Memoirs of a Doctor, chapter 8

Reviews

I received your book yesterday and straight away read it. Could not put it down as it was an interesting write up and easy to read. Congratulations.😍 Jun

I have finished reading the whole book on your autobiography. It is an excellent piece! It is a very interesting read — full of the spices of life, also touching, sad and sweet reminiscing of your past, with passionate touches of the Lord’s greatness in your life ! Praise God for your family and you 🙏🏻 Carol

On 26th December 2019, I attended a post-Christmas, pre-New Year celebration dinner with my cardiologist colleagues in a hotel in Ipoh.

THE ACCIDENT

After dinner, when I was leaving the restaurant, I tripped and fell. I cannot quite remember how I fell. I must have momentarily lost consciousness, and when I came to myself, I saw my friends looking at me and calling out to me.

I could see and hear them, but I had a strange feeling. I could not feel my body from below the neck, and this was frightening! It was as though my head was cut off from the rest of my body. I could not move my hands and feet. I had no sensation whatsoever below my neck. It dawned on me then that I was a tetraplegic – the fall must have resulted in neck injury and spinal shock.

My colleagues called for an ambulance and transferred me to KPJ Ipoh Specialist Hospital. The paramedics were very careful not to move my neck and protected it with a cervical collar. I was immediately taken for an emergency MRI brain and neck scan and subsequently admitted to the ICU.

The MRI scan showed no head trauma, but there was a prolapsed intervertebral at the C3/C4 level causing a 90% compression of the spinal cord, confirming the diagnosis of a prolapsed intervertebral disc with cervical myelopathy at the C3/C4 level. By then, it was already past midnight.

THE SPINAL SURGERY

The next morning, I was taken for a CT scan of the neck to delineate the prolapse intervertebral disc in more detail. By then, the spinal shock had resolved but I was still tetraplegic. The spinal surgeon who attended to me advised urgent spinal cord decompression surgery to remove the prolapsed intervertebral disc and to decompress the spinal cord.

He explained that this was a delicate and precise operation, and indicated that there was a risk of permanent spastic tetraplegia in the event of complications arising during the operation. At 8pm on 27th December 2019, I was wheeled into the operating theatre for my scheduled operation. I heard the anesthetists in attendance saying that they were giving me pure oxygen, and will be putting me to sleep.

REHABILITATION & RECUPERATION

The next thing that I remember was the doctors calling my name, asking me to wake up, saying that the operation was over. When I opened my eyes, I saw the doctors, nurses, paramedics, and the clock in the operation theatre – indicating that it was 11pm.

I was wheeled back to the ICU. After eight days in the hospital, I was well enough to be discharged on a wheel chair. After six more weeks of outpatient physiotherapy and rehabilitation, I finally recovered and was discharged from physiotherapy.

At that time, the Covid-19 pandemic kicked in, and the whole country was under lockdown. It took me another two months more before I became fully ambulant. It is now 12 months after my operation, and I am fully ambulant.

THANKS FROM A GRATEFUL HEART

I truly want to thank God for saving my life. He rescued me from spinal shock and spastic tetraplegia. God also saw me through the successful spinal surgery and post-operation rehabilitation. My gratitude to all my cardiologist colleagues for calling the ambulance and protecting my neck during the ambulance transfer.

I also want to thank my wife, my sons, my daughters-in-law, my sister, my nephew, my relatives, my in-laws, my friends, my colleagues, my pastors, my church members, my school classmates, and my university classmates for their support. And I am very grateful for all those who prayed for me, cared for me, visited me, cooked for me, bought food for me, supported me, encouraged me, and reassured me.

And finally, I want to thank the spinal surgeon, neurosurgeon, neurologist, anesthetists, radiologists, staff nurses, nursing aides, paramedical staffs, radiographers, physiotherapists, KPJ ISH hospital directors, and all the other hospital staff, who attended to me during my hospitalization.

NOTHING SHORT OF A MIRACLE

According to one of my cardiologist friends who was with me during the dinner, and who was an eye witness to the accident, I fell with my head facing downwards hitting the floor, and I seemed lifeless for about 2 to 3 minutes. He said that at that moment, he thought I had died and was very worried for me. Fortunately, I revived spontaneously.

According to my eldest son, who is an anesthetist in New Zealand, injuries such as this almost always result in permanent tetraplegia. He is convinced that my complete recovery in such a short time is indeed a miracle.

LIVING IN THE GOODNESS OF GOD

So many people prayed for me, through WhatsApp messenger and in person. My wife and sister were very supportive throughout my hospital stay and post-operation. My in-laws were also very supportive throughout my ordeal. They drove me to various places outside Ipoh during the Chinese New Year of 2020 for food and recreation, just to cheer me up.

I thank God for preserving my life so that I can continue to serve Him. God is good! His love, compassion, mercy, and grace were lavished on me. God’s eyes were on me throughout my ordeal – I experienced such amazing grace. Once I could not walk but now can walk! I hope this testimony will be an encouragement for you as it has been and continues to be for me.

RETIRED & REFIRED

On 11th January 2020, I celebrated my 68th birthday. It also marked the day I hung up my stethoscope for good and promoted it into a museum piece, after 48 years of practicing medicine. I resigned from my position in Perak Community Specialist Hospital and KPJ Ipoh Specialist Hospital and officially retired from medical practice for good.

After retirement, I began serving the Lord in St. Andrews Presbyterian Church Pengkalan, Ipoh, as a lay preacher, bible teacher, worship leader, and bass guitarist. I also became an author and self-published several books. Retirement gave me the time that I needed to do the things I previously could not do.

Over the past 12 months, I have authored 8 books including Expository Commentaries on the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, Acts of the Apostles and Romans, Expository Preaching, Daily Devotions from the Gospel of Mark, and Memoirs of a Doctor.

I wish to praise My God for His abundant blessings that He has bestowed upon me and my family.

Philippians, Lesson 6

Lesson 6

Philippians 2:12-18

VV 12-13, 12 Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; 13 for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.

Paul addressed the Philippians Christians as his beloved, indicating his affection and strong bond of friendship. In Philippians 1:1, he addressed them as saints, bishops, and deacons. He implored the Philippians Christians to obeyed God to work out their salvation with fear and trembling. Paul did not advocate salvation by work. The injunction is to “work out” your salvation, not “‘work for” your salvation. Working out your salvation is a response to what God had done for you. God had “worked in’’ the work of salvation to you by grace. This should result in good works of servitude. Good works comes after salvation, not before.

James 2:14-17, “What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, and one of you says to them, “Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,” but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead”.

Justification and salvation is by grace, through faith in Christ and not by works. Ephesians 2:8-9, “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast”.

Justification and salvation is a miracle of a lifetime. This alone should be enough to make you tremble with fear. God saved you by grace according to His will.

VV 14-16, 14 Do all things without complaining and disputing,15 that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, 16 holding fast the word of life, so that I may rejoice in the day of Christ that I have not run in vain or labored in vain.

As children of God, they (and we), should do things without complaining and disputing, be blameless, harmless, and faultless to shine light of Christ into the dark and perverse world. They (and we), should be hold fast to the word of scripture, rejoice and await the day of Christ’ second coming.

VV 17-18, 17 Yes, and if I am being poured out as a drink offering on the sacrifice and service of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with you all. 18 For the same reason you also be glad and rejoice with me.

Paul was very emotional as he anticipated his impending martyrdom for his faith in Christ. He rejoiced because “to live is Christ and to die is gain’’, Philippians 1:21. He was headed for heaven.

Temple Mount
Temple Mount
Temple Mount
Temple Mount
Temple Mount
Temple Mount
Western Wall
Watch Tower