A full-time national serviceman (NSF), who previously injured his cervical spine during a unilateral parachute training in Taiwan last month, successfully underwent his second surgery, the Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) informed on 2 January, Thursday.
On 18 Dec, 21-year-old Private Joshua Quek Shou Jie suffered the said injury and had his first surgery the next day. To stabilise his cervical spine, his second surgery was scheduled on 21 Dec. An orthopaedic specialist from Singapore also flew to Taiwan to assist in coordinating medical care.
It is unknown how the accident happened.
As a result of the injury, Private Quek experienced neurological deficits, which include weakness of his upper and lower limbs.
However, after his second surgery, he has regained some of his motor functions. He will be required to undergo prolonged rehabilitation and physiotherapy for long-term recovery and to diminish the damage from the trauma.
MINDEF reported that Private Quek is breathing without difficulty and is awake, aware, and able to communicate with his family, who flew to Taiwan to visit him in the hospital.
Kenny Tay, the Chief Commando Officer Colonel (COL), dropped by and chatted with Private Quek and his family at the hospital. He described Private Quek as “a dedicated soldier who has always given his best” and said that the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) will give their “fullest support to him and his family while he recovers from his injuries”.
The family of Private Quek expresses their appreciation for the public’s concern of his well-being but have asked for some privacy in order to help him fully recover.
MINDEF and SAF informed that they will also arrange for Private Quek’s return to Singapore when he is medically in a good condition to do so.
Currently, the SAF is conducting an investigation into the accident and has postponed the training until the outcome of the further inspection is known.
Late January 2019, actor Aloysius Pang passed away after being seriously injured during an SAF training exercise in New Zealand. His death became the fourth SAF training tragedy in 18 months at that time.
In November 2018, an NSF Private Liu Kai, 22, died after being involved in a vehicular incident at Murai Urban Training Facility.
In April 2018, a 19-year-old NSF, Private Dave Lee, died due to heat stroke in Bedok Camp.
In September 2017, Third Sergeant Gavin Chan, 21, died after experiencing a vehicular mishap at the Shoalwater Bay Training Area in Queensland, Australia.