Exclusive interview with Dr Terence

by Poi Wong

With the closure of Project Dreamcatchers 2012, I would like to take this opportunity to have an e-mail interview with someone who has been very supportive of this project; Dr Terence Lim, one of a doctor I’ve been seeing in NUH, a person whom take cares of not only the patient’s physical well being, but also their mental and holistic well being. Here goes...

Since I started seeing you, I’ve always been impressed and heartened on how you’ll go beyond a duty as a doctor in term of reaching out to the patients and providing emotional support, as well as setting up of the Sweet Charity drive. What’s the motivation behind all these work?

I’m easily bored :) doing different things and making existing things better and/or easier keeps me intellectually stimulated. One needs a reason to be excited about work and doing the same thing in the same way is just boring and dull.

You often see patients in the context of the hospital, how different are they in the art exhibition?

Don’t see a difference. They are friends and it’s just context but people remain the same inside I think.

The exhibition went on with much success by fulfilling the agenda of reaching out to the general public and creating awareness about congenital illness through the expression of arts. What word of advice would you give to the Dreamcatchers and fellow patients?

Don’t take ‘no’ for an answer. Just because it’s not been done doesn’t mean it cannot or should not be done. Don’t hold yourself back from daring to do ambitious things. There are enough people who will try to stop and discourage you already, so you don’t need to stop yourself.

We’ve just past the 50th anniversary of the department of paediatrics, what do you hope to see in the near future?

I think Singapore kids and young people deserve a heart transplant program. If I can see this up and running before I die, I will be quite happy.

After reading the e-mail interview, Dr Terence’s answer for the 3rd question struck me deeply.

Many of the patients felt restricted to try doing new things, uncertainties and fears often struck them as they’ve encountered enough difficulties in life. Being different from the normal people, some of them were often laughed at when they present an ambitious idea. it adds on weight to the patient’s confidence.

However, the Project Dreamcatchers portrayed themselves in a different image to the public. People walked into the exhibition without knowing the artists were around them; they had a mindset that people with congenital disease should be laying on bed feeling sick and not pulling off stunts like creating an art exhibition.

I would say, the Dreamcatchers surprised the crowd for being able to pull off an exhibition with much success and originality, and also not to forget that the public went home with a
different sentiment.

With Dr Terence’s answer, I reassured myself to go ahead and explore what’s on my mind. With that my dear readers, let me end this off with one quote: “Don’t dwell on the status quo, experience life differently.”