SINGAPORE – Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat, unable to speak after waking from a stroke-induced coma in May 2016, decided to scribble on a piece of paper to communicate with his wife.

“I’ve been drinking coffee all my life, but the first thing I doodled was ‘I want coffee,'” Heng said at an event marking World Stroke Day at Jurong Lake Gardens on Saturday. Told.

Hosted by Stroke Support Station (S3), a stroke-focused community rehabilitation and wellness agency, the event included a community walk, a swim program and a music program.

As guest of honor, Heng joined about 70 stroke survivors and their caregivers for a walk. He was joined by his senior minister, Teo Chee Hean, whose S3 was founded by his late wife, Teo Poh Yim, in 2015.

Heng, with his wife Chang Hwee Nee, chairman of S3, refers to his scribbled coffee notes and says: ”

He detailed his recovery experience, including relearning everyday activities such as speaking, standing, walking, eating, and writing.

Stroke survivor Edmund Tan, 40, has been in rehab since Heng suffered a stroke at age 37 while he was working in Malaysia, so his recovery is encouraging to him. said.

Now unemployed, Tan has completed treatment at S3 and is working daily in his rehabilitation practice.

After noticing gaps in practical recovery tips, he posted videos online documenting his efforts, showing other stroke survivors the exercises they could do.

In his speech, Heng paid tribute to caregivers of stroke patients. Many of them are devoted to their work, “burning at both ends of the candle.”

Rehabilitation is very demanding for patients, and perhaps even more demanding for caregivers, he adds, calling for greater community support for caregivers.

Presented with a painting by stroke survivor and mouse painter Cha Yong Liang in memory of the late Mrs. Theo, Mr. Theo said his wife, who passed away on October 31, 2021, was a testament to the determination and strength the survivor displayed. said he was very encouraged by and her caregiver.

He added that Mrs. Theo was diagnosed with cancer in 2015. The year she founded her S3. From the charity, she said she “found a lot of comfort, a lot of friends, and a lot of strength from seeing how stroke survivors go through life,” saying that the charity’s work has meant a lot to her. He added that it was very significant.

Mrs. Theo also held various portfolios at Fair Price throughout her career.

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