Fond memories of healthcare pioneer

It saddened me to read that Dr Kwa Soon Bee has died ("Healthcare pioneer Kwa Soon Bee dies"; yesterday).

A haemophiliac, I was first referred to Dr Kwa about the time I completed my Senior Cambridge exams in 1963.

He was then beginning to track all haemophiliac cases in Singapore.

My case sheet number was HC0012, meaning I was his 12th haemophiliac patient.

What impressed me most about Dr Kwa was how kind, gentle and soft-spoken he was, despite his towering height.

Each time he saw me at the Blood Transfusion Service, he would call out to me in a very gentle and caring voice: "Tan Pin Ho, come."

His long arm wrapped around my shoulders, he would lead me to a small refreshment room and get me Milo and biscuits. That room was meant for donors to rest after donating their blood, and they were given drinks and snacks.

It has been almost 50 years since I last met Dr Kwa, but he remains in my memory.

Tan Pin Ho

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 01, 2016, with the headline 'Fond memories of healthcare pioneer'. Print Edition | Subscribe