His wife thought he was joking and his children said he was crazy, but this did not deter Mr Chow Wei Lin, 48, from donating part of his liver to a little girl he has never even met.
Explaining his decision this morning, Mr Chow, a technician supervisor at a factory that makes wall partitions and other construction material, said: "If it had been my children who needed the liver and neither my wife nor I could donate, I would wish for someone to come forward to help."
When he told his family his reason for doing so, they swung solidly behind him in support, although they still worried that something might go wrong.
His wife, Madam Wong Yoke Peng, 44, a housewife, said: "He asked the children, if it was you in need, won't you want others to help? They had no response."
Their son, 21, has just finished national service, and their daughter, 18, is studying at a polytechnic.
Mr Chow, who donated 28 per cent of his liver to 10-year-old Phyllis Poh last Wednesday left the hospital for home yesterday. He's been told not to carry heavy things or do anything strenuous for 6-8 weeks.
Phyllis' family has been to visit him and to thank him for being so generous. He too has been to the intensive care ward where he remained outside as she's is currently highly susceptible to infection, and gave her a victory sign.
She was weak, but gave him a feeble wave, he said.
"She's my hero," he said. "I nearly cried when I woke up in pain. But her mother said in spite of the pain, she has not cried at all. And she's just a small kid."
Mr Chow, who is Buddhist, said his religion teaches that everyone is family. Hence, he said, his donation of part of his liver is nothing special.
He hopes his example will spur others to do the same.