Police are investigating the mysterious death of a woman whose entire body turned black, skin peeled off and blood oozed from her ears in an ordeal that started with a simple fever, news reports said Thursday.
Reeling from shock and disbelief, the family of June Wong, 26, is demanding answers. Officials have classified the case as an unnatural death.
Wong is suspected of having Stevens-Johnson Syndrome, a severe inflammation of the skin and mucous membranes which can be caused by an allergic reaction to drugs, The Straits Times said.
Wong, the mother of a three-year-old daughter and six-month-old son, visited a doctor on July 7 for a fever and was given medication, the paper said.
"After a few days, she complained of aches and was given painkillers," her 60-year-old father was quoted as saying. "That made things worse because her arm broke out in a rash".
Wong, a sales executive, subsequently developed gastric pain. In all, she was prescribed about six types of drugs for her systems, but did not improve.
Rushed to Tan Tock Seng Hospital with a worsening fever and rash, the skin on her inner arm started to peel after she was admitted.
"Her skin turned black from head to toe," said her father. "Doctors told us she was suffering from skin burn caused by a drug allergy".
Wong's condition deteriorated in the Intensive Care Unit where her family maintained a vigil at her bedside while the patient writhed in pain despite painkillers.
She died this week, five days after pulling out her breathing tubes and injuring her windpipe.
At the clinic where Wong first sought treatment for the fever, a message was scrawled on the door. It said, "Return June to me".