A woman with a low IQ would have been left all alone to fend for herself after her elderly father passed away, if not for a neighbour who promised to look after her like her own sibling, evening daily Shin Min Daily News reported yesterday.
Ms Chen, who refused to reveal her full name, told the newspaper that when neighbour Koh Tian Seong died on Monday, his greatest worry was how his daughter Koh Bee Huay would survive without him.
Mr Koh, 81, had been found to have lung cancer on April 15, with the disease already at an advanced stage.
Ms Koh, 43, who has a low IQ, did not suspect her father was terminally ill, although he had grown thinner by the day since January and had lost his appetite.
He was taken to hospital only after a nurse, who came to their one-room rental flat in Marsiling every day to administer insulin injection on Ms Koh, decided he needed a check-up.
"My father and I received $790 from social welfare every month, but all this time, he would keep it and I would ask him for money. Besides, he would give me two to three dollars every day," Ms Koh, who has diabetes, told Shin Min.
"Now I have to deal with the money myself. I am also sleeping alone at night, which is very scary."
Ms Koh revealed that her father had been her only close relative since her mother died more than 20 years ago.
She said her next-of-kin now is a 57-year-old half-sister whom she shares the same mother with.
But the sister is now in a nursing home after suffering a stroke.
Ms Chen, 58, who lives in the same block as Ms Koh, said they came to know each other at the senior citizens' corner at the block's void deck six years ago.
"We became good friends and treated each other like sisters," said Ms Chen.
"Now (that) her old man has gone, I will take care of Bee Huay like my own sister," said the housewife.
Ms Koh said whenever she has a problem at home, she would call Ms Chen for help.
She would also eat at Ms Chen's home when she is hungry.
"I'm at home looking after my grandchildren. If Bee Huay comes to eat, I just need to prepare another pair of chopsticks," said Ms Chen.
Ms Koh also revealed that she has stopped working since more than a decade ago because of her medical condition.
"Due to the sickness, I would always vomit and feel giddy. Therefore, I had to stop work.
"But father has left me some money. With this and the social welfare payment, I think I can get by," said Ms Koh.
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