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Daughter raises $250k online to bring dad in coma back to Singapore

This article is more than 12 months old

The Singaporean who suffered a cardiac arrest and lapsed into a coma in Tokyo just over a week ago is due to arrive in Singapore on Tuesday.

The team from EMA Global, the medical assistance company appointed for the evacuation, left Singapore for Tokyo, a spokesman told The Straits Times on Monday (May 1).

His 25-year-old daughter, Ms Eileen Cheong, had successfully raised $250,000 on fundraising platform Give.Asia to get her father home to Singapore.

She wrote in her campaign that her family had flown to Tokyo on April 19 to celebrate her mother’s cancer remission when her father had a heart attack.

He was resuscitated and admitted to the Intensive Care Unit at Toho University Omori Medical Center on the same day and placed on mechanical support.

Japanese doctors told her family that they could not determine how long her father would stay in a coma.

The family owed the hospital about $120,000, and it would cost at least another $120,000 to bring Mr Cheong home by medical evacuation, according to Miss Cheong.

Ms Cheong wrote that her dad’s travel insurers MSIG informed her family that they were “unlikely to have a successful claim as his collapse was attributable to a pre-existing heart condition”.

The 25-year-old, who is a fresh graduate earning less than $3,000 a month, turned to crowdfunding on Give.Asia to get her father home.

Eileen Cheong's update thanking contributors on Give.AsiaPHOTO: GIVE.ASIA/EILEEN CHEONG

A spokesman for EMA Global said that the team bringing Ms Cheong’s father home consist of a doctor and a nurse who are trained in critical care and have extensive experience in aero-medical missions.

The air ambulance deployed has the range to fly Ms Cheong’s father from Haneda Airport to Seletar Airport without any fuel stops, and is equipped with an ICU ventilator, multiple modular monitors and infusion pumps.

The team will visit Ms Cheong’s dad in the Tokyo hospital and prepare him for the flight, ensuring he is stable before shifting him into an ambulance.

The team is scheduled to land in Singapore tomorrow (May 2) and will be met by an ambulance on the tarmac in Singapore, which will then transfer Ms Cheong’s father to hospital.

On Friday, the campaign had raised almost $100,000.  In an update on Saturday evening, Ms Cheong said that all $250,000 had been raised.

Ms Cheong had said in a campaign update on April 30 that her father was in a stable condition. She thanked all contributors and donors and promised to post an update on the situation soon.

A spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs had told previously said that it was aware of the incident and that the Singapore Embassy in Tokyo was rendering the necessary consular assistance to the family.