S'porean man dying of cancer gets wish to spend day with family at USS
The YouTube video is simply heart-wrenching
Diagnosed with stage four cancer, a Singaporean man had his wish to spend a day at Universal Studios Singapore (USS) with his family fulfilled by Ambulance Wish Singapore (AWS).
The recent outing and his story were documented in a YouTube video by Our Grandfather Story (OGS).
Mr Manimaran, or Mani for short, was diagnosed with stage four renal (kidney) cancer two years ago, at the age of 47.
At the time of filming, he had been residing at a nursing home for seven months.
A former staff member in the hotel industry, Mani received the diagnosis by chance when he underwent a blood test following a leg fracture. Having not shown any symptoms up to that point, Mani – and his family – were shocked by the news.
His wife and 10-year-old daughter, who reside in Malaysia, visit him here once every two weeks. When they are apart, he frequently video calls them.
In one heart-wrenching moment during the video, Ponniyla tells her father that she gives him hugs every day through a plush toy that acts as a proxy for him.
Mani said that while Ponniyla is aware of his illness, she puts on a strong front and doesn’t cry when she sees him.
Looking back, he said he regrets not spending more time with his family when he could.
First outing in two years
After his social worker reached out to AWS – a charity organisation dedicated to fulfilling the last wishes of terminally ill patients – Mani got to spend Feb 14 at USS with his family, which marked their first outing in two years.
AWS also surprised him with a Manchester United jersey, his favourite football club. The volunteers even got his family a matching set so they could all be coordinated on the day.
Before the day ended, and back at the nursing home, AWS showed Mani a video message from Ponniyla.
In it, the child tells her father that she wanted to make it the longest video ever so her father can watch it forever and not be sad.
At the end, she tells her father she loves him and that she knows he will always be an “angel” to her.
Moved to tears, Mani said a simple word like “love” can leave such a great impact. He added that her words will remain in his memories forever.
He also expressed his belief that his family will be able to get by without him as God is there for them.
“When they close their eyes and mention my name, I’ll be there with them… I’ll help them,” he says.