“Hello, Nice to meet you” I said to a new fellow VIP (Visually Impaired Person) friend whilst simultaneously extending out my right hand to offer my warm and a friendly handshake. This chance meeting occurred during my recent ‘a walk in the dark,’ when Zainuddin, my mobility instructor for the day, stopped him and made the introduction as we were about to walk past each other near MAB, Malaysian Association for the Blind. After a brief `Hello’ and `how are you chat’, we exchanged our mobile cellular phone contact numbers. We then continued our own ways walking towards our respective destinations.
The same afternoon, the new VIP friend gave me a tinkle to enquire if I was still in the vicinity and perhaps, meet up to have a chat over coffee at a nearby coffee shop. It was timely that my dear wife was with me at that moment in time as she came over to pick me up from MAB. So after some minutes, we finally located the designated coffee shop and met up with my new found friend. I had to depend on my dear wife as the guide/navigator as I have not “passed my mobility skill test yet” which would have enabled me to locate the coffee shop on my own, so to speak. As we sat down enjoying the cuppa, we also got to know and learned more about each other. I related about how I lost my sight and he, too, related in detail about his experience in losing his sight some years back.
“Life is full of surprises” I clearly recalled writing in my first blog article expressing my thoughts and feelings during my early days of having lost my sight due to a severe bacterial infection. Well I was taken aback momentarily and it was difficult to accept that my new fellow VIP friend lost his sight due to the common tiny creature and Yes! the Aedes mosquitoes. He contracted Hemorrhagic Dengue Fever and caused him to fall seriously ill. The result of being bitten by the tiny aedes mosquitoes! This almost sent him ‘Knock, Knock, Knocking on Heaven’s door!’ This unfortunate incident happened when he was working in a building construction project site. The Tiny mosquito too, caused extensive damage to his liver, lungs, hearing and regrettably, the doctors could not managed to save his sight. Don’t underestimate the Might of the tiny mosquito!
I was truly inspired having learnt from him about his ‘bouncing back’ despite the numerous and extreme hardship he had to overcome in rebuilding his life and to live an independent life as much he possibly could. Kudos, my friend, you are the man! Your ‘never say die attitude’ gave me the added inspiration to continue marching on with great positive strides and confidence in achieving my goal of being self reliant and be independent too.
The ongoing anti Aedes mosquito campaign by the Ministry of Health nationwide is greatly laudable. Not only the tiny Aedes mosquito causing the various health problems resulting from contracting Dengue Fever but one could not have known nor realized that one can lose one’s sight due to this mighty tiny mosquito! Yes, we must give our fullest support and be on guard always too, in combating the spread of Aedes mosquitoes by ensuring the environment around us not becoming a haven for the breeding of the Aedes mosquitoes. So, do take heed of the “Rid the Aedes mosquito” campaign!
More challenging times ahead!