M’sian Faces $130K Hospital Bills in S’pore After Contracting Severe Dengue; Family Crowdfunding for Hospital Bills


If you’ve gotten dengue before, you probably know that it’s not something you’d want to ever experience again.

And with the dengue cases in Singapore rising in recent months, one Malaysian and her family have found themselves at their wits’ end after she contracted severe dengue while working in Singapore earlier this year.

Contracted Dengue in Early April; Condition Worsened Afterwards

On 7 April, Malaysian Sow May Yan went down to Tan Tock Seng Hospital (TTSH) after having joint pain and a high fever for five days.

At the hospital, she was confirmed to have caught a severe form of dengue, which we all know is a viral infection that is passed from mosquitoes to humans.

She was then warded in TTSH.

However, according to reports by Shin Min Daily News, Sow’s condition soon deteriorated rapidly.

As a result, complications such as acute respiratory distress syndrome, acute kidney injury and acute myocarditis among other conditions started to appear for Sow, who is 30 years old.

In the end, Sow was warded in the intensive care unit (ICU) at TTSH for 22 days. Within these 22 days, she also spent almost three weeks drifting in and out of a coma.

Severe Dengue: Rare, Only Occurs in 5% of Patients

An infectious diseases expert also told Shin Min that around 5% of dengue patients end up with severe dengue.

Additionally, the World Health Organisation (WHO) also wrote that bleeding, organ impairment and plasma leakage may occur as part of the complications of severe dengue.

Severe dengue may even cause death if treatment is delayed.

Sow’s Family Background: Difficulties in Paying Medical Bills

Sow currently works as an administrative staff and left her hometown in Kuala Lumpur to work in Singapore five years ago.

When her mother, a 52-year-old housewife, spoke to Shin Min, she explained that her daughter had no prior health issues other than contracting COVID-19 in November last year.

She also revealed that Soh’s platelet count had decreased greatly to a dangerously low level.

She described how at that point, Soh’s mouth was full of blood. Blood was flowing out of her ears and nostrils constantly as well.

As a result of the drugs being given to her, Sow was in a comatose state for almost three weeks. She was also not able to consume any type of food for one month.


Thankfully, Sow’s condition has since stabilised and she has been transferred to Thye Hua Kwan Hospital in Ang Mo Kio, which is a rehabilitation facility.

However, Sow’s illness has not only left the family worried about her health, but also the expensive medical bills that are still increasing by the day.

Shin Min also reported that Sow earns a monthly salary of $2,000 while both her parents are unemployed.

Family Turning to Crowdfunding Online for Help

With the family struggling to pool enough money for Sow’s medical bills, a family friend of theirs named Edward decided to set up a Give.Asia crowdfunding page to hopefully help relieve the family’s financial burden by a little.

At the time of posting, Edward explained on the page that Sow’s interim medical bills have surpassed $130,000. More than $80,200 has since been raised by donors on the platform.


Since she is a Malaysian, she does not qualify for any subsidies.

“Her Foreign Worker’s Medical Insurance of S$15,000 is insufficient to pay her hefty medical bills,” he added.

A photo of a hospital memo was attached as well.

The hospital memo, which endorsed the crowdfunding appeal, stated that Sow was diagnosed with severe secondary dengue, meaning that she could have been diagnosed with dengue in the past.

Other infections such as acute respiratory distress syndrome, acute kidney injury and acute myocarditis which required more procedures also added to the hospital bills financially.

A photo of the hospital bill amounting to over $126,000 was also attached, but in a recent update it was indicated that Sow’s hospital bills have exceeded $130,000.


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The page also included a note that Sow’s dad wrote to the public to appeal for their donations.

The note, initially written in Chinese, was translated into English on the page as well.

Sow’s father provided details about Sow’s condition, and explained their family’s situation as well.

“As a father, seeing my daughter’s disease-ridden appearance, it is really heartbreaking. Instead, I would rather suffer these pains for my daughter. In any case, I want my daughter to receive treatment, but the follow-up treatment has left our family financially strapped,” he wrote.

He also said that all of his and his wife’s retirement savings have been spent on their daughter’s illness.


“We are not from a wealthy family,” he shared.

After explaining the situation, he then concluded his note by saying, “However, there is still a very big gap, and we really need help financially. So, I appeal for your kind help. I hope you can help me and my daughter, she is still young and still has a long way to go, but the current situation makes me really powerless.

“Please help my family. I will do my best to give back to society and thank everyone for their kindness”.

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Featured Image: give.asia