Surgery to reattach hand fails, Latest Singapore News - The New Paper

Surgery to reattach hand fails

This article is more than 12 months old

Woman laments to son after unsuccessful surgery to reattach hand severed by lift doors:

Doctors failed to reattach a woman's hand after a four-hour surgery.

Madam Khoo Bee Hua's left hand was severed when the 85-year-old tried to stop the lift door from closing on Oct 9.

"No more hand," she cried to her son Mr Lee, 59, after coming out of surgery at the National University Hospital (NUH).

Shin Min Daily News reported yesterday that Madam Khoo came out of surgery at 2am on Saturday.

Mr Lee was distraught after she spoke to him. The New Paper on Sunday (TNPS) understands that Madam Khoo is currently in a stable condition.


Last Friday morning, Madam Khoo had used her left hand to stop the lift doors from closing to let her dog in.

She had been leading the dog, which was on a leash, into lift B at Block 322, Tah Ching Road.

But the lift doors closed, clamping her hand, and the lift started moving up.

Paramedics retrieved Madam Khoo's severed hand, put it in ice, and took Madam Khoo and her hand to NUH.

Surgery to reattach it started at 10.30pm on Friday, given concerns over the risks involved, owing to her age and medical condition.

Madam Khoo has high blood pressure. During the tragic incident, Madam Khoo's dog had a narrow escape.

The leash had been caught by the lift doors and the dog was dragged up, leaving it dangling at the top of the doors.

Lianhe Zaobao reported that a resident, known only as Mr Ho, held the choking dog up while his sister ran home to get a pair of scissors.

She then cut the leash, freeing the dog.

Yesterday, residents told TNPS the lifts at the block had been problematic.

A resident, who wanted to be known only as Mr Ong, said in the past six months he and his family members have been trapped in lift B twice. Lift A is next to it.

Mr Ong, 54, who lives with his wife and three children aged 11, 13 and 16, said he reported both incidents to the Jurong Town Council.

"I used to be afraid of being stuck in the lift. Now, I am scared for our safety too," said Mr Ong, who has lived there for 19 years.


Another resident in her 40s, Madam Ho, described her experience with the lift that severed Madam Khoo's hand: "The doors would open with a jerk, and it would not be fully aligned with the floor. It feels very unsafe."

Mr Ho Thian Poh, the general manager of Jurong Town Council, previously told The New Paper: "The lift was last serviced on Oct 1 based on the monthly schedule and it was certified (to be) in good working condition."

He said the lift is equipped with adequate safety devices, including safety edge on the lift car door, a stream of photo ray sensors near the base of the lift car door and a safety gear switch at both the lift car door and the lift landing car door.

Meanwhile, the Building and Construction Authority (BCA) has issued a notice to the town council to suspend the use of the affected lift while investigations are ongoing.

When TNPS visited the block yesterday, the lift was not in use. The lift doors were closed and it was on the first level, with its lights turned off.

In a statement, BCA said Jurong Town Council will be "required to appoint an authorised examiner to conduct an investigation to determine the cause of the incident".

Following the incident, Marine Parade Town Council has stepped up preventive lift maintenance, revealed Social and Family Development Minister Tan Chuan-Jin in a Facebook posting.

Mr Tan is an MP with Marine Parade GRC.

This is on top of regular checks. Mr Tan said engineers have also begun doing checks on all lift sensors within the GRC.