The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry.
Or in simpler terms, no matter how carefully a project is planned, something may still go wrong with it.
But have you ever experienced something that is simply too sudden, as if life is cracking a merciless joke on you?
That is perhaps the experience of Jake’s siblings and his parents, who might still be in incredulity till now.
Who is Jake?
Jake Evan Loo is just another young person, and like many young people, he wanted to travel overseas for a holiday.
He has a brother, Benjamin, as well as a sister.
The trio had just finally bought their family home in October 2022. That was when their parents had divorced.
Their mother is 61 years old and works in retail, but has chronic lower back pain which requires medical attention.
Their father is 65 years old, and has recently lost his job, and is still in the midst of searching for one.
In late November last year, Jake made his overseas trip to Taiwan with his friends.
He seemed perfectly healthy before he had left for Taiwan, and it was just the start of his holidays.
A Tragedy Struck on the First Night
On the first night, he was at Kaohsiung with his friends.
But the tragedy had dawned upon the group of friends when they had found Jake, unconscious, covered in what seemed like blood.
Jake had fallen into a hypoglycemic coma.
This refers to a state where Jake was not arousable or only responded to pain, and had a low blood glucose concentration of less than 49 mg/dL.
If only Jake had been conscious here, his friends could have promptly fed him with any sugary drink or water.
However, he was totally unresponsive, and his friends had to rush him to Kaohsiung Municipal Ta Tung Hospital.
Three Weeks In, Still Unconscious
Yes, his blood sugar levels may be low.
But the painful discovery was that Jake was diagnosed with multiple severe health conditions besides just hypoglycemic coma. They include:
- Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar)
- Hypoglycemic Encephalopathy (brain injury from prolonged period of low blood sugar)
- Acute Respiratory Failure,
- Acute Kidney Injury,
- sepsis related to Community-Acquired Pneumonia (a common diseases and a leading cause of death)
- Upper Gastrointestinal Bleeding
- Urinary Tract Infection
- Acute Pulmonary Edema (difficulty breathing or extreme shortness of breath)
Exactly. And this question still remains with Jake’s siblings today.
It is notable that some of these diseases seem to be diseases that usually happens suddenly, such as Acute Pulmonary Edema or Hypoglycemic Encephalopathy.
For Hypoglycemic Encephalopathy for instance, although it might happen suddenly, there might be signs and symptoms such as lags in response, confusion, mental and behaviour disorders, and adverse physical activity, according to a case report published on the US National Library of Medicine.
No Time To Be Sad
In the words of Jake’s brother, Benjamin, the last that he saw Jake was when he was perfectly healthy, but seeing him again in Taiwan was difficult as he was relying on multiple machines to sustain his life.
Jake was not breathing independently at all.
Sadly, there was no time for Benjamin or his other family members to be sad at all.
Immediately, they had to find ways to bear the overwhelming medical costs, which totalled up to about $28,116.63 in Taiwan alone, excluding additional expenses for necessities like new breathing tubes, accommodation fees, or sanitary products.
And that was only the cost incurred in Taiwan.
In order to bring the unconscious Jake back to Singapore, an air ambulance was needed.
The family had no choice but to arrange for an air ambulance by International SOS Singapore Pte Ltd. It had cost Jake a total of $38,050.
The cost of the air ambulance alone is more expensive than the total medical expenses in Taiwan.
After which, Jake has finally been moved to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at Singapore General Hospital.
According to Benjamin’s updates on give.asia, while there have been some positive signs in his blood test reports, his MRI Brain scan reveals concerning changes.
The whole reason for moving Jake back to Singapore is not just to be back home, but also to be eligible for government subsidy in the bills paid.
Yet, the $66,166.63 spent so far on hospital bills and air ambulance costs cannot be covered by subsidy.
The cost of Jake’s stay in SGH’s ICU is approximately SGD$ 426 per night even after government subsidy, and excluding additional medical procedures.
The uncertainty of Jake’s hospitalisation duration, ranging from 3 months to a full year, adds to the growing financial burden.
This has left the whole family bearing an unbearable financial strain.
In order to deal with all these finances, Benjamin and his sister have taken up part-time jobs as bicycle delivery riders.
Benjamin, having a long-term shoulder injury that requires an upcoming MRI in January, is struggling to make ends meet with this part-time job.
Not to mention, their mother is also working at her old age, but is facing chronic lower back pain, which needs money for treatment as well.
Their father, who does not work, can only borrow money from relatives to cover the air ambulance cost, and is now under pressure to repay those funds.
This has resulted in the family not having a choice but to approach the fundraising platform, give.asia, to ask for the public’s help to support the family and help ease their financial burden.
They were very humble in asking for the donation, expressing understanding that even if monetary support is difficult, sharing the post is an invaluable support too.
Give.asia is a trusted fundraising platform, and for pleas like Benjamin’s, the plea is verified by their staff.
Of which, the verification process involves contacting and meeting the fundraiser as well as the beneficiary, reviewing financial, medical, and other applicable documents that offer evidence of the need.
As of today, 1252 givers have donated a sum of $76,349, which has helped Benjamin and his family exceed their goal of $72,783.
Jake Finally Awake
As of 17 Jan, thankfully Jake is known to have regained his consciousness, as updated by Benjamin on give.asia.
Although Jake is still very unresponsive, it’s certainly a piece of happy and good news for the family, and for over a thousand of people who have donated.
We wish Jake a speedy recovery.
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