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WILLIAM NGO: I AM GRATEFUL

“I was so happy when I first laid my butt on the wheelchair”

Mouth Painter. Suffered from muscle dystrophy.


Story of Acceptance. Gratitude.



“I asked a friend to accompany me to get a wheelchair.”

Given a choice, this is a taboo that most people would avoid at all cost for the loss of mobility, but for Mr Ngo, it was the contrary. It was an informed decision that was made at 17 when he was told the fateful news that he will be wheelchaired-bound in later part of his life. Suffering from muscle dystrophy, his bodily coordination quickly deteriorated at 23 when he knew the time has come. “It took me 30 minutes to take the lift from my house on the 6th floor to the ground floor to commute to work everyday, one inch at a time, every step was a struggle, there was so much fear that people may knock me down, I couldn’t get up on my own. I was so happy when I first laid my butt on the wheelchair, it’s convenient, very fast, I can ‘walk’ with ease.” I probed further if he was really happy on that choice despite friends were telling him otherwise - that was THE decision that will determine the rest of his life, forever. “It’s for survivor, I need to make a living.” Money was good working as a jewellery craft man then, he knew the body cannot coordinate anymore to perfect the craft of precision and started selling lottery tickets, livelihood was manageable till about 6 years ago when ‘business’ was bad, I was introduced to learn the art to paint with my mouth, it boosted my confidence, and never did I expect that I could modify the harmonica myself ‘to hold’ it and find much joy with the music I played.

“It is a blessing to know that I can live another day because I never know when my lungs will collapse. I have thought of committing suicide many times but I don’t know how. I don’t know what could be the guarantee way of dying without any suffering. Today at 52, I have come into acceptance with my illness. I Deserved it. Through the course of this journey, I have learnt, seen and listened soooo much more - in a different light.”

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