A former homeless man who resides in Church-run Assisi Hospice in Singapore. (Photo: Assisi Hospice Singapore)
Mdm Leong Foong Meng was only 10-year-old when her Malaysian mother moved to Singapore from Kuala Lumpur to escape domestic violence. In the city-state, her mother started working as a production line worker in a garment factory.
Leong, the eldest of her siblings, dropped out from secondary school to support her mother and joined a garment factory where she became a seamstress. She also made colorful dresses for herself and her younger brother and sister. The family had a happy life and would visit their relatives in Malaysia occasionally.However, a road accident at the age of 40, threw her life out of gear. Her legs became paralyzed and she was no longer able to walk without the help of others. Leong was admitted to a nursing home where her mother and siblings used to visit from time to time. As her mother and siblings passed away, she became lonely and depressed.In December 2020, Leong was referred to Assisi Hospice for inpatient palliative care, where volunteers tend to her medical needs, offer her company and listen to her life stories.