Asian Tsunami Heros

Monday, January 10, 2005


Singapore's Dr Francis Seow-Choen, Ms Wendy Goh and Mr Bobby Chaw flew to Banda Aceh with four other volunteers from the City Harvest Community Services Association last Tuesday. Dr Seow-Choen, 47, a surgeon who runs his own clinic, said: 'Life is not just about making money. There's a time to take and a time to give.' While his clinic was shut, he lost income but still had to pay nurses' salaries. He didn't mind that because he knew that others would gain from his selfless act. Ms Goh, 27, a secretary and former nurse, is getting married in March and was busy renovating her new home before she left. She said that her fiance did not object to her going to the disaster-hit area, but was concerned nevertheless. Mr Chaw, 31, an administrator, had originally planned for a holiday in Bangkok with friends. But he chose to join the relief team.
The team drove 13 hours through treacherous roads from Medan to Aceh. What they saw was utter devastation with collapsed buildings, bloated bodies and starving people on the streets. Said Dr Seow-Choen: 'The people were very sick. Some had open wounds that were just bandaged, waiting for doctors.' Added Ms Goh: 'It was most heartbreaking to see the children. For them, survival is really an issue.'


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