Overcoming adversity with grace

With help from family, friends and colleagues, Yuria overcame the challenges that arose from a traumatic accident

Ten years ago, Yuria Tantono’s life was turned upside down.

Barely two months after becoming a permanent staff at DBS, Yuria was involved in a traffic accident, causing her to be paralysed from the waist down.

Amid that tumultuous period, one of Yuria’s worries was that she would lose her job. But her fears turned out to be unfounded.

Following her recovery, Yuria’s reporting manager at DBS decided to create a role which did not require the now-36-year-old to come into the office. "My reporting manager was really supportive and helpful,” she says.

“I benefitted from the Flexi Work Arrangement which allowed me to work mostly from home and come to the office about one or two days a week for meetings or to catch up with colleagues.”

Today, Yuria is a proud mother of two – a six-year-old girl and a three-year-old son – and a finance management officer the bank. Since the accident, she has been promoted twice, and now holds the rank of Assistant Vice President.

“At first (after the accident) I did have many negative thoughts because life seemed so limited compared to the past,” she admits.

“(But) during my hospitalisation, many friends, colleagues, hospital staff and family members, especially my husband, encouraged me not to give up.

“My husband’s daily encouragements helped me break out of my negative thinking and showed me that there is still so much more to life,” she adds.

Due to the severity of her injuries, Yuria had to be hospitalised for six months. She requires a wheelchair to move around and has to make special arrangements due to the loss of control of her bladder and bowel movements.

“The transition from being able-bodied to living with paralysed lower limbs was daunting… (Additionally) I have to plan the timing to clear my bladder (using catheterisation) carefully to avoid conflict with meetings or conference calls.

“It is (also) not easy to work from home due to the nature of my previous role where I was the point of contact for business users as well as communications within the team. I had to follow up promptly to make sure that aside from emails, users and my teammates were available to answer my calls and were willing to work with me,” she says.

But having overcome so many challenges, Yuria has learnt to turn adversity into strength, and make the best out of her home and work life.

“If face-to-face meetings are required, I will take the opportunity to establish rapport during these meetings. I believe such rapport has helped me to overcome these challenges,” she says.

“When I am working from home and feeling stressed, I pray. Just looking at my daughter’s and son’s smiling faces make things much better and I can continue to work with a clearer mind.”

Counting her blessings, Yuria says she has learnt to take a positive outlook on life. Her advice when it comes to dealing with adversity?

“Learning from mistakes should be accompanied by a dose of fun so that we are able to think positively, move forward and enjoy every bit of the life that we have been blessed with.”

– Yuria Tantono

“Why do we need to feel so down when things don’t go our way? Just live with joy and after doing our best, leave the end result to God.”