Thursday, October 21, 2010

A visit to the Pediatric Ward HUKM

Ijam clowning as usual

This post is repeated from my blog Feel Good Feeling Good.

Kooky Kash is one kool Kooky. On the trails, in her races and in taking up the most challenging projects. Her eye for concepts, details and creativity are unbelievably spot on. You got to meet or work with her to actually see all her traits. Just believe me.
Kooky had cued to me that she would like to do an event with unfortunate kids. She would like to present them with race medals so that they would be encouraged and be one day able to pick up the sport. I agreed but with some apprehension. I really foresaw a lot of problems and obstacles ahead. Who would want to help us to do the event at the Pediatric Ward in HUKM? Did we have the time frame?
We would have to start dealing with the kids who are frail and fighting for their lives. This is no normal kids party. That would be chicken’s feed. Our target participants are located in the hospital’s ICU, bedriden in individual rooms and in a ward highly restricted to visitation. Can we get enough runners to donate their medals for the kids?  Admittedly I did not offer to part with my medals too, but parted with two.
A basketful of medals

It takes Kooky to get things moving. She quickly rounded up a great team to get things done. All amazingly through her blog, emails, sms, telephones calls and Facebook. Soon I had emails coming from strangers in respond to Kooky’s call. I’ll do this and I’ll do that. My friend can do this and my friend can do that. Wow. Soon enough even Kooky got help, contribution and donations from total strangers. Help and precious medals poured in. Unbelievable, in about 10 days our email thread was so long and deep that if it was yarn we could have weaved a running vest. We had only one brief meeting at my house two days before the event.
Who says there must be a team leader in teamwork? Our team did not have a leader per se. We were all peers; all of us took on our responsibilities and tasks without much of a fuss, question or doubt. Critical decisions were made by each team member.  Our teamwork was slick like clockwork, all cogs moving smoothly forward. We had over come all the obstacles in time management, resources, floor space management and event management.

Happy birthday all

We hosted 25 kids from age just over 1 year old to about 12 years old. All were with Leukemia or Lymphoma. Some were in wheel chairs and some still had IV/ drip tubes still attached. All were accompanied by their parents. Five were confined in their own rooms.
Our programme included interactive singing, a magician, a clown, board games, face painting, sand art, balloon sculpture, a birthday celebration and a big feast. The event finished with medal and gift presentations to the kids. All cramped into 2 hours and done within a floor space of about 20 X12feet. Whew, do we have a tight ship. We also had to do a side activity to visit the kids who were confined to their individual rooms. They were also not left out as we were determined to bring cheer to them by giving them medals and gifts as well.
Kooky's team

Kooky was accepted as our Ketua, I was as usual SiTua and I took on as floor manager and troubleshooter.  Julie was MC, Karen Loh took care of the visit to the kids in their rooms. Tina was Music Director, Nita was in charged of the cakes and Rais and all others were crew and deck hands. Our own spouses and kids contributed just as much in organizing the space and more importantly cleaning up the place after the event. A big thank to you guys. Soon more of the gang came to help out. Ijam came in time to clown around. He said to me that he did not have any training as a clown. He was just himself. No need to play act. Pueh Tian and Yim took all our photographs. Gerald and two lovely ladies from the Sacred Heart Church Peel Road came with a guitar for our sing-a-long. The Church also kindly donated biscuits, food and goodies to the Hospital. Thank you Gerald.
Young Danial volunteered to perform amazing magic tricks and card tricks. We salute and thank Danial’s father Dato Bala  for allowing him to perform despite young Danial was to sit for his school Assessment Test the next day. We had Chai working with the balloons, Anne did the pretty faces with colours and stickers, Wai Wan brought some interesting board games for the kids and Kelvin and June provided the sand art. Khairul Anuar, Azza and Syah and their families were also with us for the event.
Everybody enjoyed themselves, kids, parents and of course we had a blast. Julie and Maymun were born frogs, having demonstrated their skills in Lompat Si Katak Lompat. They will win hopping races hands down. Ijam obliged me with a short stint of Joget; and boy, was Tina a singing sansation. So much hidden talent in her. Watchout Academy Fantasi wannabes.
I must add that everybody had held their composures well. Well almost everybody. Presentation of the medals was a hyper emotional itinerary. Both in the games room and in the individual rooms. A handicapped boy was brought to center stage to participate with the magician. He had refused any assistance by Julie to return to his wheel chair. He struggled back all by himself. I am not a very tough guy either and had shed a tear discretely. It was unbelievably touching.
 Only poor Junebaby had to miss the event as she was scheduled to visit Taiping on Sunday. Junebaby was in the original team. Thanks for all your help and encouragements; and for keeping yourself in the loop throughout. There will always be a next time.
The PRO and hospital staff on duty were great hosts to the event. They were most helpful to all our requests, including Baca Doa by the resident Ustaz. HUKM staff did not believe that we are a bunch of good friends, quickly assembled by Kooky and gang; of which most had not even met before until at the event. I still don’t believe it myself, why should they. They thought that we belonged to some slick NGO. Ha Ha. We became instant event consultants for HUKM’s future projects.
I wish to thank everyone who had contributed to the success of this wonderful event. We couldn’t have done it but for Kooky. We had achieved our aim to bring hope and cheer to some unfortunate kids and had touched many hearts. Most of all the event was fun, like participating in a race.

A medal for you

I’ll direct you to Pueh Tian and Yim’s the FB and photo galleries for more photos of the event. (Thanks for the above photos PT.)

Take care
Allen Lai

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