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Monday, 4 July 2011

A psychiatrist, a steward and I

Talking about the psychiatrist Dr. Wong, I happened to work with the other psychiatrists too way back in the 1960's. Because of past working experience in the Institute of Mental Health or formerly known as the Woodbridge Hospital, I was of great assistance to a steward who was "mentally" ill.
The story began like this:
A steward by the name of Ken was suffering from hallucination.  I knew Ken and his wife personally. The airline doctor and our director was eager to medically board Ken out. Ken wasn't really a good steward. His medically leave was excessive. It was due to his mental condition and was considered unproductive as far as the company was concerned. The company doctor referred Ken to a top psychiatrist in IMH whom I happened to know and work with, for his expert advice. If this psychiatrist felt that Ken was unsuitable for his stewarding job then the company would medically board him out. It meant that Ken would be fired from his job and given a small monetary compensation.
Ken's wife who was a stewardess and I knew exactly why Ken was in such a condition. Ken was a thrifty and frugal man. He would try to save as much as he could from his salary. He would then used his money to invest in stocks and shares. He made money from the stock market most of the time. However, one day the stock market crashed and he lost all his savings. He was broke and saddened by his huge loss. He couldn't accept defeat and went into depression. He could not go on flight and reported sick most of the time. He even contemplated suicide.
The day came when Ken,his wife and I went to see the psychiatrist. I saw the psychiatrist first and spoke to him regarding Ken's situation. I explained to him that if he was to state his opinion that Ken was too sick to work then Ken would be fired. This I told him would make the situation worst. I pleaded with him to help Ken recover from his depression and to still keep his job. The psychiatrist listened to me without committing himself but nodded positively to all that I've told him. I knew after the meeting, Ken had a fighting chance. Next he interviewed Ken and his wife and the outcome was also positive.
After a series of tests carried out on Ken and the subsequent visits to this psychiatrist, Ken recovered and was able to resumed his flying duties.
Ken went on to become one of the most capable stewards. He was eventually promoted to the post of Inflight Supervisor. He served in that position for many years but succumbed to cancer and passed away when he was in his mid-50's.

BT: I did not want to name the psychiatrist as I did not have his permission to write this article. In fact, I have lost contact with him.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I know who this crew was.