Paintings of hope and beauty... right to the end

SINGAPORE - They are objects of beauty created in the darkest of times.

Mrs Kamala Krishnan completed the paintings while fighting pancreatic cancer.

The former nursing officer had been planning to give three of them to VIPs at the ground-breaking ceremony for the new Assisi Hospice.

But she died before she got the chance.

On July 29, however, the 54-year-old's family presented the paintings to Health Minister Gan Kim Yong, Archbishop William Goh and the hospice's patron, Madam Ho Ching.

One was of a unicorn while another featured a river scene.

Mrs Krishnan used to work at the next-door Mount Alvernia Hospital. So during her last three weeks at the hospice, her former colleagues could easily drop by for a visit.

Mr Gan yesterday paid tribute to its nurses - calling them "unsung heroes". The minister said they had "gone beyond the call of their duty to reach out and care for patients, both at the hospice and also in the community".

He added: "They travel at all hours of the day to attend to the final needs of palliative care patients, and by doing this, have brought love, hope and meaning to patients and their families."

Archbishop Goh also praised the nurses for putting up with the sometimes unreasonable demands of patients and their relatives.

"Patients are not so patient," he said. "They can be very trying."

He urged the nurses to view those in their care "not as cases but as people".

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