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A Midnight Memory

​Ms Ye Shuqin, Nurse Clinician, Operating Theatre, SKH

It was two in the morning when Ms Ye Shuqin, then Operating Theatre Specialised Cardiothoracic Nurse with the Cardiothoracic Surgery department at the Singapore General Hospital (SGH), boarded the ambulance heading to Tan Tock Seng Hospital. She had been assigned a very important task - to procure the heart and lung of a brain dead patient for transplant to another patient.

This was Shuqin’s first organ procurement experience. Her heart beating strongly, she still remembered vividly the many fleeting thoughts that she had when she was in the ambulance. “Will the procedure go wrong? It is the wee hours. What would happen if something unexpected crops up?”

Fortunately, the procedure went smoothly and the harvesting was a success “Time was very precious,” she recounted. “The procedure took about 2 hours and was very tiring. Although I was exhausted at the end, I felt happy for the patient who was going to receive the heart valve and was glad that I could play a part in helping to save someone’s life.”

Now a Nurse Clinician at Sengkang General Hospital (SKH)’s Operating Theatre, the overnight trip remains the most striking memory Shuqin has of her 20 years with SingHealth and she is pretty confident that it will be the definitive one for the rest of her career!