrome, Swyer James Syndrome, asthma. He is also suspected of having Martan Syndrome, and requires regular follow up at the hospital for his asthma and monitoring of his kidneys.
Since her husband was certified unfit to work, Mrs Lee was forced to take on the role of being the sole breadwinner. To provide for her family, she started working as a part-time cashier earning about S$500 per month.
When ROHI visited the family, Mrs Lee also shared with us that there were occasions when the children returned home famished after a long day in school. Instead of approaching their parents for allowances like what most children will do, the siblings chose to keep it from their parents for fear of further contributing to their parents’ stress and frustration by approaching them for allowances when the family’s finances are extremely low. Mrs Lee feels apologetic towards them for not having the means to provide the best for them, and she hopes that one day her children would be able to get out of the poverty cycle. Although it pains her deeply that her children are going through this due to the family’s financial difficulties, she is touched and heartened by how sensible her children are.
The couple confided in us that as much as they dislike having to borrow money from their friends to make ends meet every month, they are already close to exhausting their means. However, they do not wish to carry on borrowing money from their friends, as it worries them that they might never be able to repay their debts. When their Social Service Office (SSO) assistance ended last year, the couple struggled with the huge expenses for their four schooling children, especially with their school fees and pocket money allowances.
Thus, ROHI would like to raise S$1,200 for one month for Mr Lee’s four children’s allowances. Your kind contribution will go a long way towards lightening the financial burdens for the family of 7!