My near death experience and how it shaped my life

My turning point in life came at the age of 17, in my first year of junior college.

Due to the painful childhood baggage I carried with me, I slowly evolved into a Type A / fiery red personality. One who was very determined, ambitious, competitive, aggressive and strived very hard to succeed in life. That came in the form of academic success. I studied extremely hard, because I wanted to prove all others who had deemed me “hopeless”, wrong. I also craved for recognition & success in the martial arts that I took up as my extra-curricular activity. I put in long hours of hard work after school and often felt completely exhausted on my journey home.

My desired world that I worked so hard to create, all came tumbling down.

I started noticing widespread bruises all over my arms and legs. At first I thought it was normal, part of martial arts training. I also realised I often feel really exhausted. I thought it was just me being physically & mentally weak, and with practice, all will go away. It did not. It only worsened day by day. Then came the unexplainable needle red spots all over my legs. It was neither itchy nor “bumpy”. But the red spots refused to go away. So I decided to consult a doctor at a polyclinic. At the polyclinic, the doctor’s face looked very solemn & serious as I relayed my issues, and immediately requested for a blood test. The nurse who took my blood test & saw the results, muttered “take care”. The doctor saw the results, wrote a letter, and told me to immediately head to the hospital’s accident & emergency department. That was when I realised something is really off.

I went home, packed my bag, and boarded the taxi to the hospital with my parents. Events seemingly flew past minutes after I stepped into the hospital – quick access to haematologist (blood specialist), immediately confined to the bed, endless blood tests. I was verified to have idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP), an autoimmune condition where my body cells attacked my blood platelets. My blood platelets measured 3 when I was first admitted to hospital. A normal person’s blood platelet count is around 150 to 450. A severely low platelet count means that it is very difficult for my blood to clot, so if I sustain a fall, chances of me getting into a coma are high. That was why I was confined to the hospital bed for the entire 2 weeks that I spent there. I was blessed that I only spent 2 weeks, it could have been far worse. During that period of stay, I was given many bags of blood & blood platelets transfusion. I literally ate up the entire stockpile suitable for my blood type in the hospital, and they had to deliver more bags from the other hospitals. Blessed I was to receive the precious bags of blood & blood platelets donated by the public, for these kept me alive.

One week into my hospital stay, things worsened. The doctor’s initial plan was to transfer sufficient blood & blood platelets into my body, so that it creates a supportive environment for my body to create its own blood platelets (and therefore heal itself). That plan failed. My body rejected the external blood platelets. It was only a temporary measure. My blood platelets would artificially inflate and fall back to where it started after the external blood platelets died. By day 10, my blood platelets fell from 3 to 2. That day, my face looked very pale and sick. I felt dizzy, and my mind couldn’t think properly. The endless blood tests daily were a joke; it felt as if blood transfusion came in on one end, and came out via blood tests on other end. I felt tired. I felt like giving it up altogether. It looked like a hopeless battle.

But somewhere deep within me, I knew I wasn’t ready to wait & die. I knew I haven’t even started what I ever wanted to do on this earth, though I didn’t really know what I’m meant to do. I kept praying silently to myself while lying on the bed. I wanted to live. I promised to God / Source / Universe that if they ever give me a chance to live, I will devote my life to serve others.

That night, my worried parents who were busy juggling between manning the shop and visiting me at night, insisted on meeting my doctor. Specifically, my dad insisted that my doctor sees him personally at 9pm to discuss on my treatment plan. Blessed I was that the doctor cared enough to appear, and to have a dad who cares. It was that fateful meeting that my doctor proposed the idea of immunoglobin transfusion, which was expensive and regarded as a non-conventional treatment then. I still remembered, each precious bottle costs $500 and I needed 4-6 bottles. My parents agreed with the doctor to proceed. And thank God, it worked, at long last. Within 3 days, my blood platelets, which were artificially inflated, dipped to around 50. No longer 2 or 3. I had the chance to live.

I underwent steroid treatment for the next 1 year, and gained weight as a result. My perspectives in life drastically changed. I went back to junior college. I could no longer be the Type A / fiery red personality to strive for success in my martial arts. My body was unable to take that kind of training regime that I was used to. I learnt to be kind to my body, to minimise the giddy spells from exerting too much stress on it, physically & mentally. I learnt to empathise with people diagnosed with chronic illnesses, for each of us is fighting a difficult battle between life & death. I learnt to see the vulnerability that lies within each human. I learnt to appreciate the preciousness of life, for we never know whether we will enjoy the next moment.

Most importantly, I strengthened my desire to be of service to others. I believed that my prayers to God / Source / Universe were answered, and I will keep to my word to the best of my ability.

It is with the pure intention to serve that this blog was first created. To create a space where I consult my Masters and channel their answers to my pressing questions. In order to serve others, I have to first work & strengthen on my inner light. Hence, all these sharing starts with service to self – healing & releasing what no longer serves me, seeking clarity for higher answers & guidance (instead of being bombarded with people’s opinions & judgements of what “should” and “should not” be). The questions & answers will not be conventional. But if it helps with my healing & someone else’s healing along the way, why not?

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