Despite being only 20 years old, Rachel Ng has battled liver failure and currently lives with type 1 diabetes. She shares her story to encourage and bring hope to others.
The Singapore Polytechnic engineering student first discovered that she had diabetes and liver failure when she experienced abdominal pain and collapsed at the neighbourhood market last year. Yet upon hearing her diagnosis, she describes her initial response as “confused and shocked.”
“As I recovered in the hospital, I felt sad and wondered why this would happen to me. But I think that it’s normal to have those emotions.”
For three weeks, Rachel was hospitalised and blood tests became an everyday occurrence as a PICC line (peripherally inserted central catheter) was inserted through a vein in her arm. She was unable to eat, brush her teeth or shower, and everyday was filled with a series of repeated motions of waking up and waiting for nurses to inject the insulin.
Rachel talked about her sources of encouragement during the hospitalisation period saying, “Xue Qi and Zhi Yu came to visit me twice. The first time I was in ICU, they prayed. The second time they visited, they prayed. During those hard times, friends are very important; knowing that they were by my side and that I could lean on them. They knew my condition and they didn’t judge me for it.”
Now, she still visits the hospital every three months for regular check-ups and scans.
Living with type 1 diabetes means that Rachel now has to test her blood glucose levels by pricking her finger three times a day. Before every meal, she has to inject insulin in order to balance her glucose levels. Adapting to this new routine was challenging as she had to bring an entire package in order to perform these tasks, and forgetting a single part can be a major hassle.
Rachel has to inject insulin 3 times a day to regulate her blood glucose levels. PHOTO CREDIT: RACHEL NG
On top of adapting to her lifestyle changes, the judgemental stares from strangers while she tests her glucose levels in public also posed additional challenges. Although she is no longer fazed by those stares, she talks about how insensitivity from strangers had affected her emotional state negatively – especially since she had to deal with her own acceptance of the situation at the start.
“During my hospitalisation, the mandarin song, 相信有愛就有奇蹟 (Believe in Hope, You Will See Miracles) brought me a lot of hope. The whole song represents exactly what I felt during that period.”
At times, Rachel still struggles to express her emotions to God – yet whenever she does, the act of surrendering those feelings to God releases her of her burdens and leaves her feeling lighter.
“I believe that there’s a reason why these things happen and I trust that He has already planned out my life. This is my life and these are the obstacles I have to face; that’s when I’m tested and it matters whether I fall off.”
Reflecting upon her experiences, Rachel stated, “I should have cherished my life properly. In the past, whenever bad things happened, I just wanted to give up and think of a way out. But now when I face challenges, these thoughts don’t come back anymore. Throughout this journey, I have become stronger and I can encourage people with what I’ve gone through. Whether they want to hear it, it’s up to them – but at least my story might give them a bit of hope that life is precious.”
Rachel documented her testimony on Instagram in order to share her faith with her friends and bring hope to others. PHOTO CREDIT: Instagram
Rachel has documented her experience on Instagram where she encourages her friends and followers with her testimony; sharing her faith journey and spreading a message of hope even in the darkest of times. Through her posts, others have even reached out to her, sharing their own struggles and fears with her.
“Even when we don’t see it, know that God is still working. God sees the end although we can’t see it. So, don’t give up and in the end, God will lead us to our destination.”
The song, 相信有愛就有奇蹟 (Believe in Hope, You Will See Miracles) can be found here.