Abandoned Viet baby treated at KKH in 2017 dies

Three-year-old Loc Pham Duc Loc died last Thursday of infection while being treated in a Vietnam hospital.
Three-year-old Loc Pham Duc Loc died last Thursday of infection while being treated in a Vietnam hospital. PHOTO: THAO NGUYEN/ FACEBOOK

Fight for survival then moved many S'poreans to help him

An orphaned Vietnamese baby who was treated in a Singapore hospital two years ago has died.

According to his Facebook page, Loc Pham Duc Loc died on Thursday of infection while being treated in a Vietnam hospital. He was three.

Loc was found abandoned at Van Buc Temple in Vietnam's southern coastal province of Ben Tre in July 2016. Taken in by the temple, he had hydrocephalus, an abnormal build-up of the cerebrospinal fluid that surrounds the brain.

Loc was treated at two hospitals in Vietnam but was pronounced incurable by his doctor after two operations. Learning of his plight, the Vietnamese community in Singapore suggested that he be brought to Singapore for treatment.

The Straits Times reported that he arrived here in January 2017 and was admitted to KK Women's and Children's Hospital, where his condition improved after several operations. After restaurant owner Nguyen Hong Thao set up an online crowdfunding page to raise money for the baby's treatments, his fight for survival caught the attention of many Singaporeans. The campaign raised more than $100,000.

One of these Singaporeans was Mr Louis Ng, MP for Nee Soon GRC, who helped call for donations on Facebook and visited Loc several times.

In a Facebook post yesterday, he said it was "absolutely heartbreaking" that the boy had died after suffering so much.

Speaking to The Sunday Times, Mr Ng said he remembered Loc had been doing well when he celebrated his first birthday.

He also recalled how people here were touched by Loc's situation, with one Singaporean even putting up her name to be a guarantor for the bill of around $8,000 a day at the intensive care unit.

Facebook posts by Ms Nguyen on Loc's wake in Vietnam have been shared over 15,000 times, with more than 11,000 comments offering condolences.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on December 22, 2019, with the headline 'Abandoned Viet baby treated at KKH in 2017 dies'. Print Edition | Subscribe