Mother knows best

Irene Lim, Caregiver of CCF beneficiary, Terry

When seven-year-old Terry Goh Wei Jie had to undergo chemotherapy for Burkitt’s Lymphoma, he struggled so hard every time a needle had to be inserted that it took up to ten people, including doctors, nurses and his mother Irene, to hold him down.

“He would scream and cry, shouting, ‘I hate you, this is all your fault’,” re-counts Irene, who was forced to play the bad cop. “I would tell him, ‘You can stop crying and save your breath, because we will still need to insert the needle’,” says the housewife.

Yet when the chemotherapy was over and after Terry had calmed down, he always had a hug and an apology for his mother. Somehow, through the tears, tantrums and chemotherapy treatments that he hated, Terry under-stood that his mother had his best interests at heart.

Indeed, it was Irene who first noticed a lump on the right side of Terry’s neck when he was in primary one. Terry was also snoring at night – some-times louder than an adult. The family shuttled between polyclinics and hospitals for tests and checkups, but by the time Terry was told of his diag-nosis, the lump was already too large to remove via surgery. Terry would have to undergo chemotherapy.

But between treatments, Terry was a typical boy whose favourite colour is blue and he loves superheroes from Marvel film The Avengers. A boy of few words, he describes things he dislikes which include hospital visits and chemotherapy as “boring”.

Post treatment, Terry enrolled in CCF’s learning centre, Place for Academic Learning and Support (PALS). “I like to attend PALS because I have friends here and I can play Wii!”.

There is a special place in Terry’s heart for his parents. “I love them. They always encourage me,” says Terry, running his tongue along freshly-sprouted adult teeth. Then, without warning, he bolted from his chair and gave his mother a big hug. There is no need for spoken words – mummy already knows.

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