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Special reunion meal for NKF patient

Nurses and patients brought festive cheer right into a dialysis patient's home.
The Straits Times - February 6, 2013
By: Priscilla Goy
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Special reunion meal for NKF patient

FOR patients at the National Kidney Foundation (NKF), care is not just confined to the treatment they receive at dialysis centres.

Yesterday, 10 nurses and patients from the Western Digital-NKF Dialysis Centre brought festive cheer right into a dialysis patient's home.

They joined 81-year-old Tan Say Kow for a Chinese New Year reunion lunch in his one-room flat.

Mr Tan, who has lived in his Ang Mo Kio flat for 27 years, rarely celebrates Chinese New Year with anyone. The youngest of four siblings, his two brothers and sister all died about 20 years ago. He does not celebrate the festive season with his flatmate.

"I usually would just go to the nearby coffee shop and eat... Things are not much different, even during Chinese New Year," he said, in a mix of Mandarin and Hokkien.

"I am happy to have people in the house. Hopefully, there will be more gatherings like this in future," he added.

Earlier in the morning, the nurses and patients had also helped to decorate Mr Tan's home.

Two of the six nurses who went, Mrs Gloria Ho and Mrs Liu Hong Yan, usually assist Mr Tan, who has been an NKF dialysis patient for 11 years.

They organised the reunion lunch at Mr Tan's house, after the idea of having reunion meals at patients' homes was proposed by senior nurses at the NKF headquarters this year.

The nurses wanted to do more for their patients, especially for the elderly, said Mrs Ho. "We hope to cheer them up," she added.

The other four patients who went for the gathering are also single, elderly patients like Mr Tan.

Of the 2,522 dialysis patients at NKF as of Jan 31, more than a quarter (26.3 per cent) are aged 50 and above, and not married.

goyshiyi@sph.com.sg

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