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Sunday, May 10, 2009

The visit at UM Hospital

The collection was an awesome success. I have been chasing time purchasing more than 79 gifts and collecting more than 20 donated gift parcels the last 4 days precedent to the day of the visit.

I stopped counting at one point and just purchased gifts based on the donation banked in as and when because donation were still pouring in on Friday itself. I had been out most days and hadn't time to put up a notice to state the last day of donation. So as at 9pm I was still purchasing last minute gifts but fortunately, had them all wrapped just in time by Saturday.


I can't thank Nancy, the gift store's owner, enough for helping wrap most of them without any service charge. She says it's her contribution to the charity. She also gave 20% off all wrappers and went down as much as she can on the prices of some of the gifts I purchased from her store.

We grouped at the entrance of Menara Timur at UM Hosp at 9.30am on Saturday morning.

When Ros came and unload her other 100(?) odd parcels and donated cupcakes from her 4 seater, and adding some more gifts that the volunteers brought along, it came to this awesome pile. This is amazing considering that the project were initiated only 10 days before. Some of the parcels which we thought weren't substantial enough in term of appearance, we combined 2 parcels into one.


The datuk pengarah of the hospital, Professor Ikram Shah, came out to have a look and we took this group picture together, although picture taking wasn't the main priority of the visit. This group picture is probably the only one most of us volunteers have for the visit.


My apology if some of the faces were blurred out. I distorted the features of the volunteers at their requests.

The volunteers who turn up to assist in handing out the gifts besides Ros and me were Salwa, Montessorimum, Sofhib, Geok Hong, Shamira, Wai Han (home birth consultant), Wai Leng, Suzette, Pauline, Gladys and Ellena.

We split into 2 groups. One for the ICU and pediatric ward, and one for the maternity ward. Although I have assisted My Moms Best forum in purchasing and wrapping gifts before, I have never made trips to the ward to hand out the parcels. Ashley was still very young then and I had been maidless for 2 years before this.

So this is my first visit. Nothing prepares me for the heaviness in my heart resulting from these ward visits. At our first stop at PIC One, (ICU Ward One), we were greeted by heart wrenching cries of a child. The cries sounds tired. The child must have been crying for a long time, and consistently. It echoes through the corridors. I imagine the child must be in extreme pain or in constant discomfort, and I imagine the mother of the child and the nurses must be offering the child the best comfort in whichever way they knew. It was a shadowy beginning which accompanied us throughout the rest of the rounds.

We weren't allowed into ICU One, although we were allowed in the other wards. We chosed the best gifts among them ie. those Russ Pillows valued RM52 which Nancy, the gift store owner had obligingly reduced to RM28 being her further contribution to the project, some Hello Kitty pillow unsnapped into blankets, some bolster unsnapped into pillows and other gifts of higher value, (of which the higher value were made affordable from Lilian, the founder of My Mom's Best's bigger cash contribution for 5 gifts) and the nurses pushed the trolley into the ward to distribute among the mothers.

We were instructed to just hand out, wished the mothers a Happy Mothers Day and proceeded along. Even then, it took us till noon. During the round, I note one child of around 3 years old wearing a mask over his face while cruising around his bed. It was thick and it looks heavy, like those scuba diving mask, except it covers the whole face, including nose and mouth? It was heavy enough to compress into his tender young skin. To have to endure constant discomfort at such young age, isnt that sad?

On the next bed, a wisp of a little girl of about 5 years old with puffy white skin all over her face, her neck and I presume, her whole body.

I had thought that it was calamine. On second look, it is the colour of the skin. And there is a layer of skin like tight plastic sheen over her skin. It looks as if any accidental poke or tear in her tight white puffy shiny skin would result in a spray of body liquid. Very tender and fragile looking. She has only one hand and someone had placed an old worn out bath towel over her handless shoulder. Her other hand, peeping out from under the blanket, is terribly swollen, deformed and hasn't any fingers.

This is the most heart-wrenching experience I have ever encounter. She was labouring to breath. And her mother had stepped out during the child's nap, I suppose to run some errants. I note that under her closed eyelids, her eyes were bloodshoot, a line of red running along her closed lid. Looking at the little one, I felt this tightness at my throat. The little girl's suffering haunted me till today. I wish I could do more for her and her mother than just handing out a donated parcel and a cupcake.

We ended about 12.30 noon and had a drink to quench our thirst downstairs at the deli one floor below before bading each other goodbye. I know I haven't added the links to the above-mentioned names yet. It's my sister's wedding today and there will be stuffs to do. will add them as soon as time permit. And will upload the links of the others' blog soonest possible as when they have time to post.

Anyhow, all in all, this is a leadladen-heart experience, of which although I had prepared for it, I still have a hard time dealing with. I would still visit again the next project though.

But, thank you, all, for all your kind contribution ! And thank you to Lilian and Ros for initiating this project again this year.

May the next Mothering Mother project be as successful. Have a great Mother's Day today, all !


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  • Remember the day when I said I wanna give u a pat on your back? :) Running around collecting gifts and doing the shopping is no joke.
    You all really did a great job!!!
    Happy Mother's Day!

    By Anonymous shoppingmum, At 3:31 PM  

  • I'm so happy that MoM 2009 become reality. Thanx a lot to ALL of you. --sofhib

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At 8:33 PM  

  • such a sight yeah....Christene, you are great!

    By Blogger Mummy to QiQi, At 9:18 PM  

  • I still haven't made it to the bank to bank in the money but will do so in due course. This has been a busy weekend. I'd just like to commend all the volunteers who took time to do this - my hats off to all of you. I know how heart wrenching the task is, I've done this twice before(once in University Hospital locally and once in the UK) and both times, I cried. Thank you for doing this all of you!!!

    By Blogger Big Pumpkin, At 10:54 PM  

  • hey Big Pumpkin, if your name is not on the list or in the comment box, or if you havent email to me, then there's no need to bank in anymore. I only purchase based on email confirmation of pledge and the comments box confirmation of pledge. Can always save it for next year or alternatively, you can have it delivered to the hospital direct.

    By Blogger allthingspurple, At 12:19 AM  

  • It was heart-wrenching to see all those tubes in the tiny bodies. I went home & hugged my kids... tightly.

    Btw, nice to finally put names to faces. Hope I don't get sue for being 'homebirth consultant'. Am merely a childbirth educator ;)

    By Anonymous Wai Han, At 8:49 AM  

  • you are great...
    I am sooo sorry that I didn't help much n you running all alone....

    By Blogger chanelwong, At 9:20 AM  

  • It was a nice gesture to put some smiles to some of the faces in hospital!! Happy Mother's Day to you!

    By Blogger Rose, At 9:25 AM  

  • Oh Chanel, dont worry about it. I have no urgent datelines those few days and had time to do stuff.

    By Blogger allthingspurple, At 9:29 AM  

  • Good work, Christene, with the pressies!

    Nice to see so many Mums volunteer. Hope that the Mums in the ward were cheered a bit.

    I remember the kids I saw in the Class 2 ward my late father was in...their faces & voices are really hard to erase from memory.

    By Blogger KittyCat, At 9:35 AM  

  • Christene, I guess you would be busy and wouldn't see my msg in time. So, I tried calling Vivian of Fabulous Mom on Friday evening and leaving her an sms to find out whether it's too late to pledge. Alas, no response. Next year then, hopefully. I just want to compliment that it is so lovely of you all to go all out to do something for those mothers. God Bless.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At 10:50 AM  

  • You and Ros did most of the hardwork Christene, we merely made ourselves available on Saturday. And it was great finally putting faces to the names and catching up at Delifrance.

    By Blogger A Mom's Diary, At 11:16 AM  

  • thanks to all d volunteer for doing this on behalf of us!! i for sure would not have the heart to be there...i knew i would end up crying terribly, even by just reading what u described, my eyes went teary!!
    can't begin to imagine seeing it myself. you guys really done a wonderful & meaningful job!
    may god bless all of them in the hospital!!

    By Anonymous jacss, At 11:52 AM  

  • You beat me to this...but I finally updated in my blog, finally!

    By Blogger mama23beas, At 4:13 PM  

  • i think this is a priceless post. I congratulate you and the rest of the volunteers.

    By Blogger FAMILY FIRST, At 5:34 PM  

  • You have a huge heart, you know that????

    *Happy Mothers' Day to you *

    By Anonymous Angeline, At 6:52 PM  

  • Hi there!!! Just wanted to tell you that it was great meeting you and do keep in touch.

    My blog's

    By Blogger Alina Grace's Domain, At 9:44 PM  

  • *clap clap* You all did a great job and put a smile on the faces of those who are at the hospital :)

    By Anonymous mommy to chumsy, At 9:53 AM  

  • Christene,

    Thank you for all the effort that this team has done. You all are the best!!! WELL DONE!!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At 11:50 AM  

  • Thanks for sharing this event with us Christene. It was a pleasure to meet you the other day.

    I think I am the last to update re that day..lols

    By Blogger Redbabe, At 12:04 PM  

  • A BIG thanks to you Christene & all the volunteers for doing it on behalf of us.

    By Anonymous Janice, At 2:04 PM  

  • Thanks for your kind words, all.

    It was all the contribution from all of you great people out there that make this possible. And the selfless sacrifice that the other volunteers made of their time to help distribute the gifts. Also Lilian of 5xmom for initiating this in her My Moms Best forum for the last few years running.

    By Blogger allthingspurple, At 2:21 PM  

  • I know you have gone through a lot and put in a lot of effort too, Christene. I hope to be able to join all of you one day, when my children are a little older. Thank you to all the volunteers too.

    By Blogger JO-N, At 10:48 AM  

  • you have such a good heart. I visited the paediatric ward abt 10 years ago and was in tears in and out of the ward. It's really heart wrenching.

    By Blogger coffeesncookies, At 11:45 AM  

  • aiya... i miss the train...!! I didn't know that you are doing such a great job! I've been busy with school work and hardly online :( i'll remember to lo0k our for your announcement next mother's day for you next project..

    By Blogger MiChi, At 8:45 PM  

  • Hi, I couldn't find your email so I had to come back here. My husband deposited RM100 into your bank account last week. Take it as our contribution to your petrol money and labour cost - LOL

    Take care.

    By Blogger Big Pumpkin, At 10:35 AM  

  • By reading what you've wrote, it makes my heart wrenching too. Good job to all who help out.

    By Anonymous Hijackqueen, At 11:38 AM  

  • Big Pumpkin. So late ! I dont mind paying the gas actually, but thanks for your part in contribution to cover the gas to and fro Shah Alam, collection and the running around over the last few days haha. labour, no need la. haha. Maybe next year, you can make it for the hospital rounds with us.

    By Blogger allthingspurple, At 3:34 PM  

  • what a meaningful project!

    By Blogger Rachel, At 11:15 PM  

  • A really good gesture indeed!

    By Blogger NomadicMom, At 9:15 PM  

  • Wow! So much donation! Great job!

    By Blogger little prince's mummy, At 6:41 PM  

  • Christene, here's details of our bloggers' meet:


    By Blogger JO-N, At 11:32 AM  

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