Even over a year after the horrific Tanjong Pagar crash that killed five men between the ages of 26 and 29 back in February last year, most Singaporeans would still remember Raybe Oh, the 26-year-old who rushed back into the fire in an attempt to save her fiance.
After running back into the raging flames to try and save her fiance, Oh was lauded as a hero for her bravery.
Unfortunately, she did not manage to save him, for she was the only person in the car who survived the accident.
Recently, she opened up about her experience while staying in the hospital after sustaining burns to 80% of her body, as well as an unexpected friendship that she found during that time.
While speaking to Shin Min Daily News, the former air stewardess recounted her hospitalisation experience. While it was painful to treat her injuries and go through various surgeries, she found an unlikely friend in the migrant worker warded in the room next to her.
Oh mentioned how she was bedridden and unable to move about when she was first hospitalised due to the severity of her injuries, but migrant worker and fellow burns survivor Hossain Jitu would pass by the door of her room every morning.
Since both of them were hospitalised at the Singapore General Hospital’s Burn Centre during the same period of time, the Bangladeshi national would greet her and offer her words of encouragement every time he passed by her room.
While Oh was hospitalised, her mother would visit her daily and bring her food. Upon seeing his heartwarming actions, she also started buying cakes for Jitu from time to time.
Jitu, 33, was one of five workers who ended up injured as a result of an explosion that occurred at a factory in Tuas on 24 February last year. He ended up with burns on 54% of his body.
Unfortunately, apart from the five of them who were injured, another three of his colleagues passed away due to the accident.
Oh then mentioned to Shin Min that the duo exchanged contact details with each other when Oh was discharged from the hospital, and they have been staying in contact with each other ever since.
Had Meal Together Before He Returned to Bangladesh
Recently, Oh also revealed that she found out about Jitu’s upcoming return to Bangladesh.
She then decided to host Jitu at her house for a meal before his departure for Singapore.
On 11 May, Jitu had a pizza dinner with the Oh family and both parties got to catch up with each other. Oh also disclosed that she talked about the recovery process for burns with Jitu during the meal, and that the conversation was enjoyable.
She also said that Jitu is currently waiting for his company to book his plane ticket for him, and that he will be able to work normally when he returns to his hometown as his body was not permanently affected by the accident.
Apart from that, she brought up how Jitu hopes to open a small business in Bangladesh.
He also told Oh that he likes Singapore very much, and that he would like to return to Singapore to work in the future. However, due to how he might not be able to receive a work visa, he may start his business in his hometown first.
Oh also mentioned that his injuries were less severe than hers and that they will not hinder his ability to work in the future.
As for Oh, a current getai singer, her recovery process since her hospitalisation has been much cause for optimism.
Since her discharge, she has also ventured into the small business world, and currently runs a business called Fortune Cat Bakes. The business sells abalone gift bundles.
Her Instagram account has also been filled with uplifting, motivational posts as well as posts documenting the meals that she has enjoyed in the past.
However, despite her positive recovery, she will not be making her getai comeback this July as she will still need to undergo a few minor surgeries this year.
According to her Instagram stories last December, she has undergone 32 operations due to the accident. The operations were mostly to clean her wounds and graft patches of skin all over her body.
Apart from that, she also ended up with pneumonia sometime during the treatment process.
She hosted a Q&A session via Instagram stories last December as well.
Would Still Do the Same if Given the Chance to Turn Back Time
With regards to her trying to save her late fiance from the fire after the car that they were in crashed into a Tanjong Pagar shophouse, Oh says that she never regretted her actions.
She also said that she would still do the same if she could rewind time.
According to The Straits Times, a coroner’s hearing about the accident will begin next month on 9 June.
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Featured Image: Shin Min Daily News + Instagram (@raybeohhhh)
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