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Spotting a good story

She wanted to share with fellow Singaporeans the story of her three-month ordeal with acanthamoeba keratitis, a rare and severe eye infection.

When she saw The New Paper blurb asking people who had a story to share to call in, she did.

Ms Vanessa Sharlani Mohan, 24, a childcare educator, woke up one day unable to open her left eye.

She later learnt from doctors that she had developed the extremely rare eye infection due to a parasite found in contact lenses.

As a result of the infection, she had to undergo a cornea transplant in December.

"The doctors told me that the parasite can be found in regular tap water, so it (the eye infection) could happen to anyone," she said.

Ms Mohan, a regular reader of the paper, said she wanted to share her experience because "many young people and working adults are contact lens users" and she wanted to raise awareness of how their life could change overnight if they were not careful with their contact lenses.

Ms Mohan, a mother of two, likes to read TNP because she enjoys the way the paper features the lives of Singaporeans.

"It's a more personal account as compared to other papers. It's not about the accidents or tragedies, but rather about the people involved, and I like that," she said.

"It allows me to relate to people, and makes me think 'This could happen to me'. It's personal."

HE CALLS IN DRUG BUST

Another regular TNP reader, Mr Ramachandran Pillai, called us when he saw police vehicles outside Farrer Road MRT station on Tuesday morning.

The 51-year-old was travelling to work by bus in the direction of Bukit Timah Road when he passed by the scene around 10am.

He said: "I saw two police cars, a K-9 Unit van and a white police van by the station.

"There were also eight to 10 police officers at the scene. I thought maybe there was a murder because there were so many of them."

The IT operations executive also spotted a woman standing by the road with a few officers surrounding her.

The police later told TNP that the woman in her early 30s was arrested for drug-related offences after they responded to a call about a suspicious car parked at the bus stop outside the station.

Mr Ramachandran, a TNP reader for more than 20 years, said: "I thought that TNP would be able to uncover what was happening at the scene and provide readers with details. That's why I called the hotline."

Another reader, Mr Manogaran, called TNP to alert us to the M1 service outage last Tuesday.

The bus driver could not call the parents whose children were late for his school bus and realised that he had no signal on his phone.

He switched from his M1 SIM card to another telco's and tried calling again.

"There was no connection on the parents' mobile lines, but I managed to reach some of them via their landline," said the 58-year-old.

"It happened to more than one family, so I suspected something was wrong with one of the mobile providers."

Mr Manogaran said: "I was really angry when I found out M1 had a service outage.

"But what's worse is that even the M1 customer service hotline was not working."

"I hope with this story, M1 and the other telcos will learn from their mistakes and not repeat them.

"The least M1 could do is have an emergency line open when disruptions happen. We as customers deserve better."

For their stories, these readers will each receive $100 in Manhattan Fish Market vouchers and two T-shirts worth $60. We value your calls, so contact us at 1800-733-4455. Or reach us via SMS or MMS at 9477-8899 or e-mail at tnp@sph.com.sg

I thought that TNP would be able to uncover what was happening at the scene and provide readers with details. That's why I called the hotline.

- TNP reader Mr Ramachandran Pillai