Hopes fade for Singaporean in US snowboarding accident

Miss Davina Huang with children at a kindergarten in Yunnan, China, during a teaching stint in 2011. The school will be one of the beneficiaries of funds originally raised to help her family with the medical costs.
Miss Davina Huang with children at a kindergarten in Yunnan, China, during a teaching stint in 2011. The school will be one of the beneficiaries of funds originally raised to help her family with the medical costs.PHOTO: INDIEGOGO

Chances of survival slim, say doctors; funds raised will go to her pet causes

The family of a 25-year-old Singaporean woman who suffered serious head injuries after a snowboarding accident two weeks ago in the United States was yesterday told that she is unlikely to survive.

After the accident, Miss Davina Huang was taken to the neurology intensive care unit at the University of Wisconsin Hospital in Madison, Wisconsin, a three-hour drive from Chicago where she worked as a financial product consultant.

Shortly after her hospitalisation, her close friends set up a crowdfunding project online aiming to raise US$50,000 (S$68,000) in 30 days to help cover her medical costs.

In just five days, more than US$44,000 has been raised, with support pouring in from all corners of the world.

But her loved ones, including her parents who had flown to Wisconsin from Singapore, were dealt a blow yesterday.

"After deliberation with respected doctors, it was concluded that Davina's condition is irreversible and she is unlikely to survive beyond this week," read an update on the crowdfunding webpage yesterday afternoon.

With the latest prognosis, organisers of the fund-raiser are now planning to channel the money to causes Miss Huang has supported.

These include the mentorship and sponsorship of a nine- year-old Ethiopian girl, Hana, through the Save the Children Foundation.

Some of the money raised will also go to a kindergarten in Yunnan, China, where Davina volunteered to teach in 2011.

It is unclear how the snowboarding accident occurred.

Miss Huang's boyfriend, Mr Goh Kok Keng, whose Facebook page indicates that he is based in Chicago, had been with her when it happened.

But he has so far left details out in his updates on her condition.

The Straits Times contacted Mr Goh, but he declined to comment.

Miss Huang, a former Dunman High School student, graduated in 2013 from Wellesley College in Massachusetts with a degree in international relations-history and took on a job with an investment research firm in Chicago.

She was said to be someone with a "strong sense of social justice" and aspired to be a lawyer.

She was recently accepted into both the University of Michigan Law School and Northwestern University School of Law for classes starting in September this year.

hpeishan@sph.com.sg