Shu Wen, an ex-stewardess with Singapore Airlines (SIA), shared on her Facebook page on Friday (19 June) a horrifying and painful journey she had with her shoulder and the “negligent” doctors at Changi General Hospital (CGH) and Parkway East Hospital (PEH).
Her injury allegedly was first caused by a passenger who unknowingly dragged her right hand into an overhead compartment while towing her luggage. Shu Wen was lifted off the ground while her hand was caught under the bag.
When she landed, she visited CGH immediately for her injured hand and wrist. But the orthopedic, according to her account, trivialised her experience and simply classified it as “same crew problem la,” and did not proceed with any further examination, such as an x-ray. He just injected two steroid jabs.
Because of this, Shu Wen could not claim her Ministry of Manpower (MOM) workmen compensation as it seemed like a minor accident and only received a pay out of $6k, which she said was a lot lesser if she was not injured and had worked that two months as a stewardess.
Time passed, and just before a flight to Paris, a quarter of her body was paralysed. She rushed to PEH A&E but the paralysis was gone before seeing the orthopedic. Apparently, he dismissed the paralysis, stating she was too young to have a stroke, and offered a “geng MC” (a fake medical certificate where an employee is trying to get out of work without being sick) instead.
Shu Wen insisted on being hospitalised instead and finally the issue was identified – a large cervical slipped disc. She claimed that the orthopedic apologised a few times for his assumption and mindless comment; but she felt he was unprofessional and could have caused her injury more harm if she didn’t insist on a thorough checkup.
Shu Wen was certain this slipped disc was from the accident with the passenger, but since no papers from her first visit at CGH documented this injury, it was counted as an unrelated and separate injury and thus she was not entitled to compensation from SIA insurance or MOM workmen.
She bought strong painkillers often which led her doctor to examine further to ascertain the cause of her pain in her shoulder. After an MRI, a muscle tear was discovered where her muscle and tissues were “fraying”.
Subsequently, she underwent multiple surgeries to fix her muscle tear which resulted in a frozen shoulder, painful episodes of muscle spasms, and a fainting incident that broke her tooth. Determined to recover fully, Shu Wen was diligent and persistent with physiotherapy and never missed a session. By the end of 2019, she was ready for a full-time job and began attending interviews. When she met SIA again, she alleged she was rejected due to medical reasons.
She shared in her post that she loved SIA and flying. According to her, she eventually ranked the 6th air stewardess in the crew through sheer hard work during her tenure.
She was faced with another challenge when the circuit-breaker kicked in April 2020, and all physiotherapy sessions were halted because it was considered “non-essential”. She said she couldn’t continue with her water physiotherapy as well. As a result, her pain returned despite doing physiotherapy exercises on her own. Due to this series of events, she now has to undergo a disc replacement because parts of her shoulder muscles were lost due to the pain. Parts of her shoulder are just skin and bones now.
Her post went viral with 4.4k engagements, 1.2 comments, and 3k shares.
So far, SIA has not responded to Shu Wen after her post came to light on Friday (19 June). But CGH however, according to her, has called her and apologized for the incident. They said they will dig into the paper records in their storage and investigate. She replied that she just wanted the doctors to be aware of their negligence which caused her immense and prolonged pain, and the hopes that they would not repeat these mistakes to other patients.
Most of the comments called for the passenger to be sued and fork out compensation to Shu Wen, while others berated the doctors at CGH and PEH.