HIS mother, stricken with breast cancer, was dying.
Her last wish was to see her 20-year-old son graduate from the Institute of Technical Education (ITE).
But his graduation ceremony would take place only three weeks later.
So Chang Ze Xun called his school for help.
That evening, two staff members from from ITE College West rushed down to his home and conducted a simple "graduation ceremony" for his mother.
His mother, Madam Ong Siew Kee, 52, died hours later - at around midnight.
On July 21, Ze Xun, a mechanical engineering student, attended his ITE gradution ceremony with his 56-year-old father, 22-year-old sister and his cousin.
He graduated at the top of his course with a perfect grade point average of 4.0.
He also received the Tay Eng Soon Gold Medal for excellent academic and co-curricular activities performance and contributions to the college.
He said: "Despite her illness, my mother was a very strong woman.
"When she was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 2004, the doctor told her it was at the final stage. But she survived two relapses.
"She wanted to struggle with her illness until my graduation ceremony ."
On June 29, Madam Ong's condition deteriorated rapidly.
"That morning, the doctor told us to be prepared - that she might (die) in one to two weeks," Ze Xun recalled.
The family took her home from Singapore General Hospital that day.
On the way home, the young man called his school and asked if there was anything they could do to help fulfil his mother's wish to see him graduate.
Two staff members from ITE College West - Mr Alfred Tan, course manager of mechanical engineering and automotive technology, and Mr Ong Lye Sum, section head of mechanical engineering - headed to the family's flat that evening.