February 04, 2016 108
In efforts of getting the message of the Palliative Care movement out there, we have decided to start a short series compiling on true stories and experiences. For the first part of this series, we will shed some light on Jerry Hang, the CEO and Founder of GetDoc Malaysia on his personal experience with Palliative Care which motivated him to start an initiative that aids the public as well as join hands with the hospice movement in spreading awareness on Palliative Care.
What is Palliative Care?
Palliative Care is medical care given to patients whose diseases no longer respond to curable treatments. The patient has a disease which is life-limiting and life-threatening. The aim of hospice-palliative care is to alleviate the sufferings of these patients and to enhance the quality of life in the remaining days of life. Hospice work involves providing for the relief from pain and other distressing symptoms, as well as the giving of professional advice and support to families of cancer patients to help them care better for these patients.
Back in 2013, Jerry’s father was diagnosed with the final stage of colon cancer. Despite the fact that Jerry was in the medical supplier business for the past five years, the efforts in finding the suitable doctor for treatment was rather challenging and stressful. Jerry, who is a Penangite also had it worse when he had to seek medical help in Kuala Lumpur where he totally unfamiliar with.
“My father suffered a lot jumping from doctor to doctor, hospital to hospital, to get the right treatments. He was transferred from Penang to KL, so things actually became worse. In KL, we didn’t know any doctors. We had to ask around for the best colon doctors to treat my dad”, he said
So to sum it up, everything was messy. When he finally did find the right specialist to treat his father; there came in another problem: management and caretaking - Jerry’s workplace was situated in Penang while his father was transferred to Kuala Lumpur for treatment instead. This meant that he had to travel across the country back and forth to take care of his father; which was nearly impossible to be done. This put on hold a lot of things, as Jerry had to juggle from taking care of his father, travelling a far distance and also handle his job at the same time.
This is where Palliative Care comes into the picture
Among the many doctors Jerry sought help from; one of them introduced Palliative Care to him. This is what Jerry had to say of how Hospice (the party in charge of the Palliative Care movement) helped him; he summed it all up with just one word: gratitude.
Upon contacting with Hospice, they came immediately to check on Jerry’s father. The support given was plenty; the people of hospice visited Jerry’s father regularly and took care of him by providing amenities, medication and even guided Jerry’s mother on handling her husband. The efforts being shown and put into improving the quality of life Jerry’s father was endless and done all out of love and care. On top of that, every effort was done without a single cent being charged; everything is free. The ultimate goal of the movement is to provide a better quality of life for patients with life-threatening diseases as well as to ease the burden of the families of the patients. This is all done purely out of dedication and love.
Inspiration & Aspiration
Jerry felt that no one else deserves to face the challenges he has went in seeking the right specialist to treat his father; and this inspired him into starting up GetDoc. GetDoc is an application which allows patients to search for the right doctors based on their specialty and expertise all under the convenience of tapping through your smartphone or through your computer. This innovation provides convenience to patients or families whom may face a similar problem like Jerry did.
With all the endless help and support provided by Hospice in improving Jerry’s father’s life quality, he was also aspired to get the Palliative Care movement be known to more people out there. He spread awareness to the public on the efforts of Palliative Care to the public. He wants to let sufferers know that there is always a light at the end of the tunnel. He wants to HELP. And this is what led to the establishment of GetDoc foundation’s projects.
How YOU can be part of the movement
The Malaysian Hospice Council will also be organizing the Malaysian Hospice Council Congress 2016 from 22nd – 24th April 2016. The Congress offers you a chance to hear and interact with leading researchers and practitioners among the palliative care community. Attendees also will be able to update their knowledge, share experiences and ask questions. To find out more on the event, you may click HERE : http://bit.ly/HospiceCongress
Additionally, as Hospice’s efforts do not charge patients; the budget of the movement is supported by monetary funding from the public. In relation to this, GetDoc and Hospice Klang have set up a Pledge Funding event and a Crowd Funding event in order to raise funds to ease the monetary burden faced by the Hospice body.
Support the pledge: http://bit.ly/HospicePledge
by Nicky Lee
Your typical neighbourhood ah pek who roams on the internet to satisfy his curiosity. Bold. Loud. Talkative. View all articles by Nicky Lee.