Like any other married couples, 50-year-old Mr Soh and 36-year-old Madam Hou who came to live in Singapore from China, shared dreams and were working hard to build a home together. Mr Soh used to work as a taxi driver, earning close to $3,000 a month while Madam Hou whom he described as “someone loving and always giving her time to those in need selflessly” used to spend her time helping others with the repair of their electronic devices and gadgets.
Unfortunately, barely three months after moving into a home to call their own, the couple met with an accident when an SBS Transit bus hit the bicycle that they were riding on from behind. Mr Soh was thrown onto the grass verge while Madam Hou landed on the concrete pavement. The sides of Madam Soh’s skull were crushed in the accident, and had to be reshaped with plaster. Since the accident, Madam Hou was permanently disabled, with her staring into space most of the time, unaware of what is going on around her.
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Mr Soh has been struggling to come to terms with Madam Hou’s condition and constantly blames himself for being alive today. Quoting him, “The hospital should not have saved me. It kills me to be looking at my wife in this vegetative state now.”
Despite suffering from cognitive impairment which affects his memory and decision-making ability himself, the loving husband devotes his time entirely to caring for Madam Hou, spending at least 12 hours at the nursing home each day. Mr Soh is currently on medical leave until the end of the year and with the caregiving duties of Madam Hou falling solely on his shoulders, he is unable to dedicate himself to full-time employment. Mr Soh shared with the case managers that they used to rely on the income from renting out two bedrooms in his four-room flat for S$1,600 a month on top of the bi-monthly interim assistance of $150 he receives from a Catholic charity that has also reached out to him after the accident. Even with the room rental income which is likely to be discontinued in a couple of months’ time, Mr Soh is worried about making ends meet moving forward, especially with the upkeeping of their mortgage of $2,000 a month. Mr Soh also receives two meals a day from Thye Hua Kwan Moral Society.
ROHI is helping to raise $1,530 to help with Mr Soh’s expenses for meals and transport.Your donations can give hope to Mr Soh as he journeys on his caregiving duties!
Mr Soh and Madam Hou's story was also featured in Straits Times: