NSF 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.

A 19-year-old full-time national serviceman died yesterday, almost two weeks after he was warded for heatstroke 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 said in a statement yesterday evening.

Pte Lee, a guardsman from the 1st Battalion Singapore Guards, was attended to by a Singapore Armed Forces 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 yesterday, 10 days after his 19th birthday.

The incident triggered a safety timeout yesterday morning, where SAF servicemen were briefed on the incident and told to take precautions.

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

He graduated from Jurong Junior College after completing his A levels, and previously attended Yuhua Secondary School and Rulang Primary School.

He was the only son of property agent Dennis Lee and spa manager Jasmine Yeo.

No one was at home when The Straits Times visited the family's Jurong East condominium unit yesterday evening, but a neighbour said the family had left their home wearing black yesterday morning.

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

Mr Lee has declined to comment.

In every case involving the death of a national serviceman, the Armed Forces Council will convene an independent Committee of Inquiry (COI) to investigate the circumstances surrounding the incident. The COI has full powers and access to information and personnel to investigate fully the circumstances leading to death.

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

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 01, 2018, with the headline 'NSF dies after being warded for heatstroke'. Print Edition | Subscribe