Singapore — Many people have rallied to help a family here faced with a huge bill after the father and mother were flown back for treatment on contracting Covid-19 in Jakarta.
The family’s goal to raise S$85,000 to help pay for the expenses incurred by Singaporean Abdul Rashid Sahari and his wife had not only been met but exceeded, and reached S$88,310.
Mr Rashid, 64, who works as a quality control officer at a power plant in Jakarta, was flown to Singapore along with his wife, Ms Safiah Rawi Abed, 56. Their three daughters live in Singapore.
Mr Rashid and Ms Safiah, a Permanent Resident, had planned to return home earlier this year but were prevented from doing so when the pandemic struck.
Unfortunately, he contracted Covid-19 in Jakarta, and is “now battling health complications” in hospital in Singapore.
He is in the Intensive Care Unit at the National Centre for Infectious Diseases (NCID). His wife, however, has been discharged from the NCID and is now in isolation at a community facility.
One of his daughters set up a webpage to explain the plight of Mr Rashid, as well as to ask for financial support at this difficult time.
Mr Rashid is described as a “dedicated father and a loving grandfather” by his family, who say that he has continued working into his 60s because “he wanted … to contribute to the living expenses of his family of 4 — the wife and three daughters”.
A week after testing positive for the illness, Mr Rashid’s condition took a turn for the worse. “What started with him still fighting through and smiling for the family in video calls, became video calls of him struggling to breathe.”
His condition grew worse in Indonesia, which made his children decide to have him transferred to Singapore “to give him a better fighting chance”. The couple lived alone in Indonesia, and with no one to take care of their parents, flying them home via medical evacuation, which they had to do separately, was the best way to ensure their safety.
Mr Rashid and Ms Safiah arrived in Singapore on Dec 7 and 8 respectively, and were taken to the NCID.
The flights cost the family S$67,000 and Mr Rashid’s bill at a private hospital in Jakarta was S$7,300.
“This does not include any upcoming hospital bills that may come up while they are being treated in Singapore, which may take some time. The family had used Rashid’s retirement savings to pay for most of this and need further help,” wrote his daughter.
She added that they could not use regular crowdfunding platforms since the hospital bill in Jakarta as well as the airlift fees “cannot be claimed”. The family, therefore, set up a private page on the WordPress platform for people to contribute privately.
She added that there are still bills to come, as they have been told Mr Rashid will need extensive rehabilitation.
The total amount needed by the family is S$85,000, and the daughter said that any excess would be donated to charity.
After the family reached its goal earlier this month, they ended their appeal for financial help.
And, in even better news, Mr Rashid seems to be doing better. He has been extubated, which means the tube in his trachea has been removed.
“So for the first time in weeks, he can talk! We’ve been able to hear one or two words via the intercom! It’s so good to hear his voice,” his daughter wrote.
She added that on Dec 15, “the doctors tried to sit him down on the chair. This was to help him ensure that he regains strength in his muscles. After being intubated for 8 days and in bed, it was time he tried to move around. Thankfully he tolerated this albeit coughing quite a bit. But we’re taking the small wins! It was painful to see Papa with all the tubes on him but good to see that they successfully helped him off a bed”. /TISG