KUALA LUMPUR, March 23 – It is never too late to celebrate the women in our lives who play an important role in helping us become the person today.
These include our mothers who nurture us with their love and dedication, our daughters who taught us compassion, and our friends who support us to achieve greater heights.
Likewise, health care professionals also play a part in our lives to care for our health and wellbeing.
This International Women’s Day, Sunway Medical Centre celebrates the dedicated women in health care who tirelessly give themselves to their patients, who then go home and give another 100 per cent to their families.
In this tribute, get a glimpse into the lives of consultant paediatrician and paediatric haematology and oncology physician Dr Yap Tsiao Yi and consultant emergency physician Dr Nur Elayni Borhan beyond their passion for medicine.
Contributions Beyond Medicine
For Dr Yap, the responsibility to help the needy is not limited to the medical field but also channelled through time she spends on various activities supporting non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and social enterprises.
“In 2014, I participated in a medical relief mission to Ladakh, India with two NGOs and the following year, I went to Nepal six months after the earthquake with a team of child therapists, counsellors and volunteers. These personal experiences opened my eyes and made me realise how fortunate we are. These lessons combined with those I learned from my patients and their families instilled my spirit to help those in need,” she said.
Throughout her years as a medical specialist who treats children and adolescents with solid and haematological malignancies and blood disorders, Dr Yap has volunteered and collaborated with individuals, groups, societies, NGOs, and corporate bodies to raise funds to support treatment costs for children from B40 families who are diagnosed with cancer.
Furthermore, she also serves as an advisor to Abundant Ventures (AV), a social enterprise committed to improving the livelihoods of B40 communities through agriculture.
They help smallholder farmers through impactful initiatives including rescuing produce that would otherwise go to waste and donating them to those in need.
“My medical experience provides AV an important lens when approaching matters pertaining to its focus on food security. I am thrilled every time I get to bring home some rescued, ugly but nutritious produce given by farmers. It gives me a chance to experiment and create new recipes with the rescued produce,” said Dr Yap, who also loves to cook.
In a nutshell, Dr Yap is grateful that her life continues to be enriched through her contribution to society.
An Appetite For Adrenaline
Self-professed adrenaline junkie Dr Elayni loves diving, hiking, water rafting, skydiving, and has conquered Mount Kinabalu three times.
Growing up in a military family where her father was a military general and commando, there was no room for Dr Elayni to be weak. “I was raised in a strict family where we were not allowed to be lembik (soft). We were often told off for slacking!” exclaimed the youngest of four siblings.
Dr Elayni recognises that her role in the emergency department can be hectic.
“I work relentlessly and then take a day or a few days off to travel. We need to know how to prioritise the things in our life. My daughters acknowledge that I have a demanding job, but they are used to it. I reward them with my days off and pamper them in other ways,” she shared.
A strong advocate for community CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation), Dr Elayni will always grab opportunities to educate the public on how to perform this life saving procedure. She fully supports schools to teach CPR.
“I also enjoy doing medical standbys for sporting events and concerts. I was involved in the 2022 SUKMA Games where I was the medical standby for the Muay Thai event. These kinds of events keep me on my toes as we don’t know what is going to happen and when it happens, we rush to the scene,” Dr Elayni shared.
Constantly craving adventure, Dr Elayni plans to climb Mount Kinabalu again in July, and this time, with her 10-year-old daughter. Her secret to staying fit and preparing for such hikes is running a minimum of three times a week. She also goes hiking with friends on weekends when she is free.