Making It Despite The Odds


“With a nursing diploma, I will be better qualified and equipped to help patients even more in a holistic way. It will certainly open up my mind and help me think out-of-the-box.”

Haziza Hassan

Madam Haziza Hassan’s calling to become a nurse took root when she joined NKF as a dialysis assistant in 1991. At that time, she was 27 years old and a kidney patient herself, receiving dialysis treatment at NKF. She had been diagnosed with kidney failure in 1983 due to acute in ammation of the kidneys, known as glomerulonephritis*.


Started as a Dialysis Assistant

Haziza had always aspired to be a nurse after her secondary education. Her opportunity came when the nurses at the dialysis centre encouraged her to join as a dialysis assistant when they saw the passion in her. NKF fixed her work schedule around her four-hour, thrice weekly dialysis sessions.

She aspired to help kidney patients not just medically, but also by taking care of their emotional, psychosocial and nutritional needs. She wanted to do more for kidney patients because being a patient herself, she could relate to their plight. As many of her fellow Malay patients had difficulties understanding English, she particularly wanted to educate them on the dialysis regime to improve their well-being and see positive outcomes in their rehabilitation.

Her life turned around when in 1994, she received a kidney transplant, which enabled her to lead a life free of dialysis and have a better quality of life. It gave her more time to focus on her job and pursue her goal of becoming a nurse.


Received her Nursing Qualifications

With a sponsorship from NKF, she pursued her studies to become an enrolled nurse, graduating with distinction. The experiences and skills she acquired as an enrolled nurse enabled her to help patients better in their journey towards rehabilitation. In April last year, she started her education for a Diploma in Nursing to become a registered nurse and will be graduating in 2018.

“The saddest thing is to see a kidney patient give up on life. I want to excel as a renal nurse so I can help treat them, support them and give them the courage to live and lead fulfilling lives.”


Never Too Old to Learn

Haziza will be 54 years old and the oldest student to graduate in her batch. Despite being much older than her peers, she has no issue coping and keeping up with them, doing extremely well in her rest semester.

“If there is an opportunity to study or upgrade your skills, just grab it, no matter what age you are. You never know how you can make a difference in not only your life, but someone else’s life as well.”

Haziza, who is a single parent, says that her studying has rubbed off on her son Naziree Irfan. Seeing his mother pursuing her education has motivated him to excel in his studies. Last year, he received an Edusave Award for getting good grades in secondary two. His ambition is to become a pilot.

Haziza’s determination and commitment to become a full-edged nurse serves as a great motivation, especially to those around her, not to give up and to reach for the stars.


*Glomerulonephritis is inflammation of the tiny filters in the kidneys. It can come on suddenly (acute) or gradually (chronic). It occurs on its own or as part of another disease, such as lupus or diabetes. Severe or prolonged inflammation associated with glomerulonephritis can damage the kidneys. Treatment depends on the type of glomerulonephritis one has.


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