Alive and Well

By Mei Yam


On Jan 13, 2011, my father was sent to Hospital Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (HUKM) after he collapsed at home. The doctors performed a series of tests on him, and after several hours, they finally determined that he had suffered an aneurysm, that is, a rupture in a blood vessel. In his case, it was in the aorta, the main artery that goes right down from the heart to the abdomen. Doctors’ prognosis was that my father was in critical condition and would probably not survive his illness.

My father is 84 years old, and other than an occasional bout of vertigo, he had always been fit and healthy. But that week, he came to within a hair’s breadth of death three times. It’s amazing that he is not only alive today, but he’s as healthy as he’s ever been. In his own words, it’s all because of Jesus.

Aneurysm can strike even the young. It is a silent killer that is often undetected until it is too late. In many cases, victims pass out and never regain consciousness. Miraculously, my father, at his advanced age, was able to wake up  and reach for his phone to call for help.

The vascular specialists at HUKM were amazed that he had not succumbed to instant death. Nevertheless, they were quite certain that it was not a case of if, but when, time would run out. He was given a 10% chance of survival if he went for surgery but he was unlikely to ever be able to enjoy the same quality of life he had before. Given my father’s age, the doctors advised us to provide him the best comfort care possible until certain death took over, probably, within days.

After hours of frantic discussion, my family decided to go for surgery which was his only real chance of survival. The operation successfully repaired the rupture just in the nick of time. An hour later, it would have been too late. So many things could have happened that might have delayed it. In fact, right up until an hour before the surgery, we contemplated transferring him to a private hospital that offered a safer surgical alternative. And while we struggled with the decision, the doctors gave up our allocated time slot. If someone else had actually been moved into the operating theatre (OT), my father would have to wait for the next available slot at least a couple of hours later. But God intervened. We stayed with HUKM and took the riskier but ultimately life-saving procedure, and the Lord made sure the OT remained available.

My father was by no means out of danger after the surgery. The risks of complications such as heart attack, stroke, kidney failure, infection, and paralysis are all not uncommon to vascular surgery patients. Three days after the operation, he suffered a shut down of his system, and doctors again warned us that it was likely to be the end of the road. But with God, it’s never the end of the road. Dad made a swift turnaround, and before the week was out, he moved out of the ICU.  Thereafter, he continued to have ups and downs and made a return to the ICU for another week, but he was well on the road to a full recovery.

Today, just 4 months after he collapsed, God has completely healed him. His kidney function, which was constantly questionable, is once again working on cue. He says even the cataract in his right eye cleared! His mind is as sharp as ever, he’s upbeat, his faith is strong, and he’s thanking Jesus everyday.

Uncle Yam came onstage to share his testimony at our Sunday Celebration on May 8, 2011.

May attends the New Covenant Church Kuala Lumpur: