It was a sunny Saturday afternoon in February when Mohd Sobrin Salleh returned to his home in Penang, brimming with hope for the future.
He had just been offered a position in his home town of Sitiawan in Perak which would pay him more than his previous job as a labourer.
Eager to share the good news with his family and to see his son who was born just a month earlier, he hopped onto his motorcycle and set off for Sitiawan.
But while he was still some distance away, in Segari, he collided with a dog which happened to be on the road.
Instead of reuniting with his family, the 28-year-old wound up being shuttled from hospital to hospital in Manjung and Ipoh. It was several weeks before he was discharged and allowed to return to his father’s house in Sitiawan.
Today, he is still recovering from the accident which forced the doctors to remove half of his skull.
He also suffered from temporary amnesia and was unable to recognise even his family members for a while.
“I couldn’t remember anything after the accident,” he said when met by MalaysiaNow in Sitiawan.
“I only began remembering things after I was allowed to come home.”
It was his wife who helped him remember, he said. She also devoted herself to helping him regain his power of movement.
This was no easy task for Nur Azlin Che Yob who had just finished her confinement period.
“After Sobrin was discharged, I sent the baby to stay with some other family members so that I could take care of him,” the 26-year-old said.
At first, she said, her husband had been delirious and had often raved.
Even after he began to recover, he found it difficult to sleep at night as he would often experience headaches.
“He is waiting for an appointment at the hospital to reattach his skull,” Azlin said.
The operation alone without taking into account the necessary medication will cost the family about RM1,000.
For now, Sobrin has been prescribed anti-seizure medication which he must take twice a day.
Every morning and evening, Azlin helps him take a walk around the neighbourhood to prevent his muscles from wasting away.
But she herself is unemployed. With no money coming in, they are dependent on the support they receive from their family members.
For now, they are staying with Sobrin’s father although they continue to pay the rent for their own house.
The future seems bleak and uncertain but encouraged by the thought of his baby son, Sobrin refuses to give up.
“After I recover, I intend to go back to work,” he said.
“The company has said that they will hold the position for me until I am well enough to return.”
Nevertheless, Aidilfitri celebrations this year will be quiet.
“He used to be the most energetic of us all, doing the shopping and going about from place to place,” Azlin said.
“But this year, he is too weak to do any of that, so we will just make do with what we have.”