September winner: Laurentia Tan

Her agony and her ecstasy

Laurentia Tan, ST Star of the Month, with Dreamer the horse on Thursday.
Laurentia Tan, ST Star of the Month, with Dreamer the horse on Thursday.ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM
ST sports editor Lee Yulin (left) and Jennifer See, general manager for F&N Foods, presenting prizes to Monique Heah, team manager of the national equestrian team and honorary treasurer of the Equestrian Federation of Singapore.
ST sports editor Lee Yulin (left) and Jennifer See, general manager for F&N Foods, presenting prizes to Monique Heah, team manager of the national equestrian team and honorary treasurer of the Equestrian Federation of Singapore.ST PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN

Surgery sidelined her for months, but she still wins silver at last month's WEG

The world Laurentia Tan lives in is silent but she hears people through lip reading and listens to music by hugging a speaker to feel the vibrations, which she decodes as the tune's tempo, rhythm and its nuances.

And, at times, it is filled with pure agony. Last year, pain in her spine shot up to her shoulders. Surgery was required to drill a hole in her backbone so that it did not impinge on her nerves. That saw her laying horizontal for three months.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 13, 2018, with the headline 'Her agony and her ecstasy'. Print Edition | Subscribe