Judy was born on Feb 21, 1975 with asthma. Judy was sent away from home to Singapore for high school education and she never came back to Malaysia ever since.
In the recent years due to her divorce and separation with her two daughters, she was diagnosed with severe depression whereby she was on constant medication and consultation just so she could fall asleep at night. Condition got worse when she was diagnosed with hyperthyroid 3 years ago. Alongside with hyperthyroid, doctor has also confirmed that she needs to be on asthma medication again (Judy has recovered from asthma when she was a teenager).
Family and friends were not made aware on the severity of her health condition until the recent 3 months when Judy's doctor has informed her to stop working completely as her hyperthyroidism has begin to attack her immune system, heart and bones. This means that she is starting to loose balance, vision becoming weak, irregular heart rate and is very prone to injury.
Judy finally came to me with this surprising news 2 months ago and has finally accepted my offer for an extended beach vacation. For once in her life she said, "I would like to experience what it feels like to live by the beach, see the underwater world and see why is it that you love it so much. I believe you can make that happen for me right?" I said, "Of course!"
Judy has always been terrified with the water but she has always been curious and love beach vacations. As her sister and a dive instructor I am grateful to have the ability and experience to bring her for discovery diving to experience the underwater world.
Our first 2 weeks at the beach was amazing. Judy managed to learn how to snorkel where she was completely relaxed in the water, went diving twice, I am so proud of her! From the many vacations we had together to the beach, Judy has never touched the water, not even dipping her feet in the water. She is that afraid and seeing her enjoying herself while snorkeling I was so happy for her. This is when she approached me and asked if she was ready for diving as she would like to get closer to the fish and marine life that she saw from the surface.
The first time I brought Judy for discovery diving, we were in the water for more than an hour. There were many times during the session that I wanted to bring her up but after seeing the joy in her face, I decided to let her have fun just a little longer. I have never seen so much joy in her. If only we can speak in the water I would know what exactly she was feeling. Her finger was pointing everywhere at different fish as soon as we went into the water. Whenever a big fish approaches us, I could see her eyes grew bigger as though she was saying, "Whoa....". There were many times when Judy was in the water that she smiled and water went into her mouth, as soon as she cleared the water from her regulator we both chuckled in the water as we were just having a great time. I am so happy that I managed to witness this unforgettable sight. I am glad she is finally happy. She was having such a good time that her arms were always opened ready to give the ocean a big hug. Priceless moment.
Unfortunately good times didn't last too long. The day before Judy's accident we actually took a day trip around the island to show her what's around Pulau Weh on land. We had a great time, had many sisters' talk, simply enjoying a day on land. Judy mentioned at dinner that night that she would like to practice snorkeling again the next day. To me that's a good sign, this means she misses the water and I will be more than honored to take her to the water provided she is not too tired.
On July 19, 2017, we went snorkeling at the resort that we stayed at, same place like we did before. We spent 5 minutes on the surface to let Judy practice mask and snorkel clearing just to make sure she remembers how to do it before we went into the water. As we were snorkeling I held on to Judy's hands while communicating with her to make sure she is okay. Everything was fine until I felt her hand tingle a little. At first I thought she was fine as her body was completely relaxed but seconds later she tingled again and that's when I felt there was something wrong. I approached really close to her face to check on her and I saw her lip color has changed, immediately I flipped her over so she could lay flat on the water to breathe while I bring her back to shore. She kept eye contact with me all the way to give me reassurance even when she was vomiting water.
Judy was admitted to the hospital immediately after the accident but since we were on an island at the time and Judy's medical was complicated, local doctors have strongly advised us to send Judy to Banda Aceh (closest city to us) where the medical facilities are complete and specialist doctors are available. As we have past the normal schedule for ferry to Banda Aceh, we have opt to take a speedboat to Banda Aceh the same night just so we can send Judy to better care as soon as possible.
Judy was conscious and having conversations with me the whole time, she was even staring at the night sky counting stars when we were on the boat to Banda Aceh. Everything was looking bright and I was hopeful that it was just a minor accident and that she will be okay.
When we arrived at the hospital in Banda Aceh, Judy was slowly recovering though her numbers were still unstable due to her hyperthyroidism. Doctors mentioned she could be released from hospital meaning that she is okay if her condition stays the same or better at 5:30am. But at 5am, Judy's heart rate started beating abnormally and she has to be sent to ICU immediately.
I never got to speak to Judy again because she was under medical care and was unconscious. Her last words to me was she would like to complete her 2 month holiday with me at the island and wished we would have done all the things and traveled to all the places that we wanted to go together.
Judy's death came as a complete surprise to everyone. Our families were not prepared for this news at all and I wished I had more time with her. I believe there are many things that she wished she could have done before leaving us, many friends and family that she would like to visit and etc. As her sister, I would like to realize her will to see all her friends and family in all parts of the world while re-visit all the places that we have been to. Not only that, I would like to record my journey into a video just so everyone can have a beautiful memory of Judy. To ensure Judy will never be forgotten and to tell stories to her daughters and grandchildren on how great a person Judy was.
Now that Judy is buried in the ocean as she wished, I would like to take on the next step to realize her will, to do all things that she wished to do when she was alive. I wish all friends (whether new or existing) and family will be supportive of this idea, it is my love for her as a sister and it is the last thing that I can do for her. As much as I would like to do more but unfortunately at this point in time, there is nothing more that I could do but to spread her love.
Feb 21, 1975 to July 22, 2017 - Judy passed away at the age of 42 due to heart failure in Indonesia. May she rest in peace in the ocean and may her love for all stays forever.