MALAYSIA - He was only 13 when he went to work with a noodle seller here to help his family make ends meet.
But the boy who was once called "stupid" never for a moment lost track of his ambition to be a doctor.
Today, seven years after Chin Chi Sheuan started working at Tong Kok Hwa's noodle stall at Chai Leng Park, he will be flying to Taiwan to enrol at the Chung Shan Medical University to fulfil his long-cherished dream.
However, it has not been smooth sailing for Chi Sheuan, who had to deal with the death of a beloved grandfather, a broken home, dividing time between his school and the stall, handling cranky customers and, above all, saving enough money to go to medical school.
Tong, 41, felt his heart bleeding for the boy, whom he regarded as an adopted son.
So, the noodle seller started his own fund-raising drive and every ringgit he collected from his customers on Sept 15 went towards making Chi Sheuan's dream a reality.
A customer who was touched by the boy's plight paid RM18,000 (S$7,000) for a bowl of noodle.
And by the end of the day, the fund had swelled to RM30,000.
Touched by the generosity of his boss and his customers, Chi Sheuan said that it was a miracle. "Words cannot describe how happy I am."
Tong said that when he first met Chi Sheuan, the lad had wanted to quit school and sell noodles.