I had always dreaded the thought of being admitted to hospital. The peculiar smell of the hospital, the sight of deformed and critically ill persons and dead bodies in the hospital are things that I had always wished to avoid. But a serious illness sometime ago necessitated my admission to the General Hospital in Malacca.
Though I was seriously ill and required special attention, yet the knowledge that I was in the hospital made me feel miserable during the first few days. The clothes that I had to wear in the hospital were uncomfortable and the food was tasteless. At night, when all the patients were asleep, I used to wake up and think of what might happen if the dead bodies in the mortuary near by came back to life. I also thought of the patients who might die at anytime. Sometimes I thought that I myself might not wake up from my sleep; that I might have to leave my dear parents, brothers and sisters and never return. Tears would then flow from my eyes.
From my fourth day, however, my spirits were high. The doctors and nurses assured me that I would recover completely in a few days and that I could move about in the hospital as I wished.
I now began to think of the good work that was being done in the hospital to reduce pain and suffering. Hundreds of sick people were coming to the hospital, many with serious injuries caused by various kinds of accidents, with the last hope of survival. And while many were dying, many more were returning home with smiles on their faces. Working every minute and sacrificing their own pleasures and pastimes, the doctors, nurses, hospital assistants and all the other staffs were making their efforts to save other lives. Their humanity impressed me deeply. I now realized what an important role the hospitals were playing in our daily life, and the disgust that I felt on the first few days was gone.
After being in the hospital for a week, I returned home with better knowledge of human misery and sacrifice.”