“Mr. Sim, would you be agreeable to administer the following medication? If you would, please sign below here…”
This was obviously a rhetoric question but I knew they had to ask as part of the hospital’s protocol.
Not too long ago, my pregnant wife Angie and I, like any expectant couples, were cautiously optimistic, looking forward to welcoming the birth of our twins (conceived through assisted fertility treatment). The babies’ room had been set up, confinement nanny booked, furniture and clothes all ready. We had even picked their names. Next thing I knew, Angie was being rushed to KKH from office and what ensued were a flux: Our first twin had died in-utero and the best team of doctors had convened at Angie’s bedside trying their best to save our 2nd twin.
After weeks of intensive medical intervention, Ashley (our baby girl) was delivered pre-term at 25 weeks and given only 50% chance of survival by the specialists (which means 1 in every 2 babies born pre-term at this gestational period survives). Like any parents, we rallied friends and family to pray against the odds for the baby to pull through, especially since her vital signs were promising. I felt so assured to see Ashley move when I sang to her in the NICU – something I did nightly since day 1 when she was still in the womb with her other twin.
Over night, the dreaded news came – the docs found traces of internal bleeding in her brain (Grade 4 they said to me). That was when the question was posed – asking if I would give consent for a cocktail of medication to be given to try to stem the bleed.
As a parent, when you see your child ill, would you refuse any prescribed medication? Would you impede any possible medical interventions, which are deemed necessary to save your child? The answer is an obvious ‘NO’.
In fact, although I’m well aware that Ashley had no insurance coverage, as there were no pre-natal insurance plans back then…Plus her sudden premature arrival had caught us off guard. Even then, cost was the least of my concerns; I would settle the medical bills later somehow. The survival of my newborn daughter was far more important.
Despite my decisiveness, Ashley died the next morning. The news hit us like a brick…I was in denial, I was angry and I was crushed. But I knew, as a father and a husband, I had to take care of my daughter’s funeral and look after my wife to help her pull through physically, emotionally and spiritually.
Financially, the episode chalked up a 5-figure bill in excess of S$20,000 at KKH (C-ward). The one night that Ashley spent in NICU together with the expensive medications and equipment to sustain her life formed the bulk of the bill. Thankfully, I was able to foot the bill using part Medisave and a large part of our savings. Otherwise, we would have incurred a large debt for these necessary medical expenses in trying to protect the pregnancy and save our daughter.
THE AXA FAMILY ADVANTAGE – PROTECTION FOR YOUNG FAMILIES
When I came across the press release that AXA has recently launched a “first-of-its-kind” pre-natal plan package, titled “AXA Family Advantage” that offers coverage right from conception against pregnancy complications for expectant mother to congenital illnesses for the unborn child, I knew this is a plan I would endorse (I only wish it was made available years ago). Quite simply because, as a parent, when it comes to anything children related, you would definitely want to give your all. As husbands, this burden usually falls squarely on our shoulders. We had pledged to take care of our wives for better or worse, till death do us part. So we would want to ensure our rainy day needs are well provided for; that our families’ welfare and lifestyles will NOT be compromised in times of crises.
The “AXA Family Advantage” plan allows couples, when expecting a child, the flexibility to select from 8 different types of protection, savings and investment plans for themselves to prepare for the responsible role of being parents. In fact, it simultaneously offers pre-natal coverage for an expectant mother, and subsequently when the child is born, the parents can choose to insure their child in a straightforward process with no health questions asked. The plan also helps parents to get coverage for themselves and help them build their savings or grow their investments. Given that many Singaporeans are grossly under-insured, this “AXA Family Advantage” does sound like a comprehensive insurance plan for families.
Together with the launch of AXA Young Families campaign, AXA has enhanced their existing pre-natal insurance package “AXA Mum’s Advantage” and introduced a new Personal Accident plan, “AXA Band Aid”, a basic necessity as a personal accident plan for families which provides flexibility for us to only pay for what we need.
To all the young fathers, expectant parents and would-be parents out there, as you look forward in welcoming your child(ren) into the world and raising them, be reminded that life is unpredictable because this is an unpredictable world. Just like how a child can be born at a moment’s notice, situations and circumstances can change at a snap of a finger. Just this week, we were informed that one of Angie’s favourite Youtube stars @thesonialee (the guitarist from Jayesslee) had just suffered an unfortunate miscarriage. Which again brings home the point that when bad things happen (and they do, whether we like it or not), we want to have the peace of mind and the resources to care for the people who truly matter without letting financial worries hold us back.
So if you are a Daddy or a Daddy-to-be, speak to an AXA Financial Consultant today on how AXA can help provide targeted protection for your whole family at different life stages, from pregnancy to birth and raising kids. You can also visit www.axa.com.sg for more information on “AXA Family Advantage” plan.
“AXA DADDY RESCUE” CONTEST
In conjunction with the launch, AXA is running a fun “AXA Daddy Rescue” radio contest which started on 10th of August on its ‘Muttons in the Morning’ programme (6am to 10am). 3 lucky winners will enjoy a home cleaning session courtesy of AXA, where a team of Daddies will wipe, mop, clean and even perform a special Acapella singing, in the comfort of your home.
To join the contest, simply:
1. Tune in to CLASS 95 daily (6am to 10am) for the “AXA Daddy Rescue” contest prompts.
2. SMS your entries to 76677 in this format: AXA <space> Your Name <space> Your NRIC <space> Why you deserve to be rescued.
3. Tune in weekly on Fridays (21 August, 28 August and 4 September) to see if you are the lucky winner. Home visits by the “AXA Daddy Rescue” team will be on the following Saturdays (29 August, 5 September and 12 September).
WIN A BABYCATION AT CAPELLA, SENTOSA!
By participating in the “AXA Daddy Rescue” contest, you will also automatically qualify for the draw to win the grand prize of a weekend 2 Day 1 Night “Babycation” at Capella, Sentosa, worth S$2,000! This allows you and your spouse to enjoy private couple time in one of Singapore’s finest, most romantic hotels. The grand prize will be announced on the 18th September 2015. May the odds be in your favor. All the best!
Disclaimer: This post is brought to you by AXA Singapore.