Taken by Davina Chen

What I Learned from Nearly Dying in Malaysia

Exactly 365 days ago on my twenty-third birthday, I was doubled over struggling out the hospital to return to my home in rural Malaysia when the nurse ran up to me exclaiming that they found a bed for me. Six months ago, the twentieth and final doctor I saw in May revealed that had I walked out the door that night on my birthday, I would have died 24-48 hours later.

I couldn’t be more grateful for that three-inch-thick hospital cot and the past 365 days.

I may never fully recover (don’t tell my mom), but there’s not a day that passes where I don’t feel like one of luckiest people alive. As Randy Pausch put it in my favorite talk, “The Last Lecture: Achieving Your Childhood Dreams,” “We cannot change the cards that we’re dealt, just how we play the hand. If I don’t seem as depressed or morose as I should be, sorry to disappoint you.”

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2 Comments

  1. Richa
    Posted May 28, 2013 at 2:55 am | Permalink

    Thanks for sharing this, Mark! Really inspiring and beautifully written.

  2. Shina
    Posted November 30, 2015 at 10:40 pm | Permalink

    That was possibly the most incredible story I’ve ever read. You are as lucky as you are wise and good-natured. I hope our paths will cross again someday soon, MPP! <3

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