MALACCA: Students and school authorities of SM Cheng, who were busy preparing for Teachers Day, will now hold special prayers instead after one of their teachers died of Influenza A(H1N1).
Special class teacher Siti Khadijah Mat, 50, died at the Malacca Hospital at 5.15am yesterday after contracting the virus about three weeks ago.
Her colleague, G. Kumaran, 44, said all activities to mark the celebration at their school had been cancelled as a sign of respect.
“She was a dedicated and easy-going teacher, who was well liked by students. She will be missed,” he said, adding that prayers were held at the school instead of the usual annual festivities.
Her husband, Zulkifli Johar, also a teacher, said she had initially been admitted to a private hospital in Ayer Keroh after coming down with flu-like symptoms late last month.
Zulkifli, 50, said the family had thought that Siti Khadijah might have contracted dengue fever until a blood test ruled it out.
“A subsequent test carried out at the Institute of Medical Research showed that she was infected with the H1N1 virus,” he said, adding that his wife was transferred to the Malacca Hospital last Wednesday for treatment, where she was put on life support.
“But her condition worsened, causing her to have breathing difficulties.
“I never expected her to pass away when teachers all over the country are celebrating Teachers Day. However, I accept what has happened as fate,” said the sports coordinator at College Yayasan Saad after claiming his wife's body from the hospital.
Siti Khadijah's body was laid to rest at the Muslim cemetery near the Durian Tunggal Mosque shortly after noon.