Samuel was just three months old when he was a victim of an acid attack. He defied the odds by surviving the attack, but this incident has left him with severe damages to his tongue, throat, and vocal chords. As a result, Samuel is unable to eat through his mouth, and still struggles with speech. Yet, despite these challenges, Samuel has managed to find success in his academic and personal life.
Earlier this year, sixteen-year-old Samuel graduated from secondary school, scoring an L1R5 of nine points in his O-Levels. His great results has made his mother proud, who “beamed when asked about his results.” But his mother is not only proud of his academic achievements, she is also proud with how far Samuel has come since his attack in 1999.
Although Samuel rarely speaks in public, he has found alternative ways to communicate. For instance, he communicates through writing, body language, and electronic gadgets.
“I see myself as another peer to my peers, just quieter.”
Samuel also fits in well with his class, and his peers display interest in getting to know him better as well. Samuel has also gained self-confidence through music, being adept at both piano and guzheng, a Chinese zither. “To me, music has given me another identity and a channel to express myself more confidently and freely. I view music as a passion,” he explains.
With his music-playing abilities, Samuel involves himself in other community activities outside of school. He has participated in multiple public music performances, such as Club Rainbow’s Talent Development Fund, and more recently, the Beautiful Mind Charity, playing the piano in an effort to raise funds.
Samuel’s academic and personal achievements have offered his parents much relief and comfort, who “wanted him to grow up like a normal child.” And their efforts have certainly paid off, as Samuel simply shook his head with a smile when asked if he ever felt self-conscious or inferior when growing up.
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