On my day off today from working in the SARS ward, I get a call from an old friend now working in Sydney. She's asking me about our mutual friend, the doctor colleague of mine that I mentioned on a few days ago.

She asks me if he's in a coma. I struggle to find the appropriate words to say. I tell her he's still alive, that his prognosis is very poor. I want to tell her that he's not in a coma, he satisfies the criteria for brain death but I can't. I end up telling her he has "brain damage".

He was born in the same year as me. It's now close to a week that he has not displayed any neurological recovery. The only good thing going for his prognosis is that he is young.

He still is unresponsive to any physical stimuli. His family and fiance are still hoping for a miracle.

His death will be big news in Singapore - when? I cannot confirm.

It could have happened to any of the doctors here. Yours truly included.

Life is fragile