Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Louisa Chong

Veteran actress Louisa Chong talks to me about  how her husband survived a series of debilitating strokes and lives to stand tall again. The article was published in theSun today. 

Headline: Rising Above Adversity
By Bissme S

Watching your loved ones suffering in pain and on the verge of dying can be a petrifying experience. Veteran actress Louisa Chong knows this all too well. Four years ago, she had to rush her 64-year-old businessman husband Hamid Samad to a hospital after he complained he was not feeling well.
“I was told that he had suffered a mild stroke,” says Louisa, 60, who was a household name in the 90s starring in TV series such as Jangan Ketawa and 2+1.
“They wanted to keep him in the hospital for few days just to observe him. But his condition did not look serious. Throughout the day, he looked fine. He could talk properly. He was watching his football game and reading his favourite newspaper.”
However, the next morning, he suffered a second stroke and this time, he was in a far serious condition.
“He was shaking so violently,” Louisa recalls.
“I was in a state of panic and hysteria. I remembered running to the front desk and demanding the nurses do something to calm my husband. The doctor had assured me earlier that a second stroke was unlikely [to happen so soon after the first], so I was surprised [that it happened].”
She was in for another nasty shock, as a few hours after his second stroke, Hamid suffered a third, causing him to vomit blood.
“There were so many wires attached to him and nobody knew whether he would survive or not,” she said.
Seeing her husband in such a helpless condition made her feel defeated and depressed. But in the end, she was able to pull herself together and muster all her strength for her husband. Even when he fell into a coma, Louisa never stopped talking to him. She kept asking him to open his eyes and to get better. Four days later, he came out of the coma but he was not the same. He could not walk or talk properly.
“I had to feed him and I had to bathe him,” she recalls.
Louisa was determined her husband would not be bedridden forever. She used everything available, from modern to alternative medicine and positive encouragement to help her husband stand on his own two feet again.
“I wanted him to be independent,” she says. 
Her efforts paid off. Looking at her husband today, it is hard to believe that he had suffered three successive strokes. Hamid can now walk without any help, and can also eloquently relate his experiences.
“God has given me a second chance and, now, I never take anything for granted,” says Hamid.
“I appreciate every minute of my life.”
Together with motivation speaker Stephen Liau, the couple are in the midst of writing a book entitled A Stroke of Luck, which is based on their experiences of surviving the strokes and their aftermath. The couple first met Liau two years ago when they took an alternative healing class that he ran.
“In my classes, I help people to heal their mind and their body,” says Liau.
“Their story is inspiring and Hamid’s will to live is admirable.”
Liau is certain the book will be a source of inspiration to others to rise above their adversity and live their life to the fullest. A Stroke of Luck will be published at the end of the year.
from right : Louisa Chong, her husband Hamid Samad and Stephen Liau

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