Tuesday, 1 September 2015

Four Years Hence

                                           "There are no U-turns in the highway of life."

The surgeon remarked that nobody in their right mind should expect a comatose to suddenly wake up and walk after 2 years. But I take heart in the word "suddenly". So we should be thankful that she did gain some wakefulness since then. I sometimes ask myself: What if I'm the one sick and she's taking care of me? She would be still traveling the world for BTI. Her question would be "Now what can I do with Kian?"  But my question for these past four years is "What can I do without her?"

4 Sep 12 noon: Chest still congested - her breathing harder due to weakened lungs as a  result of catching that flu bug.

7 Sep 9 am: Losing control of her better right eye. Amazing the effects of seemingly harmless flu infection on a sick person. Hope she gets better

15 Sep 9 pm: She did get better, except for the croupy cough. However spasms has now reached her arms (good sign?). Her arms were the least progressive to recover. Then the lazy eye - like a bedraggled doll with a disconnected right eye.

23 Sep 12.30 pm: Her throat irritation persists - probably the haze effect, even in the air-con.
Did anyone see it coming ? (Photo credits to MGS annual reunion group)



1 Oct 10 am: The groans have returned but the haze still a problem for the throat. She's chugging along.

10 Oct 10 am: Breathing still laborious but there're other problems such as blood circulation. Humans are not meant to sit all day.

13 Oct 3 pm: Since she caught the flu months ago her signs have regressed. Eyes have been mostly closed and legs were no more active. Surgeon said it's the usual atrophy of stroke.

14 Oct 8.45 am: Miranda has gone home.
^^  ^^

End of blog. <Pillar restored>


A most gentle soul, generous and kind to a fault, always so sensitive to the feelings and needs of others, brilliant and sharp. And her persuasive convictions belie her gentleness. I am so privileged, often undeserved,  to share her 33 years of life.

Thoughts from all your condolences and messages

As her absence lingers on with a heavy empty void, words of your condolences hit home - that even though her journey to death seems like a failure, now it has all been worthwhile. To endure the dark days of her survival and restoration - the almost horrendous first few hours of hemorrhage, the long dreary nights and days of alleviating her discomfort and coaxing her back to the world while watching her tremendous assets slide downhill gives me an impetus to continue living. When all this wake is over let it remain as a treasure our remembrance of Miranda's legacy never to give up whatever dreams yet unfulfilled - be it personal, for Singapore or for society as a whole.

Above all, with compassion, startling kindness and generosity. The human qualities that endear Miranda to all. She's been an example to me ever since I knew her. Keep the flame burning...


  1. Dearest Miranda,

    You are now in His Everlasting ARMS! Love, steve

    Revelation 1:18 I AM He that lives, and was dead; and, behold, I AM ALIVE For Evermore, Amen; and have the Keys of hell and of death.

  2. Feel very sad at her passing but on the other hand, her demise yesterday ends her days of suffering and her beloved husband's continual anguish.
    Singapore and the world have lost a most brilliant talented bio-scientist.
    Be brave Kian and stay strong in your faith!
    Mike Chan (childhood neighbour in Geylang in the 50s)

  3. Dear Kian,
    As we on earth mourn a great loss today, Miranda as a spirit being lives on in our Father's Kingdom. I may not be theologically accurate here, but I believe she is now among the cloud of witnesses spoken of in Heb 12:1 who cheers and prods us on - "Give life your best shot, run on for the prize".
    Christina, CNPR/BTI staff from 1996 - 2007

  4. Dear Kian

    I am sorry to hear about Prof Yap’s passing, and deeply hope that you can find comfort in these difficult days. I read your blog with both warmth and tears, as your love and strength are truly admirable.

    I was in the Bioprocessing internship programme in BTI in 2009, with 8 others in my batch. We were fresh graduates then. Looking back, it does seem unbelievable that upon the completion of the internship only a mere few months later, some of us would be given the opportunity to spend a good one to one and a half year training in the States, while some others would begin their first jobs in starting up a major biopharmacetical plant.

    Prof Yap was strict – she made it clear that we were not to be contented with what was taught during lectures and practicals. When we were part of a photoshoot with Prof Yap in a laboratory, I remember being asked questions about the bioreactor’s functionality while the cameras were shooting away. Her honesty was also a little nerve-racking – but it was this honesty and her to-the-point comments that kept us from settling into our comfort zones. While our time with Prof Yap was very much limited to the few meetings and presentations, her goal to nurture was very clear – we cannot thank her enough for that.

    There will be many, many others like us – those who respect Prof Yap not only for her pioneering contributions to the industry, but also for her nuturing role in bringing us to where we are now.

    I hope it will bring comfort to you to know that the lives Prof Yap have touched will continue to grow, with what she has taught still living on and even going stronger.

    And thank you, Kian, for showing us how amazing one’s love and strength can be.

    Thank you, both.

    Yours sincerely,
    Ee Min

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. Kian, you are also a hero in our eyes - don't ever forget this. You gave Miranda a chance at recovery for 4 long years. When your visitors' visits waned, you soldiered on and shared your journey with us all through this blog. We shared your pain and hopes, and watched on the sidelines as you battled on for Miranda. What courage and what faith. Miranda would be so damn proud of you!

  5. Was once a research technologist many years ago.. Heard of Dr Miranda Yap & her works. Glad that she's with the Lord now. Dr Yap, do continue to live well and keep your flame burning!

  6. Dear Kian,

    After graduation in 2008, my first job interview was at BTI in Prof Yap's office. Before my interview, I was very nervous as I heard that she was very stern with my friend who also interviewed at BTI and didn't get the job.

    My fears were unfounded, she was firm and yet kind to a nervous fresh grad sitting across her desk. And I got offered my first job on the same day as the interview.

    I thank Prof Yap for giving me an opportunity to develop my interest in biotech even though I didn't have a strong bio background. I remember her for her emphasis on life-long learning, how we should always read up on the things we are curious or interested in.

    Though I didn't have much direct interactions with her on a daily basis, I know she remembers each and everyone of us. I remember during a company lunch at Matrix building, she spotted an unfamiliar face amongst the staff and tried to find out who the person is. It turned out to be someone who sneaked into the buffet queue for a free lunch.

    In the initial days after Prof Yap fell ill, the plans to visit her got cancelled last minute due to her volatile condition. After she was discharged from hospital, I actually didn't dare to visit her as I heard about how frail she is, how different she looks from the last time we saw her in BTI. I wanted to remember her at her best.

    Time passed. I followed this blog for a while, lost the blog link when I left BTI, couldn't managed to find this blog in blogspot etc. And more time passed.

    Even though the past 4 years have been a very different journey from Prof Yap's earlier decades of brilliant scientific pursuit, I believe she has ran the entire race with perseverance, tenacity and courage.

    Dear Prof Yap, may the Lord restore you to completion in His glory. May your family and loved ones find peace and comfort in Him.

    7 years and 10 days after I met you for the first time, and for the days to come, I shall remember you as the vibrant and brilliant woman sitting across from me.

  7. You know what? Just realized that even at death she did me good. I was fearful that I may not withstand the onslaught. Then as if to say that 4 years is enough for me to love her in her current state and making up for the lost chances to thank her for being my pillar her body gave in. Everyone has to face his/her fears head-on. And grab adversity by the horns.