Ella, age “nearly 50” / Selangor, Malaysia


In year 2003 I already need to be on medications, but at that particle of time, that we need to pay about 1,000 ringget Malaysia, and my salary is less than 1,000. So… I, I stop seeing the doctor because the doctor says, “You need to be on medication.” I rather, you know, feed my children.

So when I stopped seeing the doctors, the virus is not gone. In year 2005, I infected by tuberculosis. But I have very good doctors, who, at that time, started my ARV, even though it’s not free yet. So I on tuberculosis medication, and I’m on ARV. And my liver can’t just, you know, take the two medication, and then it’s fail.

And I was thinking I’m going to die that time. You know, all my children are all a little bit grown up. But I, I pray – you know, we are Muslim, so we pray. I did beg to my God, to Allah. I ask for 10 more years, if He can give me, in order for me to see my children grown up. So, at least the eldest, you know, got married, and have a child, and the youngest, I can see, she independent. So I can leave them. I’m ready at that time. I’m not ready now.

So perhaps God listen to me. And He has given me, you know… it’s nearly 10 years, I think. Next year is 10 years. By 5 years, actually – I already have my eldest is already married, and I now have a grandchild, grandson. The second one is already married, also. And then the last one – she is wonderful. She goes independent as early as… I can’t imagine, you know. And when she’s 5, she’s already, like, “Mom! How you wear your hijab is not right!” And I say, “Hey! Are you the Mom, or am I the Mom?!?” You know, 5 years! She’s already, like, want to dictate what I wear! In a way that she become more and more independent, and very good daughter.

That’s my– the good things happen. That all my children grow up, you know, and that I don’t need to worry about them at all. And they are supporting me all throughout. And that is why I get the strength to be what I am today.