A 59-year-old Singaporean pastor who travelled to South Korea on a mission trip, fell critically ill and has not been able to return home for the past three months.
In October 2022, Low Peng Hong, a pastor for 15 years, led a missionary trip to South Korea where he tested positive for Covid-19 that same month.
He was admitted to Inje University Ilsan Paik Hospital, and as his vital signs were unstable, was placed on life support ventilation and also required the use of an artificial lung machine.
Low’s condition improved after a week or two, but when doctors tried taking him off the ventilator in November, he had an episode of hypoxia (low levels of oxygen in the body tissues) and had to be placed back on it.
His nephew started a Give.asia crowdfunding campaign, "Help Us Bring My Uncle Home From Korea Hospital", to raise funds for the medical bills and Low's "emergency evacuation" home.
The post on Give.asia reads: "...he’s been fighting for his life, alone in a foreign place, for the past 3 months."
"His condition is not improving and we have been advised to bring him back to Singapore to continue his long-term recovery under local care."
Low’s wife also contributed to the post, adding: "He (Low) is my life partner, a filial son. To others, he is a kind, generous, and helpful man who is always putting others before self. My husband was in Korea not on a holiday but doing what he loves best and what he felt was his calling: mission work."
The family, who has already used their savings to pay some $150,000 in medical bills, turned to crowdfunding to cover the cost of Low's "ballooning" hospital bill and his medical evacuation back to Singapore. Each day in the hospital is costing them $2,000.
According to the post, the estimated cost for the transfer – through EMA Global, a Singapore-based medical evacuation company – is $250,000. And with an outstanding hospital bill of $140,000, the family is hoping to raise $440,000 to cover all costs.
"As a missionary, our family has little savings and medical bills are placing tremendous pressure on our family and friends,” the post read.
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“With hope and prayer we believe no adversity is too big, and no donation is too small. Any amount will bring us a step closer to bringing Peng Hong back home.”
Update: As at 9pm on Jan 12, the crowdfunding campaign has ended, with the total amount raised at $450,480.
This article was first published in The New Paper. Permission required for reproduction.