$91,000 raised for hospitalised Thai teen
Family of Thai teen hit by car relieved as she gets better and netizens raise over $100,000
The Jattanathammajit family, whose 16-year-old daughter, Aroonrak, is in hospital after being hit by a car, had a huge financial burden lifted yesterday.
Mr Dennis Yeo, 44, who set up a GIVEasia crowdfunding drive for Aroonrak, met the family, who is here from Thailand, to present them with a portion of the money raised to pay the mounting hospital bill.
Mr Yeo gave a simple white envelope to Aroonrak's father, Mr Sarayuth Jattanathammajit, 49, outside her ward at KK Women's and Children's Hospital (KKH).
In it was $91,000, part of the more than $118,000 raised so far from the initiative, which was set up less than two weeks ago.
The campaign will end this Sunday.
Mr Yeo, who works in the social sector, said: "I honestly didn't expect to be able to raise so much. It just goes to show how generous Singaporeans are.
"I got the shock of my life when I saw the amount growing every day."
GRATEFUL: (From left) Mr Dennis Yeo giving the money to Aroonrak’s mother, Mrs Jiranee Jattanathammajit, and father, Mr Sarayuth Jattanathammajit. PHOTO COURTESY OF KANSINEE BOONLONG
Since the San Yu Adventist School student was admitted to hospital on Sept 18, her medical bills have swelled to more than $70,000.
She had been hit by a car while crossing Balestier Road on the way to school to help out at a community outreach programme involving old folks.
Since The New Paper first broke the story about Aroonrak's accident on Oct 2, five donors have visited the family to pay about $5,000 of the bill.
Insurance payouts have also helped to cover about $20,000.
Yesterday afternoon, using the money from Mr Yeo's campaign, Aroonrak's relieved parents settled the outstanding $57,000.
The rest of the money given to them will be kept in trust to be used for the girl's future medical bills.
Meanwhile, Aroonrak's condition is slowly but surely improving.
Looking happier and more well-rested since TNP met him about two weeks ago, Mr Jattanathammajit said through a Thai interpreter that his daughter first opened her eyes on Sunday evening.
He said one of her first words was "gai", which means chicken in Thai and is a nickname for her mother.
He believes her memory is not badly affected, but he remains worried because she has not regained the use of the right side of her body.
"Every move she makes, every word she says, makes me happy and hopeful," he said.
He hopes to take Aroonrak back to Thailand soon to continue her recovery there after doctors give the go-ahead.
She might go through a major operation in a few weeks to replace her damaged skull with an artificial one.
Head consultant of KKH's Neurosurgical Service, Assistant Professor David Low, said she is able to understand simple commands.
She is also undergoing further intensive neuro-rehabilitation to aid her recovery.
Said Mr Jattanathammajit: "When I first came here, I had only $500 in my pocket... When I found out her injuries were so serious, I was desperate and didn't know what to do.
"But now I'm so grateful to everyone. I never expected so much help."