There was no joy this Christmas for Madam Khoo Bee Hua and her family. The 85-year-old widow, who lost a hand in a lift accident in October, spent the festive period in hospital, after undergoing yet another operation when her leg wound became infected.
Madam Khoo's left hand was severed by the doors of the lift in Block 322 Tah Ching Road, where she lived. She also fell during the Oct 9 accident, breaking her left leg.
Her 59-year-old son, who wanted to be known only as Mr Lee, told The Straits Times his mother was well enough to be discharged on Dec 11, after two months in hospital.
However, she spent only three nights back home before she contracted a fever and had to be rushed to hospital. There, doctors discovered her leg wound was infected. The infection worsened in the next week.
On the weekend before Christmas, Madam Khoo went under the knife again at the National University Hospital (NUH), this time to replace the metal implant in the infected leg.
It was her third operation since October. She had an operation on the night of the accident to close the wound of her severed hand, and another in the following week to treat her leg fracture.
Her son said it is likely she will have to spend at least five more weeks in hospital on antibiotic treatment. He added: "I don't know when she will be able to leave.
"She is not doing well. She had to have her leg opened up again so, of course, she is in a lot of pain."
He said that the family spent Christmas in her NUH ward so she would not feel lonely. "We had our Christmas dinner in the hospital cafe," he added. "It has been a really terrible Christmas."
Jurong Town Council, which maintains the lift, said last month that its insurer AXA would foot Madam Khoo's hospital bill, as well as the expenses for two months of home care after she is discharged.