Navy man who lost both legs travelled from home to VivoCity

SINGAPORE - Despite losing both legs, navy serviceman Jason Chee is able to travel to VivoCity shopping mall from his home in Shunfu Road entirely on his own.

Mr Chee, who was injured in a ship accident last December, said he used his motorised wheelchair for the trip, taking the MRT from Marymount station near his home, to HarbourFront.

"Going on board the train was quite easy. It wasn't a challenge," said Mr Chee, who also lost his left arm and three fingers on the right hand.

He uses his right hand to move a joystick that controls the battery- powered wheelchair.

Mr Chee went to VivoCity to shop with friends and "see the scenery" about three months ago, after doctors started allowing him to go home on the weekends.

The 30-year-old, who holds the Military Expert 2 rank in the Republic of Singapore Navy, was discharged from hospital on June 8.

All five MPs for Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC, including Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen, visited him in his home yesterday afternoon, as part of a series of house visits in the area.

At one point, MP Josephine Teo, who is also Minister of State for Transport, told Mr Chee: "If you discover any MRT station that's not wheelchair-friendly, let me know."

Dr Ng, who has visited Mr Chee in hospital a few times, told reporters: "Last December... I told Jason that I was very worried. I knew his spirit was very good but he had such a difficult road ahead. Month by month, he has made really astonishing progress. I know, as a medical doctor, (the recovery process) is not easy at all, so I think he's a real inspiration."

Mr Chee said he has been inspired by several disabled people, such as Paralympian swimmers Yip Pin Xiu and Theresa Goh.

"I watched them on YouTube, so I was very inspired by them," he added.

"I thought, 'Wah, they're disabled and yet they can still play sports'. Why not me? I also want to try it out."

Mr Chee has been going for table- tennis sessions twice a week, for about a month.

He hopes to represent Singapore in national competitions, win medals for the country and possibly go on to compete in overseas competitions.

As for basic tasks, he can dress himself and go to the toilet without assistance, thanks to training from his therapists at Changi General Hospital and Ang Mo Kio-Thye Hua Kwan Hospital.

With his prosthetic fingers, he can also write and cook dishes such as "curry chicken and fried rice", he said.

Asked how he has kept his spirits up, he said that when he realised he had lost his limbs, he was shocked and asked how he ended up in that state.

But he added, simply: "I told myself, 'Never mind, life still goes on'. I want to live happily, day by day."

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