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Food waste up by 48 per cent over last 10 years
Ex-air steward who was twice ran over by truck defies odds to walk again
Former air steward defies the odds and walks away with his life after truck ran over him twice
He was run over by a truck twice and left to die for over six hours on a road about an hour’s drive from Bangkok.
What followed the six-hour torture was even more trauma - almost 15 months of surgery, treatment and rehabilitation in hospitals in Thailand and Singapore.
His injuries were horrendous. He had a crushed right pelvis, fractured left leg and spine.
Former air steward Desmond Lim, 39, was on a road trip heading to Bangkok when a truck hit his motorcycle and ran over his body twice before speeding off.
"I lay there, my bones crushed, my wounds open and bleeding, for more than six hours - fully conscious and in excruciating pain - before an ambulance finally came," he said. He does not know who called for an ambulance.
Mr Lim and two friends were on a month-long road trip to Myanmar, Laos and Thailand in January 2013 and were on their return journey when the accident occurred.
"My friends and I were taking different routes and were meeting in Bangkok when I got run over. They only found out about my accident in Bangkok," he said.
Mr Lim, who now works in business development with a company dealing with orthopaedic equipment, said he was taken to a nearby hospital that appeared "old and rundown".
"No one there could speak English. I was in pain and I turned hysterical.
"It took a couple more hours before a doctor, who spoke a little English, came. I said I wanted to be transferred to Bangkok," he said.
Mr Lim was in a hospital in the Thai capital for three weeks before he was flown back to Singapore and warded at the Singapore General Hospital for the next 10 months.
"I don't even remember which hospital I was in in Bangkok. They kept me pumped with so much pain medication that those three weeks were a blur.
"I don't remember the plane ride. All I remembered was being warded at the hospital and the next thing I knew, I was waking up in SGH," he said.
Mr Lim said he was not operated on immediately "because I was having a fever and the doctors said if they did open me up, an infection from surgery would probably kill me".
By then, he said, his organs "had shifted" and his pelvis was tilting.
"The orthopaedic surgeons could not put metal plates to fix my broken bones. They told me that I had to make alternative plans as I would never walk again," he said.
The only surgery Mr Lim had was urethroplasty to repair some veins and his urethra, which snapped during the accident.
He went into depression and would not speak to anyone "unless they could help me walk again".
He even drove his girlfriend of seven years away.
"I was depressed and angry and I kept telling her to go. We eventually broke up, but we remain friends till today," he said.
Mr Lim's sliver of hope came through Associate Professor Peter Lim.
Prof Lim, who was the former head of rehabilitation medicine at SGH, visited him regularly for the 10 months he was hospitalised.
"Each time, he would come by, he would hold my hand and say 'you will walk again'.
"He gave me hope when there was none and I'll forever be thankful to him," he said.
When contacted, Prof Lim declined to comment.
Things started looking up when Mr Lim was moved to Bright Vision Hospital (BVH) for rehabilitation in late 2013.
"Despite my grumpiness, the nurses helped me get out of this rut. The nurse who cleaned my pressure wound was meticulous. It was a terrible job, but she never once flinched.
"They kept my spirits up. Even my physiotherapist Firdaus was very patient, going through the paces and putting up with my impatience to push myself," he said.
Mr Lim was there for four months before he was discharged.
RECOVERING: Mr Desmond Lim spent about four months at Bright Vision Hospital for rehabilitation.
BVH Staff Nurse Jose Domingo Casiano said: "As nurses, we understand that his attitude is due to his condition. Everything is new to him, so we shifted our focus to a positive one.
"It was challenging at first. He was already set in his ways, but eventually he became open and he learnt that he would benefit from treatment."
Said physiotherapist Muhammad Firdaus Mohamed Zin: "On days when Desmond was more impatient and curt, I would talk less and focus more on the exercises.
"As Desmond wanted to focus on the present and didn't want to think of the future, I worked on what he was capable of at that point and compared his progress to the previous sessions and the past instead.
"As he saw how he improved, his mood got better and he was more willing to try more challenging things."
At home, Mr Lim refused to let his mother and two older sisters "baby" him.
"I wanted to be independent, wanted to walk and exercise so I would walk down the stairs from my 11th-storey flat. It took me 1½ hours to reach the ground floor and another three hours walking back up," he said.
He did it daily, despite concern from his loved ones because his pelvic bone remained tilted at an angle, making one leg 4cm shorter than the other.
"To ensure that my gait is steady, one shoe has a 4cm thick sole," he said.
By September 2014, although he needed a walking stick to get around, Mr Lim was ready to challenge himself.
So in January last year, he went on a three-week road trip in New Zealand alone.
"I wanted to prove to myself and others that I could take care of myself despite what happened. I rented a camper van and drove all around South Island before taking the ferry to North Island. I went trekking, fishing and glacier watching. While other people took 15 minutes to walk on the glacier, I made sure I took my own time, just to be safe," he said.
Mr Lim is determined to help others who went through trauma and is working with the staff at SGH to set up a trauma support group.
"Through my own story, I believe I will be able to help others overcome their injuries and lead normal lives," he said.
He has survived trauma and is still dealing with his own healing process, but Mr Desmond Lim, 39, wants to help others cope with their ordeal.
He said: "Often, victims of trauma and bad accidents hear bad news from doctors.
"As someone who went through the injuries and is still suffering from PTSD, I know only too well how much support is needed at this difficult time," he told The New Paper.
PTSD, or post-traumatic stress disorder, is a mental condition that follows from the experience of traumatic events such as natural disasters, accidents or sexual assault.
People with PTSD will have stress reactions that do not go away on their own, or may even get worse over time.
"These people need to know they are not alone, that there are others, who went through trauma and are coping or willing themselves to get better," Mr Lim said.
He said it always helps to hear directly from people who went through trauma.
"I was asked to speak to two guys who were badly hurt in motorcycle accidents recently," he said.
"One asked if he could go back to riding and I told him if I could walk again, I am sure he will ride again. He became happier."
Mr Lim is working with doctors and nurses from the Singapore General Hospital who specialise in trauma medicine, rehabilitation and psychiatry to set up the trauma support group.
A spokesman from the hospital said the support group is being set up and there are no details to share yet.
I lay there, my bones crushed, my wounds open and bleeding, for more than six hours - fully conscious and in excruciating pain - before an ambulance finally came
- Mr Desmond Lim on his experience after a truck ran over him twice.
WATCH: Fans turn against boring, boring Man United
Manager Louis van Gaal yet again came under severe criticism after Manchester United scraped past third-tier side Sheffield United 1-0 in an FA Cup third-round tie on Saturday (Jan 9).
With an almost full-strength team, the Red Devils needed an injury-time penalty by Wayne Rooney to settle the issue.
Throughout the game, United managed to register just two shots on target.
In fact, during the match, when Memphis Depay sent a long-range shot wide, the home crowd cheered, — sarcastically — at the rare moment of entertainment.
The Old Trafford faithful later made their feelings known after the game, when they responded to van Gaal’s waves with emphatic boos.
See the videos for yourself:
Soup is a staple here.
The Cantonese have their double-boiled versions with ingredients that need a lot of time to coax their flavours out, like dried oysters, cuttlefish, bitter gourds and even fruits like apples.
The Szechuan pots will churn out equally moreish wonders like their sour and spicy thick soups.
The Hokkien must have their fish maw soups, while our Indian friends thrive on their rasam (tamarind broth).
Then there is fish soup, and we find different versions in our foodcourts.
Seafood soup from AS Seafood Soup at Bedok North. PHOTO: KF SEETOH
Some are done with just one type of fish, like garoupa for the claypot yam and fish soup. Others are recognised for the type of broth, such as fish soup that is thickened with milk.
There is also the hot pot fish head or sliced fish soup that comes with chopped chunks of snapper or garoupa simmering in a chimney-style hot pot. Its soup is redolent with meat and bone flavours that is lifted with smokey teepo, or dried sole fish bones.
Now that I have sparked your craving for soup, add this to your list.
It is known among foodie circles that these stalls are pretty much linked and their seafood soups have a distinct flavour and combination of ingredients.
The first thing that hits your palate is the teepo. The clear soup also has a layer of reddish sediments (prawn head roe). Then they top it with at least four uncommon ingredients - crayfish, minced chunky pork, prawns and fish slices (pomfret or mackerel).
"I learnt from our 'master' at his Marsiling outlet, so the menu and flavour are pretty much the same," says Mr Lua Beng Ann (above), who runs AS Seafood Soup at Bedok North.
His partner runs the Depot Road outlet. They offer a variety of options from crayfish to a mixed shrimps and fish combo. They even serve braised pig trotter done in a very light braise that does not overwhelm the complex, subtle flavours of the main fish soup dish. Each range from $6 to $12 at the Bedok and Depot Road outlets.
The master's version at Marsiling has a slighter more robust teepo flavour and the two "disciples" introduced more shrimp flavour to their version.
What I like about all three outlets is the way they make it.
Each bowl is individually made upon order - the seafood and teepo stock from the main pot is portioned and simmered in a smaller pot with the ingredients.
The minced pork is chunky and tender, with bits of hidden fat. The crayfish and prawns are cooked fresh and it colours the soup.
I had all three versions and the difference is negligible.
AS Seafood Soup
Block 412, Bedok North, Avenue 2,
- 11am to 9pm, daily Tel: 8398-7155
108, Depot Road, #02-22, Yue Hwa Food Court, Depot Heights Shopping Centre
- 11am to 9pm, daily Tel: 9362-7378
Sin Kee Seafood Soup
Teo Chap Bee Eating House, Block 19, Marsiling Lane, #01-329
- 10.30am to 8.30pm, daily (closed on irregular Mondays)
Makansutra, founded by KF Seetoh, is a company that celebrates Asian food culture and lifestyle. It publishes food guides in and around the region, produces a food series, develops interactive mobile content and services, operates foodcourts and eateries, organises food tours and events, and consults on culinary concepts.
No guts, no glory
Dr Mark Fernandes is a gastroenterologist in private practice, with clinics in Mount Elizabeth Novena and Parkway East
A refreshing jellyfish salad for Chinese New Year
Besides the sinfully delicious festive dishes that you plan to serve this Chinese New Year, add to the mix a refreshing jellyfish salad.
The recipe featured here is for a savoury jellyfish salad that celebrates texture.
For a sweet, creamy version, there is a recipe below.
Delight your family with these two salads at your reunion dinner. They don't take much time to prepare.
Jellyfish is available at the supermarket. It usually comes with seasoning which you can discard - it's better to make your own and it doesn't require much effort either.
One point to note: Drain off the excess packing liquid to prevent it from diluting your salad dressing.
Instead of ham, you can use smoked salmon for an extra touch of luxury.
5 pieces of wood ear mushroom
1 tbsp pomegranate seeds
1 Japanese cucumber, shredded
1 red bell pepper, cut into squares
3 slices of ham, sliced into thin strips
½ carrot, shredded
1 stalk coriander
1 tsp sesame seeds
2 tbsp honey
1 red finger chilli, deseeded and chopped finely
2 stalks of spring onion, sliced finely
Juice of three limes
¼ tsp sugar
2 tbsp light soya sauce
1 tbsp sesame oil
1. Remove the jellyfish from its packaging and place in strainer to drain off the liquid it comes in. Rinse the jellyfish and allow to dry.
2. Place the shredded cucumber in ice water and soak for 30 minutes.
3. Remove cucumber from ice water. Gently squeeze to remove excess water.
4. Soak the dried wood ear mushroom in hot water. Once softened, remove the stem bits.
5. Bring water to boil in a pot. Boil the wood ear mushroom for 5 minutes. Remove the mushroom from water and rinse. Slice finely.
6. In a mixing bowl, place the jellyfish, ham, wood ear mushroom, shredded cucumber, bell pepper, carrot and pomegranate.
7. Mix the dressing ingredients together in a separate bowl.
8. Pour the dressing over the salad ingredients.
9. Toss well.
10. Garnish with coriander and sesame seeds.
11. Serve chilled.
Cash after crash
A big loss didn't deter investment coach Kenny Loh. Instead, he kept the faith and learnt from his mistakes
He started in 2009 with an investment capital of $100,000 from his savings, but lost most of it in about two years.
But investment coach and financial blogger Kenny Loh, 45, was undaunted.
He says: "If I keep thinking about the $100,000, I cannot start again.
"I cannot give up. I realised that to be a successful trader, I need to be disciplined. Everyone has a different risk profile and goals.
"I continued to convince myself that there is no shortcut or quick fix - I need time and experience. In an environment of low interest rates, we have to invest."
Mr Loh, who previously held a senior management position in a multinational corporation, said his mistakes were costly, but they helped him devise his own approach in investment.
This approach combines fundamental analysis, technical analysis, real estate investment trusts (Reits) assessment and analysis of the global economy for passive income generation.
He says: "You need to go through the whole cycle before you know how to anticipate."
Mr Loh started accumulating stocks after reading investment books in February 2009 during the global financial crisis.
He says: "At that time, stocks were cheap. Counters like OCBC and KepCorp were at about $4. I didn't have any financial knowledge, so I just looked at price."
He realised he couldn't just rely on books so he enrolled in a course, which cost him $4,000.
He says: "After four days, I still couldn't invest because I was still blur and confused due to an information overload.
"From zero knowledge to so much knowledge... I couldn't absorb it."
Mr Loh decided to blog about his investment journey because "if I don't practise, I will lose the $4,000 (in course fees)".
He says: "I force myself to do analysis before I post.
"I also use the blog as my library - I can be trading anywhere in the world, and yet I can still refer to my blog entry."
He started accumulating S-chips - Chinese companies listed on the Singapore Exchange.
Says Mr Loh: "After you know the tactic, you feel that it is so easy to invest. That was how I got burned. Theory and action are different."
One of the S-chips he bought into was sportswear-maker China Hongxing Sports. He bought$50,000 worth of stocks.
But the stock was suspended from trading in February 2011 after external auditors flagged financial irregularities in the company's accounts. It remains suspended as of Jan 4 this year.
Mr Loh says: "Back then, it passed all the criteria - all ratios looked good. So I started accumulating the stock. Now, I cannot trade the stock. My money is stuck there. Once it resumes trading, people will sell. I assume the investment is gone. Otherwise it will affect me.
"This is something investors will not know. Whatever is in the financial statement can be manipulated. It can be fake. There is no chance for us (investors) to run.
"Because of this, I don't trade in penny stocks even though the entry level is easy and cheap."
Through his costly mistakes, Mr Loh learnt invaluable skills, which "you cannot learn from a textbook".
"Everyone won't share how they lose money," he adds.
He is now teaching his 16-year-old son how to invest.
"I learnt all these skills but it was too late for me. At a certain age, you can't take too much risk. I am more defensive now."
He now invests in Reits, which give him a consistent passive income as he builds up his retirement portfolio.
He has about tens of thousands invested and is keeping the majority of his assets in cash, in anticipation of a market crash, where he plans to pick up stocks on the cheap.
Despite the threat of rising interest rates affecting the real estate industry, Mr Loh looks for Reits that are not affected, such as those that do not need refinancing in the next few years so that income is protected.
To learn more about investing, there are some courses offered by SGX Academy that a beginner can sign up for, such as Build a Dividend Portfolio for Regular Income on Jan 13.