Singaporean pinned under HK bus: They thought she would never again walk

SINGAPORE - It has been almost a year since a horrific accident left her fighting for her life.

Ms Yeong Kai Ting, 26, was pinned under a bus while on holiday in Hong Kong on April 2 last year.

Even after she pulled through, there were doubts whether she could walk again.

But by July, she was taking her first steps and two weeks later, she was back at work, walking without the need for special aids.

Ms Yeong, who works at the Print Classified department of Singapore Press Holdings (SPH), recalled the accident: "It was not the pain that was most striking, but the weight of the bus on me. It was a relief when it reversed as it was very heavy.

"When I was lying face down on the stretcher in the ambulance, I turned left to look at my injury.

"Instead, I saw my shoes on the floor and told my friends who were with me, 'Remember to pick up my shoes when we leave'."

The list of injuries was long. She had everything from a pelvic fracture to muscle tears and a dislocated ankle.

She was taken to Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Hong Kong where she underwent about 10 surgeries to repair her left leg and pelvis.

Ms Yeong recalled spending most of her one month there with metal rods in her leg to support it as most of the bones had shattered.

Her father and brother flew to Hong Kong, and visited her every day while she was in hospital.

Her brother, Mr Jeremy Yeong, 32, was glad his sister didn't give up.

He said: "She's still here, and that's what is most important."

An SPH representative also visited her.

Thanks to the travel insurance she had bought from NTUC income, the cost of the hospitalisation in Hong Kong as well as the arrangements for her return to Singapore were covered.

On May 9, she was flown home on Singapore Airlines, which folded three window seats in economy class to allow Ms Yeong to be placed on the stretcher on the flight.

She was accompanied by doctors from Singapore General Hospital (SGH).


Ms Yeong was transferred to SGH where she was warded for another three months.

She said: "It felt great to be home.

"Furthermore, in Hong Kong, I was charged higher fees because I was a foreigner. If I did not have insurance, I surely could not have covered the cost."

During her stay at SGH, she underwent a series of surgeries.

As she was bedridden, Ms Yeong depended on nurses even for simple tasks like going to the toilet and reaching for her belongings.

It was only in July that she was transferred to St Andrew's Community Hospital, after the reconstructive surgery was done.

There, she took her first steps while undergoing physiotherapy sessions.

It started with simple exercises that involved her moving her legs, and progressed to walking with a walking frame before using crutches.

She said the most difficult part of the physiotherapy was how slow the progress felt.

At times, she felt frustrated at the lack of progress but she never gave up.

On some days, after she exercised her leg, blisters would form on her skin because of the skin's natural stretching when the joints moved.

She said: "It's like when I was making real progress, the blisters would painfully hinder me and I had to stop exercising.

"But had it not been for the support of my friends and family, I would not be where I am today. I am extremely grateful for everyone's support."

After her close brush with death, Ms Yeong said she is much more appreciative of life and wants to tell everyone to always treasure their loved ones.

On Wednesday, she enjoyed her Chinese New Year reunion dinner, thankful she never gave up.

"The accident"

Ms Yeong Kai Ting was hit on her last night in Hong Kong as she and her two friends were headed to Kowloon Bay to catch the Symphony of Lights at about 8pm.

As they were walking through Tsim Sha Tsui, Ms Yeong did not notice a tour bus that had turned sharply onto Salisbury Road, the road she was on.

The accident had her fighting for her life at Hong Kong's Queen Elizabeth Hospital.

She had planned to travel to Macau the next day.

This article was first published on February 20, 2015.
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