Bedok North fire: Crowdfunding drive to help woman who lost child and husband pay medical bills

Mrs Jenny Tan lost her husband and three-year-old daughter in a fire which broke out at Block 409 Bedok North Avenue 2 on May 13, 2022. PHOTO: COURTESY OF MRS JENNY TAN
The May 13 fire at Bedok North killed three people, including a 35-year-old man and a three-year-old toddler. PHOTO: 66 FUNERAL SERVICES/FACEBOOK

SINGAPORE - A crowdfunding campaign has been started to help a woman who lost her husband and three-year-old daughter in the Bedok North fire last month cope with her medical bills.

After the fire, which broke out on May 13 in a three-room flat at Block 409 Bedok North Avenue 2 where the family lived, Mrs Jenny Tan, 34, spent eight days in intensive care before she was transferred to a general ward.

Mr Tan Kiat How, Minister of State for National Development and an MP for East Coast GRC, where the affected block is situated, gave the update in a Facebook post on Friday (June 10).

He said: "(Jenny) and her husband bravely tried to shield their daughter from the fire and had suffered from smoke inhalation and burns.

"She is finally conscious, but it's observed that she's not fully aware of and unable to respond to her surroundings yet. It will be a long and difficult road to recovery."

The fund-raiser was started by charity platform Ray of Hope on behalf of Mrs Jenny Tan's family. It aims to cover her medical fees and the estimated cost for her to go home to Malaysia, where she can undergo further treatment.

On its fund-raising website, Ray of Hope said Mrs Tan's family cannot afford the full cost of her recovery due to their financial situation.

Her sister, who wants to be known only as June, said: "We are a family with humble means. My father works as a car mechanic and I was working as a waitress."

Since the fire, June has left her job in Malaysia to care for her sister full time in Singapore.

Ray of Hope said: "As a Malaysian, Jenny's medical bills (in Singapore) are not subsidised. The family hopes for Jenny to receive treatment in Malaysia once she is fit for travel as they believe she will heal better around her family."

In his Facebook post, Mr Tan Kiat How added that Mrs Tan had moved to Singapore 11 years ago, where she met her husband, Mr Tan Soon Keong, 35, and married him.

"They had been living and working hard to build a life in Singapore. They even planned for their daughter to go to school here.

"The tragedy changed all that. The family is now worried about Jenny's chances of recovery, and also her emotional and mental well-being when she learns about her husband and daughter."

Urging members of the public to donate, the Minister of State also thanked the Kampong Chai Chee grassroots volunteers for providing support to Mrs Tan's family.

The Bedok Town Centre Merchants' Association helped her family members with housing arrangements while they were in Singapore.

As at 3pm on Friday, 23 people have donated $5,460 in total. The current target is to raise more than $106,000. Medical fees are likely to increase as Mrs Tan remains in hospital.

On Saturday, Mr Tan gave an update thanking members of the public for helping the campaign surpass its target within 24 hours.

"It was absolutely heartwarming to see that many are stepping forward to support those in need," he said in a Facebook post.

"I’m also heartened to see positive and encouraging messages left by the donors in the comments section."

He called for donations to continue, given that Mrs Tan's medical fees are likely to increase in the coming days and the cost of her repatriation to a hospital in Malaysia has yet to be finalised.

"Ray of Hope will be looking at revising the target after reviewing the expenses," he said.

"We hope that people continue to support the fund-raising efforts."

Members of the public can donate here.

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