SEREMBAN: Several days before 18-year-old A. Tamilarasi reported for national service (NS) training in January, she repeatedly told her mother to look out for advertisements for nursing courses at local institutions.
But today, the once bubbly teenager lies in an isolation ward at the Tuanku Ja'afar Hospital (TJH), dependent on a ventilator to help her breathe and is tube-fed.
Tamilarasi, a former SM Taman Desa Cempaka, Nilai student, had always aspired to be a nurse as she wanted to care for the sick.
“Doctors have told me that the chances of her recovering are remote. They say that it would be a miracle if she recovers.
“She is still unable to talk and doesn't recognise any of us.
“She just stares into space the entire day,” said her mother A. Krishnamary, 40, who gives her daughter holy water and recites prayers every day by her bedside in the hope that she would recover.
Tamilarasi had enrolled at the PDS Resort NS camp in Pasir Panjang, Port Dickson, on Jan 2 but began suffering bouts of fever a fortnight later.
Camp authorities did not refer her to a hospital and gave her painkiller tablets as her condition was apparently not serious.
Her lorry driver father K. Anandan, 41, who went to the camp on Feb 2 to take her home for a week during the Chinese New Year break, was shocked when he saw her condition.
She was then referred for further medical treatment and admitted to TJH on Feb 8 where she slipped into a coma.
Krishnamary said doctors were still unable to diagnose the cause of Tamilarasi's illness.
“They just told me it was a virus attack that has affected her vital organs including her brain, lungs and heart. They have no clue what virus it is,” she said.
Since Tamilarasi needs attention the entire day, Krishnamary only goes back home to Nilai once a week.
“We are at our wits' end as to what else to do. My heart aches to see her gasping for every breath and the suffering she endures,” she said, adding that officers from the camp also visited her daughter occasionally.
Tamilarasi is the second of three children and the couple's only daughter.
Krishnamary said her husband even lost his job as he had to look after Tamilarasi for two months when she was first warded.
Their oldest child also had to defer his diploma course at a private college as they had run out of savings.
They have a younger son in secondary school. - theStarOnline