updated 10 Mar 2012, 06:48
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The New Paper
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His near-death experience saved her life
by Mark Soh

"Why did you let me live?"

These were the first words Mr Lim Sing Sing uttered when he first regained consciousness after a two-month coma at Tan Tock Seng Hospital.

His broken body bore the brunt of the 15-storey plunge from the kitchen window of his rented flat at North Bridge Road. Both arms, legs and his spine were shattered. Steel plates had to be inserted in seven places in his arms and legs.

But it was his mind that was truly damaged from the drugs that he had taken, says Mr Lim. So much so that he cannot recall what led to the fall. All he remembers was sniffing glue and taking Upjohn tablets in the kitchen.

The next thing he knew, he was in hospital.

That was in 1992.

Twenty years on, Mr Lim is a hearty 46-year-old and is glad that he did not lose his life on that fateful day - even if he has to be wheelchair-bound.

This is because, now, he has a beautiful reason to live - a lovely family in the form of his wife, Madam Goo Lee Sah, 40, and his son, Lemuel, three.

When The New Paper on Sunday visited their three-room Boon Lay Drive flat, the small, close-knit family exuded happiness and warmth.

Lemuel - named after a king in the Bible - was the epitome of child mischievousness. He ran around the family dining table, ducking around his father's wheelchair, and repeatedly tugged on the shirt of this reporter.

He was also constantly grinning from ear to ear and was obviously doted on.

Says Mr Lim: "They are my life now. God has given me a second chance and blessed me with a loving family that I never had as a child."

His parents separated when he was a child and he was left to grow up with his grandmother. His father was in and out of jail for involvement with secret societies.

He recounts how, at 15, he had joined a gang to avoid being bullied and for "vengeance" against another gang that had beaten up him.

Indeed, before the fateful fall, he had already been living on the edge.

He previously served jail time when he and a friend tried to rob a cabby while high on drugs.

Mr Lim recounts: "We were sitting at the back of his taxi and then he (the cabby) was calling for help and the police came and caught us. We were so far gone that we didn't even run."

Two days after getting out of jail, he took drugs again.

And months before his fall, he crashed his motorbike while in a drugged stupor, not long after two of his friends had died the same way.

Even though he had to use a walking stick for six months after that, it did not frighten him into kicking his habit.

"I was never scared," he recounts. "Not until I came out of hospital after the fall and realised what had happened to me."

Mr Lim pulls out a photo that a reporter had given him - she had been in the vicinity when he fell and had snapped the picture of his broken form lying on the ground. A badly dented car is next to him.

Speaking softly, he says: "It really hit me then."

He says he has kept the picture since to remind him how God had saved him when he was so close to death.

It was in hospital when a doctor introduced him to Mr Simon Neo, a pastor at Breakthrough Missions, an organisation that helps drug addicts to reform.

It was a meeting that would change his life.

With Mr Neo's help, Mr Lim made a pledge to kick his drug addiction. The latter began to work at Breakthrough Missions, speaking to drug addicts in prisons and in rehabilitation centres.

His remarkable turnaround was showcased in a spate of media reports and TV shows in the subsequent decade.

As fate would have it, his experience saved the life of the woman who would eventually become his wife.

In 2006, Madam Goo had contemplated ending her life after a failed 10-year marriage and a complicated divorce.

She had already swallowed many sleeping pills when she saw Mr Lim's story, which was then being aired on TV.

She explains: "I only turned on the TV for some background noise. When I saw him (Mr Lim) on the TV and how he could still live as a cripple despite being estranged from his family, I changed my mind and decided to live."

She then poured her efforts into searching him out.

She said: "At that time, all I wanted to do was find him. He had been my inspiration to live."

In the end, she located him through a CD which her friend had given to her. The CD was a production by Breakthrough Missions and featured Mr Lim on the back.

She says: "I immediately recognised his face on the CD and made the connection."

In the end, she met him at the halfway house at Breakthrough Missions.

The pair initially struck up a tentative friendship.

It was only after Madam Goo finalised her divorce that Mr Lim began his ardent pursuit of his new love.

Mr Lim says he was surprised himself that love could blossom between the two of them. "After I became a cripple, I lost all hope of finding anyone to love me or to raise a family with me," he says.

At this point, the couple shares a small smile.

Today, Mr Lim is a financial executive at Breakthrough Missions and continues counselling drug addicts. He also does missionary work in places such as Indonesia, Australia and Canada.

Madam Goo works part-time at a restaurant, and devotes the rest of her time to Lemuel and the upkeep of their home.

Mr Lim is all smiles as he takes out his photo album and shows this reporter the Lim family celebrating Lemuel's birthday last year.

Mr Lim says: "We're just your regular happy family."

This article was first published in The New Paper.

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