(MADE WITH HOPE: 1,000 paper cranes were folded by schoolmates of Jie Min as a show of support for her.)
By Andre Yeo
THE National Day girl whose story touched Singaporeans has come out of her heavily-sedated sleep.
She regained consciousness on National Day.
Tng Jie Min, 12, was hit by a taxi on 4 Aug after a rehearsal for the National Day Parade (NDP).
When The New Paper reported her story, tearful readers called expressing sympathy and hope for her recovery.
The Mayflower Secondary School student was in the intensive care unit (ICU) of the KK Women's and Children's Hospital(KKH) after suffering head injuries.
She was highly sedated and her parents, Mr William Tng, 51, and Madam May Leong, 49, did not know when she would wake up.
Her parents had been keeping vigil at the ICU when, at 9am on National Day, Madam Leong noticed some movement.
Madam Leong, a buyer of electrical parts, told The New Paper: "She opened her left eye and yawned. I shot out of my chair to her side and said to her, 'You are all right now. Finally, you've opened your eyes'."
She and her husband were so happy, they cried.
Madam Leong said Jie Min is on her way to recovery but the process could take months.
Jie Min was transferred from the ICU to a high-dependency ward on Thursday.
She was then moved to a normal ward the next day.
Jie Min does not recognise anyone yet, but her parents are hopeful and grateful for the improvement and wanted to thank all those who had helped them deal with the accident.
The couple has two other children - a son, 19, and another girl, 16.
The New Paper had reported on 7 Aug how Jie Min had been looking forward to taking part in her first NDP when she was hit by a cab.
A police spokesman had said the accident happened near Jie Min's school at the junction of Ang Mo Kio Avenue 4 and Street 11.
She was conscious when taken to the hospital.
The police are investigating the case.
ComfortDelGro said the taxi driver had been suspended.
Mr Tng, a technical support officer, had said Jie Min underwent a 90-minute operation on the day of the accident to relieve pressure in her brain.
Readers had called The New Paper to show their support to the family after reading the report.
Madam Puvanakanthi, 56, a director at a security firm and a mother of two adult children, cried when she called our hotline.
She said she had taken part in NDP in the early '70s and could understand what Jie Min had missed.
On Friday, she said: "I felt so sad because she is so young and was doing something for the nation. I remember we did our best and it was a proud moment for us.
"That's why I felt for her."
When told that Jie Min had woken up, she said: "That's wonderful, that's wonderful."
This article was first published in The New Paper.