FIRST, there were two days of pain in his belly. Second, his sudden death. Then came the horrifying discovery: A 30cm-long worm was found in his mouth after his death on Tuesday.
Construction worker Sohal Chokdar Bazlu, 26, had gone to the Singapore General Hospital for a check-up because he had a stomachache on Monday. A doctor, who had done an X-ray on his abdominal area, said everything was normal, and gave him painkillers and two days' medical leave.
But while he was resting in the workers' quarters, Mr Sohal, experienced such bad stomach pains that he called a colleague, Mr Mahanudul Hasan, to ask for help.
Said Mr Mahanudul: "I asked him to wake up. He was sleeping. He was very weak and couldn't walk, so I had to carry him to the taxi to go to the hospital".
'No more already'
When Mr Mahanudul reached the hospital at about 5pm, Mr Sohal was still warm and breathing. But at 5.40pm, a doctor came out and said that his friend had died. No more already. He learnt that there was a 30cm-long worm in his friend's mouth and asked to see it.
Mr Mahanudul said: "When I saw the worm, I knew that's why my friend died. He was a good boy, even though he didn't have many friends."
Assistant Professor Reuben Wong said that it seems like Mr Sohal suffered from a parasitic infestation.
Suffered from the infection for a long time:
Although Dr Wong said that looking at the size of the worm, Mr Sohal could have been suffering from the infection for a long time before he arrived in Singapore. The parasites are commonly passed from one person to another when there is open defecation, Dr Wong added.
"When someone with a parasitic infestation passes out the eggs of a parasite into soil or water and another person ingests it, the eggs go into the gastrointestinal tract," said Dr Wong.
The worms can also mate in the intestines and sap nutrients from patients. This is why some patients have low blood count and suffer from anaemia, lethargy and giddiness, he explained.
"In extreme cases, a patient could blow his or her nose and a worm can come out."
But there are some who are silent carriers, showing no symptoms at all, said Dr Wong.
Dr Wong, who said the worm found in Mr Sohal's body seemed like a roundworm, added that it is not an uncommon parasitic infestation.
30cm worm found in dead man's mouth30cm worm found in dead man's mouth