SINGAPORE: Dave Lee, the full-time National Serviceman who died on Monday after suffering from heat injuries, was a “very good boy” who always did his best, his mother Jasmine Yeo told the media on Wednesday (May 2).
“He is really a very good boy. He is always very respectful. He will put in effort to help the family whenever he can,” Mdm Yeo said at a press conference held beside her son's wake at the void deck of the family's Ivory Heights condominium in Jurong East.
On what she remembers most about her 19-year-old son, she said it’s the hugs and kisses that he gave whenever he reached home and before he left for camp.
“To a mother, it’s the way we held hands when we go shopping, something that we will never forget”, she said.
The family made the decision on Friday to donate his organs and said that it’s because “we really want him to contribute his best at his last moments”. The family was able to donate his cornea, and they expressed their hope that the recipient will “continue to see the world with Dave”.
The family declined to comment on the events that led up to his death, saying that they would like to focus on "settling his send-off" first.
The young soldier died on Monday, almost two weeks after he was hospitalised with "signs of heat injury" upon completing an 8km fast march on the morning of Apr 18.
He was taken to Bedok Camp’s medical centre and later admitted to Changi General Hospital where he was warded in the Intensive Care Unit. However, his condition worsened, said the Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) shortly after his death.
As with all training-related deaths, an independent Committee of Inquiry (COI) will be convened to investigate the incident.
“Should there be training safety violations, the personnel responsible will be held accountable,” said Army Chief of Staff, General Staff, BG Siew Kum Wong on Tuesday.
Lee enlisted in the army on Jan 5 and graduated from Basic Military Training in March, according to photos and videos posted on Facebook by his mother.
He will be accorded a military funeral and posthumous recognition of the rank of Corporal First Class. The funeral will take place on Saturday.
Mdm Yeo said: “(The) military send-off was our wish for Dave because I guess that is what he wanted very much.”
Asked if more could be done, beyond the military promotion and send-off, she said: "I can’t answer your question. What is enough when the boy is not making his way home?"