Singaporean in coma to be evacuated from Tokyo

A Singaporean man who had a heart attack and lapsed into a coma in Tokyo just over a week ago is due to arrive in Singapore today.

A team from EMA Global, the medical assistance company appointed for the evacuation, has left Singapore for Tokyo, a spokesman told The Straits Times yesterday.

The man's daughter, Ms Eileen Cheong, had successfully raised $250,000 on fund-raising platform Give.Asia to get her father home. She wrote in her campaign that her family had flown to Tokyo on April 19 to celebrate her mother's cancer remission when her father had a heart attack.

He was resuscitated and admitted to Toho University Omori Medical Centre, where he was placed on mechanical support. Japanese doctors told her family that they could not determine how long her father would stay in a coma.

Ms Cheong wrote that her father's travel insurers MSIG informed her family that they were "unlikely to have a successful claim as his collapse was attributable to a pre-existing heart condition".

The 25-year-old, who is a fresh graduate earning less than $3,000 a month, turned to crowdfunding to get her father home. And the Internet delivered - raising enough through Give.Asia and privately to get Ms Cheong's father medically evacuated.


Ms Eileen Cheong's father, who had a heart attack in Tokyo last month, will be arriving in Singapore today. PHOTO: GIVE.ASIA.COM

A spokesman for EMA Global said that the team bringing Ms Cheong's father home consists of a doctor and a nurse who are trained in critical care and are experienced in aero-medical missions.

The air ambulance deployed can fly Ms Cheong's father from Haneda Airport to Seletar Airport without any fuel stops, and is equipped with an ICU ventilator, multiple modular monitors and infusion pumps. The team will visit Ms Cheong's father in the Tokyo hospital and prepare him for the flight, ensuring he is stable before moving him into an ambulance.

Upon arriving in Singapore, the team will be met on the tarmac with an ambulance, which will then transfer Ms Cheong's father to a hospital. Ms Cheong had said in a campaign update last Friday that her father was in stable condition. When contacted, she declined comment.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that the Singapore Embassy in Tokyo was rendering consular assistance to the family.


  • Additional reporting by Toh Wen L
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 02, 2017, with the headline 'Singaporean in coma to be evacuated from Tokyo'. Print Edition | Subscribe