Full-time national serviceman, 19, dies after being warded for heatstroke

Private Dave Lee Han Xuan was taken to hospital after he showed signs of heat injury upon completing an 8km fast march at Bedok Camp on April 18.
Private Dave Lee Han Xuan was taken to hospital after he showed signs of heat injury upon completing an 8km fast march at Bedok Camp on April 18. PHOTO: FACEBOOK

SINGAPORE - A 19-year-old full-time national serviceman died on Monday (April 30), almost two weeks after he was warded for heat stroke on April 18.

Private Dave Lee Han Xuan had just completed an 8km fast march at Bedok Camp when he displayed signs of heat injury, the Ministry of Defence (Mindef) said in a statement on Monday evening.

Pte Lee, a Guardsman from the 1st Battalion Singapore Guards, was attended to by a Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) medic immediately to bring down his core temperature. He was then evacuated to the camp’s Medical Centre where body cooling measures and treatment were continued by the SAF medical team.

He was later admitted to Changi General Hospital, almost an hour after he first showed signs of distress, where he was warded in the intensive care unit. He fell into a coma and his condition worsened.

He was pronounced dead at 5.32pm on Monday, 10 days after his 19th birthday.

The incident triggered a safety time-out on Monday morning, where SAF servicemen were briefed on the incident and told to take precautions.

Mr Lee had previously enlisted on Jan 5 and completed his Basic Military Training on March 11.

 
 

He was the only son of property agent Dennis Lee and spa manager Jasmine Yeo. He completed his A levels at Jurong Junior College, and previously attended Yuhua Secondary School and Rulang Primary School.

No one was at home when The Straits Times visited them on Monday evening at their Jurong East condominium, but a neighbour said that the family left their home wearing black in the morning.

“They are a close family,” said the neighbour. “Dave has been living here since he was in primary school.”

Mr Dennis Lee has declined to comment.

Madam Yeo posted the following message on Facebook shortly after her son's death: "Dave had completed his final journey with us @1732 today and now he is on his way to create miracles to others! We are proud of him and hope more people will be able to benefit from his generosity!"

Mindef and SAF extended their deepest condolences to the family of Mr Lee and are assisting the family in this time of grief.

In every case involving the death of a national serviceman, the Armed Forces Council will convene an independent Committee of Inquiry to investigate the circumstances surrounding the incident.

The COI has full powers and access to information and personnel to investigate the circumstances leading to death, to determine the contributory factors and make recommendations to rectify lapses, if any.