Henry is my brother of 22 years, a young and fit guy faithfully serving his NS (national service) in Singapore during his prime years of life. On October 2016, an unexpected series of events occurred and turned his life upside down. Henry had a high fever of 39°C, which appeared to be normal flu symptoms before he was admitted to the A&E. He was then diagnosed with a life threatening disease called Adenoviral Pneumonia while still serving the nation. He was transferred to the ICU in Khoo Teck Puat and subsequently NUH CTICU for further life support as the disease progressed further.
During the time in ICU, he had to be on ECMO (Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation) for 3-4 weeks as his lungs were completely drowned in his own fluids due to the severity of the viral strain. It was hard for my family to see him fully reliant on life support. As he is a young guy, we have never expected him to be on his deathbed so close to losing him within a span of a few days. As the treatment continues, his blood pressure dropped so drastically that the doctors had to put him on adrenaline for weeks.
Henry then spent his time unconscious in an induced coma and various procedures were performed on him (ECMO, Plasma exchange aka plasmapheresis, haemodialysis, CT scans etc). The scariest part wasn't it all, it was when we heard news of his brain hemorrhaging through the heparin therapy from ECMO, and also DIC (disseminated intravascular coagulation). These complications could have a mortality rate of up to 60%. His eyesight and renal functions could be damaged forever by the use of anti-viral medications. Our hearts dropped.
In summary, he almost lost his life 3 times in a span of 1 month, but with the caring hands of the nurses and dedication of the doctors attending to him, he survived the ordeal recovering from most of the insults to his body, although with much misfortune.
Eventually, we found his fingers and toes turning red, finally turning black during the 1 month in ICU. We were told that the cause of the blackening of the hands and feet was dry gangrene, which had similarly occurred to people who had eaten fresh, uncooked fish and unfortunately infected with GBS. In Henry's case, his gangrene had resulted from the prolonged use of adrenaline to support his dangerously low blood pressure. His fingers and legs must be amputated.
My family, including my mum, myself and my younger sister, were devastated with the news of our beloved son/brother, who could potentially be the sole breadwinner of this family, to be permanently disabled in his prime years and throughout his life. As my father had passed away since 4 years ago from colon cancer, Henry has become our pillar of strength. It was a tough time accepting the news, especially my mum who witnessed the loss of her husband and now, her son, to face such fate.
Despite the ordeals, Henry is a tough guy with a lot of faith in life. He remained grateful and positive, sometimes giving us encouragement even though he is the one facing disability. He will require a massive amount of medical fund for his near-to-half-a-century of life visiting the doctor and acquiring prosthesis, alongside with motorized wheelchair, rehabilitation and transport assistance. Because of him and his positivity, our family bond is even tighter than ever.
We welcome any form of donation for Henry to tide through these tough times. He has since ORD-ed in February 2017, successfully attained the title of NS-man, which we are super proud of him for doing his part for the nation. At the same time, we will have to bear all medical costs by ourselves after he had ORD-ed.
Thank you for your kind donation. We will keep you in our prayers and be grateful for what we receive. It is our blessing to reach out to you and receiving your generosity.