I’m sorry for your loss and can feel the pain of losing a son. I know because my wife and I could have loss our son if not for my wife’s insistence to seek proper medical attention and treatment of our son when he was a recruit. I agree with you that it’s up to us parents look after the well being of our sons when they serve the nation but I’m afraid it’s not enough and neither can we, firstly we can never be with our sons all the time(especially when they are in the field or camp) and secondly parents may not be knowledgable enough to do the right thing.
After my son’s case I have come to form the opinion that we are all being exploited just like our ordinary working Singaporeans are being exploited without minimum salary hence the influx of cheap labour. Let me explain why. When our son was a recruit he was given anti-malaria drugs. Our son have record of allergy to some medication. Each time he was given anti-malaria drugs he would fall ill, developing fever and skin rashes. Instead of further investigation they loose no time in sending our son home.
As parents of course we want to be able to care for our son but it also daunt on me that they are as quick to relief themselves of responsibilities because once my son leaves the camp all the responsibilities in getting medical attention and the fate of our son is left to us. Those earlier few times our son’s condition was not as severe and recovered after a few days but the army did not look into if its a case of allergy to the drugs given in the camp. Then in the days before our son could complete his basic military training he fell ill again after given anti- malaria drug, if I remember correctly it’s called maloprim.
Again he was sent home, we have to go to fetch him. This time our son’s allergic reaction was severe, in fact fatal. He was bedridden for many days with bulging rashes all over his body, fever, breathless and other symptoms. He had to be hospitalized but doctors there could not properly diagnose his illness but pass it off a some kind of virus. As this time it was so severe it prompted my wife to research on what might be causes of our son’s problem. My wife felt strongly it was due to our son’s allergy to maloprim and shared this information with the doctors but they all brushed her aside.
Subsequently our son was not recovering and was transferred to Tan Tock Seng hospital and isolated for observation. There my wife again seeked out the hospital’s specialist and again prompted them to investigate the plausible cause of my son’s medical problem being due to the reaction to maloprim again they brushed my wife aside. We were desperate and concerned for our son as we feel they have not diagnosed our son’s illness correctly.
At that time a junior doctor ( a pinoy) was attending to our son. In desperation my wife printed out documents( from Internet) to support her opinion that all the symptoms that my son developed is typical side effects of consuming maloprim. After that the pinoy doctor was convinced and it was after this episode that the hospital acknowledge that my son’s illness was due to reaction to maloprim given by the camp.
After that luckily our son recovered. Since then we have also heard of some NS men died after consuming maloprim. After this episode I am convinced that we the citizens of Singapore are just being exploited. No one in the G or the army bothers to look after the well being of our sons while they serve the nation. No one bothers to check if anti-malaria drugs are safe for every NS men. Even when we prompted them to check they brushed us aside.