Office worker thankful her mum from Lee Ah Mooi home survived Covid-19
Mother, 86, virus-free after testing positive in March
This year, she will not be able to sign her 86-year-old mother out of Lee Ah Mooi Old Age Home to celebrate Mother's Day, as has been the tradition, because of the circuit breaker.
Instead, the 50-year-old office worker, who wanted to be known only as Ms Goh, will spend Sunday counting her blessings.
Her mother was one of the 16 confirmed Covid-19 cases at the nursing home, and two died.
Ms Goh's mother recovered.
She tested positive on March 31 and was warded at the National Centre for Infectious Diseases (NCID) for 14 days before testing negative in the last two days she was there.
When Ms Goh received the call from the Ministry of Health informing her that her mother had been infected, her heart sank.
She told The New Paper: "When the Lee Ah Mooi cluster was reported, we were told by the home at first that (those who tested positive) were in a different room from my mother. So I was not expecting the call that same night informing me she had tested positive too."
Ms Goh had visited her mother two days before the results came in and was identified as a close contact. While she tested negative for Covid-19, her worries did not end there.
She said: "Doctors kept telling us to prepare for the worst even though she was asymptomatic throughout. They said her vital signs could change any minute."
She added: "It was a roller coaster of emotions, but her fighting spirit and unfazed attitude kept my spirits up and made me worry less. Even though she was the one who tested positive, she kept reassuring me she was fine."
Ms Goh has not seen her mother since March 29, but she has been speaking to her regularly via video calls.
Her mother has been wheelchair-bound since 2013 after a fall that broke her hip.
Said Ms Goh: "Our relationship has always been good. The only regret I have is not being able to spend enough time with her and to take care of her."
The decision to move her mother to Lee Ah Mooi came two years ago, after Ms Goh and her four siblings collectively decided it would be best.
The grandmother of eight was previously living with a domestic helper.
Ms Goh said: "My siblings and I have to work to support our families so taking care of her was going to be tough.
"When we first told her about the nursing home, she was sad and asked why we wanted to put her there. But things are better now and she tells us how she is happy there."
Upon her discharge from NCID, the elderly woman returned to Lee Ah Mooi.
Ms Goh said: "Of course there is the fear of her getting the virus again, but the administrator of the home has been extremely kind and is supporting the family. It also schedules weekly video calls."
Nursing homes across the island have closed their doors to visitors, including family members.
Even though it has been more than a month since she has seen her mother, Ms Goh is counting her blessings that she survived the disease.
"I am thankful she is a fighter and that she has fully recovered," she said.