We often think that illnesses such as high blood pressure, heart attack or even stroke, would only happen to older, unfit individuals but this young man in Singapore recently shared his story of how he suddenly suffered from a stroke at the age of 21. That’s really young!
According to Lianhe Zaobao, Lee Wee Yong was 21 years old in 2013 and serving in the army in Pulau Tekong. On that fateful day, he suddenly fainted when he was about to head to dinner with his friends. His situation was really critical and he was rushed to the hospital via a helicopter. Whoa, sounds serious!
The doctor determined that Lee was suffering from Cerebral Arteriovenous Malformation (AVM), which is defined as “tangle of abnormal blood vessels connecting arteries and veins in the brain”. Apprently, blood vessels had burst in his brain and there was massive blood hemorrhage happening. So scary!
Doctors had to perform surgery on Lee immediately as the blood was causing pressure in his brain and even so, his chance of survival was only 50 per cent. Lee’s mother said, “I had tears in my eyes and was thinking to myself, ‘how come God put me through such suffering?’. I waited outside the operating theatre for eight hours and prayed nonstop, hoping my son would survive this ordeal.”
Thankfully, he woke up from his operation but was in a vegetative state as he could not speak, move or recognise anyone, even after three weeks in the ICU. Lee said,” It was only two or three months later that I was really aware of what was happening and until today, I still cannot remember much about my six months stay in the hospital.”
Lee had to undergo operation twice to save his life but he said he suffered the most when he first woke up and had to rely on his parents to do everything. He could not even do simple everyday tasks like brushing his teeth, going to the toilet, bathing or changing his clothes.
His body had to relearn all these things we take for granted and one day, his father decided that he should learn how to be independent. Lee’s father taught him how to brush his teeth again and the young man was determined to move on with his life. When there’s a will, there’s a way!
Thanks to his determination and his family’s care, Lee could finally be independent enough to take care of himself. Now, the 25-year-old is pursuing his studies in Singapore University of Social Sciences (SUSS) and is expected to graduate next year.
Before this life-changing incident, Lee wanted to be enlisted in the army but now, he wants to use his personal experiences to help and inspire others. He said, “Although it may take longer than usual for me to learn something but I believe if you are determined enough, you will be able to do it.”
Kudos to this young man for being such an inspiration!
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