GBS victim, who was in a coma, discharged from hospital

Sim Tharn Chun (front), accompanied by his wife Cathryn Sim, being discharged from Yishun Community Hospital.
Sim Tharn Chun (front), accompanied by his wife Cathryn Sim, being discharged from Yishun Community Hospital. ST PHOTO: ONG WEE JIN

SINGAPORE - Mr Sim Tharn Chun, 52, will get to keep his promise to his son of watching The Force Awakens together before school reopens.

Mr Sim was discharged on Thursday (Dec31), after spending the past 43 days, including two weeks in a coma, in hospital.

Despite doctors advising him to continue rehabilitation at Yishun Community Hospital for at least another month, Mr Sim insisted on being discharged on Thursday. He will continue his rehabilitation at home.

His wife, Mrs Cathryn Sim, 43, a financial consultant, booked five tickets for the family to watch the 3pm screening at Causeway Point in Woodlands.

While Mr Sim is excited to watch the movie, he may have to depend on reading the subtitles to enjoy the movie, as he has lost his hearing completely in the right ear, and is left with only about 10 per cent of hearing in his left.

The country manager for industry giant Honeywell fell ill after eating raw fish porridge on Nov 15. Doctors told Mrs Sim that his condition was likely caused by the Group B Streptococcus (GBS) bacteria, leading to meningitis.

Mr Sim, who was in a festive mood upon his release from hospital, said that he looks forward to recovering in the new year. He hopes to be back at work before Chinese New Year next year, he said.

GBS is a common bacterium found in the gut and urinary tract of 15 to 30 per cent of adults, and does not usually cause disease in healthy individuals.

It is also not known to be transmitted through food and water.

However, it may occasionally cause infections of the bloodstream, skin and soft tissues, joints, lungs and brain. There have been a number of reported GBS cases prompting authorities to advise hawker stalls not to sell the yusheng dish which has raw fish.

jalmsab@sph.com.sg