Wife of MH17 captain takes on role of mum and dad amidst 'huge void'

SEREMBAN - More than three months after Malaysia Airlines pilot Captain Eugene Choo was killed in the MH17 tragedy, his widow, Ivy Loi, is still struggling to be both mother and father to their two sons.

Loi, who used to depend on her husband for the simplest of errands such as banking and paying household bills, is now learning to do all those chores.

She is slowly getting back on her feet, thanks to support from many people, including strangers.

"We miss his laughter and jokes. There is a huge void and we only have his memories. I get very tired doing the things he used to do, but it has certainly made me a tougher person.

"I didn't have a clue on doing the simplest things because my husband has always sorted these out. The only things that I used to do were water the plants or fetch the boys whenever he was away flying."

Loi, who would be holding prayers for her late husband today to mark the 100th day of his passing, now juggles between looking after her sons, Melvic, 13, and Scott, 11, and her mother Chew Lai Choo, 78.

The pilot, who would have turned 46 next Tuesday, was among the 298 people on board MH17 when it was shot down in eastern Ukraine.

Loi said many people had come forward with aid, including a deveĀ­loper who offered to sponsor her sons to study at an international school in Bandar Sri Sendayan.

"He has offered to pay for everything until my boys complete their A-levels. Officers from the Women, Family and Community DevelopĀ­ment Ministry check on me twice a week to offer assistance.

"My husband's former employer, Malaysia Airlines, has also been providing us with help and for this, we are indebted to them," she said, adding that Choo's friends and neighbours at their Sri Carcosa home here often dropped by with words of encouragement and support.

"In fact, one of his friends took the boys out for the World Wrestling Entertainment event in Kuala Lumpur a couple of days ago. I don't have the words to express my gratitude to them," said Loi.

On German intelligence reports that accused pro-Russian rebels of having shot down MH17, Loi said such news did not matter anymore.

"All I know is that my husband has been taken away from my boys and me, and nothing we do will bring him back," she said.