THE THAI public is in shock at a mysterious illness which nearly killed 28-year-old actress Butsaran “Numtarn The Star” Thongchio.
Butsaran suddenly started bleeding from her nose and mouth at her home in Samut Sakhon province on Tuesday, passed out and her heart stopped beating before she was resuscitated and rushed to hospital.
Doctors at Siriraj Hospital, where she was transferred at 6am on Wednesday, were due to hold a press conference later in the day to discuss her condition but as the cause of her symptoms remained a mystery, they announced it was being postponed to this afternoon instead.
Butsaran, who is a non-drinker and non-smoker, was having a meal at home at 11am on Tuesday when she suddenly couldn’t breathe and started bleeding from her nose and mouth, prompting her family to call for an ambulance. Before it arrived, however, she went into seizure, passed out and her heart stopped beating. The emergency rescuers arrived just in time to perform resuscitation and take her to Samut Sakhon Hospital.
Her film director father, Wiroj Thongchio, said her condition had been initially diagnosed as massive bleeding in her stomach and lungs, so the hospital referred her to the better-equipped Siriraj Hospital in Bangkok to take over her treatment. “Doctors have not yet been able to find the cause of her critical condition. She has had no chronic illnesses, just a normal cold, and had not been in any accidents,” he said.
While she was waiting in Samut Sakhon Hospital’s ICU room, Butsaran’s heart stopped again twice at 1am but she was again resuscitated before being moved to Siriraj Hospital at 6am.
There was an outpouring of support for the actress on social media, with people wishing her a fully and speedy recovery. Just 20 hours before her sudden illness, she had posted to Instagram (@numtarny), playfully greeting her fans and appearing to be in good health.
Meanwhile, veteran lung expert Dr Prakit Vathesatogkit commented that such a pulmonary (lung) haemorrhage could stem from four possible causes: a lung tumour or cancer that caused an eruption of the veins; tuberculosis; coagulopathy (clotting disorder); and a “one-in-a-million” pulmonary haemorrhage. This final possibility has been known to afflict otherwise-healthy people without any warning. While the third possibility, coagulopathy, was an innate and therefore unavoidable condition, he said there were ways people could help prevent the first two, including avoiding cigarette smoking and exposure to air pollution.
He urged the Thai public to wait for the Siriraj doctors’ announcement on Butsaran’s condition.