A photo in The Star today reminded me of someone whom I highly admired. Dr. Musa Nordin of Damansara Specialist Hospital, Petaling Jaya. Parents of his patients called him ‘the saviour’ of their children.
Well, Dr. Musa played a part in convincing me that God exists. Never mind that he is a staunch Muslim. In a situation where life and death are hanging on a thread, you do not pause to think whom God is, you just need to be assured that there is a God.
This is how I got to know Dr. Musa. My local doctor here in Penang, Dr. Cheang HK of Lam Wah Ee, mentioned Dr. Musa’s name. We were having a discussion on what more we can do for Vincent. Dr. Cheang is a paediatrician/ neonatologist (someone specialised in unborn and newborn babies) whom is highly recommended by other paediatricians (doctors specialised in children’s health) in Penang. Therefore, we had exhausted all avenues as things are not going so great.
So, I took the daring action of writing blindly to Dr. Musa. He doesn’t know me and being a busy doctor that he is, I never expect to hear from him. Usually, doctors prefer to refrain from inteferring or involve in patients that they do not have access to. But Dr. Musa did take time to reply my email. He gave me very comforting and assuring reply that Dr. Cheang is doing everything as what he would have done.
I had to bashfully admit to Dr. Cheang that I did snoop around via emails for 2nd (and a 3rd opinion from Prof. Jessy of UMMC) behind his back. Dr. Cheang wasn’t surprised as he knew that I would go to any length to find some promise for Vincent’s recovery. In fact, he encouraged me to ask around and I subsequently wrote to doctors in the USA and UK. (I had a previous doctor whom would pull a long face if I so much as question her. Some doctors cannot bear their patients doubting them.)
I finally had a chance to meet up with Dr. Musa in DSH one day. It was a Friday and he just returned from his Friday prayers. There is something about Dr. Musa and Dr. Cheang (and Prof. Lucy) have in common. They have this magical touch with babies. They are not private about their faith. One is a Muslim, another Catholic and the other Buddhist. They do not hesitate to tell parents of critically ill children that they had done everything possible and it is left to the Almighty to do the rest.
Once, Dr. Cheang had to make an overseas trip for a conference. Each time, he was away on two other occassions, Vincent had somehow gotten into major problems. The problem with babies are they responded to not only the medical treatment but also the touch of the doctor. If they do not like a person, be it the nurse or doctor, they will get into breathing difficulties which will lead to life threatening situations.
So, at that point, Vincent was already in critical condition. Dr. Cheang and even the nurses, including me, were worried what will arise during his absence. Jokingly, I asked Dr. Cheang to keep Vincent in his prayers during his trip. Dr. Cheang’s reply surprised me and made me speechless. “I had been praying for him, every day.”
Whoaaaa…was I touched. Later on, on Good Friday in 2002, I asked him if he can pray for Vincent. I wasn’t a Christian yet , neither a Buddist nor Taoist (because at that time, I had given up totally on everything). So, I don’t have the faintest idea what ‘praying’ means. Anyway, I thought he would probably go to church and remember Vincent or something.
But come Good Friday morning, he came for his morning round. He asked the nurse in the room (Vincent was in ICU in a glass room) if she is a Christian or wish to take part in the prayer. I was like, ‘Huh? Like that oso can?’ The nurse excused herself and left Dr Cheang, Vincent and I in the room.
Until then, I still do not know what prayer involves. It went like this. Dr. Cheang did a cross (only some Christians denominations do the cross, like what you see those Brazillian footballers do, touch the forehead, heart, left shoulder, right shoulder), put his palms together and said,
“Heavenly Father, please make Vincent healthy and give all the medical staffs the wisdom to care for him. Keep Vincent’s brothers safe at home when his parents are here to take care of him. Amen.”
Cool! So, that’s what prayers are all about. And I thought it was something complicated. Fast forward several months later, I join the RCIA and found out that I ended up in the same church as Dr. Cheang!
I suppose I can say that I found God through Dr. Cheang and Dr. Musa, in the hospital. God bless them and may the Almighty equip them with the skills and wisdoms to heal all the little babies and children in their care.