How My Mother’s Big Heart Almost Killed Her

As part of our International Women’s Day celebrations, we present eight inspiring stories that will touch your heart and kindle your soul. This is story number four.

Nausheen Billimoria is a seasoned marketing professional based in Singapore and has been using OurHealthMate since 2017. As a woman who has lived overseas for over a decade, she tells us how she has successfully double-hatted as a quintessential career woman and a devoted daughter, and how she saved her mother’s life from another country.

My mother and I have always been a two-member team. Having lost my father at an early age, she was all I knew. She had an infectious aura about her. She could win you over with her charm, and her smile could light up an entire room. Most of all though, she had a big heart. Even as a young widow of 28, she took reign of the life my father had left behind and made sure that we had all we needed to make a good life for ourselves. She put her education to use by becoming an English teacher at a reputed school in Matunga, Mumbai, and for the next thirty years, she devoted her life to children.

By the time I was 18, I was sure I wanted to move abroad to pursue my education. I set my sights on Singapore. It was the first time I would live away from my mother and I was heartbroken at the thought of leaving her behind. I promised her frequent trips home and she promised me frequent Skype sessions. With a heavy heart, I embarked on my life’s next adventure.

My student years in Singapore were short and filled with wonderful moments. I formed a close friends circle that almost compensated for the lack of immediate family I’d grown up with. My mother, of course, did learn how to Skype, and our Sunday Skype sessions became a religious commitment we would each work our schedules around. Like many other Indian students, I had signed a bond with the Singapore government, committing to stay and work in the country after graduation. So when I landed a plum marketing job at an FMCG giant in Singapore, I took it in a heartbeat. At that point, I had made up my mind to head back to India after my bond expired. Little did I know that I would be swept up by the lures of corporate life.

One evening, a few months into my new job, I was just about to enter a meeting when I received four missed calls in the span of 2 minutes. They were all from my mother. It wasn’t like her to call me at work, and when I called back, there was no response. My mind immediately conjured up the worst possible scenarios and I frantically dialled a neighbor who had the spare key. When she bolted over and opened the door, my mother was curled on the floor, barely conscious. She had had a cardiac arrest.

My mother survived that day, but the incident made me contemplate her situation. She had always had an enlarged heart, but other than high blood pressure and thyroid disorders, it had never posed any danger to her. Until the heart attack, that is. I thought about bringing her to Singapore to live with me but my mother politely declined the idea. She enjoyed her weekly Bingo nights and her walks to the local bazar. She loved her television and her dinky little radio that she manually tuned every morning. She had a set lifestyle, and I respected that. Sometimes though, I worried.

During a chance conversation with a colleague last year, I learned about how she had been virtually managing check-ups for her parents in India using a tool called OurHealthMate. She had a digital overview of their progress and she was assured that they were getting the help they needed. It sounded perfect. After a bit of research over the weekend, I signed up. OurHealthMate has worked out well for my mother and me. Now that I get to be up close and personal with her monthly updates, I have more reassurance than I did earlier and my mind is finally at peace.
Who knew that my mother’s big heart would get her into trouble one day? Oh, if only I’d known.

Why wait until it’s too late? Be proactive and manage preventive health assessments for yourself and family members overseas. With preemptive measures, you can take charge of your loved ones’ health and protect them from untoward incidents. Change your fate with OurHealthMate.


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