The Voice

Mr Waipan Chan

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“I died twice last year. I was in the hospital for the entire year. First off with the hip surgery, and then I got an aneurism, where my blood vessels got tangled, and I also got Deep Vein Thrombosis, which is when a blood clot caused my leg to lose oxygen and die. The doctor had to take out all of the dead tissue, and it took almost a year before I could get up. That was very traumatic. It’s a very good feeling, dying. You don’t know what is happening. The first time was pretty bad but they revived me. Similarly, the second time, I was undergoing a surgery and I had a heart attack on the table, which was very convenient- they just revived me on the table. Both times, I heard everything but I couldn’t respond. They told me to keep breathing as they pumped my chest, and ended up breaking my ribs.
I took narcotic medication for pain and I experienced hallucinations while taking them. During one of them, a whole bunch of people came into the hospital. They all wore my wife’s name tag and white lab coats and spoke in a weird, low voice. They told me to give them money or I would die. They looked like doctors and nurses. Hallucinations are real but also not real. Other than that, I struggled throughout different surgeries to get my body weight up. I lost a lot of weight and I had to eat but I had no appetite. When they were reviving me, they put a tube down my throat to pump air down my lungs. It makes me smell plastic all the time, and everything I ate tasted like plastic. My wife would cook me my favorite foods, and I told her it tastes like plastic, which thankfully went away after 2-3 months. The experience of going to the hospital is very traumatic. The process of death is interesting; the worst thing is waking up. When you wake up, it hurts. Then my kidney failed and they fed me potassium. Potassium takes horrible; it’s very bitter. I had to take it everyday for 2 months. After a while I went home after 6 months but I still go to rehab. During this time, I was thinking about what I could do when I got back. My leg is still not completely healed bc they took away 75% of the muscle and a lot of my nerves, which were all dead, so I have to rebuild my muscle and learn how to walk again. If you touch my foot I have no feeling at all, and the doctors say sensation might not come back. I decided to come back to Irvington because I enjoy and miss teaching.”

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Mr Waipan Chan