By the age of 30, this surgeon seemed to have it all- a wealth measured in millions, the newest Ferrari, and a thriving aesthetics practice. For the now late Dr. Richard Teo Keng Sian, money was everything.
From a young age, he wanted to win and through winning, enjoy all the benefits life brings.
He switched from ophthalmology to aesthetic surgeries and this brought immense cash. In the first year of opening up his aesthetic practice, it was already bringing in millions of dollars.
However, in 2011, the successful surgeon got the saddest news-he had lung cancer. From then on, his perspective on life changed.
Happiness Isn’t in Financial Goods
When he realized that his life was going to end soon because of terminal lung cancer, the young and successful surgeon and entrepreneur became aware that genuine happiness comes from celebrating life with the people around us, both the good and the bad stuff.
After his death at the age of 40, videos of his speeches in which he was trying to reach to others who were also in a difficult place in their lives went viral. Everyone applauded him for being brave enough to share his story honestly.
His wife said that she has mixed feelings and even though it may seem selfish, she didn’t want her husband to have terminal cancer.
However, on the other hand, she’s very proud of him for leaving a legacy and says she wished she was like him. For her, he was the best teacher that God sent to her.
The couple was married for 6 years, but had no children.
The now late doctor often emphasized that life’s too short to neglect those around us. His goal was to wake up the people who’re only searching for wealth, particularly in the world of medicine.
He said that we’ll all die so what matters is whether we make a difference in someone’s life or not.
In one excerpt of his speech, he said ‘I’m a typical product of today’s society’. He also spoke how he had the impression that happiness equals success and that success equals wealth.
So, he held onto this motto. Until 2011.
The Diagnosis Shattered Dr. Teo, but also Woke Him Up
This was the year when he first learnt about his cancer. He struggled with nagging backache and the cause for it was a tumor in his lungs. But, unfortunately, the cancer had also spread to the spine and brain.
He and his wife couldn’t deal with the shock and didn’t know how to inform their families. For a month or so after the diagnosis, he was very depressed and was looking for answers. But, there were none.
He underwent painful chemo periods and often cried to sleep, recalls his wife.