Lift accident: Woman undergoes 2nd op

Madam Khoo Bee Hua's (right) hand was severed when she was trapped in the lift in Jurong. Her dog was stuck outside with its leash caught between the lift doors.
Madam Khoo Bee Hua's (right) hand was severed when she was trapped in the lift in Jurong. Her dog was stuck outside with its leash caught between the lift doors.PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO

The elderly widow whose hand was severed by a lift at a Jurong housing block last Friday went for a second operation yesterday to close her forearm wound and treat a leg fracture suffered during the accident.

The National University Hospital (NUH) said Madam Khoo Bee Hua is in a stable condition after yesterday morning's surgery and is resting in the ward.

Madam Khoo underwent her first operation on Friday itself.

That morning, the 85-year-old was returning from a walk with her dog to her flat in Block 322, Tah Ching Road, where she lives alone.

Her hand was severed when she tried to stop the lift doors from closing.

She also suffered a fall during the incident, which misaligned a metal plate in her left knee and caused a bone fracture.

She was subsequently taken to NUH, along with her severed hand, which was packaged in ice.

Doctors at the hospital did not manage to reattach the hand.

In a statement yesterday, NUH noted that, with significant blood loss and multiple injuries, Madam Khoo was in critical condition when she arrived at the hospital.

An NUH spokesman explained: "This unstable physiological state renders her unfit for complex reattachment surgery.

"The badly crushed state of her hand and forearm were additional factors as to why reattachment was not possible."

Prior to last Friday's surgery, Madam Khoo's family was informed that her hand could not be reattached.

That first operation was to stop the bleeding, remove the unhealthy tissue and stabilise her leg fracture.

The hour-long procedure was led by a team comprising hand and reconstructive microsurgery and orthopaedic specialists.

Calvin Yang

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 13, 2015, with the headline 'Lift accident: Woman undergoes 2nd op'. Print Edition | Subscribe