Nurse loses battle with SARS on Mothers Day

THREE young children woke to a new reality on Mother’s Day - that they would never see their mother again. 

Hamidah Ismail died of SARS at 2am on Sunday, 61 days after being warded at Tan Tock Seng Hospital.  

Hamidah, who was five weeks short of her 45th birthday, had worked as a nurse at the hospital for 25 years. 

Her husband Miswadi Roslan, 53, a building contractor, said he received a call from the hospital at about 11pm on Saturday, asking him to go straight there. 

He stood outside her room in the intensive care unit, watching through a glass panel as the last signs of life drifted away from her body. 

“I wanted very much to go in and embrace her but was not allowed,” said Miswadi.  


SARS victims are not allowed contact with others to avoid the risk of infection. 

“I felt helpless ... All I could do was to hold up my hands in prayer.” 


Just days earlier, when he and their children saw her through a video link-up organised by the hospital, she appeared to be recovering. 

Her eldest child, 12-year-old Sadrinna, said: “When we saw her through the video screen, she smiled at us, waved and even blew kisses at us. 


“She saw us praying for her. I was very happy because it was the first time we could see her since she became sick.” 

She and her siblings, Farahnila, 11, and Mohamed Yusri, nine, had written notes to their mum, telling her that they loved and missed her. 


Miswadi said his wife was smiling, and was well enough to write a note telling them to take care and asking the children to study hard. 


Those words, printed on a whiteboard with a weak hand, were her last. 

Miswadi said that his wife had taken a turn for the worse on Friday. 


On Sunday she became the 28th person in Singapore - and the fifth health-care worker - to die of SARS. – The Straits Times/Asia News Network  

  • Another perspective from The Straits Times, a partner of Asia News Network. 

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