Tue, Dec 12, 2017 - Page 4 News List

Taitung resident remembers all her doctors’ birthdays

By Wang Hsiu-ting and William Hetherington  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

A Taitung woman who has struggled with a visual impairment for 11 years every year sends thank you cards, which she writes with the aid of a magnifying glass, to all the hospital staff she has met.

Wu Yun-wei (吳雲微), 40, was born prematurely and suffers from osteomalacia — a softening of the bones due to vitamin C and calcium deficiencies — in addition to a visual impairment.

Due to her condition she was unable to walk throughout her youth, but through the assistance of her mother, Wu Chiu Hua-tzu (吳邱花子), she was finally able to stand on her own at the age of 18. After subsequent rehabilitative treatment she can now walk, but only short distances.

In January 2006, Wu Chiu Hua-tzu was rushed to the emergency room at Mackay Memorial Hospital in Taitung after digestive system failure sent her into shock.

When the mother and daughter found themselves unable to afford their medical expenses, nurses at the hospital started a fundraising campaign and paid the remaining portion on their behalf.

In the years that followed, the mother returned to the hospital at least twice a year for regular follow-ups.

Wu Yun-wei on Monday last week said that she was deeply moved by the care shown by all of the hospital staff, from cleaning staff and nutritionists to nurses and doctors, and did not know how she could thank them.

She later decided to write cards to every hospital staff member she and her mother had come in contact with over the years, she said, adding that she used a magnifying glass to help her see what she was writing.

Social worker Wu Ching-hui (吳靜惠) said that Wu Yun-wei sends cards to staff every time they have a birthday, or on special occasions, such as Mother’s Day.

Wu Yun-wei said she takes notes to keep track of what takes place at the hospital, so she knows what to write.

So far she has accumulated 10 notebooks, she said.

She said she is especially grateful to doctor Bai Ming-chung (白明忠), who paid for train tickets so that her mother could get her surgery, and to doctor Chen Yung-chih (陳勇志), who drove her all the way home once to close a water faucet she had accidentally left running.

Wu Ching-hui said she remembered how helpless Wu Yun-wei seemed the day her mother was rushed to the hospital for emergency surgery, adding that she now knows what to do and follows the doctors’ instructions carefully.

Today, Wu Yun-wei also talks to other families who are dealing with ill family members, reassuring them and helping them, Wu Ching-hui said.

She also shares her experiences with students at Meiho University’s Department of Social Work, Wu Ching-hui added.

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