7 minutes

Wednesday; Heart stopped for a total of 7minutes before she was revived by CPR.My heart sank.

3 days prior; she was rushed to the hospital and no one knew what she had was more serious than her asthmatic episodes. Her heart was weak. Mum was placed in the ICU straightaway. To be exact Ward 28; Coronary Care Unit.

Honestly, I thank god that her relapse happened when she was in the hospital. If she was at home, just like the doctor said; she won’t survived.


The family wasn’t informed about her near death experience until the following morning which angered all of us. But what’s done is done. She survived.

I was at lunch then without my phone when messages flooding in. Just reached my desk when The husband called to ask me to read my whatsapp messages.

I knew something wasn’t right. I cried reading each line of the text and my fingers automatically scoured for flights on Skyscanner’s website. It was so emotionally painful. I tried so hard to focus, getting the right flights and the correct names on the booking. I could even control my tears anymore. Booked flights, Called husband to confirm my plans of returning home, run to my Manager looking like a mess that I needed to go back to Singapore urgently. I don’t know when I’ll be back.

The husband decided to fly home with me knowing that I will be a further wreck and with Ayden tagging along with us . He’s afraid I’m just going to crumble. I can’t thank him enough to do this for me even when his job circumstance was tight.

Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said in one of His hadiths:

“Three supplications are answered without doubt. The supplication of the oppressed, the supplication of the traveler and the supplication of the parents for his children.” (Tirmidhi)

The whole time on the flight, I kept praying and Dhikr. Of course, Ayden had to be excited on this flight and refused to sleep!

As soon as we landed, we rushed back home. It feels so good to be home despite it being hot and humid. I was tossing and turning, I couldn’t sleep. I just couldn’t wait till the morning comes so that I can visit Mum. 9am arrives so much slower than I anticipated.

I had all these emotions in me, words that I wanna say when I see her. As soon as the ICU door swung open, I walked in so nervously. My heart literally dropped to see how thin she has become, her jawline was more defined as compared to 3 months ago and she looked so frail with the machine hooked up to her heart. The moment I kissed her hand, she was surprised and slightly unhappy that I came back. Waste of money she said. I had to. My mum hates when bad news of her reached me. All the time. She knew I will always drop it all and returned. Usually, She will use all her might to stop me. This time she failed.


Our routine has been hospital-home all day. The husband and I agreed that it was just something about hospitals, maybe the vibe; it makes us all very tired and depressed even though we stayed for a while. Because it’s an ICU as well, Ayden wasn’t allowed to be in the ward. It helps to have the husband around.

But then Sunday came, his flight home was due that night. We were contemplating to send Ayden home with the husband while I stayed. It doesn’t help that Ayden was extra clingy since the moment we landed. And he hardly wants the husband which is not normal. Maybe he sense I was in distress? God knows. Since mum’s bypass surgery keeps getting delayed, I wasn’t sure when I’ll be back. It’s gonna be a nightmare putting him to sleep on nights that I’m not around. And so Ayden stayed with me.


Even when we said our goodbyes, Ayden just ran off and not interested in saying goodbyes to his Baba. If this is in Melbourne, he would cry his heart out; wanting to follow him.

What this means was; we had to organise a carer for Ayden. We had so much helpful hands who are willing to sacrifice for us. I called all the childcare centres around the area and near the hospital that offers Emergency Care (I know right! I only found out they had such service through the Singapore Childcare Site!). We found one! The last one on the list of centres! We kept reviewing our list of our options. For the distance and convenience, we chose to send him to childcare.


Putting Ayden in Childcare was the hardest decision we had to make in order for me to be able to care for mum. It wasnt the kind of first day of school experience we want to witness as parents and even for Ayden to go through. We did what we had to do and to trust my own maternal instincts. Our typical daily routine is Home-Childcare-Hospital -Childcare-Hospital-Home every weekday. It was exhausting I must admit.


Thank you to all the staff at Genesis Childcare who very much love and nurture Ayden while he was there and who was willing to take in emergency cases like us.

Finally, after a week, Mum was wheeled in for her Bypass Surgery. It was a 6 hours operation. She was wheeled in at 2pm and got out at 9pm. I took the time to visit the husband’s grandma and by the time we got home it was already close to 10pm with a cranky toddler of course!

Dad and the rest of the siblings went to the hospital to catch a glimpse of her after the Operation. I wish I did, but Ayden was just being too difficult we had to stay home and put him to sleep.

The next morning after dropping off Ayden at the Childcare, I rushed to the Cardiothoracic Intensive Care Unit (CTICU). the Sister told me to prepare myself as the current view of mum’s well-being is quite heartbreaking. Don’t get me wrong, everything went well with the bypass even with a few hiccups due to internal bleeding, even in the doctor’s exact words “MasyaAllah your mother is such a challenge and I love it!”, seeing the amount of tubes on her, is very much overwhelming.

The first day was ok, got myself together, keep talking to her, fed her, silently cried at the side of the bed when she took her naps and trying super hard to keep it positive.

But at the end of the second day post surgery, things get a lil bit too emotional. I knew it must be stressful for her to hear my uncontrollable sobs while she were lying in ICU with so much tubes and wires from head to toe! I was coming in to just kiss her hand and forehead to tell her that we’re heading home and we shall see her the next day. And It just happened as I took her hand, I broke down. I guess I’ve been holding it in since I landed just to be strong for her but my walls crumble and I finally got my emotions out. She kept saying to pray for her health. I just kept crying and telling her that she had to be strong and recover. Not recommended to let your emotions got hold of you in-front of someone who is in a very vulnerable position.

Gradually, Mum got posted to a normal ward, daily we try to talk to her although the drugs in her system caused her to hallucinate (this literally break hearts!) and having nightmares. We try to refresh her memory daily asking her the date and time, perform her exercises with her and encourage her to finish her food. I am immensely proud of her. She has been such a strong, independent woman. You can tell she’s trying so hard to be discharged. Trying a lil harder during her rehabilitation sessions, finishing up her food, try to be more active in the day with less naps and interact much more with people around her. Amidst all these, with her limited vision, made it much harder for her to move around or interact but she persevered on.

I am thankful that our whole family is such a close knit. Supporting and be a team in any given situations. Mum is currently discharged. She’s eating so well and happy to be in her own home. Alhamdulillah. Life being away from home, hard.


That 7mins of unconsciousness and no heartbeat feels like forever. I never ever want to lose you again.

PS: It was also my first time to see my dad teared. It puts me in tears each time I recalled this event.



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