January 19, 2016. A memorable day for me. I had just done a minor appendicitis operation a day before in a private hospital. The heart specialist doctor came to me that he was informed by a doctor last night that I might be having some problems with my heart that I may need to have a proper checking on it.
Scans, all kind of scans done in an afternoon. I still do not believe that I have a heart problem as I never have any symptom on it. In the late afternoon, the doctor came to inform what he had found from the results of the scan. It was a bad news that I need to go for a big surgery which according to the doctor that it only can be done in Heart Centre at Kota Samarahan if I want to get it done in Sarawak. What a shocking news to me. I couldn’t believe it happened to me.
I have no other choice but to go to the Heart Center as adviced by the doctor. And I have no other choice to secure the sickness except to proceed with the major operation. It wasn’t blocked. It can be read clearly on my echo scan report with medical terms that I never understood them before. It was written “Severe AR” on the aortic valve and Ascending Aorta appear dilated size about 5.25cm which mean double the size of normal people’s 2.5cm. It was also known as “Bentall Procedure”. After a few regular follow up, the operation date was set. It was on 2nd August 2016.
I continued my daily life as usual and get ready for the operation. However, there were some decisions that yet to decide. I like Japanese koi very much and I was inspired by some koi pictures at that time. By that time it was June, I asked myself, “Am I able to complete another painting before my surgery on August?” After a long thought. I told myself: “Nevermind, I can continue after my operation”. Therefore, the painting was started. Definitely, I didn’t finish the artwork before surgery. I admited on the 1st August 2016. Operation proceeded as scheduled on the next day the 2nd August.
The surgery was unexpected smooth and very successful, according to my wife from the doctors. I stayed in ICU for exactly 7 days. Since my condition was stable and need less monitoring, I was then transfer to a single room in normal wad. Since I was in the single room, consider I’m quite free to do what I can do at that time. I think it was the first time people bring art materials to the wad while visiting patients. Yes, my wife did. She brought me my kois painting that I haven’t finish and all my art materials to my room. I painted for few days in a very short while as I couln’t proceed with my still sick and easily tired body. I continue it at home after discharged from Heart Center. The painting was completed on 2nd September, 2016. One month after my heart surgery. My wife named it “The Joyous” as I was given a second chance to live. I am a lucky guy, told by a senior nurse when I was in ICU. “Not everyone like your case had succeed. Some of them did not make it. You are very lucky.” I never know my case is so serious until she told me so.
Psalm 23: The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness. For His name’s sake.Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; My cup runs over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me. All the days of my life; And I will dwell in the house of the Lord Forever.
I felt like I have walked through the valley of the shadow of death and because of HIM, I’m alive today. The second chance given was just like the kois, swim with Joyous.