Man breaks skull, suffers amnesia after post-drinks fight
His head injuries from a fight after a night out at a pub were so serious he now has amnesia that could be permanent.
Former dishwasher Ong Hock Wah's short-term memory, attention span, and processing speed were also affected.
Now unemployed, Mr Ong, 38, is still unable to recall the events leading up to the fight, and has difficulties learning new tasks.
According to a psychological review in March, he was unaware of the date and time. He also had difficulty expressing himself when talking to the psychologist.
His attacker, part-time security officer Ker Kian Hwee, 37, was yesterday jailed nine months after pleading guilty to causing grievous hurt by performing a rash act.
Ker had gone with two friends - Mr Charlie Tan Chien Meng and Mr Ng Weng Yap, both 37 - to the E Red Dot Pub at Kampong Bahru Road, near New Bridge Road, at around 11pm on Jan 2, and they met Mr Ong there.
JAILED: Ker Kian Hwee was jailed nine months after pleading guilty to causing grievous hurt by performing a rash act. The man he punched now has amnesia. PHOTO: SINGAPORE POLICE FORCE
The trio left the pub and went to Ya-Mahyuddin Al-Jailani Restaurant, which was several doors away.
Mr Ong turned up a few minutes later and joined them at their table.
Ker felt that Mr Ong had been disrespectful to a waitress at the pub and they quarrelled.
The argument got more heated when Ker suddenly wrapped his arm around Mr Ong's neck and dragged him out of the restaurant.
When they reached Blair Road, nearby, Mr Ong threw the first punch and the two men traded blows.
Ker punched Mr Ong's head three times, causing him to fall to the ground. He fled the scene.
BLEEDING FROM EAR
Ker's two friends noticed that Mr Ong was bleeding from his left ear and tried to help. But Mr Ong did not respond and just stared back blankly.
Mr Ong was later rushed to the Singapore General Hospital. But he managed to slip out to hail a taxi.
The cabby noticed that Mr Ong was walking in an unstable manner when they reached his destination.
Mr Ong collapsed when the cabby offered to help him and he was taken to Ng Teng Fong General Hospital.
He was in a deep coma when he was admitted and CT brain scans revealed that he had a fracture on his skull, and brain injuries.
He was transferred to Tan Tock Seng Hospital (TTSH) Rehabilitation Centre's inpatient neuro-rehabilitation unit 18 days later. Mr Ong recovered and had his feeding tube removed. He was later discharged.
In a medical report dated May 30, Dr Zeng Shanyong from TTSH's Department of Rehabilitation Medicine said that Mr Ong is now able to take care of himself independently at home.
Dr Zeng also felt that given Mr Ong's age and progress, he was likely to make a good recovery and may even return to work in the future.
For causing grievous hurt by performing a rash act, Ker could have been jailed up to four years and fined up to $10,000.