TheLivesTheyLive

The Lives They Live: Retired doctor helps others to live well

Dr Wong Hee Ong's plans to study medicine were disrupted by World War II. However, she never gave up on her dream and tried to stay on top of her studies even during the war.
Dr Wong Hee Ong's plans to study medicine were disrupted by World War II. However, she never gave up on her dream and tried to stay on top of her studies even during the war.ST PHOTO: LEE JIA WEN
Dr Wong looking at photos of her classmates from King Edward VII College of Medicine. Her classmates included Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad and his wife Siti Hasmah Mohamad Ali.
Dr Wong looking at photos of her classmates from King Edward VII College of Medicine. Her classmates included Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad and his wife Siti Hasmah Mohamad Ali.ST PHOTO: LEE JIA WEN

While the pioneer leaders were the original architects of Singapore, everyday heroes helped build society here. This is another story about such people in the series The Lives They Live.

When 91-year-old Wong Hee Ong wanted to study medicine more than 70 years ago, she faced a hurdle - the war.

During the Japanese Occupation from 1942 to 1945, all schools were closed, except for primary schools, she said. "I had finished Standard 7, the equivalent of primary school, in 1941. I had no choice, I had to stop school," she added.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 05, 2018, with the headline 'Retired doctor helps others to live well'. Print Edition | Subscribe