goodbye oxford.

I’ve said one too many goodbyes.

Well, at least it feels that way.

Muay thai instructors and fellow students.

Oxford housemates.

The Prosthetics team at Oxford – especially C for being a brilliant mentor during my time here. From being poor at plaster work to having her say that my plaster casts looked like “proper prosthetist’s standard models’ when I asked her about my last two plaster models sitting in the plaster room before I left. She had seen them in the morning and thought they were good. The fact that she acknowledged that I’ve “given it my all” to improve in this area was just… wonderful. One more step towards “doing Prosthetics good” and being able to say “I was a real prosthetist today!” Heh inside joke.

I mean… I definitely messed up once or twice. Became flustered and went into a spiral on those occasions. C definitely had stern words of criticism but always understood my heart for the patients and knew that I had the knowledge – other than the fact that my inexperience tends to lead me to doubt what I see and get swayed by what the patients are telling me. In the midst of all the constructive criticism, I was always supported and given words of encouragement to build me up in confidence and assurance.

The other prosthetists were top as well.

So many instances, but here are a few…

I remember the time I thought I was in trouble and that the appointment was going to be a waste of the patient’s time and I mentioned it in passing to K in stores. She immediately jumped in with advice and assured me that all would be fine considering the actual situation. Later I would find out that right after that she went to C to ask her to “check in” on me.

The time I measured, fitted and delivered my first above-knee (transfemoral) prosthesis for a refit socket solo under V’s guidance. That was amazing. Just watching Mr. Sensor Knee happily walk down the corridor saying that now that the socket and leg fits so much better, he is keen to work on his gait and perhaps walk better… that was one of the moments which I will hold close to my heart; to remember that these are the moments that makes it all worthwhile. And for V to trust me with the patient, at the same time letting me know she’ll be just in the office if I need any advice/help.

Helping out M with setting up Mr. Ex-military with the Genium and X3s (microprocessor knees)… you don’t get to do that every day.

Being entrusted with patient after patient – even a primary (aka patient getting seen at a prosthetics clinic after amputation to get their first prostheses). Moments that remind you this is what you do what you do.

Technicians, storeman, receptionist and members of the multi-disciplinary team (e.g. nurse, physios, OTs, counsellor, doctor etc.) who are ever so patient and willing to share from experience, looking out for me and helping me out when I’m confused/lost.

I have been given so much.

I couldn’t have asked for more.


All of these instances…

Make me that much surer I’m here for a reason.

This is part of the plan, part of the purpose.


Amidst all this mess,

somehow or another,

He leads me through the wilderness.


Even though the world shouts that I will fall and hurt myself,

He whispers,

Go, I am with you.

Go, I am for you.

Go, you are mine.

Go, I love you.


Van, I love you.

I am yours,

and you are Mine.

Even when you clench your fists so tight that your knuckles go white and your fingernails draw blood,

And you shake uncontrollably like a leaf in the wind.

I’ll hold you.


I see you, I hear you,

I have always been with you.


From the beginning,

till the end,

throughout eternity.


Trust me.



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