SINGAPORE - She was in such a pitiful condition that his mind went blank.
That was the reaction of Ms Li Minna's cousin, who wanted to be known only as Mr Li, when he saw her lying motionless on a bed at the National University Hospital (NUH) last Monday. "It was after she had two operations, and that was the first time I was allowed into the ward to see her. Her eyes were swollen and her skull was fractured. It was a horrible sight," Mr Li, 30, told The New Paper in Mandarin on Monday.
Ms Li, a 32-year-old Chinese national working here as a kindergarten teacher, died four days after she was injured in a car accident at a carpark at Bird Park Drive at about 9.30pm last Sunday.
Ms Li's boyfriend - 31-year-old Chinese national Liu Zhongwei - was charged on Monday with a rash act not amounting to culpable homicide for allegedly driving off and hitting Ms Li while she was standing in front of his car.
The collision left Ms Li in a coma - with serious injuries to her head, face and arms.
If found guilty, Liu, who is working here as a driver, can be jailed up to five years or fined, or both.
Mr Li said he found out about his cousin's situation the next day.
The construction worker said: "I was at work and my phone was in the locker. When I checked it around noon, I discovered eight missed calls and a text from Liu that my cousin was in the hospital."
He immediately took "urgent leave" and rushed to NUH.
He was only allowed to see her at 3pm after doctors told him that his cousin's condition was "very serious" despite removing a blood clot from her brain.
"The doctors weren't optimistic about her chances and they said her condition had worsened.
"They even helped me apply for an urgent visa for her family to fly over from China," he said.
That was when he knew that the chances of his cousin pulling through were slim.
He said he took leave just to stay by her side for the next three days before she eventually succumbed to her injuries.
"Her mother still doesn't know of her daughter's passing because she has a heart condition," Mr Li said.
But Ms Li's father, brother and uncle have arrived in Singapore and are staying with a friend.
"We (the family) are calmer now that it's been four days since she passed on, but her father's throat is hoarse from all the crying," said Mr Li.
"She was a gentle, kind girl," he said of Ms Li, who moved to Singapore from Jilin province in China six years ago. Mr Li had moved here three years earlier.
When she arrived, they became very close as they only had each other, he said. She would even cook for him.
She worked as a teacher in a private kindergarten in Simei and loved children, he said.
The incident has scarred Mr Li.
"I can't think of any good memories in Singapore now, only bad ones.
"She came to Singapore a whole and healthy person, but now she's going back as ashes," he said.
Liu will be back in court next Monday.
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