Great Expectations

MEN 'S FOLIO Singapore|May 2020

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Great Expectations
From being on dialysis to coming out stronger as a tech disruptor, Ng Aik-Phong, managing director of Fave Singapore is proof that tough times do not last but tough people do.
Ng Aik-Phong

It was Christmas Eve, 2012. I tried to dress up for a colleague’s wedding dinner, but a terrible wave of fatigue had started setting in since noon.

With each passing hour, each step that I took became increasingly difficult. Each act of buttoning my shirt was happening in slow-motion — left hand to buttonhole, right to button; match, insert, three more to go. An inexorable amount of time later, I was driving out of my home. No more than one kilometre after, I felt a sudden urge to throw up. Something was terribly wrong. I parked to the side of the street and texted my colleague that I could not make it to her wedding.

The next person I called was my doctor. I had been diagnosed with spontaneous IgA nephropathy (Berger’s disease) three years prior. I was fit and in my 30s, my doctor and I had been trying to prolong the function of my kidney for as long as possible. He recommended that I immediately be warded to Mt Elizabeth Hospital and it was not long before I was given the news that I had suffered end-stage renal failure.

I had to be hospitalised immediately and put on dialysis where an incision was made between my second and third upper rib bone to allow a dialysis catheter to be inserted directly into my internal jugular vein, just below my neck and facing down into my heart.

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May 2020