She was heading home from work in March last year when she suddenly coughed blood.
Miss Effarina Alias, one of the 17 finalists in the Miss Singapore Beauty Pageant 2014, was hospitalised and diagnosed with tuberculosis (TB).
The 21-year-old told The New Paper during the pageant's preview show at rooftop bar 1-Altitude: "I was very shocked. I've heard that tuberculosis can be fatal and I was so scared that I was going to die."
Miss Effarina was hospitalised at Tan Tock Seng Hospital's Communicable Diseases Centre for two months and during that period, she had to take up to 10 pills and receive injections twice a day.
According to the Ministry of Health website, the number of tuberculosis cases among Singapore citizens and permanent residents in 2012 was 40.9 cases per 100,000.
The assistant manager with McDonald's added: "I was depressed and lonely. I kept thinking: 'Why does it have to be me?'"
There were times when Miss Effarina would throw tantrums and refuse to take her medication.
She said: "I thought that there was no point in taking them, so why bother? It was so bad that I wanted to give up on life.
"I really got by with the help and support of my family members who stayed with me throughout."
After a painful six months, she fully recovered.
To celebrate her recovery, Miss Effarina, who is 1.73m tall, joined the Miss Singapore Beauty Pageant last year and made it to the finals.
She did not win any title, but, from her experience with TB, she learnt never to give up, which is why she is giving the contest another shot this year.
Miss Effarina is banking on her experience from last year to give her an edge over other finalists as she feels she knows what will work for the judges and organisers.
Miss Singapore Beauty Pageant 2014, which would held on Sept 21 at 7pm at Amara Hotel, will have the finalists competing for four titles: Miss Singapore Tourism Queen International 2014, Miss Singapore Global Beauty Queen 2014, Miss Singapore All Nations 2014 and Miss Singapore Chinatown 2014.