Due to a horrific navy accident about one and a half years ago, he now has only his right arm (with two fingers) as a limb. His left arm and both legs are gone.
But when you meet Navy serviceman Jason Chee today, you will be amazed by his positive and determined attitude to live life to the fullest and to never give up,. In fact, Jason’s positive energy is so infectious that it will rub off on you.
It is these admirable qualities in him, which were duly recognized in his local nomination for the Junior Chamber International (JCI) Ten Outstanding Young Persons Award.
Award given to those who excel and create positive change
The award, given out by the JCI – a worldwide federation of leaders and young entrepreneurs – is for people aged 18 to 40, who excel and create positive change in their chosen fields. And 31-year-old Jason certainly fits the bill, as he has literally been to hell and back, since his navy accident.
“I am very surprised that I have been selected as one of the 10 nominees. It has inspired me to continue to motivate myself to work hard and fulfill my dreams,” Jason said.
Staying positive and maintaining a bright outlook on life
On the ill-fated day of December 10, 2012, Jason lost both of his legs, left arm and three fingers from the right arm. His limbs had been ripped off, as he worked on a motorized winch and rope on board a navy ship.
But since those dark days following his accident, Jason has developed a bright outlook on life.
Bronze medalist for Singapore
For Jason, who still has a long life ahead of him, his dreams include studying for his Mathematics degree at UNISIM and training hard in sports and continuing to represent Singapore in table tennis. He is also determined to do the same in archery and air rifle shooting.
And these dreams are certainly not beyond the avid sportsman, who has already won a bronze medal for Singapore, at last year’s ASEAN Para Games – with just six short months of training. If he continues to trains hard enough, he may even go on to the Paralympics and do Singapore proud.
Living as independently as possible
Despite his struggles with rehabilitation back into society, Jason is determined to live a full and independent life – as much as possible.
This includes rehabilitation and practising to walk on his prosthetic legs. Now, he can barely walk 200m in 20 minutes using his 12kg carbon fiber legs. But he is determined to do better.
His rehabilitation also includes swimming lessons, learning to pass motion and hanging up the laundry – all rather mundane things for a “normal” person.
“But if things go well and I continue to make good progress, I hope to be able to get back to work.” Jason added that the Republic of Singapore Navy and Tan Tock Seng Hospital are assessing when is the best time for him to return to duty.
Today, Jason is also a budding Masterchef – and with his one arm and two fingers, he can whip up a mean pot of curry chicken – his favourite dish. In fact, he’s actually the one who does the cooking at home, for himself and his father, 72-year-old Chee Kwok Chor.
On why his curry chicken is his favourite dish, Jason explains, “I love spicy stuff and I feel very shiok because it makes me sweat. And the taste of curry is also nice!”
Jason learnt cooking from his late mother, when he was still in
primary school. And his abilities to cook yummy food have stayed with him since. Making the curry chicken really gives him fond memories of his mother.
Come A Very Long Way
Since the accident, Jason has certainly come a long way, and his positive attitude and sheer tenacity, has pulled him back from a dark hole.
Said Jason, “You must be a positive person. Never give up. Be determined and show strong will power.”
And he hopes to inspire other disabled people to do the same.
Come May 15, Jason will know whether he will represent Singapore at the 10 Outstanding Young Persons of the World Contest.
We wish you all the best, Jason.
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Click here to find out more about handcycling, a sport for disabled athletes.
Click here to read about Sundown With Love and get inspired by disabled athletes.