SINGAPORE: A pedestrian who was hit by a bicycle died in hospital on Sunday (Oct 6), five days after suffering a head injury that left him on life support.
Mr Chew Fook Yew, 53, was knocked down by a cyclist at the junction of Sims Avenue and Geylang Lorong 33 on Oct 1 at around 6.20pm.
Mr Chew, the youngest of five siblings, was taken to Tan Tock Seng Hospital, where it was found he had sustained a severe head injury which required immediate surgery.
The emergency operation, which lasted more than three hours, was unable to save him: He slipped into a coma before he succumbed to his injuries on Sunday, his family said.
Described as a “good buddy and filial son” by friends and family, Mr Chew, who worked as a freelancer in sales, was the main caregiver of his 88-year-old mother and would cook her meals and ensure she took her medication.
A family member recounted how Mr Chew’s second sister found out about her brother’s accident after she stumbled onto the scene of the incident by chance.
Ms Chew was driving to her mother’s house in Geylang East on Oct 1 to eat dinner with her, as she usually does every day, Mr Chew’s nephew told CNA.
When she drove past the intersection of Sims Avenue and Geylang Lorong 33, she saw an ambulance parked along the road with paramedics attending to an injured person on a stretcher.
However, she and her husband noticed that the person was wearing a familiar orange shirt that Mr Chew sometimes wore. Fearing the worst, she called her mother’s house and found out her youngest brother was not at home.
Ms Chew then got out of the car and confirmed that her brother was the victim of the accident. Though he had no visible injury apart from a few bruises, Mr Chew did not respond to his sister calling his name.
Ms Chew then accompanied her brother in the ambulance as he was transported to Tan Tock Seng Hospital, after which she informed the rest of her family.
Initially "nobody thought too much of it", Mr Chew’s nephew Melvin told CNA, adding that family members did not think that a bicycle accident would be too serious.
"TRAUMATIC FIVE DAYS"
But they got increasingly worried over Mr Chew’s non-responsiveness and a head scan at the hospital later revealed he had suffered a life-threatening head injury.
Mr Chew underwent an operation at about 7.30pm, but at about 11pm doctors said he could not be saved and that it was only a matter of time, said Melvin. He remained on life support for the next five days before his death on Sunday at around 10.35pm.
"It was a traumatic and difficult five days," Melvin said.
"The family couldn't sleep, we were just waiting," he said, adding that family members would visit Mr Chew each day not knowing if it would be his last.
But his family was touched that Mr Chew’s friends, some of them from his early childhood, visited him in his final days, with some visiting just an hour before his death.
“We sang songs for him at his bedside - as he enjoyed singing and music - during his last moments. His friends also did a prayer for him," said Melvin.
Mr Chew’s siblings are now taking turns to look after their mother in his absence, who described losing her filial son as "like losing my hand".
His wake is being held at Blk 130 Geylang East Ave 1, before his funeral at Mandai Crematorium on Wednesday morning.
Police said the cyclist, a 41-year-old man, has been arrested for causing grievous hurt by negligent act.
Investigations are ongoing.
Mr Chew’s death on Sunday came as Senior Minister of State for Transport Janil Puthucheary suggested in Parliament on Monday that the use personal mobility devices (PMDs) could be banned if the behaviour of users does not improve.