A netizen shared a shocking story about his mother’s hospitalisation experience at Changi General Hospital (CGH). His account of the events leading to his mother’s eventual passing surfaced questions about the state of care and professionalism of CGH.
The netizen’s mother was initially referred to CGH on 8 July 2020 by Tampines Polyclinic after she lost 20kg over 3 weeks due to a loss of appetite and dehydration. She was warded in A&E to wait for an available bed. After several visits by various doctors and specialists, she was eventually diagnosed with Acute Kidney Injury.
According to his account, the mother was also found to have a tumour possibly in the stomach region. A family conference was summoned where a few doctors explained to the family about the mother’s condition and treatment measures. A Doctor J Lee suggested a surgery to remove the tumour and assured the family the mother was fit surgery despite her age. However the surgery could not be scheduled any time soon.
Curiously, the doctor informed them a week later that the cancer had reached Stage 4 and surgery is no longer an option. Palliative chemotherapy and a stent surgery for the esophagus were recommended instead.
It seemed that after the stent surgery, the mother’s appetite continued to drop after discharge. She also developed an aggressive back pain which a doctor claimed was “old age disease.” Consequential checks on the pain led the doctor to discover that the stent had dropped a little as the tumour shrunk. This was allegedly dangerous for the mother as the stent may drop and get stuck to the stomach tumours. The doctor tried to pull the stent up using a “clip” and later promised the netizen’s sisters that the patient will be monitored to see if this clip worked.
The mother was discharged the next day after two scans. Unfortunately the mother’s condition deteriorated days after returning home.
Then on 8 September 2020, the netizen was informed that his mother’s condition had worsened drastically. He had to call in the ambulance and the paramedics stated that the mother’s condition was dangerous as her blood pressure was very low. She was immediately admitted into CGH’s Intensive Care Area.
Over at the Intensive Care Area, the netizen mentioned two doctors who tended to this mother: a Doctor Chan and a Doctor Ryan. In his own words, the netizen said “Doctors came and told me that they are trying to stabilise mom BP, also mom blood count was low reading at 6.2, fever and infection. There came a few doctors which i only remembered 2 particular doctor that name will never be forgotten, 1 is Doctor Chan who insisted that we took care of mom at home and Doctor Ryan who made a hand sign of cutting the neck which means dead. Then the doc ryan did that gesture when he was asked wat does 0-1/10 meant.”
His mother was later brought up to the wards. However at 7.01pm, the mother’s condition was critical. The nurses in the ward were apparently unsure what was going on while a doctor kept explaining that “mom will be okay.” After the mother’s oxygen levels and pulse were stabilised, she was brought to a different room where the family could gather. A nurse informed the family that a specialist will check on the mother tomorrow… sadly she passed on before the next day came.
The netizen felt his family were not given an explanation how his mother’s condition deteriorated so suddenly within minutes, why the main doctors were not in attendance, or why the doctors gave estimations which seemed to fall short. 3 days after his mother’s passing, CGH even sent an SMS to the family reminding them to bring the mother for an appointment.
He questioned CGH’s professionalism and seeks answers from the hospital as well as the Minister of Health (MOH).
Update: CGH has reached out to the family. In respect of patient confidentiality, CGH will be updating the family privately.