64-year-old man in coma after falling down MRT escalator now off ventilator support

Mr Lim Chwee Leong in an earlier Shin Min picture after his fall on Nov 12.
Mr Lim Chwee Leong in an earlier Shin Min picture after his fall on Nov 12. PHOTO: SHIN MIN DAILY NEWS

SINGAPORE - Mr Lim Chwee Leong, who is in intensive care after falling down an escalator at Bishan MRT station last Saturday (Nov 12), is now able to breathe without the assistance of a ventilator, reported Shin Min Daily News.

The 64-year-old retiree was near the station's Exit D when the incident happened at about 11.30am. Police were alerted shortly afterwards, and found him injured. He was unconscious when taken to hospital and it is not known if there were witnesses.

Mr Lim, who was self-employed before he retired, lives in Bishan with his three children and seldom ventures out using public transport, according to his son Lim Ka Hock.

Mr Lim Ka Hock told Wanbao that because his father's condition had improved, the doctor and family members were initially discussing whether or not to take his father off the ventilator.

"There is a risk in taking him off the ventilator, but now that my father can breathe on his own, the chances of recovery are better," he said.

However, doctors had told the family that Mr Lim Chwee Leong's condition will be under close scrutiny in the next two weeks to ascertain his recovery progress.


Mr Lim Ka Hock also said that SMRT contacted him on Saturday regarding preliminary investigations conducted on the incident. Investigations revealed that his father fell because his standing position on the escalator was unstable.

"We do not want to blame anybody, we just hope to find out the results of the investigation so that this chapter can be closed," he said.

He also added that SMRT and the neighbourhood committee had sent fruit baskets and Member of Parliament for Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC Josephine Teo will be visiting his father in the coming week.

"Thank you everyone for your concern, I hope my father can regain consciousness soon," he told Wanbao.

Mr Lim Ka Hock said that even if his father were to regain consciousness, he would need to be placed in a nursing home. As his injuries were severe and he had a pre-existing diabetic condition, doctors had said that his father would need rehabilitative care.

"As my two siblings and I have work responsibilities, we cannot take care of our father at home all the time. Therefore we need to send him to a nursing home, which will cost a lot," he said.

He said that ever since the incident was featured on the media, friends and relatives have offered their help.

"My siblings and I are still working and my father still has savings, so we still can cope at the moment," he said.