Brother of trailer crash victim asks him for permission to off ventilator

Brother of trailer crash victim asks him for permission to off ventilator
CONSCIOUS: The impact from being knocked by the yellow trailer truck sent Mr Lim Chin Huat (in red) flying off his wheelchair, but he remained conscious when sent to the hospital. (Below) He died on Monday and his body was cremated yesterday.

After a three-week battle in the hospital, he was eventually taken off the ventilator and died on Monday.

Mr Lim Chin Huat, 44, who was wheelchair-bound, was knocked down by a trailer truck at Sungei Kadut Street 6 late last month.

His younger brother, Mr Jimmy Lim, 43, a supermarket stock keeper, told The New Paper: "I asked him, 'Da ge (big brother in Mandarin), are you very tired and in pain? Do you want to go away peacefully?'

"He couldn't talk, but blinked once. A tear rolled down his face. I took that as him giving me consent."

A police spokesman said they were alerted to the accident at about noon on April 27.

The older Mr Lim is believed to have been crossing the road when a trailer truck making a left turn crashed into him.

The impact sent him flying off his wheelchair but he remained conscious and was sent to Khoo Teck Puat Hospital.

Mr Lim explained that his brother, a diabetes patient, was in the area as he lived in a room converted out of factory space by his uncle.

"He had been living alone, and survived on financial assistance as well as help from social workers.

"Sometimes, when he dropped by the supermarket where I work after going for dialysis, I would also give him some money," he said.

He added that his brother had been wheelchair-bound for close to two decades after amputating his leg when he was in his 20s.

"He was diagnosed with diabetes ever since he finished NS (national service). He had to go for dialysis three times a week," Mr Lim said.

He found out about the accident five days after his brother was hospitalised and had to be transferred to the intensive care unit (ICU).

"It was my cousin who informed me. On the fifth day of his admission, he suddenly had a fever and developed complications.

INTERNAL INJURIES

"The doctor said the accident left my brother with internal injuries. Some of his bones were also broken. His low immunity led to infections," Mr Lim said.

A week into his stay at the ICU, the older Mr Lim had to be put on a ventilator.

On Friday, when Mr Lim saw that his brother's condition remained severe, he made the painful decision to switch off the ventilator.

On Monday night, the older Mr Lim died of cardiorespiratory failure.

The funeral arrangements were taken care of by undertaker Roland Tay, the founder of Direct Funeral Services.

Mr Tay said he received Mr Lim's call about three weeks ago asking for help.

"Jimmy called and told me about his older brother. He asked if I could help if anything should happen to him as he was quite sick.

"I agreed to help him because he was wheelchair-bound, had no source of income, and their father had passed away just three months ago.

"Who would have known that it would be such a coincidence that he got into an accident shortly after the call?" he said.

A police spokesman said that investigations are ongoing. TNP understands that no one has been arrested.


This article was first published on May 20, 2015.
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