Date
23 October 2017
Heart disease survivors Wong and Ng, who got married late last year, are members of a patient organization seeking to encourage people to become organ donors. Photos: Baidu, nowTV
Heart disease survivors Wong and Ng, who got married late last year, are members of a patient organization seeking to encourage people to become organ donors. Photos: Baidu, nowTV

Heart disease survivors find new love and life mission

A life-threatening disease has served as powerful bond between two individuals, and after getting married late last year, they have dedicated their lives to helping others suffering from the same affliction.

Wong, 51, was a bus driver when he was diagnosed with dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) in 1999, according to Apple Daily.

Shocked by the doctor’s finding, Wong became even more miserable when he was forced to retire and his wife left him.

Wong had to raise his five-year-old son while struggling with his own health.

He had to use a wheel chair to move about and his heart function declined to as low as 10 percent at one point.

He was told that he had to wait for six to seven years for a heart transplant, and during that time, Wong had to sleep in a sitting position, Ming Pao Daily said.

He was put on a wait list for a heart transplant in 2005 and, fortunately, his wait lasted only five years; he was given a new life with a successful transplant surgery.

After his recovery, Wong became an active member of a patient organization, and it was while doing voluntary work in that group in 2014 that he met the new love of his life, Ms. Ng.

Ng, like him, is a DCM survivor. She lost her job as a kindergarten teacher and her marriage shortly after she was diagnosed with the disease.

She said she was lucky to have received a heart transplant in 2012 – and double lucky when she met Wong in an event.

The pair said it was love at first sight and because of their highly similar background and conditions, they have become more accommodating for each other.

Wong said it is a blessing that they both did not mind having a simple diet because of their health condition, and since they could not engage in vigorous physical activities, a leisurely walk after dinner was the perfect pastime for them.

Wong and Ng were officially married last December but the pair relived their wedding ceremony at an event held by the Hong Kong Organ Donation Action Group on Sunday, in the hope that by sharing their story they could encourage the public to sign up for voluntary organ donation.

Lui Siu-fai, president of the Hong Kong Society of Transplantation, said 20 organ transplant surgeries were conducted in public hospitals during the first three months this year, quite low when compared with figures over the same period in the past few years.

Lui said his group is stepping up its educational efforts to encourage more people to become organ donors.

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EL/AC/CG

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