Thursday, March 29, 2012

5 Years Coma

Last few weeks, one cold morning my late father Pa and late grandmother Chik plus my mother Ma appeared in my dream. And in the dream we were at Chik’s house at Kampung Petani, Kuala Terengganu. I remember Chik who always cooked Nasi Dagang every Hari Raya morning. And I remember her Ayam Golek that tasted so good and I miss these two dishes and no one else cooks them as good as hers. And I remember Pa whose hobby was gardening. He planted jack fruit in front of our house's fence in TTDI which is quite weird, since it's a townhouse neighborhood. And in our backyard, it was full with banana trees and mosquitoes. I have few memories with Pa. We were not that close. 

He always cycled to the mosque.

He jogged now and then just before dusk time to Kampung Sg. Penchala. And he would talk to the villagers and make a few friends there. Me and my sisters would sometimes follow him. One day I accidentally stepped on a chick. He scolded me.

He often ate Durian with rice.

He bought most of his working shirt at the bundle stalls and bought other second-hand stuffs for us such as the TV and bicycles.  

He wrote and kept small notes in his shirt's pocket with Jawi writing (Arabic letters) as reminders. He listened to classic Malay songs.  

Most importantly, he had to drive me to the hospital at 2-3 a.m several times when I got asthma attack despite he's sleepy and tired. Sometimes it took a long time because I had to take the nebulizer twice.

Pa bought a few lands to plant banana, mango, cassava, jack fruit and other fruits and vegetables. One of it was in Mimaland, and later he bought another one at Kampung Paya Jaras, Selangor and sold the Mimaland one off. Paya Jaras is quite near from TTDI. I kept a few memories from this place. Pa often go there after work and the whole family would follow him on weekends. We would help him digging and plucking the cassava and other fruits. We would play, run, fly kite and do other stuffs there on weekends. Pa hired some people to build a small hut in the middle of the farm and also dug a well. There was no electricity or lights at the hut. I still remember at that time, I wanted us to move there instead of living in TTDI. To think about it now, what a crazy idea that was? And we would also go to the night market nearby and I remember there’s a stall selling all those mystical story books such as Siri Bercakap Dengan Jin.
I wonder why Pa loved planting trees so much instead of golf, but of course planting is much better than golf. He did a good deed to the land.  

It was one fine Sunday afternoon in 1994 when we received a call telling Pa has passed out after finishing a Jog-A-Thon run. We rushed to the hospital. One of Pa's friends who is also living nearby brought us to the hospital as Ma couldn't drive at that time despite having a driving license. Ma, me and my three little brothers and sisters were allowed to see Pa even though it’s not visiting hours. He was in a coma. He couldn't speak or move by himself. He could only blink his eyes.

He pee into a urine bag through a tube, wore adult diapers and was at the ICU for a couple of weeks. Then they transferred him to a normal ward and stayed there for a few months. Still, he’s in a coma. Not moving, only blinking his eyes. The only food he took was milk and plain water that were given through a tube in his nose. We went to the hospital every day. Our uncle would take and brought us there. Ma stayed at the hospital and took care of Pa.

Then it was decided by Ma that we would move to Kuala Terengganu where Pa and Ma come from. This is because all of Pa’s siblings work and stay in KT. And also most of Ma’s siblings work and stay in KT too. So, it would be easier for us, that was what in Ma’s mind. It’d be easier for her to move around or to seek help for anything. She had to instantly become a wonder woman. She became the father and mother to us. And with the guides she got from the nurses at the hospital, she also became a nurse to Pa.

Our cousin lent us a small mini-compo and we recorded our voices so that Pa could listen to our voices every day, all the time in hope he would wake up and recover. My little sister who was in kindergarten then sang Nasyeed songs and I drummed using a plastic pail. We gave him the spirit to recover. I told him to have a spirit as huge as "ikan Jaws". The doctors at the hospital had tried everything they knew but Pa is still in a coma. So, we took Pa back home and moved to Kuala Terengganu. He was sent in an ambulance. That’s how and why we moved to Kuala Terengganu in 1994. Ma drives again. I was 12.

Ma took care of Pa. She wiped his whole body every morning before going to work everyday. And she changed his diapers. We took turn to feed him with milk and plain water through the tube. Every now and then, two of Pa’s brothers would come and gave him a bath. We carried him to the bathroom and put him on an armchair. Cut his hair and shaved him. And this goes on for five years. He’s still in a coma. Not moving. He could only move his eyes. His only food was milk and plain water and we gave to him through a tube in his nose. And he peed through a tube and wore an adult/special diapers.

One sad morning in 1999, Ma came knocking on our bedroom doors and was in tears. Pa left us forever. I was 17. 

Pa (Abdullah Embong 1945-1999)


muzikri said...

Al Fatehah.

terima kasih untuk perkongsian.

muzikri said...

Al fatehah.

terima kasih untuk perkongsian.

Anonymous said...

i remember it was in 1997.the whole world changed since then.i painted my own

Awang Goneng said...

This story touched me greatly. You have done your Pa great credit. From what I have read here he was a wonderful man, kind to people and the world around him, and he was sensible enough to be planting trees and not playing golf. The years looking after him must have been terrible for you and the family, but that was truly a labour of love. I never knew your Pa, but after reading this I think I know him now. May Allah reward him with Jannah by the deeds he had done in life and by the prayers of those who love him. al Fatihah

Ahmad Nizamuddin Abdullah said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ahmad Nizamuddin Abdullah said...

Thank you Awang Goneng. You're an inspiration to me and one day I'll write a book as good as yours.

Aina Zuber said...

Al fatihah...
Thanks for sharing.. wish I knew you better back at school. nowadays, dont think i can find someone that hv same quality like your dad, listening to malay classical, planting and jogging.

emi mohamad said...