ONE week after the sudden death of a Raffles Institution (RI) student, another boy from the school has died.
Last week, Secondary 3 student Cao Yuanchi, 14, was suddenly diagnosed with acute myeloid leukaemia, a cancer of the myeloid white blood cells.
He died on Sunday after suffering from an intracranial haemorrhage, or bleeding within the skull, as a result of the cancer.
This makes Yuanchi the second RI boy to die within a week. Tee Yan Chyuan, a 12-year-old Secondary 1 student, collapsed and died on Jan 11 after a game of badminton.
On Jan 9, Yuanchi returned from his five-day Outward Bound School course complaining of fatigue.
He also sported a few bruises, which he dismissed as slight injuries from the course.
Then, on Tuesday evening, Jan 13, Yuanchi came down with a fever and had a green skin discolouration in his right eye, ankles, knees and buttocks.
His father, Mr Cao Sheng Fa, 42, noticed Yuanchi's symptoms and took him to KK Women's and Children's Hospital, where doctors diagnosed the leukaemia.
Both Yuanchi's mother, Madam Ma Wenying, 42, a former quantity surveyor, and his father were shocked when they learnt of his condition.
'We were in disbelief,' said Mr Cao, a civil engineer. 'He was always so healthy and seldom fell sick.'
Last Friday night, Yuanchi started vomiting and complained of a headache.
After a CT scan revealed bleeding in his brain, doctors operated on Yuanchi and transferred him to the intensive care unit, where he spent his last days unconscious.
Yuanchi was an only child; his family described him as a smart and obedient boy who loved to read. He was also an active teenager who went for regular runs and even scaled Yunnan's Jade Dragon Snow Mountain during a holiday last year, said his family.
A statement from RI remembers Yuanchi as a 'bright, helpful and good-natured student who endeared himself to many at school'.
'We usually celebrate Chinese New Year here,' said Mr Cao.
'But this year, we have to take his ashes back to his grandparents in China.'