Woman who lost legs in MRT accident brings cheer to Thai hospital

Ms Nitcharee "Nong Than" Peneakchanasak, together with hospital staff, giving moral support to a young patient in the wards.
Ms Nitcharee "Nong Than" Peneakchanasak, together with hospital staff, giving moral support to a young patient in the wards.PHOTO: FACEBOOK/WORLD MEDICAL HOSPITAL

BANGKOK • Every day in the last one month, a young woman in a wheelchair has been bringing happiness to patients who need moral support at the World Medical Hospital.

Ms Nitcharee "Nong Than" Peneakchanasak, who lost both legs in an MRT accident in Singapore six years ago, smilingly greets patients, listens to their problems and shares her positive attitude on how to beat the odds.

"Moral support is crucial to patients struggling with illnesses or injuries," said Ms Nitcharee, now 21. "But while moral support is important, even more meaningful is our strength of mind."

She started working at the hospital more than a month ago under a six-month contract. The World Medical Hospital had agreed to pay her one million baht (S$40,600) a month under the contract, believing that her positive mindset will benefit patients.

"She stands out from other candidates because she does not just deliver motivational speeches. She does what she has talked about. She embodies it," said Dr Kantaporn Harnphanich, deputy hospital director of marketing of the Thai division at the World Medical Hospital.

Although Ms Nitcharee faced a big loss, she has refused to give in to pain. Instead, she has mustered her courage, resilience and optimism to live a useful life.

She has enrolled at the prestigious Thammasat University, studying communication.

She has kept active by swimming and playing sports, including badminton, sometimes with the help of prosthetic legs. She has also served the public, via events and campaigns she takes part in.

POSITIVE MINDSET

She stands out from other candidates because she does not just deliver motivational speeches. She does what she has talked about. She embodies it.

DR KANTAPORN HARNPHANICH, deputy hospital director of marketing of the Thai division at the World Medical Hospital.

And after winning the patient-happiness survey position at the hospital, she has spent most of her time talking to patients to lift their spirits.

She greets every new patient with a smile and says: "How are you today?" They will then chat, share their experiences and discuss useful principles for life.

She treats patients who require ongoing treatments or a prolonged stay in hospital like friends.

Asked what had inspired her to keep going, Ms Nitcharee said she had accepted the reality of her situation. "I am conscious of what I think and do. When a problem arises, I look for ways to solve it, perhaps little by little," she said.

THE NATION/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 19, 2017, with the headline 'Woman who lost legs in MRT accident brings cheer to Thai hospital'. Print Edition | Subscribe