More Than Words

It took lots of patience and perseverance – and an emotional heart-to-heart – before Kang Ching Yee, a physiotherapist at Gleneagles Hospital Singapore, could convince a reluctant 82-year-old COVID-19 patient to take his rehabilitation sessions seriously. And because she did not give up, he was able to walk out of the hospital after recovering from the coronavirus two months later.

The COVID-19 patient was admitted to the hospital’s intensive care unit in late March. As his physiotherapist, Ching Yee had to work with him twice a day to help him improve his mobility. However, it wasn’t easy in the beginning as the patient often resisted therapy due to fatigue, breathlessness and discomfort in his joints.

But Ching Yee was determined to change that. One day, when she had the opportunity to be alone with him, she told him, “Uncle, I am trying so hard to help you, but you keep pushing me away. I am very sad.”

Her heartfelt words broke down the barrier between them and after that, the patient started to make an effort to move his limbs more. Soon he was able to do complex tasks like holding a cup, combing his hair and turning on the bed.

After two months, the patient recovered from COVID-19 and was ready to be discharged. Everyone was happy for him, even more so for Ching Yee because she knew she was one of the reasons he was able to walk out of the hospital.