A Father and Hero

By Ang Jia Min and Nadyaputri Asman

Republic Polytechnic’s Diploma in Mass Communication

Fathers protect and care for their children and sometimes it means sacrificing their entire lives to ensure that their children lead better lives than they did. Mr Liu, 69, is one such father.

Mr Liu was diagnosed with kidney failure in 2005 while working as a warehouse technician. As his 62-year-old wife is unemployed and sick, Mr Liu endured desperate times. On top of that, his elder daughter, 24, has severe mobility issues since she suffered a high fever when she was one. Bills were piling, resources were lacking, and this pushed Mr Liu into borrowing money from his relatives who were hesitant to lend a helping hand.

“None of them understood my pain, which truly made me feel like I was going through this alone,” said Mr Liu. He has another daughter who is 22 years old and is working as a sales assistant.

To clear his debts to his relatives, Mr Liu worked overtime daily for a number of years. When things needed to be repaired, he taught himself the skills to fix the equipment. He sought cheaper alternatives for his medication and maintained his health by doing light exercises.

The only meal he would eat was in the morning, consisting of a slice of bread and two cups of coffee. This routine remains to this day.

“I’m fine with this diet because I do not have the appetite to eat as well so we manage to cut down on our household expenses. Besides, the more I consume, the toxins in my body will increase,” he said lightheartedly.

However, he ensures his wife and children eat their three daily meals, as they need energy to work or take care of the house.

In 2011, Mr Liu retired from his job. Singapore Red Cross has stepped in to help him with FoodAid vouchers for the past few years. A volunteer visits his family monthly and the vouchers are used to buy daily necessities and groceries.

Despite his struggles, Mr Liu remains optimistic and will continue to give his all to his wife and children.

“I realised that for the people you love, you’d do anything for them,” he said. “I always have the hope that things will get better.”