I was glad to be alive, says navy serviceman

Jason Chee using the ramp built at his home to get in and out of the house.

SINGAPORE - Navy serviceman Jason Chee, who lost both legs in a naval ship accident on Dec 10 last year, said he was glad to be alive and never gave up on living.

"(When) the accident happened, I was conscious all the way...to the operating theatre. I told myself that I didn't want to die...because I still have a father," he said in an interview yesterday at his Shunfu flat.

Mr Chee, 30, said when he woke up on Christmas Eve, he was happy that he was "still around". Upon learning that he lost his legs and left arm, he said: "I just told myself, never mind, life still goes on, I want to live happy, day by day."

He added that he draws inspiration from others, such as Australian Nick Vujicic, who was born without limbs, and swimming Paralympians like Theresa Goh and Yip Pin Xiu.

Mr Chee, who plays table tennis twice a week, seated in a wheelchair, also aspires to represent Singapore one day.

Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen, who met him yesterday during his home visits in Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC, said that Mr Chee was inspiring and had made "astonishing progress" in his recovery.

Mr Chee, who also lost three fingers on his right hand, said he has learnt how to dress himself and visit the washroom on his own. Three months ago, he took the MRT by himself to VivoCity mall, to shop and meet friends.

He added that with a prosthetic thumb he can not only write but also cook. His favourite dishes? "Curry chicken and fried rice," he replied with enthusiasm.

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