May 9, 2012

The Legendary Bone Setter of Sibu

When we were young we used to hear people talk about this wonderful healer known as Heng Hua Moo Today it would be politically incorrect to call her thus so I would refer her as The Legendary Bone Setter of Sibu. In fact she was so famous people did not even say her real name (Mrs. Ling or Madam Wong Kay Deng).

She came from China after her marriage to a  man who was not a Christian( at first). The early days of the Heng Hua Settlement was not easy for them. He was fairly carefree as a father of so many children. However she worked hard to survive the impossible obstacles. She and her husband became Christians along with hundreds of others during the revival organised by the famous Heng Hua Rev John Sung who came to Sibu..

After their conversion the two worked hard and helped in the local preaching on Saturdays and Sundays. She used what she learned from her mother in law in China and provided a special health service to young and old. Her most famous and important skill was that of bone setting. Who could tell that a small and soft spoken lady like her would touch the hearts and souls of so many people of Sibu through her healing hands?

Mr and Mrs. Ling ...a very loving couple who helped so many people of Sungei Merah.

My young brother fell in his kindergarten and broke his arm. He was hospitalised for one day and one night.The hospital rules in those days did not allow any one to stay in the Third Class Ward to accompany their relative. My mother stood by the window of our wooden house and waited the whole night for the sun to rise. She could not sleep because her y5 year old  son  was  all alone in a cold and big ward with total strangers..

It was indeed horrendous for us to see him in his plaster cast. the cast looked almost as big as his whole body.. Three months later when the cast was taken out his arm was crooked and so out of position!! To our horror our handsome little boy had a deformed arm!!  The poor 5 year old was in great pain and my mother was so broken hearted. We were not in the position to have the bones set again in Singapore as my father had passed away and we had little means.

A neighbour suggested the Heng Hua Moo who lived next to the Old Sibu Airport (Now Lane l Airport Road). A good friend gave us a lift and we easily found her place. I remember it was evening and my mother was indeed very distressed and she temporarily even lost her speech ability being the shy lady she is.

Mum's friend explained to the Heng Hua Moo who went ahead to tell us very clearly in her quiet voice that it would be painful. My poor small brother (who was very underweight) then did not even squeak when he was treated. The pain must have been excruciating but the bone setting was simple and fast.By God's grace through the Ah Moo who practised true Christ-like healing ways my brother's arm was properly set. And she refused to accept any money from my mother for she believed that Christians must help especially widows and orphans..

Many years later my sister who is a sports lady often went to her for treatment for sprained ankles or tennis elbow. Many of our students also went to see her and they were treated almost immediately. Another sister of mine taught English in Tiong Hin school where most of this dear lady's grand children were educated.

Kay Deng Moo (in the Heng Hua dialect) was her other name. People from all walks of life and from all races went to see her for treatment. She took care of every one who approached her without stating any fee. Two ringgit in a red packet would sometimes be her only love gift from a very poor person who walked miles to see her. Sometimes she was paid in kind like ten eggs or a chicken in the early days. Patients walked away happily and were blessed by her. In return we bless her and prayed that the Almighty God would grant her a long and abundant life!!

She lived a long life and people of Sungei Merah especially miss her dearly. Whenever she was free she would visit the hospital in Sibu to offer help and words of kindness. She gave out Bible tracts when she visited the patients.  She passed away on 27th March 1988.. Her legacy lives on as one of her daughters-in -law is now operating an acupuncture clinic. Most importantly  the Christian faith of the family continues to be strong and one of her grand daughters is a Methodist pastor.


Anonymous said...

Yes, I have heard of that bone setter lady in the 1980's. I broke my arm and went to hospital. Friends advise my parent to see the bone setter. However, the nurses advises us not to and I was treated at the hospital (LKH). Everthing went well and I didnt get any healing from the Heng hua Moo but from western doctor!

Anonymous said...

People went to see Hinghua mu because our hospital has been too unreliable. This may be something of the pre-war era. Scientifically, one should visit the hospital to get proper treatment with the procedures verified by the x-ray. The traditional way of treating it by the kungfu master usually ended with some problems, such as misalignment of the bone.

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Anonymous 1
Thanks for writing. You are lucky your bones were set correctly the first time.

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Treatments and healing depend on the patients. And very often on the administration and doctors of the hospitals concerned. Very often the pre-treatment services if carried out properly already STARTS the treatment process. When doctors are true to their calling...the tratement becomes a miracle in some cases!! God's hands work in mysterious ways. Some doctors do great things..some (a minority) can fail in their work...You are blessed indeed when you have no problems.

Anonymous said...

Dear Aunty
It is nice to read about Sungei Merah of the old days. Do you have an article on the Coffee Shop Do you have a story about the owner of the Old Airport?

We used to cycle too every where in town and the airport was the furthest we went(once only).What a scolding we had from my mother!! So dangerous!!

Thanks for these nice stories. God bless.


Ann said...

Thanks CY,

My family were blessed that none of us needed the services of this lady or the hospital. I want to link this post to my Heng Hua friend and see what he tells me. He is a Ling/Ning too. May be she is an aunty.

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Hi M...thanks for writing in. I will try to find more about Uncle Ah Mee and write about him..No photos of him that's why...Yeah in those days 3 miles seemed such a distance for a young girl like you to cycle. Cheers.

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Thanks...good that no bones of the Chan family were broken!! That's a record. My sister had multiple fracture and was "out" of action for three months. On my wedding day she had crutches and could not be my bridesmaid. I actually should have....what memories...

Ann said...

I remember yr sis with her broken leg. My friend Ning replied on your FB .

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Yeah...that was a bad time for all of us...I did not notice Ning's comments? When?

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