‘Please support us through other means’: Melissa Koh not fundraising for late son’s medical bills exceeding S$500,000

They're thankful for any work opportunities that come their way.

Fasiha Nazren |
May 2, 2023, 4:47 pm

We’re not starting a cult but some followers on Instagram would be nice. Thank you.

Following the passing of Melissa Koh’s son, fellow influencer Daryl Aiden Yow managed to raise more than S$34,000 from his followers to help with late baby Asher’s medical fees.

Born with a heart condition that required multiple surgeries, baby Asher passed away on Apr. 7, 2023 when he was just a year and nine months old.


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A post shared by Melissa Celestine Koh (@melissackoh)

In his earlier Instagram Stories, Daryl said that he wished he could explain why he was crowdfunding to help Melissa. However, he finds it more appropriate for her to share about it when she’s ready.

On Apr. 25, Melissa thanked those who contributed to the fundraising initiative and talked a little more about Asher’s medical bills.

Similar to what Daryl said previously, Melissa said she wasn’t keen on a fundraiser, but he went ahead to do it “out of the goodness of his heart”.

“He wanted to help in whatever capacity he could so he proceeded on his own accord.”

Last admission alone up to S$500,000

The medical bill for Asher’s latest admission alone was between S$400,000 to S$500,000 because he was on extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) for a month.


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A post shared by Melissa Celestine Koh (@melissackoh)

ECMO is a temporary life support that keeps patients alive when their heart or lungs stop functioning.

They also had outstanding bills from two hospital admissions last year, which raked up to just under S$200,000.

Couldn’t get insured

Some also questioned why it costs so much or if Asher was even insured.

Melissa explained that as he was born with a congenital heart issue, he hasn’t been able to get insured.

Maternity insurance also does not cover his condition or his hospitalisation stays, the influencer says.

The family chose to admit him to a private hospital for “more reasons than one”, including the fact that the principal doctor that did his first three heart surgeries practises there.

“His life was hanging by a thread and we couldn’t bring ourselves to allow ‘costs’ cloud our judgement as to where to send him.”

Wanted the best for son

As parents, they wanted to do the best in their capacity for Asher.

“We knew that the bill would be significant but we both agreed to bear it, entirely on ourselves.”

Melissa emphasised that the proceeds collected from Daryl’s fundraiser will be used entirely to pay for the hospitalisation bills.

She also took the opportunity to address the direct messages she’s been receiving, with some asking if they could help contribute towards Asher’s “exorbitant medical expenses”.

Support through other means

While she and her husband James are “extremely grateful” for the intentions, the family will not be fundraising or asking for further donations.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Melissa Celestine Koh (@melissackoh)

“As the funeral is over, we are thankful for what has been collected. The monies will go towards paying for the wake and funeral, and the excess to the hospital bills.”

Instead, the couple asks for well-wishers to support them through other means.

“We’ll be working our hardest to pay the bills over the years and we’re thankful for any work opportunities that come our way,” Melissa wrote.

Top image from @melissackoh on Instagram

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