The Lives They Live: She reached out to Aids patients when no one would

Above: Mrs Verghese (top row, fourth from left, in purple) with her Middle Road Hospital colleagues. The hospital was designated to handle Aids cases at the time. Above, left: Mrs Verghese outside the venue for an international Aids conference in Dur
Mrs Iris Verghese was a health worker with the former Middle Road Hospital. Over the past three decades, she has counselled countless HIV/Aids patients and their families, as well as raised funds for HIV prevention. ST PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN
Above: Mrs Verghese (top row, fourth from left, in purple) with her Middle Road Hospital colleagues. The hospital was designated to handle Aids cases at the time. Above, left: Mrs Verghese outside the venue for an international Aids conference in Dur
Above: Mrs Verghese (top row, fourth from left, in purple) with her Middle Road Hospital colleagues. The hospital was designated to handle Aids cases at the time.PHOTO: COURTESY OF IRIS VERGHESE
Above: Mrs Verghese (top row, fourth from left, in purple) with her Middle Road Hospital colleagues. The hospital was designated to handle Aids cases at the time. Above, left: Mrs Verghese outside the venue for an international Aids conference in Dur
Mrs Verghese on holiday with her sons Chris (in blue), now 46, and Kevin, now 43, as well as her husband Martin, now 74, in Sydney in 1987.PHOTO: COURTESY OF IRIS VERGHESE

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.

The year was 1985. Singapore had just discovered its first cases of Aids.

At the former Middle Road Hospital, which was designated to handle Aids cases at the time, two doctors resigned and 25 nurses requested to be transferred out of fear, but not Mrs Iris Verghese.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 02, 2019, with the headline 'She reached out to aids patients when no one would'. Print Edition | Subscribe