Doctors acted fast to get Singaporean burn victim Megan Loy home for treatment

Ms Megan Loy in Tanzania last year. She helped deliver babies.
Ms Megan Loy in Tanzania last year. She helped deliver babies.PHOTO: COURTESY OF JOSEPH LOY

All it took was for two doctors to care enough to take action and Singaporean burn victim Megan Loy was able to be treated at Singapore General Hospital's (SGH's) renowned Burns Centre within a couple of days.

The morning after the blaze on Saturday night, her parents had made their way to Taipei Medical University Shuang-Ho Hospital from China. But they felt flustered because the doctors there were too busy with the mass casualties.

Unbeknown to them, Dr Tan Bien Keem was in Singapore peering worriedly over a news report about the fire. The head of plastic, reconstructive and aesthetic surgery at SGH wondered if he could do anything for the Singaporean victim. He got in touch with fellow plastic surgeon Chew Khong Yik from KK Women's and Children's Hospital, who he knew was in Taiwan. Once Dr Chew was alerted, he was at the hospital on Monday morning.

There, he drew on his contacts to request medical information on Ms Loy and sat down with the anxious parents.

Mr Joseph Loy, Ms Loy's father, said: "He did an assessment and explained to us the urgency of sending Megan back as resources in Taipei were stretched due to the mass tragedy." Ms Loy would also benefit as SGH's Burns Centre is the only specialised facility managing major burn injuries in South-east Asia.

Dr Chew managed to get Ms Loy a space on the International SOS flight back. Shortly after 6am on Tuesday morning, she was seen by the SGH team. "I was touched by the selflessness of the doctors, who took their own initiative to get everything done fast," said Mr Loy, 47, a businessman.

"When I asked Dr Chew why he was doing all this, he just said: 'She is one of our own'."

Janice Tai

An earlier version of this story made a mistake on the gender of Dr  Chew Khong Yik. We are sorry for the error.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 02, 2015, with the headline 'Docs acted fast to get victim home for treatment'. Print Edition | Subscribe