A group of leprosy children on the seesaw. This photo was taken in the 1930s.

A group of leprosy children on the seesaw. This photo was taken in the 1930s.


Reunion In The Ward

An Inconceivable Reunion

For 48 years, the mother had waited in the ward for her daughter to return. She described the moment her daughter was taken away from her as "very painful! As if my flesh was being cut from me." Her only wish was to take "just one look" at her daughter. That was all she wanted.

On Merdeka Day this year, when the volunteers and nurses brought the beautiful cake to Lee Jin Ai's bedside, when we all sang "Mum is the Best in the World", the mother and daughter pair standing in front of us suddenly burst into tears. There was not a single person there who was not deeply touched by what we had witnessed.

Everyone in the ward were given cakes and red eggs and they all knew that unlike previous Merdeka Days which were all the same, this year, it was a warm, moving and special Independence Day.

We hope that future generations will be free from discrimination, free from persecution and free from fear; we also hope that in the future, more Generation will find their "way home" and reunite with their families.

This is my wish to the universe for this year's Merdeka Day.

Our mission to look for Lee Jin Ai's daughter was successful! We managed to track down the adoptive father's relative in Teluk Intan, Perak and subsequently met up with her to get information on the whereabouts of Jin Ai's daughter. The lady was very helpful and kind and told us that she would be coming down to Kuala Lumpur to meet Jin Ai's daughter. She would ask Jin Ai's daughter then whether she would like to meet up with her biological mother. We passed the book "The Way Home" to the relative and asked her to give it to Jin Ai's daughter.

After waiting for a few weeks, we finally received news that Jin Ai's daughter was touched by her mother's story and had also watched her mother's interview clip via YouTube. She was more than willing to meet with her mother! Jin Ai's daughter rang me to say that she had finished reading the book and was willing to reunite with her biological mother. She even thanked me for our efforts because through the book and video, she realized that she is a child of Sungai Buloh. Her adoptive father had never told her before that she had been adopted from Sungai Buloh. This discovery had stirred up her emotions. She still wanted to meet with her mother because it was not her mother's fault that she was given away.

On 31 August 2013, with the help of the hospital matron and nurses, we organized a surprise "reunion party" in the ward by pushing out a cake to celebrate the reunion. Both of them were overwhelmed with joy and tears flowed freely. We also distributed cakes, red eggs and curry puffs to all inmates in the ward so that everybody could share their joy! We did not inform Jin Ai about this meeting earlier because we were not sure whether her daughter would accept and reunite with her and we did not want Jin Ai to be prematurely excited only to be disappointed later.

I contacted Jin Ai's son to come along to share in his mother's joy. There was shock on Jin Ai's face and then it turned into joy and happiness as finally her dream came true. In the book, Jin Ai only hopes to have one look at her daughter, but little did she know that she would get to touch her or even hug her. Later, Jin Ai's eldest daughter also came to meet us at the ward after Jin Ai personally called her. That was a great joy for everyone and I could not hold my tears back either.

After putting so much effort into searching for the inmates' separated children, finally there is a happy ending for this desperate mother. At least she has no regrets now after being able to see her beloved long-lost daughter while she is still alive.

Later, I presented Jin Ai's daughter with her original birth certificate which we had obtained from the Registration Office with the help of our Deputy Director, Dr. Amin. Jin Ai's daughter was very moved by this finding! Jin Ai's case is proof to us that we must always strive hard not to miss any little information given to us, as luck may be on our side.

top | Go Back