Nancy Tea (frony), with her second son Johnny Tea Flores, during an interview with 'The Brunei Times' yesterday. Picture: BT/Nurhamiza Roslan
THE support from various government and private agencies, family and friends is helping former national athlete Nancy Tea in her recovery. She is in high spirits and hopes to be able to stand up on her own and walk again.
In interview with The Brunei Times yesterday at the Jerudong Park Medical Centre (JPMC), Tea said she was well and expressed the hope that she would be able to walk again soon.
Tea said she was also undergoing physiotherapy and was using a walker to strengthen her leg muscles. "I have to use a walker over a distance of 40 metres three times daily.
"I was also told to try and feel using my feet. The numbness is still there but not so much. I am now trying to stand up on my own and hopefully I can walk again soon so I can go home," said Tea.
She explained that she had an accident while working at Chung Hwa Middle School during a fun fair.
"It was the end of the fun fair and I was counting coupons. The chair I sat on broke and I fell."
The fall impacted her spine but it was only over a week later she started feeling the effects with 70 per cent of her lower body experiencing numbness. That was on June 19, 2012 when she was about to go to work. She had to cancel because she could not feel most of her lower body.
Tea said she first went to a private clinic but was asked to go a hospital immediately. She chose to go a hospital in Miri, Sarawak to get herself x-rayed. When she got the results she was asked to go for surgery and she took a flight to Kuching, Sarawak.
After surgery in Kuching she came back to Brunei. Days after the surgery she lost all sensation in her legs.
Tea went to the Raja Isteri Pg Anak Saleha (RIPAS) Hospital where she underwent treatment and was then transferred to JPMC to undergo another operation.
Tea said the last operation she had was on her upper spine. After the operation she had feeling in her legs again.
When informed about the "Nancy Charity" event that will be organised by the Youth and Sports Department (JBS), Tea said she was very grateful to JBS for their help and concern.
She also expressed her heartfelt thanks to RIPAS hospital, JPMC, Chung Hwa Middle School, the Community Development Department (JAPEM), Brunei Darussalam National Olympic Council (BDNOC) for their help, care and concern.
She was also thankful to family members and friends as well as private agencies that had helped her during her ordeal.
"I am very thankful to all. It (the support) has given me motivation to want to get better. I really want to be able to walk again."
Tea has three children, a daughter and two sons. The youngest is a boy who is a year and eleven months old.
"I haven't seen him for about two months. I would like to go home," she said.
In a previous article published in The Brunei Times, it was said that Tea was involved in athletics since the 1980s. She has been a coach under JBS for almost 20 years. She was also a national athlete and brought pride to the nation winning two bronze medals at the 1999 Southeast Asian (SEA) Games hosted by Brunei.
Tea has also made other contributions to the development of sports including coaching special-needs athletes for the PARA ASEAN Games held in 2004, 2005, 2008 and 2009.
Tea hopes that sports in Brunei would develop and that more new talents would emerge.
When she has fully recovered and is able to walk again she hopes to be able to continue teaching Physical Education at Chung Hwa Middle School or coach special-needs athletes.
JBS will be organising activities aimed at raising funds to help support Tea's medical expenses and welfare.
In a press conference held recently about the "Nancy Charity" event, it was explained that there will be five events. They are a Zumbaton event, Futsal tournament, Charity Run, Charity Cycling and Netball tournament.
The Zumbaton event will be held in January 6at the Indoor Stadium in Berakas. The Futsal tournament will begin in January 18 until 20 at the Indoor Stadium. Teams entering this tournament will be invited teams.
On January 26, a 5.5 kilometre Charity Run will be held which will start and end at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium.
The Netball tournament has two categories the women's and men's open on February 3, 2013. The women's tournament will be held at Universiti Brunei Darussalam (UBD) and the men's at the Tutong Sports Complex.
Entry forms for all events are available at JBS headquarters and branches.
The Brunei Times