Devotion to son earns an award
Published on Aug 12, 2002

A blind woman has been chosen as mother of the year by Kluaynamthai Hospital after earning praise from doctors there with her single-minded devotion to her paralysed son.

Everyday, Malinee sae Teaw, 63, bathes and feeds her 31-year-old son and helps him exercise to prevent his muscles from atrophying.

"All I hope is for him to re-|gain his health," she said.

Her only son, Montri Triyachantarachai, was once the family's breadwinner, but in 1994 a hit-and-run accident put him in hospital for two months. After undergoing a brain operation he began suffering seizures.

He was hospitalised again in late 1998 after suffering an hour-long seizure that left both his legs and his left arm paralysed.

"I was so shocked that I went numb. I never thought such a fate would happen to my family. I really didn't know how my life could go on," Malinee said.

At the time she asked herself: "Wasn't it bad enough that I was born blind?"

But for the sake of her son, she said, she could not allow herself to be hopeless.

"He's my son. I'm the mother," she explained.

"I tell myself and my son that there are many people suffering. We must fight on."

All she could do was focus on taking care of Montri and doing what she could to keep him from feeling hopeless, she said.

Everyday she makes him stand up and take a few steps around their house, not a small feat for a woman half his size. Then she takes him outside in his wheelchair.

"I never tire of taking care of him. I've raised him since he was a baby. So why can't I look after him now?"

He often tells her that he would rather be dead, she said.

"I know it's hard for him. For four years he's been unable to go out alone. He doesn't have any friends. He's bored and lonely," she said.

Her husband earns less than Bt4,000 a month, so there is little they can do, she said.

Malinee realises that her son needs to be with other people with similar disabilities.

She has asked the Siriwattana Cheshire Foundation, which is under the patronage of HM the Queen, for help.

The foundation takes care of handicapped people.

"I want him to have friends. He wants to go there," she said.

Montri said he wanted to go to the foundation. "I want my mom to have a rest," he said.

Malinee is still waiting for a reply from the foundation.

Napanisa Kaewmorakot
THE NATION