He has to lose legs to walk again

He has to lose legs to walk again
Mr Seah developed dry gangrene, which caused his fingers and toes to turn black.
PHOTO: Lianhe Wanbao

It is not something he would wish even on his worst enemies.

While serving his national service in October last year, Mr Henry Seah, 22, was diagnosed with a life-threatening disease called adenoviral pneumonia.

Complications cost him seven of his fingers and both legs.

It started with a fever of 39 deg C, then vomiting and diarrhoea.

Mr Seah was still feeling unwell even after visiting hospitals twice, so his mother got him admitted to Khoo Teck Puat Hospital.

Mr Seah was transferred to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU), then the National University Hospital Cardiothoracic ICU when his condition worsened.

Speaking to The New Paper last week, his older sister, Miss Cindy Seah, 24, a laboratory officer who specialises in cancer therapeutics, said: "He fell into a coma, and it was hard for us to see him reliant on life support.

on Facebook

I've decided to launch this fundraising project in honor of my beloved brother, Henry Seah. His strength and...

Posted by Cindy Seah on Tuesday, 28 February 2017

"It was really shocking for us. The doctors told us to be prepared for the worst."

Their Catholic faith kept Mr Seah's mum and two sisters going - his father died four years ago - and his condition stabilised shortly after.

But a series of complications caused Mr Seah to suffer from dry gangrene, which caused his fingers and toes to turn red, purple then black.

Miss Seah said: "Our younger sister, 17, was also hospitalised because she caught the same virus and exhibited similar symptoms as Henry.

"Thankfully it was discovered early, and she recovered after a week's stay in the hospital."

When Mr Seah woke up, he had no idea what he and his family had gone through during the one month he was comatose.

He said he could tell his mother was upset by the situation and he tried to stay strong for her.

Mr Seah, who reached his operationally ready date last month, told TNP: "I woke up (wondering) what happened. I felt almost nothing during the period I was in a coma."

Read Also: Singaporean NSF stricken by illness comes close to death thrice in a month


He noticed the blackening of his fingers and legs, and learnt they had to be amputated.

His fingers were amputated in January, and legs were amputated on March 3.

When TNP visited him last week, he was taking things positively.

Mr Seah, who plans to study IT in Nanyang Polytechnic after his recovery, said: "I was definitely scared, and it was quite ironic that my legs had be removed in order for me... to learn how to walk again.

Photo: Lianhe Wanbao

"But I felt like this was meant to be some kind of test for me to overcome."

Miss Seah started a crowdfunding campaign three weeks ago on GoGetFunding, and has raised more than $52,000 as of yesterday.

She is thankful to donors and hopes the amount raised will help cover costs including her brother's medical bills, transport, prosthetics and rehabilitation.

Mr Seah added: "I hope to be able to head out, walk around without supervision and meet up with my friends."


This article was first published on March 13, 2017.
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