Stay Gold: An Almost Healthy Boy in a Mostly Healthy World

Stay Gold Clara LockWhat does it mean to be almost healthy?

For Daniel Selvakumar, it was being born with a heart defect that offered a slim chance of surviving past childhood. At 14 months old, he underwent the first of three open-heart surgeries.

Grappling with his own mortality, Daniel accepted the big and small gifts of life – a close-knit family, lasting friendships, a business launched, a first love.

In his own way, he sought to leave the world a bit better, whether by helping a friend struggling with drug addiction, coaching teenagers or brightening the lives of nurses and fellow hospital patients in his last days.

Daniel’s heart was deformed by its defect as much as it was enlarged by love. He used it to make each of his 25 years count, and for the brief season that he was alive, left his mark on the hearts of friends, family and strangers, changing them forever. In one of Daniel’s final postings on social media, he outlines his approach for a life well lived – Live full, love hard, be grateful and own that shit.

Eloquent, heartrending and pensive, Stay Gold is a glowing tapestry of a memoir told through the interwoven perspectives of Daniel, his parents and the people he loved. Poised between past and present with a gaze at the future never to be, Daniel’s story asks how an almost healthy boy can find his place in a mostly healthy world, and how a single life can be meaningful when time is running out.

Stay Gold retails in Singapore at all major bookstores including Popular, Times and Kinokuniya, and ships internationally from Books Depository.


Advance praise:

“This excellent book will keep you engaged,
emotional and exhilarated. Keep the Kleenex near.”
—Peh Shing Huei,
Singapore Literature Prize winning author

“Beautifully written… Stay Gold pays tribute to our capacity, underused by
most of us, to live full lives by being there for others.”

—Cherian George
Author of Singapore, Incomplete

“A must-read book to nourish your soul and inspire your heart.”
—Adam Khoo,
Bestselling author of I Am Gifted, So Are You



Straits Times: Writing to remember a loved one

Channel 8 online: 患心脏病青年病逝 以自传激励世人前女友助圆梦

Zaobao: 25岁男子骤逝 前女友为他出自传

Happiness Notebook: S’pore writer pens biography of ex-boyfriend who passed on at age 24

Zula: My best friend passed away at age 25 and I completed this book for him

Mothership: Singaporean with multiple heart defects still served NS, coached kids in debate, journeyed with friends

Everyday People of Singapore: Word on the street: Clara Lock

Humans of Singapore: A carefree sort of love / Daniel’s “normal” life

Millennials of Singapore (video): Celebrating the legacy of a lost one


2 thoughts on “Stay Gold: An Almost Healthy Boy in a Mostly Healthy World

  1. My condolences .i would like to say that , he fought a good fight and indeed has made many meaningful impacts to the society. I was also born with a congenital heart defect. A rare inborn disease known as long Qt syndrome. I was diagnosed to live only til 5 years old. I was in and out of the hospital for the past 27 years yet i thanked GOD that he had pulled me through. As I was reading this article I felt that there was a similarities between us. So I decided to send my condolences as well as to share my experience. It’s only when a person had tasted the death can understand the loss they felt .that’s when u had the desire to do something for a better future..he have fight a good race and what he does sure will made a legendary to those he had help. Now he had completed the race and may Glory of God will be with him …he is very brave and courageous!


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