Generation Grit

Bouncing back, thanks to 'Auntie Stella'

In 2013, Kelly Goh, then 20, saw her father fall to his death from their kitchen window. She had just lost her mother to breast cancer a year ago. Thankful for the help she received, Kelly decided to give back by becoming a volunteer.
Miss Kelly Goh (far left) with family friend Stella Soh, who took the young woman in and looked after her after her parents died. Ms Soh, a 45-year-old mother of three, said: "I couldn't bear to send Kelly back home alone. She was traumatised. It was
Miss Kelly Goh (left) with family friend Stella Soh, who took the young woman in and looked after her after her parents died. Ms Soh, a 45-year-old mother of three, said: "I couldn't bear to send Kelly back home alone. She was traumatised. It was the most natural thing to bring her back home with us."ST PHOTO: DESMOND WEE
Miss Goh giving out water at a community event for the elderly at Fengshan Community Club in April. Through Ms Soh, Miss Goh became interested in grassroots activities and she now volunteers regularly.
Miss Goh giving out water at a community event for the elderly at Fengshan Community Club in April. Through Ms Soh, Miss Goh became interested in grassroots activities and she now volunteers regularly.ST PHOTO: JAMIE KOH

Miss Kelly Goh, 25, had to live with the guilt and trauma of seeing her father fall eight storeys to his death. The five years since then have been a slow process of recovery, aided by a family friend who took her into her home to care for her. Miss Goh tells her story to The Straits Times, in this series about millennials who inspire us.

Within just one year, Miss Kelly Goh lost both her parents in tragic circumstances.

Her mother, a coffee shop assistant, died in 2012 while undergoing treatment for late-stage breast cancer. One day, Mr Goh Ah Seng found his wife unconscious at home. She was rushed to the hospital but died the next day. Miss Goh was their only child. Just 19 at the time, she became closer to her father, a taxi driver.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 06, 2018, with the headline 'Bouncing back, thanks to 'Auntie Stella''. Print Edition | Subscribe