SINGAPORE - The Singaporean who was hit by a car while cycling in New York City last month is on the mend, but his recovery will come at a whopping price.
The total hospitalisation bill for Mr Al-Matin Mohamed, 24, who suffered head trauma and multiple fractures to his limbs, is estimated to be over US$500,000 (S$633,600), said his sister.
Mr Al-Matin, the son of an engineer and a housewife, had gone to New York to train as a pastry chef in a seafood restaurant. He was cycling down East 29th Street on June 8 when he was knocked down by a car travelling in the wrong direction.
The driver, who was escaping from the police following a violent robbery, is still at large.
More than a month on, Mr Al-Matin is still in Bellevue Hospital, while family members have flown to New York to be by his side.
His older sister, Ms Nadiah Karina, 26, told The Straits Times she had applied for a few grants to subsidise her brother's hospital bill, but nothing has panned out yet.
"The hospital bills, they are a huge problem for the family... everything is very uncertain for us right now," she said.
Although Mr Al-Matin had travel insurance, this would cover up to only 10 per cent of his lengthy hospital stay, she added.
The former national service Guardsman will have to be hospitalised for "at least another three to six months", before he can return to Singapore.
"He wants to come back too, but currently he is not mobile enough to move, or be on a plane for over 20 hours," said Ms Nadiah.
Mr Al-Matin's injuries were serious. His left arm and both his legs were broken, while his right arm suffered nerve damage. He is bedridden and unable to use crutches yet. He will have to remain in New York for physiotherapy until he is given the all-clear to fly home. Even then, a full recovery from his injuries is estimated to take up to two years.
The accident occurred just when Mr Al-Matin was planning to fly home the following week to start work at a restaurant here.
Some help is on the way.
A group of his friends had banded together to raise about $30,000 so far through a Facebook page called "Get Well Soon Matin". Some members of the public had also offered his family accommodation for their stay in New York.
"Matin was very well-liked by his friends in school, so a lot of them offered their help when they heard of the accident," said Ms Nadiah.
"We are all staying positive for him, and Matin is also very determined to recover."
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