Hospital fire victim was awaiting spinal surgery, says family

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PETALING JAYA: One of the victims of the fire at the Sultanah Aminah Hospital in Johor Baru on Tuesday, was due to have surgery for a spinal fracture he suffered in a car accident.

K Logeswaran, 20, worked in Singapore as a cleaner but had been involved in the accident which occurred in Tampoi, Johor, last Saturday, The Star reported today.

Just before the accident, however, his mother recalled his last words to her were that he was going to return to his hometown of Teluk Intan, Perak, to celebrate Deepavali with the family.

“He said he would be bringing home money, so that we could go shopping together. That was our last conversation,” an inconsolable K Nageswari told the daily at his funeral yesterday, adding the festival will now be remembered for their painfull loss.

Logeswaran was among the six patients killed when fire engulfed the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of the hospital.

His mother also related that Logeswaran had started a new job across the causeway, earlier this month, after having lost his previous job, also due to an accident.

“He had recovered from another bad accident before taking up his latest job. His aim had always been for us to have a good life,” The Star quoted Nageswari as saying on the reason for his search for employment in Singapore.

His brother, Sethupathy, 23, who works in Kuala Lumpur, related to the daily on what doctors had told the family following the accident.

“Doctors told us that they couldn’t do the spine operation because his heart rate was slow. They advised us to wait for a week,” Sethupathy was quoted as saying.

He added that the last time he saw his brother was at the ICU on Monday.

Sethupathy rushed back to JB from Teluk Intan the next day, with his mother and a friend of his brother’s.

He said that though there was news that ICU patients had been evacuated, he knew it was bad when the hospital led them to a room instead of to where his brother was relocated.

“A Datuk told us the bad news. Our mother fainted upon hearing the news and we didn’t know how to react,” he was quoted as saying.

The deceased’s eldest sister, Vikneswary, 26 called for the authorities to ensure a thorough probe is carried out to avoid any repeat of such a tragedy.

“Maybe my brother is fated to go. But hospitals are meant to save lives … look what happened to him?” she told The Star.