Friday, August 29, 2014


My older daughter pushing her younger brother when they were young.

Deborah was very tender to her late brother Andrew. She took care of Sam.

~ Youth ~

The PhotoHunt for today is 'Youth'

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Alphabe-Thursday letter N for nest.

Photo: an unusual bird's nest.

Once a bird made a nest at our norfolk pine that Mother had planted as a Christmas tree. Mother brought the nest inside the house to the aghast of Dad. Dad made her take the tree downstairs to the garden.

My very smart mum removed the nest and tied it to another plant in the garden. Mum warned us not to go to the plant. We never checked if the bird rejected the nest.

I admire Dad's wisdom immensely. I would hate it for the mother bird to have come back and not find her eggs and by the time she found it,  the nestlings have already died. A bereaved mother bird.


Tuesday, August 19, 2014

A little boy's birthday in Heaven.

 Photo: For the Jonathan Dove and Robyn

Photo: My jolly jar

Today, a little boy TJ would have been nine today. But he is up in Heaven. My pastor Jonathan and his wife Robyn lost their Toby. I can empathise with them. It was Robyn who encouraged me to write my first book. She continued to encourage by reading all my books.

They wrote the foreword:

Ann’s account of losing her infant son Andrew will resonate with anyone who has had the misfortune to give birth to a child who has struggled to live. As pastors at Ann’s church and as bereaved parents ourselves we felt for Ann through these recordings of her journal. These pages tell of the trauma she felt during the 55 days of sitting by Andrew’s side watching him struggle for breath, loving him but being helpless to save him. Although Ann’s loss occurred many years before we began our ministry at Mt Albert Baptist Church, there exists between us an indelible empathy that is experienced by those who have had to bury a much wanted and adored baby.

As a Christian woman and as an Asian woman, Ann’s journey with grief grants insight into the pillars that shape a soul; one’s faith and one’s culture. Her account is raw. There is no answer given for her loss, the pain is not neatly packaged. To be a grieving parent just hurts.

Ann sensitively gives her view on how friends and hospital staff alike can help rather than hinder those on their path of pain. She gives examples of both from her own experience, and shows how her own pain enabled her to speak into the grief of others to help them feel less alone.

The death of a child leaves you changed forever. The world feels less safe, less reliable. The walk of Christian faith becomes more beautiful, more achingly bitter-sweet. It is as if the sufferings of God have been entrusted to you.

You also understand to a greater degree our need for each other. We have found this true in our own lives and through this book Ann opens her arms and says, “I have been there too”.
We can give each other no greater comfort than this.

Robyn and Jonathan Dove
March 2011

Mt Albert Baptist Church
New Zealand

Monday, August 18, 2014

Day of Hope Prayer Flag Project

Flags of the different states that form Malaysia.

Below: I went to a celebration last year, and saw this giant flag.

Photo: Last year, I went to a celebration and saw this giant flag.

The August 19th – Day of Hope Prayer Flag Project is a profoundly moving, poignant and healing event to break the silence surrounding the death of babies and children. It is also an incredibly touching way to honour their lives. Each year we have thousands of people taking part across the globe, making this a truly inspiring event.
The Project itself begins on July 1st and will end on August 19th 2014. You can join the Project at any point between these two dates. We invite you all to make a Prayer Flag in memory of your children that have died. In the process of making your Prayer Flag you are able to give yourself some time to honour your own personal journey and reflect on your grief and healing as well. On August 19th we will be stringing our Prayer Flags up in our homes, gardens or places that are significant to us, all over the world. We will then be sharing them in photographs and video clips with the rest of the world through social media.

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Saturday, August 16, 2014

Ronald McDonald House Charities NZ

When Andrew was in NICU in 1989, there was no Ronald McDonald House. They gave me a room at the nurses home, and gave me vouchers for my meals. It was good, as it means I could be with Andrew 24/7. We were there 55 days.
We're after a commercially savvy, compassionate CEO to be the friendly face of our charity
Ronald McDonald House Charities NZ (RMHC) is a registered charity with a simple mission-- to improve the health and well being of children. Join Ronald McDonald House Charities NZ in their mission to create, find and support.|By Chihiro Chiga

Good sorts: knitted dolls for the needy.
Thelma Parkinson uses her knitting skills to bring needy kids a little bit of joy.

My children were recipients of another group of knitters who made knitted dolls in 1989 when Andrew was in NICU. They gave 2 big bags of these dolls. My daughter went round NICU to distribute the dolls. She felt very important. She kept her knitted doll which went with her throughout her travels
Thelma Parkinson uses her knitting skills to bring needy kids a little bit of joy. 

My children were recipients of another group of knitters who made knitted dolls in 1989 when Andrew was in NICU. They gave 2 big bags of these dolls. My daughter went round NICU to distribute the dolls. She felt very important. She kept her knitted doll which went with her throughout her travels

A mother's fight for her sick child.

As I watched, I am awed, how a mother's adult size kidney can be transplanted to a 5 year old boy.

When Andrew was 10 days old, and he was still alive, I told the specialist that I wanted to be the Reader Digest Mums, and fight for their children. He said, sorry, no fight would save Andrew.

Central park, New York.

we went to America 3 years after Andrew had died. I was still grieving and the trip was blurry.
People say move on , isn't it time. I was grieving a long time because of my special circumstances.
I finally moved on when I finished the first draft of my book. I consciously told myself, move on, and help others. That was when Andrew would have been 21.

Image may contain: 1 person, sitting, tree and outdoor

Bouncer aka jolly jumper


Deborah really enjoyed her bouncing, and the best time we appreciated the bouncer was when we had our tea aka dinner. She would happily bounce away while we ate.

After Andrew died, we hung the bouncer on a rope from the tree. We let Gabrielle swing on it. While the kids were playing, I cried buckets. Andrew would never have a chance to use this bouncer.

Some people are worried about using the bouncer. The possible downsides that could come from too much use: potential damage to a baby's still developing spine, problems with hip and calf muscle development, and general accidents. In the same breath, she also admitted that such damage would come from the baby being left unsupervised, and bouncing around for long and frequent periods.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Angel gown response.

I had readers from Australia and USA interested in this project. Today, I have a New Zealand mum who wants to donate.

Ann do you have the contact details of the woman who makes baby gowns from wedding gowns? My wedding gown is 10 years old and whilst I have has vague thoughts of dyeing and altering it for normal wear it is never going to happen. I think it will be great for it to be turned into baby gowns for the little angel babies.

Photos from Angel gown.

a lone poppy

This morning, a friend whose children died from the same syndrome as my Andrew told me another mum who was expecting her baby had hers, and the baby didn't make it.

She had to go to another hospital to wait for her due date. I remember I was admitted to the antenatal ward for another issue. I was among other pregnant mothers who were laughing gayly, and I didn't know why I was there.

When I delivered Andrew, and he was rushed to NICU, and I was sent to a normal ward. It was hell seeing other mums and their babies. I was like the lone poppy among the other happy flowers.

I hope my friend would be given a private room to grieve.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Kan Tabs for Kidney Kids project

Kan Tabs

A Lions Clubs of NZ Initiative

The Kan Tabs for Kidney Kids project began in a small shed at Koputaroa School in 1999, quite by chance! Originally the children of the school removed the ‘tabs’ as a lunchtime detention, saving the can to fund physical education equipment through recycling. In July 2001, the first of many articles began to appear in the Lions Magazine. The focus back then was on collecting the Kan Tabs and generating revenue from the recycled aluminium. As District Governor, Terry Hemmingsen incorporated the Kan Tab symbol into his DG banner; efforts began to get better prices from the metal recyclers for the growing quantities of aluminium.

As the project progressed, so did the emphasis. Initially it was all about the collection of funds through the recycling process. But it became apparent that we should also be considering the environmental message of re-use, recycle and reduce. This lead to an entry in the Kaikoura “Trash to Fashion Awards”. Then in 2004, Terry Hemmingsen and Diane left Koputaroa and moved to National Park where they joined the Ruapehu Lions Club and so the saga continued.

In late 2007, Terry had an idea. He approached Resene Paints. There had long been an issue with people collecting the tabs and then not knowing what to do with them. Working with Resene and the Ruapehu Lions Club, they produced a 4 litre paint tin, especially designed right down to the hole in the lid for the collection of the tabs. 4,500 tins were distributed around NZ. On the 14th March 2009 the Ruapehu Lions Club launched the national distribution campaign for the Kan Tabs with the 4 litre Paint tin collection.

With 4,500 collection tins now working for the Kan Tabs for Kidney Kids Project, right around New Zealand, the volume of aluminium tabs increased dramatically. At the same time the Ruapehu Lions Club introduced the screw caps off wine bottles in to the collection mix. These too are made from aluminium that can easily be recycled. But with the introduction of the wine caps came new challenges for collection. We needed to be able to handle greater volumes but not necessarily greater weight. With the collection tins out in every community across New Zealand, the amounts of aluminium being collected continued to grow dramatically. Sorting and bagging became a massive club project for Ruapehu Lions Club members, taking 17 members over 5 hours to sort and bag 3 tonnes of tabs and caps for recycling.

Since the start of the Kan Tabs for Kidney Kids Project in 1999, the Lions estimate that in excess of 45,000kgs of aluminium has been recycled. Over $100,000 has been raised.

Ruapehu Lions Club member
Bev Johns sorting Kan Tabs
from wine bottle caps.

A huge thank you to Terry Hemmingsen, to Mt Ruapehu Lions and to all Lions Clubs of NZ for your on-going support of Kidney Kids. We are most grateful for your tireless commitment to helping raise funds to support Kidney Kids and their families.

Kan Tabs for Kidney Kids Fact Sheet
  • The funds raised from the project do NOT pay for dialysis. This is paid through your health tax dollars.
  • The funds raised by Lions are sent to Kidney Kids of NZ to support and assist children with kidney disease including those children who have end stage kidney disease and require treatment such as dialysis and /or a transplant.
  • The National Renal Paediatric Unit is at Starship Hospital, Auckland.
  • There are about 3,330 tabs to a kilogram.
  • The value of 3 x Kan Tabs amounts to approximately 1 cent. Remember every drop in an ocean makes that ocean. Every little bit helps to create something wonderful!
  • It costs more to mail a packet of Kan Tabs than the tabs are worth. Therefore please pass your tabs on by hand through your local Lions Club. Please do not mail them.
  • Most Lions Clubs and all Lions District Governors know about this project. Pass your tabs to them and they will get them to where they need to go.

The ultimate sacrifice

My little baby Andrew , 24 years ago, had such a rare syndrome that only one foreign doc have heard it. The doctors asked if we will give permission for them to have his body so they can learn about it. I said yes, since I had no use for him, he might as well be useful to science. Through his time, (he didn't die straight away. they kept coming to ask if I have changed my find. When he finally died at 55 days, a senior doc came and asked if I change my mind. I said no. When I finally handed over Andrew's body, the nurse manager said, "On behalf of the hospital, I thank you for Andrew." I walked out half way, turned back, got his doll, and told the nurse manager, tell him, it's from mum." We walked out of the hospital with empty arms.

Ezra Tapp

They held their son's little body on the bank of the river that took his life and sang his favourite song to him as paramedics delivered the news that their baby would not be coming home.
"I got there and I looked at him and he was cold and pale and his eyes were half open and his pupils were dilated we just held his hand and his feet and sang songs to him - his twinkle twinkle little star.
"We just sang songs to him that's all we could do, just hold him and sing songs," said Julia Tapp.
On Monday, Julia and Jason Tapp of Waihi lost their three-year-old son Ezra Tapp, or Ezee-bear as they like to call him, when the youngster escaped out an open gate that led to their backyard.
He travelled 200m on foot before drowning in the waters of the Ohinemuri River. The family searched for 15 minutes when they realised he was missing.
"The last moment I saw him I said 'hey Ezee where are ya going?' because he was running toward the gate where his dad was out in the shed, and he didn't even look at me," Julia Tapp said.
She said Ezra had to run past his dad out of the gate.
"When Jason came back in I asked him where's Ezra and he said I thought that you had him - and we still don't know how Ezra got past Jason."
The distraught family contacted police who joined the search.
It was his father who spotted him face down in the river. A neighbour who was with Jason jumped in and retrieved their beloved baby from the water. Paramedics worked on him for half an hour before they said there was nothing they could do.
"I was praying . . . that he had enough brain activity, enough spirit or essence or something for him to know that his father was there . . . I was just praying he could hear us, he could know that he wasn't alone or surrounded by strangers," Julia said.
Mum and dad held their son and sang his "comfort song".
"He would sing it when he was happy every night before we went to sleep. I would sing it to him two or three times. I would sing it if he got a stubbed toe and whenever he was upset he would hum it. That was his comfort song."
Julia said her husband finding their baby was meant to be. "I'm so thankful my husband found him, although it's horrible for Jason I am thankful he was the first one to find his son and to be there the whole way through, it means a lot. I said to Jason that it is the worst tragedy possible but thank you for bringing him home because there is something worse than that and that's having him go missing."

The family were able to bring Ezra home to hold him for a few hours before he was taken to Waihi Funeral Services.
Waihi Funeral Services and ACC are paying for Ezra's funeral costs.
"I am thankful to everyone that has helped," Jason said.
They describe their son - who had autism - as "on the go" and a "free spirit".
"He was a real Harry Houdini. He was forever climbing things, escaping the yard - that's why we put the fence up. He couldn't speak but he could hum. He was a free spirit that couldn't be caged."
Their loveable little "Harry Houdini" will give life to three other youngsters.
Mum and dad have agreed to let his heart valves be donated to help young children suffering from severe heart defects.
"How selfish would it be of us to . . . not give those strangers' families a chance. We can save two families by donating his heart valves. We could save someone's kids, we can keep their family together. We lost our boy, we can give the gift of life to two other families at least," Julia said.
An image of Ezra's favourite teddy Nosey Parker will be screen-printed on to the youngster's coffin. No date has been set for the funeral.
"I hope our story can help other parents with children suffering from autism know that they are not alone . . . Our little thunder will be keeping God on his toes," Julia said.
Jason wanted people to remember his son as a "kind little soul with wonder in his eyes".
Police said the incident is not being treated as suspicious and the matter has been referred to the coroner.
To donate to the Tapp family visit

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Angel Gowns NZ

When Kirsten started this , I supported her. Andrew stayed in NICU for 55 days. I was with him 24/7. I was just drawn and I forgot to buy anything for him to wear. It would be so good it Kirsten was around then.

Sunday, August 10, 2014


5 Products Found. Viewing Page 1 of 1

tougher rules to stop hunting accidents.

Photo courtesy

Imagine you open your door, the police tells you, "Your adult son had been shot and he didn't make it."

Your son went hunting with his mates. Now he wouldn't be coming home. He's been so terribly yanked from your life. How are you going to survive it?
This is the scenario and statistics in New Zealand. For the last 12 years, one hunter a year was shot dead by another hunter.

Why did it happen? Is it really a case of  "buck fever"? Is it really that  adrenaline brought on by the thrill of a potential stag causes lapses in judgment. Buck fever was when the brain took over and told the eyes what it wanted to see.

Our most infamous case was Margaret Ives, a 25-year-old secondary school teacher from Lower Hutt. She  was on a camping holiday near Turangi when she was shot dead, shot in the head.  She was brushing her teeth at the camp site..

Her killer, a 25-year-old young man was charged with careless use of a firearm. He shot her in the head from the road alongside the camp site, after seeing her in his spotlight and thinking she was a deer or possum.

In our latest case, Christopher Dummer, 54, was sentenced to nine months in prison and ordered to pay $7000 reparation for shooting the 29-year-old, known as Cameron, on a hunting trip in the Wairarapa at Easter. Dummer was only 16.3 metres away when he got Mr McDonald in his scope and fired once, shooting him in the head.

As a bereaved mother myself, I feel for Cameron's mum. No amount of jail term, and money reparation could bring Cameron back. I support in the McDonalds in their call for tougher rules.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Photohunt Lacy

 Photo: guess who is whose aunty?

 Pretty girls in lacy dresses for a wedding. the one in white is the aunty.

This wedding gown was donated to Angel gowns. I support this, as a mother of an angel myself.

The original Angel Gowns Australia & New Zealand. We gift lovingly hand crafted Angel Gowns from donated Wedding Dresses to Little Angels who grow wings.
As a midwife I have supported families through the tragedy of losing a baby, In Hamilton where I work, parents are given every opportunity to bathe, cuddle and dress their precious baby. Some of these babies are born earlier than expected and don't fit the clothing their mum and dad may have chosen for them, or sometimes it is too hard for parents to shop for their angel baby in a mainstream shop.

A friend forwarded some information on to me about an Australian company who make beautiful gowns out of recycled wedding dresses. What better way to help than to offer this service in New Zealand. So as a group, of as many volunteers I can find, we want to provide beautiful gowns for beautiful angels.

Do you have a wedding or bridesmaids dress in the back of your wardrobe? And want to donate to enable parents to dress their angels, afterall we all deserve to go to heaven in a beautiful gown. xx

This weekends PhotoHunt is Lacy ~

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Children and red nose.

It tugs at my heart string  when I hear of very sick children. Today, someone at my Grieving Mother's group asked if I feel guilty. I told her, I had nothing  to feel guilty about because Andrew had a congenital defect, and there was nothing I could do or not do.

But there is a group of mothers who have to watch passively as their children suffer. My friend Kristina Andersen's daughter. Frances, is a victim of the BIG C., that is cancer. There is a need for a cure for her and other kids like her.

Writing and bereavement 

I have been writing for many years  and during my public speaking and press interview, I am often asked why I write.

Writing is an  incredible vehicle for exploring our passions and finding our voices. It is also a powerful tools for healing in the face of trauma;  It is a cathartic one. It gives a form of psychological relief through the open expression of strong emotions.

I remember 2 days after I was told that my baby Andrew was going to die, I spent the whole evening and night writing, and writing and writing. I wrote a whole 12 Foolscap pages of notes, my history of my pregnancy, my fear of the future, and what would happen when Andrew died. I did not sleep, and the nurses left me alone.

At that time, I wrote this notes to share with my family living abroad,  writing a record for my two surviving  daughters aged 4 and 2. As days went on, Andrew had not died, I sat at the corner of his cubicle by his corner in NICU. I felt the only thing I could do to keep me sane was to write.

I wrote to tell my painful truths to help myself heal in my bereavement and to keep the memories of Andrew alive.

It was only when Andrew was turning 21 did I decide to turn these notes to a book to help other grieving mothers and fathers. Since the book had been published, numerous grieving mothers have come to tell me that I have helped them. They have found in my writing empathy. They were not alone in their crushed helplessness and bewildered after the death of their child.

Writing the book brought me to a TV  documentary. I was asked about my grieving and how I coped. The theme of the documentary was it is OK to cry, which has since my opening line when I "meet" another grieving mum. I encourage them to cry, and to write their experience.

My book was exhibited in England and is used as a reference book in a university hospital in Canada.

Writing has become a passion to me. I have since published 3 other books, and I blog daily.  Indeed it is cathartic.

Alphabe Thursday: Letter L for library

Photo: It is a privilege to have the library of my Alma Mata circulate all my four books. This is the library of Auckland University when we visited in 2000.

I am very privileged that my alma mata's library is circulating all my 4 books.


Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Con-jointed twins.

This photo of a Filipinno conjoint twins Clarence  and Carl Aguirre, while they were still con-jointed tugs at my heart string. Their operation was successful, was it because they had a "staged separation" that took four surgeries over nine months or were they in a less severe condition.

Ganga & Jamuna Shreshta were born in Kathmandu, Nepal in 2000. They came to Singapore in 2001 and underwent  a grueling, 100-hour operation. Sadly Ganga died 8 years later in 2008. Ganga was left brain-damaged and died of pneumonia .

I was privileged to be invited to see Ganga and Jamuna while they were still con jointed. The image burnt into my brain, the grand father said he invited me to see them because I helped in their fund raising. My friend Manchala and I were the only non medical and non family to see them in this condition.

Looking at Clarence and Carl's photo, for a while I thought it was Ganga and Jamuna.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Auckland University Library

So glad that Auckland Univeristy, my alma mata is circulating all my 4 books


4 results  for The Catalogue

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From China to Borneo and beyond / Ann Kit Suet Chin-Chan.

Ann Kit Suet Chin 1954-

Auckland, N.Z. : Ann Kit Suet Chin-Chan 2013.

Available at GENERAL LIBRARY  (959.5 C539 )

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Mail order bride / Ann Kit Suet Chin-Chan.

Ann Kit Suet Chin 1954-

Auckland : Ann Kit Suet Chin, 2013.

Available at GENERAL LIBRARY New Zealand & Pacific Level G (823.92 C54Gm )

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Cry of oppressed women / Ann Kit Suet Chin Chan.

Ann Kit Suet Chin 1954-

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Diary of a bereaved mother / Ann Kit Suet Chin.

Ann Kit Suet Chin 1954-

Auckland, N.Z. : A.K.S. Chin 2011. 2nd ed.

Available at GENERAL LIBRARY New Zealand & Pacific Level G (155.937 C539 )