Almost two weeks after being warded in the intensive care unit (ICU) at Changi General Hospital, a 19-year-old full-time national serviceman (NSF) died on Monday (April 30), merely about three months since his enlistment.
The deceased, Private (PTE) Dave Lee Han Xuan, had displayed signs of heat injury upon his completion of an 8-km fast march within Bedok Camp.
PTE Lee, a Guardsman from the 1st Battalion Singapore Guards, was attended to by the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) medic on duty for the activity, in attempt to bring down his core temperature. He was then evacuated to the camp’s Medical Centre where body cooling measures and treatment were continued to be administered by the camp’s medical team.
He was later admitted to Changi General Hospital, almost an hour after he first showed signs of distress, where he was warded in the intensive care unit. He slipped into a coma and his condition never took a turn for the better.
On Monday, 10 days after his 19th birthday, he was pronounced dead.
The following evening, 1 May, Brigadier-General Siew Kum Wong announced in a statement that the deceased soldier, will receive recognition of the rank of Corporal First Class post-mortem, atop of being accorded a military funeral.
The deceased Jurong Junior College alumnus will also be awarded the Guards and Recon military tabs, as well as the Guards beret he had been training for.
BG Siew said that the Army will support PTE Lee’s family to the best of their abilities during their time of grief and that an independent Committee of Inquiry (COI), chaired by a senior civil servant from outside the Ministry of Defence or the SAF, will investigate PTE Lee’s death.
The committee has full powers and access to both information and personnel to investigate what led to the death, find out the contributing factors, and make recommendations to correct any lapses or inadequacies uncovered.
“Should there be training safety violations, the personnel responsible will be held accountable,” said BG Siew.
(PTE Lee with his mother)