20-year-old Malaysian who came to Singapore to overcome liver failure has died

The family of Mr Lim Chi Ling, a 20-year-old Malaysian, took him to a Singapore hospital in the hope that he could get a liver transplant here.
The family of Mr Lim Chi Ling, a 20-year-old Malaysian, took him to a Singapore hospital in the hope that he could get a liver transplant here.PHOTO: SCREENGRAB FROM FACEBOOK/SUZANNE LIM

SINGAPORE - A 20-year-old Malaysian man with liver failure, who was transferred to a Singapore hospital in the hope of beating the condition, died before he could get a liver transplant.

Mr Lim Chi Ling, who was a student at the University of Melbourne, was diagnosed with the condition last month (June) when he returned to Kuala Lumpur for a visit.

His family had borrowed money to take him to Singapore for treatment, and wanted to raise $500,000 for his medical fees, Lianhe Wanbao and Malaysian media reported.

His two sisters were planning to donate either of their livers to him.

One sister, identified as SJ Lim, said in a Facebook post on July 17 that Mr Lim was to be transferred to Gleneagles Hospital in Singapore that night for a liver transplant.

She also said they would be holding a press conference to ask for donations from the public to help cover medical fees.

However, before he could receive a liver transplant, Mr Lim died in the hospital on Thursday morning (July 20) after having been in a coma for about a week.

His other sister, Suzanne, wrote in Chinese on Facebook on Thursday night: "Brother, you've really gone. Our family photos will no longer have your handsome silhouette in it. You must not have wanted (us) to undergo surgery for you, so you left so quickly. I know you dote on us a lot, but you left without our permission and without telling us anything, we're really mad. Brother... we will look after mum and dad. We realised only just now that we did not have a lot of time with you, 20 years is really too short. We will meet again in the next life."

Many people online were rooting for his recovery, and an undisclosed sum of money had been raised for his medical fees. His girlfriend, who identifies herself as Mei Shiuan on Facebook, wrote a farewell note to him in a Facebook post on Thursday that has garnered more than 71,000 reactions and 15,000 shares.

She wrote in Chinese: "I never thought you would leave me like this, and to disappear from my world so completely. I remember when we first dated through a friend's introduction - you said you wanted to leave the country to study."

She said Mr Lim was a very happy, optimistic and filial person.

"The times when you were sick, I watched you suffer but could not share your burden. You said I was your future, and that's why you persevered. But now you're tired and have left."

One of Mr Lim's sisters told Wanbao on Friday (July 21) morning that the family is currently busy settling his funeral matters and will release a public statement on what will happen to the crowdfunded money after that.