Singaporean who helps poor in Vietnam seeks aid to pay hospital bills after accident

Mr Poh Wei Ye undergoing physiotherapy at the FV Hospital in Ho Chi Minh on May 30 after getting into an accident where he dislocated his left hand and broke his left leg.
Mr Poh Wei Ye undergoing physiotherapy at the FV Hospital in Ho Chi Minh on May 30 after getting into an accident where he dislocated his left hand and broke his left leg.PHOTO: TRAN THI THANH THUY

SINGAPORE - A Singaporean man, who has been helping orphans and the needy in Vietnam for eight years, is now seeking help to pay his hospital bills.

Mr Poh Wei Ye, a social entrepreneur, dislocated his left hand and broke his left leg last Saturday night (May 25) when he crashed his motorcycle into branches lying on a road.

The 36-year-old, who is still in hospital in Ho Chi Minh City, has raised $11,542 from online fund-raising platform Give.asia, and hopes to get $25,000 to settle his expenses, including surgery. He has no medical insurance.

Mr Poh told The Straits Times on Thursday (May 30) that he was on his way home to collect materials needed for a new group of National University of Singapore students arriving soon to continue a project organised by its undergraduates.

"It was totally dark. I was riding for two hours straight and I think I lost my concentration when I crashed into those branches," he said.

He was bleeding from the head when motorists took him to a nearby provincial hospital, before his brother-in-law moved him to a Ho Chi Minh hospital.

Mr Poh co-founded the Thi An orphanage with a Vietnamese nun in 2011, and it now cares for 29 children, with the youngest being 18 months old.

His social enterprise, Blessed Discoveries, also helps pave the way for people to volunteer in Vietnam, and coordinates trips for overseas students and companies that want to carry out activities in keeping with their corporate social responsibility.

All the earnings from such work fund the orphanage, he said, explaining why he has no money for medical insurance.

Currently undergoing physiotherapy, he said the doctors have told him it would take some time for him to recover, as his hand has to heal before he can use crutches.

"I want to be discharged as soon as possible. Now, it's a busy period with students from Singapore coming over to do their volunteering projects," he said.

"I want to make sure that everything is as safe as can be for Singaporeans coming here to help."