Boy, 15, returns from overseas school trip sick, dies two days later
Luke Chan, 15, had been suffering from bouts of diarrhoea and vomiting since returning from a week-long school trip to Shanghai last Friday.
His parents thought it was just an ordinary case of food poisoning, but the Secondary Three student from Catholic High School died unexpectedly in hospital yesterday morning.
Luke was an only child and had lived with his mother in a flat in Bishan. His parents are divorced.
According to a report in Shin Min Daily News yesterday, a close friend of Luke's mother said Luke had already felt unwell during the school trip.
He was still sick after returning to Singapore, but his mother did not take him to see a doctor as she thought it was just food poisoning.
He also showed no signs of a fever, so his mother just gave him some regular medicine.
But on Saturday night, he passed out in the toilet after suffering from a severe bout of diarrhoea and was taken to Tan Tock Seng Hospital, where he died the next day, reported Chinese newspaper Lianhe Wanbao.
It is understood that Luke's schoolmates who were also on the trip did not fall ill.
Luke's father, a 50-year-old delivery driver, said his son had taken some anti-diarrhoea medicine during the school trip and was still unwell even after returning to Singapore, but he too thought it was just a case of food poisoning.
Wanbao reported that Mr Chan and Luke's grandfather were visibly devastated at the mortuary yesterday morning.
Mr Chan was also seen clutching a set of Luke's school uniform.
He described Luke as a cheerful and bubbly boy who enjoyed football and did well in his studies.
He said Luke had received multiple scholarships and bursaries and that he had never had to worry about his son.
Mr Chan added: "This isn't the first time that my son has gone for an overseas school trip, that's why I allowed him to go."
Luke's grandfather told Shin Min: "He was a very filial child. We didn't live together, but he would always visit me when he had the time."
"I last saw him a few weeks ago. He was still cheerful and talkative.
"I never thought that today it would be an old man with white hair sending off a young one with a head full of black hair."
I last saw him a few weeks ago, he was still cheerful and talkative. I never thought that today it would be an old man with white hair sending off a young one with a head full of black hair.
- Luke Chan's grandfather