When a loved one is fighting for his life in the hospital, the last thing any family member would want to worry about is a mountain of medical debt piling up.
This was the nightmare Mr Daniel Lukose and his family faced after his brother, Thomas Lukose, suffered a heart attack at work on Wednesday (Sep 13), but in a fortunate turn of events, the hospital stepped up to cover the medical bills he incurred.
The 55-year-old had been working as a security officer in Gleneagles Hospital when he collapsed and was subsequently warded in an intensive care unit (ICU).
Doctors told his family that Mr Thomas’ recovery hinged on an operation estimated to cost S$100,000 ($74,000).
According to a report by The Straits Times (ST), the hospital bills have so far come up to about $78,000.
Desperate for help, Mr Daniel Lukose posted a crowdfunding appeal on Sep 15 to raise funds for the bills.
Additionally, the family had been trying to transfer him to the Singapore General Hospital (SGH) where costs were lower, but there were no beds available. Moreover, Mr Thomas’ condition had not been stable enough for a transfer.
In a quote carried by ST, a National Heart Centre Singapore (NHCS) spokesman said: “The doctors from Gleneagles Hospital and NHCS discussed Mr Lukose’s medical condition on Sep 13 morning and felt that Mr Lukose was too ill to undergo immediate surgery.
“NHCS made arrangements to take over his care and a bed was offered to Mr Lukose on Sept 15. We had available surgical slots and would have been able to perform the surgery.”
However, in the same report, Dr Sriram Shankar, Mr Lukose’s cardiothoracic surgeon, said that “he was critically ill and it would have been risky to transfer”.
As such, Dr Shankar proceeded with the open-heart surgery and three coronary artery bypass grafts on the patient at Gleneagles Hospital on Sep 16.
Although Dr Shankar did not charge for his services, Mr Lukose, who has since been recovering at home, was billed S$78,000 by the hospital.
However, according to an update by Mr Daniel Lukose on the crowdfunding site, this amount has since been waived by the hospital and all funds raised would be donated for those in need.
The update states: “We’ve just received a good news from Gleneagles Hospital CEO, Mr Lee Suen Ming, that, they will be covering the medical bills for my brother Thomas, and we need not raised (sic) funds for his medical fees anymore.
“For all the donations received, we’ll be donating to the next person in need, and we’ll be updating on this site for the future donations.
“Once again, thank you very much for coming forward to help, and we’re truly blessed and thankful to each and everyone of you”.
Business Insider has reached out to Parkway Pantai for comments.