Mr Hardial Singh, a pioneer botanist who worked many years at the Parks and Recreation Department (now the National Parks Board), was one of our silent mentors at the NUS Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine’s Department of Anatomy.
In death, the 77-year-old had taught human anatomy to more than 100 doctors-to-be.
Mrs Gina Hardy, Mr Singh’s daughter, said that her father remained committed to research, adding that “I don’t think dad ever left anything half-done. Perhaps that's the same with his body.”
“It was his ultimate gift.” – Mrs Gina Hardy, daughter of Mr Hardial Singh
WATCH: Giving their bodies to science
Since 2012, more than 130 people have donated their bodies through our “Silent Mentors” programme. Associate Professor Ng Yee Kong, coordinator of the Silent Mentors Programme, said students are told "it is a privilege, rather than a right" given to them by this group of people. Donated cadavers are used in teaching for up to three years.
"These silent mentors are unrelated to them, but had so graciously and selflessly donated their bodies to education and research," he added, noting that their families have also had to wait to say goodbye. "Donating a body is not one person's decision. It is often a family decision."
The noble sacrifices of the silent mentors are invaluable to the training of future doctors here at NUS Medicine.
With a recent increase in donations, NUS Medicine has been able to offer more teaching opportunities such as surgical simulation workshops and dissection electives.
Follow the journey of our silent mentors and learn more about the NUS Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine’s Silent Mentors Programme here.