A Loving Husband Gave Up His Kidney So That His Wife Could Live Longer
"Every day was a bonus."
What will you do when your loved one is suffering from an illness?
Singapore English daily, The New Paper (TNP), shared a heart-wrenching story of Simon Ong who recently lost his wife, Christine Chia to heart failure.
The Singaporean couple first met when they were still teenagers, at 17 years old.
"We met at a chalet... These were old-school days when people were still going out like that," Ong reportedly told TNP with a smile.
Little did they know that they were going to spend the next 27 years journeying through life together. Ong and Chia got married at 26, and led simple lives and enjoyed each other's companionship.
In 2007, things turned upside down for the couple when Chia had kidney failure. But her husband, Ong, demonstrated an act of selfless love by donating one of his kidneys to Chia.
Ong did not have to think twice to offer his own kidney to save his wife. He knew that it was the only way he could prolong his wife's life, as she did not respond well to dialysis.
"She had a close brush with death. It could have ended then but thankfully it did not," Ong said.
"But I knew from reading online articles that transplanted kidneys would eventually fail again. The doctor did not say how long she had, but I was expecting around 12 years."
Ong became the sole breadwinner as Chia reportedly resigned shortly after her diagnosis.
Knowing that the successful surgery meant that they were given a second chance at life, the couple did not waste any time and lived up to the famous Latin aphorism, Carpe diem
Chia and Ong toured around the world whenever they had the opportunity, setting their feet in places such as Japan, Taiwan and Italy together.
"We wanted to live life to the fullest, since you can never tell when things will go wrong," Ong was quoted as saying.
"Every day was a bonus."
Sometimes, they were joined by other family members. Though their presence is much appreciated, Chia had secretly told Ong that she would have preferred to travel around with her husband only.
"Her favourite place was Venice, which we visited several years ago. She loved it."
Nine years after the kidney transplant, Chia succumbed to a heart failure, which had also led to complications with her donated kidney
"At her deathbed, I told her that I was very thankful that I had her, and that she made me feel fortunate," Ong told TNP.
"But I also said that I was still not ready. I still needed more time with her. I thought I was prepared for it, but I found it difficult to come to terms with her death."
Before she passed away, Chia had an uneasy feeling that her borrowed time was coming to an end
According to TNP, since the beginning of this year, Chia had been feeling ill.
Ong recalled how his late wife was feeling upset over the fact that she might not be able to move into their new condo unit that they bought together in 2013. They only received the keys a few months ago.
"Her last words to me were to thank me for giving her everything, and that she had lived a blessed life."