SINGAPORE - Singaporean actor Aloysius Pang Wei Chong, who was seriously injured during an overseas military exercise in New Zealand last Saturday (Jan 19), required additional surgery after his condition worsened.
He now needs artificial life support for his lungs, kidneys and heart as well.
In an update on Wednesday morning, the Ministry of Defence (Mindef) said Corporal First Class (NS) Pang's condition is critical and he is in the intensive care unit.
His surgery was completed on Tuesday at 11.54pm (Singapore time). It was his third after he was taken to Waikato Hospital in Hamilton, south of Auckland.
Later on Wednesday afternoon, Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen said in a Facebook post that CFC (NS) Pang's condition "is very serious and presently he needs artificial life support of his lungs, kidneys and heart".
"Even as the doctors do all they can, our prayers go to CFC (NS) Pang to turn this difficult corner, as well as to his family members for strength," Dr Ng added.
CFC (NS) Pang, an armament technician from the Singapore Armed Forces' 268th Battalion Singapore Artillery, had been taking part in Exercise Thunder Warrior at the Waiouru training area in New Zealand.
The 28-year-old operationally ready national serviceman was carrying out repair works inside a Singapore Self-Propelled Howitzer at Waiouru Training Area when he sustained injuries to his chest and abdominal areas, Mindef said previously.
He underwent abdominal surgery at Waikato Hospital last Saturday evening, and a follow-up relook operation was completed successfully at 11am on Monday.
Mindef said that Tan Tock Seng Hospital's chief of trauma and acute care surgery, Dr Teo Li Tserng, has been working with the New Zealand medical team to provide the best care for CFC (NS) Pang since arriving in New Zealand on Tuesday morning.
Mindef and the SAF said they will continue to provide support to CFC (NS) Pang's family, who have flown to New Zealand to be with him.
Dr Ng said in his post that Dr Teo told him that surgeons and staff at the Waikato Hospital "are doing all they possibly can to keep up the support and improve his condition".
He added that Dr Teo and the head surgeon responsible for CFC (NS) Pang’s care know each other, and have participated in international conferences together.
"This rapport is useful and I told Dr Teo to convey Singapore’s appreciation to the doctors and staff there for their untiring efforts, and to let us know if there is anything else they need to help CFC (NS) Pang," said Dr Ng.
Mr Pang, who is currently managed by talent agency NoonTalk Media, is a freelance actor who has worked on Mediacorp projects.
On Wednesday, Mr Pang’s manager and co-founder of NoonTalk Media Dasmond Koh said in an Instagram post in Chinese that although Pang’s second operation was a success, his condition deteriorated after a few hours.
This meant that he had to go through another round of surgery.
“Everyone is waiting for Aloysius’ condition to improve... He will get better,” Mr Koh wrote.
Mr Pang had been due to start shooting Channel 8 romantic drama My One In A Million next month after Chinese New Year, but Mediacorp said on Monday that the role will now be recast to allow him to focus on his recovery. He was slated to be the male lead alongside Carrie Wong and James Seah.
He kicked off his acting career at the age of nine and took a break when he was 14. He returned to acting when he was 22 years old.
He was named as one of the top 10 most popular male artists at the 2016 Star Awards, and clinched the Best Newcomer Award at the 2015 Star Awards.
The actor posted on Facebook on Jan 5 about his upcoming reservist duties: "Off to serve our country. Back at the end of the month! May not be able to post much when I'm there," adding "wait for my return" in Chinese.
Exercise Thunder Warrior is an annual artillery live-firing exercise that has been conducted by Singapore and New Zealand since 1997.
This year's exercise, which began on Jan 5 and involved over 500 personnel, ends on Feb 2.