KUALA LUMPUR: Thean Chai Wan spotted the homeless man in the queue from afar.
His disability – having no arms – made him conspicuous to the nurse of 13 years.
She walked up to the man to speak to him before helping him fill a bowl of red bean dessert soup.
The man was a little hesitant at first, but relented and made his way to an empty seat to enjoy the warm meal unaided.
Thean said the first thing that came to her mind was to make sure he could feed himself.
“As nurses, we want our patients to feel independent and not useless,” she told FMT.
Thean, who is stationed at the paediatric ward at Gleneagles Hospital here, was among the 15 nurses volunteering at Pit Stop Cafe, Jalan HS Lee, here.
It is a community cafe that serves food to the homeless in the city, every evening.
The senior nurse joined her colleagues in the feeding programme yesterday as part of their annual activity on the occasion of International Nurses Day, which falls on May 12 (Friday).
Helping people, especially the sick, comes naturally to Thean who made a conscious decision to become a nurse after her father died.
“My father died of cancer when I was young and I didn’t know what to do then. So, I told myself that I must help others when they are sick.”
Taking care of her grandma at the hospital also led Usha Moorthy to choose this noble line.
She was 15 when she saw a patient next to her grandmother’s hospital bed unattended and coughing heavily.
“I told myself I will never let anyone suffer again.”
Today, Usha, who also works at Gleneagles, said she was happy she could do her part for the homeless by distributing toiletries and used clothes on her day off.
“As nurses, we do our jobs the best we can.”
Besides taking part in the feeding the homeless programme, Gleneagles’ senior manager for community services, Samiha Abd Aziz, also said the private hospital is organising an education awareness programme on healthy living.
She added the nurses will go to schools in the city and educate children on the importance of healthy living.