For many years, Lim Bun Rai lived on the meager salary he received as a security guard at a factory near his home in Padang Terap, Kedah.
But one day he was diagnosed with diabetes and his life, already difficult, slowly deteriorated.
At first, he was doing his own thing as usual, but his health began to deteriorate, even affecting the veins in his eyes.
Now 56, Bun Rai has been blind for eight years.
I am having dark days, but I am grateful to my wife and sister for taking care of me.
“My wife works as a cook at a nearby kindergarten,” he said during a recent visit to Malaysia Now.
“My sister, on the other hand, is doing everything she can to help with household chores.”
Bun Rai himself moved around with energy and vitality, but being blind, he could only move slowly through the house to reach the kitchen and bathroom.
He is proud of his son who is studying at Utala University in Malaysia on a student loan.
But being home alone, there is little to distract him from his current situation.
“I just listen to the radio to kill time,” he said.
Bun Lai needs treatment every four months to prevent further deterioration of her health.
However, although he is blind, he refuses to sit still and do nothing. Every day, he helps with household chores such as cleaning the floor and washing the dishes.
His sister, Lim Sik Boo, spends her time helping her brother and taking care of her own family.
“I live just around the corner,” said Sikh Boo, who is only three years older than Bun Rai.
“I come to see my brother once every two or three days. While my wife is at work, my brother has enough food and helps with the housework.”
Bun Lai and his wife need at least RM800 a month to cover expenses such as food and medical expenses as well as utilities.
“My wife earns enough to buy our groceries,” he said, adding that any help from the government would be greatly appreciated.
Meanwhile, they progress from one day to the next.
For Bun Lai himself, dreams are simple and painfully unattainable. At least for now.
“I just want to see my wife and son again,” he said.
“And I hope one day to walk again without needing anyone’s help.”