Single-parent Mdm Kamisah brought up her 7-year old son, Putra, who is quadriplegic and has visual impairment, whilst caring for her two older children. Today, she is very proud of her close-knit family, especially at how her two older children, Firdaus,19, and Nadra,14, help shoulder the responsibility for Putra’s care and well-being with her.
Mdm Kamisah’s family works as a team, with everyone playing their part. Firdaus sends Putra to Rainbow Centre in the morning while Mdm Kamisah works the night shift at a factory. She fetches Putra home after school ends. Nadra plays with Putra when she comes home from school while her mum rests or cooks, and listens to songs with Putra to keep him engaged. Firdaus took a part-time job at a restaurant to help support the family. Asked how he balances caring for his brother with studying and time with friends, Firdaus concedes to struggling with it. He says, “You need to let go of your own fun time as family comes first”.
Things were not so harmonious when the family faced trying times in earlier years. Because Putra was from Mdm Kamisah’s second marriage, Firdaus and Nadra found it difficult accepting him as their brother. Things got worse after her second husband left the family. Firdaus and Nadra struggled to understand how Putra’s birth father could abandon him.
Mdm Kamisah remained steadfast in commitment to the family. She emphasised the importance of loving and supporting each other despite the odds the family faced. It was Mdm Kamisah’s strength and devotion to her family that moved Firdaus and Nadra. They learned how they could engage Putra and contribute to his learning and development. The arguments lessened with their acceptance of Putra as their own brother as they fully embraced caring for him in their mum’s absence.
Mdm Kamisah is an exemplary role model to her children. She consider her children her best friends. Both show maturity uncommon for people so young. Firdaus attributes his sense of responsibility to a realisation that he needs to care for the family, as no one else can or would. Mdm Kamisah says Putra has taught her to be strong. Her determination, resilience and willpower has rubbed off on her children, who reflect an optimism about life and unstinting love for their brother Putra whom they had struggled to accept when he was first born.