SINGAPORE — A Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) full-time national serviceman who injured his cervical spine during parachute training in Taiwan last month returned to Singapore on Thursday (16 January).
Private (PTE) Joshua Quek Shou Jie, 21, is now “resting in the hospital for his continued care and rehabilitation”, said the Ministry of Defence (Mindef) in a statement issued late Thursday night.
The ministry said that doctors in charge of PTE Quek had assessed that his condition was stable to fly earlier the same day.
“A Republic of Singapore Air Force A330 Multi-Role Tanker Transport was configured into its purpose-built role for aeromedical evacuation,” added Mindef.
During the flight, PTE Quek was accompanied by a team of medical specialists from the SAF, comprising medical officers and military medical experts, who monitored his condition closely.
“The aeromedical evacuation was successfully completed without any complications,” said Mindef.
The ministry added that PTE Quek's family members, who have also returned to Singapore, have reiterated their request for privacy while they focus fully on his recovery.
PTE Quek was on his fifth and final parachute jump as part of a basic airborne course in Taiwan on the night of 18 December last year, when the static line – a cord that attaches the jumper’s parachute to the aircraft – swept across his neck, causing injuries.
The incident is the first known case of its kind to result in serious injury since the parachute training course began in 1974.
He later underwent two successful surgeries, one to relieve the pressure on his spine and the second to stabilise his cervical spine.
According to an earlier statement by the Mindef, PTE Quek will require continued rehabilitation and physiotherapy for long term recovery as well as to reduce the damage from the injury.
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