HULU TERENGGANU – Despite being confined to a wheelchair, and having to undergo dialysis three times a week, an English teacher at SK Peroh is more eager that ever to teach her students, and has never taken any sick or special leave.
Zarina Abdullah, 50, who has been a teacher for 27 years, was confined to a wheelchair two years ago, after injuring both her knee ligaments.
“At first, I fell down at home, and ruptured my left knee ligament. After that I started using a walking stick to school, but just four months later, I once again fell in front of the class, rupturing my right knee ligament this time, and since then, I have had to rely on a wheelchair.
“Actually, surgery could be done to enable me to walk again, but on the advice of my doctor, I did not go ahead with it because the risk was too high, as I have been suffering from kidney disease for the past 15 years, and heart disease for the past 10 years,” she said when met at the school here, Sunday.
Zarina said due to her kidney problems, as soon as she finished schooling sessions on Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday, she would have to rush to the Sultanah Nur Zahirah Hospital (HSNZ) in Kuala Terengganu, for dialysis.
“At 2.30pm, I’d go to HSNZ for dialysis, where each treatment would take approximately four hours, and every Monday, I also undergo physiotherapy at the hospital.
“Indeed, it is quite exhausting when I return home late at night after undergoing treatment, and the next day I have to go to school to teach, but I do not regard it as an obstacle, and I will definitely come to school to teach my students,” she said, choking up.
Zarina said she also sought treatment at the National Heart Institute (IJN) in Kuala Lumpur every four months, depending on the state of her health.
“I have undergone three operations to implant stents in my heart valve in 2006, 2010 and 2012, and currently I am still undergoing follow-up treatment,” she said.
Every day, the mother of two is sent to school by her husband, Mohd Sukri Hamzah, who is also a teacher at SK Felda BukitBading, and she also been provided a special room to help her prepare her lessons and teach students.
“I feel great satisfaction when I see that my students can read well, and follow what I teach in class…what touches and encourages me is whenever the session ends, pupils will kiss my hands and hug me and say ‘I love you, teacher’,” she said.