Singaporean in coma dies after being medically evacuated from Tokyo

SINGAPORE – A Singaporean man, who was medically evacuated from Tokyo thanks to crowdfunding, died shortly after arriving back on home soil on Tuesday (May 2).

Mr Jimi Cheong, 62, had been on holiday with his family in Tokyo when he suffered a cardiac arrest on April 19 and slipped into a coma.

His daughter, Ms Eileen Cheong, 25, turned to crowdfunding to bring her father back to Singapore as her father’s travel insurers MSIG said they were “unlikely to have a successful claim as his collapse was attributable to a pre-existing heart condition”.

In a matter of days, $250,000 was raised through Give.Asia, along with some private donations, to get Mr Cheong medically evacuated.

An update was posted on Give.Asia on May 2 around 7pm. Ms Cheong said her father went into cardiac arrest in the ambulance while they were on the way to the hospital.

She wrote: “It really saddens me and my mom to have to write this. Shortly after our arrival in Singapore today, my dad went into a cardiac arrest in the ambulance whilst we were on the way to the hospital. He passed away shortly after.”

She added that her father was certified stable and suitable for air travel on April 30, after which arrangements were made for an emergency evacuation with EMA Global.

But after the transfer from the air ambulance, her father’s heart condition suddenly deteriorated.

“Even though we were aware of the unpredictability of his condition, his passing still comes as a shock to my family now,” Ms Cheong wrote.

“Despite all of this, we are grateful that he still made it back home eventually. Thank you for bringing my father back to Singapore, thank you for allowing us to say our final goodbyes on home ground. And thank you, to my relatives and close friends, who have been by my side throughout.”

Ms Cheong said she and her friends will provide more updates via Give.Asia on matters relating to the campaign, such as how the donations are being utilised.

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