Regaining Hope in Life
When Mr Mak had a stroke 10 years ago, it left him feeling dejected and robbed of any hope in life. “It was too late when I sought for help. Half of my body was paralysed and I had to accept the fact that I have to live with this ordeal from then on,” said Mr Mak. Tears welled up in his eyes as he sat in silence and looked back on his arduous journey to recovery. A task as simple as taking his three meals became a challenge for Mr Mak. He struggled to get food from the lunch packets into his mouth because he could not use both of his arms and hands well enough to hold the utensils. Oftentimes, food would be spilled all over the floor but Mr Mak would pick it up and eat it anyway. Living all by himself, there was nobody to turn to or reach out to and Mr Mak felt very lonely.
The transition from being healthy and active to being wheelchair-bound was tough and it took Mr Mak some time to adapt to this new way of living. Thankfully, there were organisations who actively reached out to him, all of which brought comfort and assurance to his heart, reminding him that he is not alone. Simple things like having lunch delivered to his doorsteps every day is what Mr Mak is grateful for. However, he recounted a time when his lunch packet was stolen by a passer-by. Being restricted to his wheelchair, he felt helpless as he could not get out of his house to buy lunch. The incident saddened him and further amplified the feelings of isolation within him.
However, despite his ordeal, Mr Mak is thankful for all the help and support he has received from various organisations, especially Lions Befrienders. The physical help he acquired was essential in enabling Mr Mak to move around on his own, and the emotional support, from the volunteers and his Befriender Executive, Avissa, brought hope and joy in the midst of pain and challenges. Having someone to talk to and hear him out made a world of difference for Mr Mak. Instead of wallowing in self-pity, Mr Mak chooses to be grateful for all that he has received. “You will pursue many things in your younger days. But it is only when you are old and sick that you realise what is most important. I find that it is being grateful and contented for what I have in life,” said Mr Mak. The stroke was a humbling lesson for him and truly inspired him to live life in a renewed manner.
Today, Mr Mak’s greatest dream is to have a full recovery and be able to walk once again. Over the years, Mr Mak has regained his smiles and now actively brings joy and laughter to the people around him. The people who have crossed paths with him would experience his warmth in connecting with others and his generosity in offering drinks to the guests at his house. Mr Mak has gone from hopelessness to hopefulness through the unwavering love, care and support faithfully invested into his life by the staff and volunteers of LB.