Accident victim keeps telling dad: 'I am sorry'
After a 16-hour operation to save his left leg on Saturday, Trismond Tang, 16, broke into tears when he regained consciousness and saw his father.
He and his older sister, Miss Ivon Tang, 20, were seriously injured after the motorcycle he was riding was involved in an accident with a car earlier that day.
Miss Tang is unconscious in the surgical intensive care unit, and it is still unclear if Trismond will lose part of his leg.
His father, Mr Tang Chee Mun, 46, told The New Paper yesterday evening: "He just kept saying, 'Dad, I'm sorry,' and asked what had happened to his jie jie (Mandarin for older sister)."
Choking back tears, he recalled how Trismond, who is recovering in a high-dependency ward, grew agitated as he recounted how the accident happened.
"The heart monitor was beeping non-stop. The doctor had to come into the ward to tell him to calm down," said Mr Tang.
Trismond, a Malaysian student from Pahang, was here to visit his sister and father, who are Malaysians working and living in Singapore.
The student, who got his motorcycle licence in Malaysia in January, was riding his father's motorcycle, with his sister as a pillion passenger, to buy lunch.
They were making a turn when they were hit by a car, said Mr Tang.
"My son said that the car just appeared suddenly. He did not hear the sound of a horn or brakes," he added.
The accident happened at about 12.50pm at the junction of Bukit Batok East Avenue 6 and Bukit Batok Street 23.
Mr Tang, who works as a cook in a coffee shop in Bukit Batok, is still reeling from the shock of the accident.
"There were operations after operations, and I haven't been going to work because I'm so worried about my children. I also have to wait for calls from the hospital," he said.
Trismond went through eight hours of surgery yesterday on his lower leg, which involved grafting and checking for infection.
The surgery on Saturday involved adding a metal plate on his upper leg and reattaching the blood vessels on his feet.
Mr Tang has kept Trismond in the dark about his sister's condition.
She had serious head injuries and went through a 10-hour operation on Saturday. She is being kept unconscious to allow her to recover, said Mr Tang.
SIBLINGS VERY CLOSE
The siblings, who grew up in Malaysia under the care of their paternal grandmother, were very close.
Their parents are separated, and Mr Tang, who has been working in Singapore for the past 10 years, would send them money every month.
"They had only one another for company when they were growing up. My daughter came to Singapore two years ago to work and study, and my son visits us often because he is lonely in Malaysia.
"For a long time, he has been planning to come to Singapore to study when he turns 18."
Miss Tang is working at a factory and taking night classes at a private school. She earns less than $1,000 a month.
Mr Tang also has had to grapple with the hospital fees.
Trismond has another operation scheduled for Friday, and the cost of the operations has amounted to about $60,000 so far.
His children's insurance would not be able to cover most of the hospital fees, said Mr Tang.
"I've always felt guilty about not being by their side when they were growing up, but they have been very understanding. They are good children," he said.
"Now this heartbreaking accident has to happen to both of them at the same time. I really feel like I'm in a daze now."
"The heart monitor was beeping non-stop. The doctor had to come into the ward to tell him to calm down."
- Mr Tang Chee Mun on his son Trismond, who grew agitated as he recounted how the accident happened