SingHealth Doctor Dr Agnes Koong Passes Away From Leukaemia At 44

Doctors are hailed as our healthcare heroes. They work tirelessly to treat illnesses and save lives.

Hence, a doctor’s death isn’t one that’s felt only by their loved ones. It sparks a ripple effect of grief among colleagues, patients, and residents in the community whose lives they’d touched through medical care.

Last Monday (6 Sep), Singapore bade farewell to a 44-year-old SingHealth physician who spent many years of her life dedicated to improving the public healthcare system.

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She was Dr Agnes Koong, and this is her story of the battle against leukaemia.

SingHealth doctor diagnosed with leukaemia a year ago

According to Lianhe Wanbao, Dr Koong was the clinic director of Marine Parade Polyclinic in 2016. She contributed to the launch of Singapore’s first 24-hour prescription collection service.

The ‘Prescription in a Locker Box’ (PILBOX) service helped chronically ill patients at the clinic to pick up their medication at any time of the day.

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Sadly, she was diagnosed with leukaemia a year ago and passed away on 6 Sep at 44 after suffering a relapse.

She leaves behind her husband and 3 children aged 11-15.

Wife decided to stop treatment

Dr Koong’s husband Simon Leong, also 44, recounted that his wife had undergone a bone marrow transplant shortly after a diagnosis.

Unfortunately, she eventually suffered a relapse.

Mr Leong told Lianhe Wanbao that she decided to stop treatment and declined another bone marrow transplant in early August.

“She hoped to spend the rest of her time living a good life,” he said.

As her husband, I felt sad, but I chose to support her decision.

Couple first met in university

Revealing the couple’s love story, Lianhe Wanbao reported that Mr Leong and Dr Koong met in university. When he first laid eyes on her, he thought she was incandescent and brilliant.

She liked dancing and would often participate in competitions and spontaneously organise choreographies and stage performances.

Since then, the couple had been together for many years and would often travel abroad together during the pre-Covid era.

After having kids, Mr Leong recalled that Dr Koong would often make time for the family even though she was equally devoted to serving the community.

ESM Goh Chok Tong pays tribute

Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong, who served as a Marine Parade GRC MP for 44 years, paid tribute to the late Dr Koong on Facebook.

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In his words,

Our health service has lost someone in the prime of her life.

ESM Goh expounded on her illustrious resume, stating that she served as Clinic Director at Marine Parade Polyclinic from 2012-2019.

She left in 2019 to become Community Health Director at SingHealth Polyclinic.

He shared that she cared deeply for seniors and vulnerable residents and worked hard to bridge the gap between social and medical services in the GRC.

Rest in peace, Dr Koong

Losing a loved one is painful. After all, Dr Koong was more than just a wife. She was a mother, a doctor, and a woman who cared for and served the Singapore community.

For all that she’d done in serving those in need, we firmly believe that Dr Koong is walking among angels now.

Rest in peace, Dr Koong. MS News sends our deepest condolences to her family and friends.

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Featured image adapted from Facebook and SMU.