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Monday, September 30, 2019

Dying Millionaire Doctor From Cancer Warns that "Money Brings No Joy" in the End

Richard Teo Keng Siang

A millionare Singaporian physician, Dr. Richard Teo Keng Siang, before he passes away as the result of lung cancer on October 2012 had learned a critical lesson in life and managed to spread his message.

Dr. Siang was a 40-year-old millionaire and cosmetic surgeon with a stage-4 lung cancer, sharing at a Dental Christian Fellowship Meeting. He would have liked to share his inspiring lesson in life with you too.

His story has touched the heart of many people after it was resurfaced in social media, especially people who are struggling to find their happiness.

“I’m a typical product of today’s society,” he said in a speech.

“From young, I’ve always been under the influence and impression that to be happy is to be successful. And to be successful is to be wealthy. So I led my life according to this motto.”

Siang was once in the line of medical ophthalmology but he switched to aesthetics that paved way to his success in the field and gathered millions in the first year of his practice.

Richard Teo Keng Siang

“You know the irony is that people do not make heroes out of average GPs, family physicians. They make heroes out of people who are rich and famous,” Dr. Siang said in another speech.

“People who are not happy to pay 20 Singaporean dollars ($15) to see a GP, the same person will have no qualms paying 10,000 Singaporean dollars ($7,310) for a liposuction, 15,000 Singaporean dollars ($10,970) for a breast augmentation.”

He was too confident of himself brushing enjoyment everywhere and everyday as he had fun on being a sports car enthusiast, spending money on rated and fanciest restaurants and hotels, and even acquainted with some high profile celebrities.

As a sports car enthusiast, Dr. Siang owned at least four sports cars, including a Honda S2000, Nissan GTR, Subaru WRX and Ferrari 430.

“I was at the pinnacle of my career. I thought I was having everything under control,” he recalled.

Unfortunately, a sudden tsunami ravaged Japan on March 11, 2011, the same he was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer and only given three to four months — with six months at most — to live.

“I couldn’t accept it. I have a hundred relatives on both sides, my mom and my dad… And not a single one has cancer,” he doubted.

“See the irony is that all these things that I have, the success, the trophies, my cars, my house and all. I thought that brought me happiness. But having all these thoughts of my possessions, they brought me no joy.”

Richard Teo Keng Siang

As the day passed by, he realized that his cars even money doesn't really make him happy at all.

“What really brought me joy in the last 10 months was interaction with people, my loved ones, friends, people who genuinely care about me, they laugh and cry with me, and they are able to identify the pain and suffering I was going through.”

He also learned to empathize with fellow cancer patients, something that he had never expected to happen to him as a doctor focused on profit.

“I did not know how they feel, not until I became a patient. And, if you ask me, would I have been a very different doctor if I were to relive my life now, I can tell you, yes I will. Because I truly understand how the patients feel now. And sometimes, you have to learn it the hard way,” he advised young doctors.

“There is nothing wrong with being successful, with being rich or wealthy, absolutely nothing wrong. The only trouble is that a lot of us like myself couldn’t handle it.

“I became so obsessed that nothing else really mattered to me. Patients were just a source of income, and I tried to squeeze every single cent out of these patients.”

Dr. Siang carried his lesson until his death, a lesson that he realized too late to learn.

“When I faced death, when I had to, I stripped myself of everything and I focused only on what is essential. The irony is that a lot of times, only when we learn how to die then we learn how to live.”

The lesson he shared inspired a lot of people not only for young medical practitioners, but also to a lot of people around the globe.

“I’m proud of him for leaving a legacy,” said his wife.

“I wished I could be like him. He is the best teacher God has sent to me.”

Photo Credit: The New Paper,,

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