Saturday, September 16, 2017

Recording of dead daughter's heartbeat brings parents to tears

Source Website: http://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/health/recording-of-dead-daughters-heartbeat-brings-parents-to-tears?xtor=CS11-86
By Audrey Tan, The Straits Times, 15 September 2017 at 12:15 pm SGT


Ariess (left) and Mark, listening to the recording of Carmen's heart beating.
PHOTO: Ariess (left) and Mark, listening to the recording of Carmen's heart beating.
Picture posted by Star Media Group, The Straits Times/Asia News Network on Friday, 15 September 2017 at 2:52 PM MYT

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http://www.thestar.com.my/~/media/online/2017/09/15/07/01/gtfj.ashx/?w=620&h=413&crop=1&hash=6096801E48AD1C500B8C103C39A0624536DE00BC
GEORGE TOWN, PENANG - The Malaysian parents of Carmen Mark, an 18-year-old nursing student who died in Singapore from an arterial rupture in her brain two years ago, on Friday (15 September 2017) got to hear their daughter's heartbeat again.

It was an emotional moment for Carmen's father, Mr Mark Kok Wah, 46, and his wife Ariess Tan, 43, when they were presented with a recording of Carmen's heart beating in the chest of Singaporean Serene Lee, whom they later met in an emotional reunion in George Town, Penang.



Carmen's parents holding up a copy of The Straits Times report on the reunion with Carmen's heart recipient.
PHOTO: Carmen's parents holding up a copy of The Straits Times report on the reunion with Carmen's heart recipient.
ST PHOTO: AUDREY TAN
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http://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/health/recording-of-dead-daughters-heartbeat-brings-parents-to-tears?xtor=CS11-86



A beating heart, strong and even, resonated for 30 seconds, then their tears started to flow. PHOTO: A beating heart, strong and even, resonated for 30 seconds, then their tears started to flow. [3]
Carmen Mark's parents (above) listening to a recording of her heart beating in Ms Serene Lee's chest.
PHOTOS: THE STRAITS TIMES, ST FILE
Picture posted by Audrey Tan, The New Paper on 16 September 2017 at 06:00 am

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http://www.tnp.sg/sites/default/files/styles/rl680/public/articles/2017/09/16/np_20170916_auheart16_16255412.jpg?itok=SHJRCny_
http://www.tnp.sg/news/world/tears-flow-couple-hear-late-daughters-heartbeat-again



Ariess Tan (left) meeting Serene Lee, the recipient of her daughter's heart, for the first time.
PHOTO: Ariess Tan (left) meeting Serene Lee, the recipient of her daughter's heart, for the first time.
ST PHOTO: AUDREY TAN

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http://www.straitstimes.com/sites/default/files/styles/article_pictrure_780x520_/public/articles/2017/09/15/photo6185904507687380969_0.jpg?itok=32Po0gTf
http://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/health/recording-of-dead-daughters-heartbeat-brings-parents-to-tears?xtor=CS11-86

 

Carmen's organs had been donated after she died, and her heart had gone to Ms Lee, 37, who was suffering heart failure at the time.

Ms Tan, a financial consultant, broke down in tears, while Mr Mark, a specialist construction applicator, said: "I always knew Carmen was still alive."



Mr Mark Kok Wah (right), using a stethoscope to hear his daughter, Carmen's heartbeat. Serene Lee (left), a heart failure patient, had received Carmen's heart after the Nanyang Polytechnic student died suddenly on July 28 in 2015.
PHOTO: Mr Mark Kok Wah (right), using a stethoscope to hear his daughter, Carmen's heartbeat. Serene Lee (left), a heart failure patient, had received Carmen's heart after the Nanyang Polytechnic student died suddenly on July 28 in 2015.
ST PHOTO: AILEEN TEO
 

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http://www.straitstimes.com/sites/default/files/articles/2017/09/15/t8.jpg
http://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/health/recording-of-dead-daughters-heartbeat-brings-parents-to-tears?xtor=CS11-86



Ms Lee, 37, a heart failure patient, had received Carmen's heart after the Nanyang Polytechnic student died suddenly on July 28 in 2015. Carmen's parents gave their consent for her organs to be donated under Singapore's Medical (Therapy, Education and Research) Act. Her heart, liver, kidneys and pancreas went to four patients.



Serene Lee, 37, the recipient of Carmen Mark's heart.
PHOTO: Serene Lee, 37, the recipient of Carmen Mark's heart.
ST PHOTO: AILEEN TEO

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http://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/health/recording-of-dead-daughters-heartbeat-brings-parents-to-tears?xtor=CS11-86



Recently, on Aug 4, soon after Carmen's second death anniversary, Ms Lee got in touch with Mr Mark on Facebook after seeing his posts about wanting to hear his daughter's heartbeat again. She introduced herself and asked if she could visit him and his wife in Penang where they lived, saying she would bring a stethoscope with her to fulfill his wish.

Although the name of the donor is kept anonymous, Ms Lee, who works part time as a clinic assistant, had connected the dots and tracked the couple down after reading about Carmen's death.

Earlier this week, The Straits Times reported about the upcoming reunion between Ms Lee and Carmen's parents, which took place on Friday afternoon.



Ariess Tan (right) using a stethoscope to hear her daughter, Carmen's heartbeat.
PHOTO: Ariess Tan (right) using a stethoscope to hear her daughter, Carmen's heartbeat.
ST PHOTO: AILEEN TEO

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http://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/health/recording-of-dead-daughters-heartbeat-brings-parents-to-tears?xtor=CS11-86



Following the report, medical devices company Cobs came forward to offer both parties the use of an electronic stethoscope, which is able to record a person's heartbeat. The recorded file would be a good keepsake for Carmen's parents, said a Cobs representative, as it could be sent via an e-mail or instant message to a variety of devices, such as on a computer or smartphone.



Ms Serene Lee recording her heart beating
PHOTO: Ms Serene Lee recording her heart beating [3]

PHOTOS: THE STRAITS TIMES, ST FILE
Picture posted by Audrey Tan, The New Paper on 16 September 2017 at 06:00 am

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http://www.tnp.sg/sites/default/files/styles/rl680/public/articles/2017/09/16/np_20170916_auheart16-3mr_16255422.jpg?itok=jyP0Hlsq
http://www.tnp.sg/news/world/tears-flow-couple-hear-late-daughters-heartbeat-again



Ms Tan, who broke down in tears when she heard the recording, said: "Even though my time with her was not long, only about six years, she was one of the kindest and most friendly people I know." Ms Tan had married Mr Mark about six years ago. Carmen's biological mother had left the family when Carmen was about three years old.

Ms Tan shared how Carmen, their only child, had asked a friend to keep her company before she went to Singapore to study nursing on a scholarship.

"This shows that even though she was not physically here with us, she still thought about me and wanted to keep me from being bored," said Ms Tan.

Ms Lee's heartbeat was recorded at her home on Tuesday, and presented to Carmen's parents on Friday morning, ahead of Ms Lee's arrival.

Even though Carmen has been dead for two years, her presence is still felt in her parents' home in Taman Hutchings in Penang, Malaysia. Her favourite pair of shoes - a pale green pair of Toms slip-ons - lies neatly outside the door. Carmen's ukelele, as well as photographs of her smiling with friends and family, still line the console tables.



Photographs of Carmen Mark line the console tables in her parents' home in Penang.
PHOTO: Photographs of Carmen Mark line the console tables in her parents' home in Penang.
PHOTO: Carmen Marks' favourite pair of shoes outside her parents' home in Penang.
ST PHOTO: AUDREY TAN
Picture posted by Star Media Group, The Straits Times/Asia News Network on Friday, 15 September 2017 at 2:52 PM MYT

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http://www.thestar.com.my/~/media/online/2017/09/15/06/59/d28026af-004e-4b86-a824-3c9dcc8cbcf2.ashx?la=en
http://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2017/09/15/recording-of-dead-daughters-heartbeat-brings-parents-to-tears/



At the invitation of the Marks, Ms Lee will be staying in Carmen's room over the weekend.Mr Mark said about the reunion before it started: "I'm a little kanchiong (worried). But I've always believed that Carmen is still alive, although in other people's bodies. I am sad, but I am looking forward to seeing Serene, and being able to hear Carmen's heartbeat again. That has been something I was hoping for for the past two years."

Ms Lee said she was very anxious before meeting the Marks at the reunion, which was also a media conference attended by Penang executive councillor Phee Boon Poh and Penang chief minister Lim Guan Eng.

Since Ms Lee reached out to the Marks, a chat group comprising the three was set up. She refers to them as "Daddy Mark" and "Mummy Ariess".

When she finally met Ms Tan on Friday afternoon, both started tearing and hugged each other.



Ariess Tan (left) meeting Serene Lee, the recipient of her daughter's heart, for the first time.
PHOTO: Ariess Tan (left) meeting Serene Lee, the recipient of her daughter's heart, for the first time.
ST PHOTO: AUDREY TAN

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http://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/health/recording-of-dead-daughters-heartbeat-brings-parents-to-tears?xtor=CS11-86



Aside from Mr Mark, Ms Lee also met Carmen's maternal and paternal grandmothers.



Serene Lee meeting Carmen's maternal grandmother, Madam Lee Sew Ngor, 73.
PHOTO: Serene Lee meeting Carmen's maternal grandmother, Madam Lee Sew Ngor, 73.
ST PHOTO: AUDREY TAN

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http://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/health/recording-of-dead-daughters-heartbeat-brings-parents-to-tears?xtor=CS11-86



Carmen's paternal grandmother Madam Lee Sew Ngor, 73, told Singapore reporters after the media conference that she had initially objected to the donation of Carmen's organs as she was sad that her grandchild had died.


Ariess Tan (left), Serene Lee and Carmen's maternal grandmother, Madam Lee Sew Ngor (far left) at the first reunion before the press conference.
PHOTO: Ariess Tan (left), Serene Lee and Carmen's maternal grandmother, Madam Lee Sew Ngor (far left) at the first reunion before the press conference.
ST PHOTO: AILEEN TEO

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"But now, seeing Serene, I feel happy," said the retired odd job worker. "My friends told me that it's good to help others. I feel like I've gained a granddaughter."

She also told Ms Lee "thank you" after meeting her.

Said Ms Tan of the reunion: "I truly felt that Carmen had come home. I don't think I can cook today, but over the weekend, I've already prepared a menu to cook for Serene, like pork ribs and Vietnamese spring rolls. She and Carmen have similar tastes in food."

Ms Lee said she was "glad that I've fulfilled what's been tugging on my heart". "Glad that I can bring her home and let her parents hear her heart beat," she said.


Ms Serene Lee (left) with her children Jasher, 14, Jazaree, seven, and Joash, 17. The photo was taken in March last year during her first trip to Taiwan with a new heart.
PHOTO: Ms Serene Lee (left) with her children Jasher, 14, Jazaree, seven, and Joash, 17. The photo was taken in March last year during her first trip to Taiwan with a new heart.
Parents of heart donor to meet recipient, Serene Lee, who tracks them down after reading about teen girl's tragic death in the papers.
Ms Lee, a part-time clinic assistant had no heartbeat of her own. Her heart was fully powered instead by a mechanical pump that ran on a set of external batteries that had to be recharged every 12 hours.
She suffered from dilated cardiomyopathy, a disease of the heart muscle which causes a weakening of the heart such that it is unable to pump blood efficiently. This condition often leads to heart failure.
Mr Mark and Ms Lee said they are coming forward with their stories to raise awareness about organ donation in this part of the world, so more lives can be saved and that Carmen's legacy can continue.
PHOTO: Courtesy of Serene Lee
Picture posted by Audrey Tan, The Straits Times on 12 September 2017 at 5:00 am SGT

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http://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/parents-of-heart-donor-to-meet-recipient
http://veryfatoldman.blogspot.sg/2017/09/parents-eager-to-hear-their-late.html



Carmen Mark in her student nurse's uniform.
PHOTO: Carmen Mark in her student nurse's uniform.
Carmen, who had been studying to be a nurse at Nanyang Polytechnic, had suffered an arterial rupture in her brain.
But in death, she became a lifesaver - her heart, liver, kidneys and pancreas were donated to four patients. Her parents signed their consent for her organs to be donated under the Medical (Therapy, Education and Research) Act, which was what she had wanted.
'I promise you. Carmen's legacy will live on and I will walk the hospital wards until this heart stops, to be an inspiration to other patients for as long as this heart beats.' - Serene Lee, the recipient of Carmen's heart
Picture posted by Audrey Tan, The Straits Times on 12 September 2017 at 5:00 am SGT
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http://www.straitstimes.com/sites/default/files/articles/2017/09/12/st_20170912_carmen_8_3411819.jpg
http://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/parents-of-heart-donor-to-meet-recipient
http://veryfatoldman.blogspot.sg/2017/09/couple-to-meet-woman-who-received-their.html


By Audrey Tan, The Straits Times, 15 September 2017 at 12:15 pm SGT



Reference
[1] Audrey Tan, The Straits Times, Recording of dead daughter's heartbeat brings parents to tears, posted on 15 September 2017 at 12:15 pm SGT, http://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/health/recording-of-dead-daughters-heartbeat-brings-parents-to-tears?xtor=CS11-86

[2] The Straits Times/Asia News Network, Star Media Group, Recording of dead daughter's heartbeat brings parents to tears, posted on Friday, 15 September 2017 at 2:52 PM MYT, http://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2017/09/15/recording-of-dead-daughters-heartbeat-brings-parents-to-tears/


[3] Audrey Tan, The New Paper, The Straits Times, Tears flow as couple hear late daughter’s heartbeat again, posted on 16 September 2017 at 06:00 am,   http://www.tnp.sg/news/world/tears-flow-couple-hear-late-daughters-heartbeat-again