It is not that often that you get to meet an Ambassador. It is not that often you get to meet someone that inspires you to do more for the underprivileged in this world. It is not that often that you meet someone on a mission to improve the plight of the voiceless in our society. It is even less rare when you meet one person that encompasses all of the above virtues……Her name is May Bouquet-Brown.
She looks stunningly Eurasian, she sounds antipodean and yet she was born in Malaysia; raised in Australia, she has now returned to offer her services to assist in improving the Healthcare Services available in the public Hospitals as well as to the children of Penang.
May was born in Penang on the busy side steps of a cafe’ shopfront in Kimberley Street, Penang home and work place of the Chow Family, Mrs Chow helped May’s Mother deliver her into this world before May’s young Mother died giving birth to the baby girl with eurasian eyes and golden hair. A passing lady who witnessed the birth along with the police took May into the Penang General Hospital.
After several days under observation the same lady who had witnessed May’s birth took her from the hospital to be cared for at Rumah Kanak-Kanak, Taman Bakit, Jebatan Kebajikan in Kepala Batas, which is over the bridge towards Butterworth. Jebatan Kebajikan is the Malaysian Government welfare centre. Thus, May became a ward of state, “one of the lucky ones!” as May would say.
She was the 95th child to enter through the security gates at Kepala Batas in that year.
It was to be another 4 years before May’s fate was to change in a positive and profound way, the day she was adopted by Dr. Ng and his wife. The family eventually moved and Dr. Ng went on to practice as a GP in Sydney, Australia.
May always had big dreams of being a performer or a humanitarian. She attended schooling at the MacDonald College of Performing Arts in which she excelled in ballet and art. It has always been instilled in May to assist humanity since at a very early age; she would often follow her Father to emergency house calls. Progressively, she became aware of the importance and honour of her Father’s line of duty, saving people’s lives and attending to those in need.
They say that Nature will be outdone by Nurture and her new family has gone on to prove that helping out through medicine definitely runs in the family with a GP father and her brother who went onto become a well-respected cardiologist in Sydney himself.
May returned to Malaysia to find her “4 lost years” and whilst visiting family in Penang reacquainted herself with her roots. She was dismayed with the disparity of healthcare between her adopted country Australia and her place of birth, Penang.
May started her eventful journey by first volunteering to improve the customer relations healthcare services in Penang Adventist Hospital/ Penang General Hospital and whilst being in Penang during her first month May decided to spread her wings to widen her quest in extending her resources and interest to children who are least privileged.
She decided to take time to see what could be done to give a voice to the people that were going through a system that she had so luckily escaped. What if? Must have been going through her mind when confronted with the hardships of a public healthcare system that did not offer what she had grown accustomed nestled in the bosom of her family in the affluent society of Sydney.
It has to be said that the public healthcare system in Malaysia may not compare with western societies but it is leaps and bounds ahead of many of its fellow Asian counterparts.
What May is hoping to achieve is to raise the standards to an even higher level and to let people know what they can receive. What most people point out when they write about May is that she works with orphans and children in need. This is true she does but she also is working to improve the public healthcare systems resources and better meet the people’s healthcare needs.
She does not get paid for her good works but has taken a voluntary role with the General Hospital of Penang as Customer Services Ambassador. She could be considered the human face of medicine, merging the necessary care with a regard for the feelings of the patient.
May also hopes to promote the good work that volunteers do and would like to shine a spot-light onto these unsung heroes who work tirelessly without monetary gain and often without recognition of their good deeds.
May is not easily daunted and it is her persistence and resilience in the face of adversity that makes her stand out from the crowd.
All of May’s efforts are driven to help these less fortunate amongst us and she is hoping that the more affluent amongst Penang’s society will join her by contributing time, food or goods to assist in her mission of aiding the less fortunate in Malaysian society.
We wish to thank May for bringing the spotlight onto these issues, for encouraging support by raising awareness and developing support mechanisms to the healthcare system and orphans and children in need of care.