Rare medical condition spurs Manhunt finalist to take the plunge

Nicholas Eugenius Lim, who suffers from haemophilia, hopes to use the competition to raise awareness about the bleeding disorder.

Photos: Manhunt Singapore
Photos: Manhunt Singapore
30 Mar 2018

Photos: Manhunt Singapore

While most of us tend to dismiss cuts and bruises as minor injuries, for Manhunt Singapore hopeful Nicholas Eugenius Lim (left), they can be nerve-racking.

The 27-year-old suffers from haemophlia, a rare genetic condition in which the blood does not clot properly. This means that wounds may take an abnormally long time to heal.

Nicholas, a demi pastry chef who also runs his own online cupcake store, Mummy’s Boy, was born with moderate haemophilia, so if he gets a deep cut, he “will bleed continuously until I get an injection”.

“I have to inject myself every two to three days [with clotting agents] to keep the bleeding under control. I usually inject here because these spots are already numbed,” he said, pointing to the "battle scars" on his forearms (inset). “I don’t feel any pain when I inject myself anymore.”

You can take all the precautions in the world, but accidents can still happen, and Nicholas, who is one of 31 Manhunt finalists unveiled at a press conference at *SCAPE on Thursday (Mar 29), has been through his fair share of them.

Sharing his life threatening experiences with Toggle, Nicholas said: “When I was a kid, I walked into a lamppost while reading and had to be rushed to the hospital. The doctor said if I was treated any later, I could suffer brain damage because of the internal bleeding.

“I also suffered a hip injury when I was in kindergarten and was hospitalised for more than three weeks. If my blood vessel had burst, the blood could seep into my spinal cord and I could be semi-paralysed.”

Thankfully, he hasn’t had any serious bleeding episodes in recent years and is able to lead a relatively normal life - you just have to stay on top of the disorder and try to avoid injuries, he says, adding that he hopes that through Manhunt, he can inspire others and raise awareness about haemophilia, for which currently has no cure.

Despite his medical condition, Nicholas isn’t one to play it safe. He has competed in triathlons (and suffered an ankle injury as a result) and dreams of one day climbing Mount Everest. He said: “You only live once and we should always live life to the fullest. It doesn’t matter if you have a medical condition.”

Laurence Olivier
Laurence Olivier
30 Mar 2018

Laurence Olivier

Also with battle scars of his own is nurse Laurence Olivier, who has been hurt in the line of duty.

A nurse in the psychiatric ward in a local hospital for the past eight years, the 33-year-old has to interact and care for patients with mental illnesses like schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, and verbal abuse and aggressive behaviour are part and parcel of the job.

He has been spat at, scratched, and even hit in the head with a chair.

“Sometimes the patients’ hands are just restless or they get over-friendly, and will just slap or scratch you. They have no control over their bodies, so they can be a bit rough, but they don’t mean it,” he explained. “But I love my job because I can show the caring side of a nurse. I am just worried about the scratches, especially on the face.”

And this is not just because he is taking part in the Manhunt pageant, though it is a dream come true for the Filipino, who is one of eight finalists competing in the Open Category, which has been added this year to include foreigners residing in Singapore. The winner of the Open Category will be given the opportunity to represent his home country in the world finals, should there be no representative. This year, there are 14 and nine finalists competing in the junior and senior categories respectively.

Laurence has always admired Manhunt contestants and dreamed of representing his country on the international stage. So when he was scouted to join the pageant, he jumped at the chance.

Unfortunately, his friends aren’t quite supportive and even questioned his decision to take part in the competition.

“They said I am not young anymore and I am not tall. But I was scouted and I got through. It is a big challenge for me to come out of my shell and to represent the Philippines. Maybe they think [I am not good enough],” said Laurence, who stands at 1.67 metres and weighs 62kg.

But if there’s anything Laurence has learned from this competition, it is self-confidence: “You have to believe in yourself even if people say you can’t do it. Ignore [the naysayers] because if you listen to them, you will go nowhere.”

The Manhunt Singapore grand final will be held on July 12.

Click on for more photos of the finalists.

The 31 Manhunt finalists
The 31 Manhunt finalists
30 Mar 2018

The 31 Manhunt finalists

Top 14 contestants (Junior category)
Top 14 contestants (Junior category)
28 Mar 2018

Top 14 contestants (Junior category)

Travis Hoi

Age: 22
Height: 1.72m
Weight: 65kg

Chew En Wei
Chew En Wei
28 Mar 2018

Chew En Wei

Age: 22
Height: 1.75 m
Weight: 74 kg

Nicholas Bong
Nicholas Bong
28 Mar 2018

Nicholas Bong

Age: 24
Height: 1.75 m
Weight: 61 kg

Liam Kuek
Liam Kuek
28 Mar 2018

Liam Kuek

Age: 19
Height: 1.77 m
Weight: 89 kg

Damien Tan
Damien Tan
28 Mar 2018

Damien Tan

Age: 20
Height: 1.78 m
Weight: 73 kg

Nick Langton
Nick Langton
28 Mar 2018

Nick Langton

Age: 21
Height: 1.90 m
Weight: 89 kg

Hugo Ong
Hugo Ong
28 Mar 2018

Hugo Ong

Age: 21
Height: 1.93 m
Weight: 96 kg

Lee Zheng Hui
Lee Zheng Hui
28 Mar 2018

Lee Zheng Hui

Age: 22
Height: 1.80 m
Weight: 85 kg

Zane Lee
Zane Lee
28 Mar 2018

Zane Lee

Age: 27
Height: 1.77 m
Weight: 78 kg

Ronald Yek
Ronald Yek
28 Mar 2018

Ronald Yek

Age: 21
Height: 1.75 m
Weight: 75 kg

Thomas Li
Thomas Li
28 Mar 2018

Thomas Li

Age: 28
Height: 1.72 m
Weight: 70 kg

Eddy Rudzaniel
Eddy Rudzaniel
28 Mar 2018

Eddy Rudzaniel

Age: 25
Height: 1.71 m
Weight: 75 kg

Teo Shao Wei
Teo Shao Wei
28 Mar 2018

Teo Shao Wei

Age: 22
Height: 1.72 m
Weight: 65 kg

Nicholas Lim
Nicholas Lim
28 Mar 2018

Nicholas Lim

Age: 27
Height: 1.71 m
Weight: 62 kg

Top 9 contestants (Senior category)
Top 9 contestants (Senior category)
28 Mar 2018

Top 9 contestants (Senior category)

Angus Tang 

Age: 30
Height: 1.73 m
Weight: 70 kg

Bernard Chiew
Bernard Chiew
28 Mar 2018

Bernard Chiew

Age: 31
Height: 1.79 m
Weight: 81 kg

Rudy Lim
Rudy Lim
28 Mar 2018

Rudy Lim

Age: 38
Height: 1.86 m
Weight: 90 kg

Kavin Gursev
Kavin Gursev
28 Mar 2018

Kavin Gursev

Age: 43
Height: 1.85 m
Weight: 95 kg

Teo Tze Kwang
Teo Tze Kwang
28 Mar 2018

Teo Tze Kwang

Age: 41
Height: 1.83 m
Weight: 72 kg

Brian Lee
Brian Lee
28 Mar 2018

Brian Lee

Age: 34
Height: 1.78 m
Weight: 74 kg

Nasri Mashoor
Nasri Mashoor
28 Mar 2018

Nasri Mashoor

Age: 31
Height: 1.73 m
Weight: 74 kg

Adam Toh
Adam Toh
28 Mar 2018

Adam Toh

Age: 38
Height: 1.70 m
Weight: 72kg

Dexter Bouw
Dexter Bouw
28 Mar 2018

Dexter Bouw

Age: 35
Height: 1.68 m
Weight: 62 kg

Top 8 contestants (Open category)
Top 8 contestants (Open category)
28 Mar 2018

Top 8 contestants (Open category)

Kerry Tran (Vietnam) 

Age: 24
Height: 1.75 m
Weight: 72 kg

Luke Newton (Australia)
Luke Newton (Australia)
28 Mar 2018

Luke Newton (Australia)

Age: 30
Height: 1.75 m
Weight: 77 kg

Richard Englisch (Austria)
Richard Englisch (Austria)
28 Mar 2018

Richard Englisch (Austria)

Age: 26
Height: 1.80 m
Weight: 81 kg

Konrad Haedicke (Germany)
Konrad Haedicke (Germany)
28 Mar 2018

Konrad Haedicke (Germany)

Age: 33
Height: 1.82 m
Weight: 83 kg

Jason Paul (India)
Jason Paul (India)
28 Mar 2018

Jason Paul (India)

Age: 27
Height: 1.89 m
Weight: 76 kg

Robert Siswanto (Indonesia)
Robert Siswanto (Indonesia)
28 Mar 2018

Robert Siswanto (Indonesia)

Age: 26
Height: 1.80 m
Weight: 76 kg

Vladimir Castillo (The Philippines)
Vladimir Castillo (The Philippines)
28 Mar 2018

Vladimir Castillo (The Philippines)

Age: 29
Height: 1.70 m
Weight: 70 kg

Laurence Olivier  (The Philippines)
Laurence Olivier (The Philippines)
28 Mar 2018

Laurence Olivier (The Philippines)

Age: 33
Height: 1.67 m
Weight: 62 kg

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