Malaysia Healthcare Chronicles

A Hundred Unsung Heroes: Ashley Decruz – Dental Officer Dental Clinic, Bangsar

Whenever you are blessed with the ability to help, you always should.

When the pandemic struck, nobody was ready for it. Because of how novel it was, and looking at how it had adversely affected millions of lives around the world, there was a general sense of paranoia. As someone working with people in the public, and as a new mother, my paranoia was amplified. However, regardless of what was happening, turning away people seeking treatment was simply not acceptable. Shirking my duties as a dentist was out of the question.

Admittedly, there were times where things got tough. Because I was a frontliner I felt like I was exposing my family to the disease. Additionally, my husband being at home with our son helped them really build a strong bond – the kind mothers normally have with their children. Being apart from my son was the hardest part for me because even after I got home, I still needed to follow the necessary standard operating procedures (SOPs), disinfect myself and my gear – by which time, my son simply lost interest. This made me envious of the bond that he had with his father.

Fortunately, I have a very supportive family. Through their words of encouragement, I was able to overcome any moments of doubt. They reminded me that I played an important role in helping to ease the suffering of those in pain. When I looked at the bigger picture, the frontliners in the medical field had it tougher. But by doing my part, I would help make it easier for everyone else in the field in the long run. On a more personal front, I hope that my time apart from my son eventually teaches him that whenever you are blessed with the ability to help, you always should.

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