I work in a local Hawker centre. I am a family-centred, proud, breadwinner who loves his family. Recently I was travelling on the mrt when I collapsed with a stroke. I was hospitalised for three days before I could inform my local employer and my family in China. My family was distressed. My employer was quite supportive, they made arrangements for my family to come over. However, the insurance could not cover what happened to me because I had a stroke. A stroke is seen as a stress related condition rather than a work related injury or condition, therefore it cannot be covered by the employers insurance. The employer chose not to support my physio therapy here. However this therapy is so important to help me regain use of my right side which is currently paralysed. The only way for the right side of my body to be able to move even though the left side of my brain is damaged, is to do physio exercises which train my right brain to take control of my right side as well as the left.
I know that the stress is work related, because all I do is work. My monthly wage including as much overtime as is physically possible is $700. Every day I lied to my daughter, son and wife in China that life was good, so as not to worry them. Eventually the physical and emotional stress led to this stroke.
I have no way to pay the bills. I will not be able to come back to work in Singapore again because I have passed the age limit. My daughter is married and cannot work. My son is studying. In China I will have to pay my own health expenses too, and somehow my family will have to find a way to live as well as help me recover, moving forward together finding a new way to survive. This is so sad for me as I have always been their supporter and protector. I like to be the pillar of my family. How will I face my family and myself?