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[back] How Mr. Lloyd Tan Affected my Life Engr. Sivaraman Kannan - 18 November 2008


I have had Parkinson's Disease (PD) for about 4 to 5 years before it was finally diagnosed correctly when I was admitted into the hospital for a severe attack of vertigo. The doctors treating me for vertigo noticed the tremors in my hands and referred me for a full checkup. After many tests and observations, it was confirmed that I had PD.

I was given medication for PD but nobody explained to me that some patients may be subjected to the side effects of the medication like hallucination and lethargy. Within a matter of days, I was hallucinating badly and feeling very lethargic and unable to move about on my own. I did not know what was happening to me. I mistook my hallucination as the first sign of going mad! Even when I explained to the doctor that I was very lethargic, could not walk about unassisted and seeing unexplainable things, the Doctor did not explain any thing about side effects of PD medication. Instead he said " You are already 63, what else do you want to do now. Take the medication and rest at home." I went home very dejected and did not know what to do next. Later, when I read the leaflet that came with the medication I learnt that hallucination was a side effect to some patients. That took a huge burden from my mind that I was not going cuckoo.

However, I still could not move about independently and was drooling badly. I was very heartbroken and was always thinking of my bleak future confined to bed for the rest of my life. It was at this time that my wife saw an advertisement about an Indian Traditional Ayurvedic treatment. I told my wife that I will try it as the local doctors have already said that they could not do any thing else. I went for a 5 week treatment in India and within the five weeks I recovered at least 70% of my mobility. When discharged, I was given a large carton of herbal medication and oils for treatment at home for the following 6 months. By the end of the 6 months I was 90% better. Even the doctors were surprised at my recovery. This gave me the impetus to think positive and keep trying to improve.

After my return, I started to read more about PD from the internet to understand what could be done to make my life more meaningful than sitting in the corner. I realized that my family and me alone could not fight PD and required further help. That was when I was introduced to MPDA by my sister. At MPDA, I realized that there were many people with PD who have adapted reasonably well to live with their condition. I also noticed that the condition of those who have reduced their physical activities deteriorated faster than those who were active. Therefore I decided to take an active part in MPDA both to improve my own condition as well as to help fellow patients to be more active and live a better life.

I barely knew Mr. Lloyd Tan or his family. I have only met him briefly at our functions a couple of times. By then, Mr. Lloyd could hardly speak and with my limited hearing I could hardly hear what he was saying. So we could not communicate. So how am I indebted to him to the change in my life for the better? The answer is his brainchild, the MPDA.

If not for the foresight and great selfless effort by Mr. Tan, there would be no MPDA today. If not for MPDA, I would not have joined the functions to better understand PD and understanding PD helps me in my battle against PD. Without understanding PD, I could not discuss with my doctors on my medication and the fine tuning of the doses to suit my body. I now know that the severe lethargy at the early stages was due to wrong medication and/or dosages. I also learnt that exercises helps in keeping the body supple and helps the movement disorders and general health.

Without MPDA and its activities, I would have accepted the medical advice blindly and would have stayed at home and wasted away. Though I have PD for over 10 years I am still quite independent. If I had not decided to change for the better, I would be bedridden by now. I have to thank Mr. Lloyd Tan for giving me at least the last six years of almost "normal" life. Let me now try to squeeze another few years. That gift was priceless and I have to thank Mr. Lloyd for it. With MPDA, I have gained a lot personally and MPDA assisted me to help others at the same time.

My aim now is to get as many PD patients to come out and socialize normally for their own good. There is nothing to hide or to be ashamed of in having PD. Accept the fact that there is at present no known cure for PD but have hope that as a result of a lot of research going on, a cure might be found in the near future. Meanwhile carry on even though you are slow or stiff or shaking or need a walking frame. You are not going to be 100% of your former self, but nothing stops you from achieving 100% of your present self. The more you try the better you will be.

Mr. Lloyd Tan has helped me tremendously even though we barely knew each other and I am indebted to him for ever. With his foresight, he will continue to indirectly help thousands who are not even born yet!! Mrs. Tan, your husband is truly great.

Engr. Sivaraman Kannan