Janetta Si Ling Tan was born on 15 September 1990 in Singapore. On 19 February 2010 she had a car accident: the driver fell asleep and hit the crash barrier. The car spun round a few times and overturned. She was the first person to be thrown out of the vehicle, and thus suffered a severe spinal cord injury affecting the vertebrae C5 to C6, as a result of which she remained paralysed from the chest downwards. She is tetraplegic on her left side and permanently requires a wheelchair. She was in hospital for almost a year and broke off her studies. In mid-2011 she decided to continue her degree studies despite the challenges, and with a necessary scribe and special support from the school. At the same time she received physiotherapy from the Handicap Welfare Association (HWA), where she heard of mouth painting for the first time. She had a great interest in art, but at the time she only knew a little about it, and her full educational curriculum prevented her from finding out about it. In 2014 she finally received her honours degree in maths and economics. While she had been attending physiotherapy, Stanley Lim Min-Chieh (VDMFK scholarship holder) had also been having treatment there. She succeeded in getting to know him better and was reintroduced to mouth painting. With his patience, guidance and sympathy, together with the encouragement and support of her therapists and social workers, she took up mouth painting, where she found much happiness, peace and elation with every stroke on the canvas.
Date of birth: 15.09.1990
Scholarship holder since: 01.03.2018