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Seriously ill CityU student receives graduation certificate in intensive care

With a very heavy heart, I visited Hung Mei-ki (Kiki), a CityU student, in the intensive care unit at Kwong Wah Hospital on 16 May. Professor Horace Ip Ho-shing, Vice-President (Student Affairs), Professor Richard Yuen Kwok-kit, Chief-of-Staff, Professor Eric Chui Wing-hong, Dean of Students, and Dr Larry Ng Ching-wah from Student Development Services joined the visit.

At her bedside, I presented a Diploma of Bachelor of Arts (First-class Honours) in Translation and Interpretation and the Honour Cord for distinguished graduates to Kiki's mother on Kiki's behalf.

Kiki, who has myofibrillar myopathy, was admitted to CityU in 2016 to study linguistics and translation. I met her and her mother three years ago during a home visit, a practice I have followed regularly since 2008. After that meeting, we often ran into each other. She was always breezy and full of smiles.

Although Kiki requires a wheelchair and ventilatory support throughout her daily life, she is an active and optimistic participant in university life and learning with a lot of friends. Over the past three years, she has promoted an inclusive campus culture for students with SEN as CityU's inclusion ambassador. Last January, she learned more about SEN services and SEN students at local universities in Macau on behalf of CityU.

In addition, she has pursued her studies with great enthusiasm, maintaining very good academic standards and earning a number of scholarships each year. She has been working very hard until the end of this semester and submitted her graduation thesis early, before she was admitted into intensive care. Finally, Kiki has graduated with first-class honours.

Life may not be perfect, but the will is infinite.

A few years ago, I presented another of our students, Po-yan, with a graduation certificate when she was enduring great pain in bed. It was late spring and she read me a poem 《登兗州城樓》by Du Fu to which I responded with a poem titled 《三月晦日送春》"Seeing off Spring on the Last Day of the Third Moon" by Jia Dao. It was difficult for Po-yan to endure hardship and keep going.

The sky is clear with clouds at sunset, The spring breeze feels warm on the face. The 2018 scholarship established under Po-yan's name was awarded to Kiki for her academic performance.

Now I saw another young role model. The sun was setting at that time and even if Kiki could not respond when I presented the award, her sudden rapid breathing told me she sensed me standing beside her.

Let me quote Zheng Banqiao's poem "Bamboo Stone" to express my praise for Kiki.

Between broken rocks striking my root deep,
I bite the mountain green and will not let go,
From whichever direction the winds leap,
I remain strong, though dealt many a blow.

Persistent, unyielding, forward-looking, and striving for excellence – I will always be proud of Po-yan and Kiki.

18 May, 2020