How boy with brain tumour convinced Tan Chuan-Jin that every S’porean can step forward & volunteer

Have you caught our new series over the weekend? If not, here’s a quick recap. 

In the first episode of Stories From Our People, Speaker Tan Chuan-Jin (Marine Parade GRC) shared a heart-wrenching story of a young boy whose health issues went unnoticed until it was too late. 

During a Meet the People (MPS) session in 2012, MP Tan saw one of his regular families. But immediately, he knew that something was wrong.

The family’s 6-year-old boy was wearing diapers and in pain. Clearly something was very wrong.

“What was most disturbing was that his head was just enlarged,” said MP Tan. “I knew at that moment, we really needed to send him to hospital.”

Sensing something clearly wrong, a volunteer immediately brought the family to KK Hospital, he recounted.

As it turned out, the young boy has a brain tumour. He was admitted for a massive operation that evening which stretched for over nine hours.

Unfortunately, he did not make it.

This incident happened very early in his career as a representative of the people.

Reflecting on it, he pondered the difference in outcome if the boy had received timely medical attention. 

“Why didn’t anyone pick up the issues earlier? Should someone have raised it up? Could we have prevented it and intervened sooner and might he still be with us today?”

If the family’s neighbours and friends had picked up the issue earlier, could that have saved the boy’s life?

As a result of what happened, Speaker Tan shared that the incident reinforced his belief in the importance of going upstream to pick up issues earlier and stop problems in their tracks. 

“I know that we can’t solve everything, but we need to be there…to help those who need help,” he said earnestly. 

Now, right at the heart of the PAP community outreach efforts is this desire “to be there” for all Singaporeans. More precisely, to pick up on problems early on and prevent them from festering. 

All year round, the Party’s MPs and activists are constantly on the go in our communities, ready to listen and extend a helping hand to residents. 

Because just like what Speaker Tan shared, all of us can step forward, be involved and make a difference. And that is exactly what this Party plans on doing in the years ahead.

You can watch his story here.


Photo Source: PAP/Tan Chuan-Jin via Facebook