At first, it started out like any case of food poisoning. But when 50 year-old Mr Tan Hwee Boon woke up, he had spent 2 weeks drifting in and out of consciousness. To make matters worse, his hands and feets had turned black with gangrene and doctors told him they would have to amputate them.
Mr Tan said that on 13th July, he had joined his former primary school math teacher for a meal at Chinatown, where he ordered a plate of raw yusheng. His teacher had the same dish but did not fall ill.
Soon after eating the dish, Mr Tan felt giddy and suffered bouts of vomiting and diarrhoea in his four-room flat in Woodlands.
His wife, 47 year-old Madam Choong Siet Mei, said the doctors had to administer a drug to save his life and keep him sedated during the two weeks.
However, the drug caused the narrowing of the blood vessels in his limbs and gangrene set into his hands and feet, said Madam Choong, who added that doctors had warned her about potential side effects among some patients.
“I was so scared. Not just for myself, but for my family,” Mr Tan said as he looked as his wife. “I work as a technician. What future do I have at work now?”
Mr Tan, who is the sole breadwinner of his family, has two children – a son, 14, and a daughter, 15.