Former national swimmer Irving Ng, 43, was out for his weekly jog on Saturday when he died due to a heart attack.
The physical education teacher at Hai Sing Catholic School was only 1km from home when he collapsed after suffering a sudden heart attack, Chinese daily Lianhe Wanbao reported yesterday.
Passers-by tried to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation on him, but he died after being taken to Singapore General Hospital despite efforts to revive him.
His wife, a senior tax manager in her 30s, was red-eyed when speaking to Wanbao, saying that a good husband, father and teacher has been lost.
He was recently nominated for the President’s Award For Teachers. The couple would have celebrated their 10th anniversary on July 23, and Mr Ng had planned to take his wife on holiday as a surprise.
Mrs Ng said that her husband took care of everything at home and was a “perfect” husband. She added that his parents had eaten lunch with Mr Ng in the afternoon, and they were shocked to have lost him by night.
The teacher had put their daughter, eight, and son, three, to bed at about 8pm on Saturday, before going for his weekly run. His usual route begins at The Pinnacle@Duxton, goes round Marina Bay Sands and then ends back home, a distance of 9km.
According to her, Mr Ng – who represented Singapore in the SEA Games in 1989 – was very healthy and exercised at least thrice a week, adding that she found his death “too sudden”.
However, he had complained about chest pains a few months ago, she said.
“The strange thing is that he later made an online search for the reasons for his chest pains, heart disease and other symptoms,” she said.
He had tried to buy a life insurance policy last month, but was asked to go for a medical check-up by the insurance company as he had undergone surgery for appendicitis.
“I’ve just received a letter from the insurance company and it said as they had not received his medical report, they would not be able to approve his application,” she said.
She told the evening daily that she was dazed by the sudden news of his death, but soldiered on, taking her children to her husband’s bedside to see him one last time. She said she broke down only when she got home.
According to Mrs Ng, her husband doted on their children, taking them swimming and teaching them Mandarin.
When their daughter saw Mr Ng’s body, she asked her mother repeatedly: “Who will cook from now on? Who will take me to school?”
Choking back tears, Mrs Ng said that their son had clamoured for his dad early on Tuesday morning, saying that he “wants dad”, and she replied: “I want your dad too.”
When asked about her father’s death, the girl said that it was “very weird, the days without daddy are very weird”.
Mrs Ng said she now has to be both mother and father to her children, so she signed up for driving classes on Tuesday.
Mrs Ng added that her husband had escaped death once in 2007, when a tree trunk fell on a tent he was in. He and two others who were in the tent were unhurt, while one fellow camper, Mr Mohammad Rohaizam Tumadi, died.
The local swimming community has reacted with shock and disbelief over Mr Ng’s sudden death. He was part of the relay team at the SEA Games in 1989 which won gold. His teammates were David Lim, Kenneth Yeo and Desmond Koh.
After learning of Mr Ng’s death, veteran swimmer Ang Peng Siong wrote on Facebook on Tuesday, “A friend of swimming we have lost! Irving, you will be dearly missed.”
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The following is an account by one of the bystanders, a fellow runner Mr William Muk, on a social network site:
“Soon after the 11km mark (at 5:06am) a fellow runner fell right in front of me. At first I thought he tripped. So I asked if he is OK & wanted to help him up. Another runner in front of him also stopped to help. Then we realized something is wrong as his eyes were closed & he didn’t answer us.
First thing we checked is that he is breathing. Then we wanted to contact the organizer’s medical team. Unfortunately, the organizer’s emergency contact number was not printed on the bib. A few more runners had also stopped to help too. Someone called 995 for an ambulance & I could hear the difficulty he had trying to tell them the location. This is because we were not on a main road. We were on a path along Geylang River & it was very dark as there were no lights. While he was on the phone with 995, I checked the website & downloaded the race guide but also could not find the organizer’s contact number. If only we could contact the organizer, they would know the exact location based on the 11km mark.
Another runner stopped to help, which I found out later that he is a doctor. He said his heartbeat is very weak & need an ambulance. The earlier person that called 995 had gone looking for help. So I called 995 (at 5:10am) & had the same problem talking to them. The lady on the line kept insisting that I need to give the exact location before she could despatch an ambulance. I had problems giving that information as I do not know the road names around there. While I was still on the phone with 995, someone managed to locate two of the organizer’s “medics” (that’s what their shirts say) whom were probably on patrol. So I asked the medic if they could call for their ambulance which she said she is calling.
At this time, someone (I think it was the doctor) was already giving the runner CPR as he had stopped breathing. When he saw the medics, he ask for something (not sure what) (most likely an automated external defibrillator – AED – italics mine ) but they don’t have it. He ask what do they have & the medics replied they “don’t have anything”. The doctor said he needed someone to take over the CPR. Fortunately, another runner knows how to & took over the CPR. At that moment, I wished I knew how to perform CPR.
Then I heard someone said the ambulance drove passed but could not find the place. So I & another two runners ran out to the main road (around 5:20am) to see if we could find the ambulance. Luckily the ambulance drove around again & we directed the medical staff to the location (at 5:27am).
They use the AED (the electric shock equipment) about 3 times, I think, but still no heartbeat. All this while, in between the AED charging up, someone was giving CPR, the doctor was also trying to give him an IV & he also asked for adrenaline. The rest of us used our phones to light up the place for them to work.
At around 5:35am, they loaded him onto the stretcher & wheeled him out to the ambulance. I’m not sure whether they managed to get his heartbeat back. I hope he is OK.”
The parents of a teenager from Long Island who died after he went into sudden cardiac arrest at a cross country meet in Western New York are now suing Erie County, a local fire department, and others for wrongful death.
Ronan Guyer was 14 years old in November 2012, when he competed at the State Cross Country Championships held at the Elma Meadows Golf Course. During a practice run, he slipped and fell into the mud. The fall on his chest caused sudden cardiac arrest, according to his family. Ronan died at Women and Children’s Hospital five days later.
In a newly-filed lawsuit, Ronan’s father claims the defendants “did not have appropriate medical personnel and / or an automated external defibrillator on site at the time of Ronan’s collapse and did not otherwise provide assistance to him.”
Named in the suit are Erie County, which owns the golf course that served as the race’s venue; Jamison Road Volunteer Fire Company, which the suit alleges did not provide ambulance service to the event; the New York State Public High School Athletic Association (NYSPHSAA), which sanctioned the championship; Section VI of the NYSPHSAA; and the Southold Union Free School District on Long Island where Ronan was a student-athlete.
Each defendant is accused of negligence and wrongful death.
The lawsuit claims the 14-year-old “suffered severe personal injuries and experienced conscious pain and suffering, including psychological and emotional fear of his death.” That would be key to any possible damages, according to Roland Cercone, an attorney who specializes in civil law.
In the suit, the father makes two key allegations of liability — that an automated external defibrillator was not provided at the event and that an ambulance was not on site.
According to NYSPHSAA’s website, a state law from 2002 requires that for an athletic event held off school grounds, “public school officials must assure that AED equipment is provided on-site.”
As for the ambulance service, the lawsuit says “Jamison (Volunteer Fire Company) was contacted to provide an ambulance at Elma Meadows Golf Course on the day Ronan collapsed” and “negligently failed to attend.” It also alleges the fire company’s negligence “caused the Championships to proceed without an ambulance on site, which would have prevented Ronan’s injury.”
Cercone says the key to this suit will be medical testimony proving the teen’s death could have been prevented with an AED and/or ambulance service. “Negligence alone is not enough, you need causation,” Cercone said.
2 On Your Side reached out to all of the defendants for comment.
Section VI referred us to NYSPHSAA. A media spokesperson said the executive director would get back with us, but that has yet to happen. A message to the association’s attorney has not been returned.
The superintendent for the Southold Union Free School District said in an email, “I have no comment at this time.”
A call to the workplace of the fire company’s president was not returned Monday.
A spokesperson for Erie County responded with a statement that reads, “While Elma Meadows was the venue for the event, the event you are referring to was held by the NYS Public High School Athletic Association. Prior to the event, Erie County required that they procure insurance naming Erie County as an additional insured, which they did. Accordingly, Erie County is being provided with contractual defense & indemnification in this case under the insurance policy.”
A Fort Bend student is on a ventilator after collapsing in gym class. While his parents maintain their bedside vigil, they wonder if more could’ve been done in the moments surrounding his collapse.
Doctors tell the family if the boy recovers, he’ll likely be in a semi-vegetative state. They don’t yet know why the boy collapsed, but they question how the school responded.
Sheila Chan is just beside herself.
“He’s not going to be the same,” she said.
The Missouri City mother has spent every day for a week at Texas Children’s Hospital hoping for a miracle for her 12-year-old son Dustin.
“He’s a good child,” Chan said.
The seventh-grade honors student was in gym class last week at Dulles Middle School when he collapsed, and his family believes precious minutes afterwards were wasted.
“Something should have been done, not just standing there,” Dustin’s uncle, Huy Tran, said.
From what they’ve been able to piece together, they say the coach called for the nurse who responded with an EPI pen. The principal also was there as they all waited for an ambulance. But even as it seemed Dustin was struggling to breathe, they say no one performed CPR or used a defibrillator that was nearby.
“I think in my heart they didn’t do what they’re supposed to do for Dustin,” Chan said.
On Tuesday, Dulles Middle School principal Michael Heinzen sent parents the following letter:
“Our hearts are deeply saddened that one of our middle school students suffered a medical emergency last week. Our main concern is for the student and his family, and our thoughts and prayers are with them during this difficult time.
“Upon initial review, it appears emergency procedures were followed in providing the student assistance until advanced medical support arrived. We will continue to collaborate with local emergency and medical personnel in an effort to maintain the safety and security of our students.
“If you have any questions, please call me at (281) 634-5750.”
With Dustin in ICU on a ventilator and with brain damage, his mother doesn’t accept that and fears it could happen again.
“I don’t want another family to go through what I go through right now. We need to save all the kids’ lives,” Chan said.
Both the nurse and the principal have visited Dustin at the hospital.
Checking with the Crowdsav portal after another recent death, the nearby AEDs can be seen here. These include Bedok Community Centre and an NKF Dialysis Centre.
Sue Hostler was running through a parking garage of Philadelphia International Airport in late August, hurrying to catch a flight home to Pittsburgh, when she came upon a young man in even more of a hurry – for someone to save his life.
Robert Hallinan, a 25-year-old limousine driver from Broomall, Pa., was sprawled on the floor of an elevator, unconscious. He was in cardiac arrest. Hostler, a frequent business traveler and private pilot trained in CPR, acted almost instinctively.
She called 9-1-1 and quickly started CPR. The operator stayed on the line, but said nothing about the possibility of retrieving an automated defibrillator from the adjacent terminal. Another traveler, Vivian Nolan, a cancer patient, came by and offered help. Together they were able to roll Hallinan on his back as Hostler continued hands-only compressions, hard and fast, 100 times a minute.
More than a dozen other people passed by, but no one else stopped. “We were getting increasingly desperate. I was keeping up the compressions, but he wasn’t responding. I kept calling out to people passing by to find an AED, but all I got were these deer in the headlight looks. I knew there was an AED somewhere across that walkway, but I didn’t want to send Vivian away because I wasn’t sure the EMTs would be able to find us,’’ Hostler said in a recent interview.
Finally, after about 15 minutes, an airport police officer arrived. Then Nolan led emergency medical technicians with an AED to the elevator. Hostler had been doing CPR for 17 minutes when they took over and shocked Hallinan’s heart back to life. Although he was in a medically-induced coma for several days, he is recovering with no neurological damage.
Philadelphia International, like most major airports, has AEDs throughout its terminals, 122 in all, according to a 2012 assessment done by the city’s fire department. Yet to those units were invisible to Hostler and the dispatcher managing her call that day.
A senior at St. Charles North High School, Lauren was practicing with the varsity drill team in February 2008 when she collapsed on the cafeteria floor from sudden cardiac arrest.
Although an AED had been located just 40 feet from where she collapsed and paramedics found the device next to her when they arrived more than 12 minutes after the call, the AED was never used. Lauren was pronounced dead at the hospital.
Despite being surrounded by teammates, coaches and school staff, no one did the one thing that could have saved Lauren’s life.
“I cannot accept that,” said her mother, Mary Laman. “She should be here celebrating her birthday … . She should be celebrating Christmas.”
Mary recalled learning the Heimlich maneuver when she was in high school. While at the time she didn’t think much of the training, it wasn’t until her husband was choking years later that Mary saw the importance and was able to react.
The same could be said for teaching how to use an AED and training ongoing generations. “The results would be tremendous,” George said.
George, who worked as a paramedic for 11 years, understands the importance of time.
“It’s frustrating for paramedics to be unable to reach, treat and defibrillate a cardiac patient in time to afford them a good chance to survive,” he said. “Those precious minutes that Lauren laid on the floor without defibrillation, especially with the AED just feet away from her, makes our story especially sad. We can’t have those minutes back. We can’t have Lauren back. Hopefully, this terrible experience will help pass this bill and provide a change so others do not needlessly die.”
“My family made a promise that we would do everything in our power to prevent this from happening to anyone else,” he added.
It turns out defibrillators can’t miraculously save lives if they can’t be turned on.
A man needed life-saving help earlier this month but, although there were people on scene willing to provide it, a failed battery prevented any opportunity for a happy ending.
The good news for a man who went into cardiac arrest on the Toronto subway was that a nurse and a doctor were on the same train and a defibrillator was on the wall of the TTC station.
The man collapsed on the northbound train Nov. 8, the AED (Automatic External Defibrillator) on the wall at Museum station was deployed.
The problem was they could not get it to turn on.
“It didn’t work,” said one witness.
“The battery was dead,” added a Toronto firefighter.
In other words, the AED was useless.
The nurse and doctor attempted CPR and chest compressions until Toronto Fire got to the scene and took over and applied its operational AED.
But it was too late.
The senior citizen was taken by ambulance “vital signs absent” and pronounced dead in hospital.
The big question is if the AED in Museum station had been operational, could it have helped?
“My understanding is that this was a tragedy and even Fire/EMS were unable to revive the gentleman,” said a saddened TTC spokesman Brad Ross. “Toronto Fire and EMS did attend, but the customer did die, sadly. There’s no way to determine if the AED would have made a difference. CPR and efforts by Fire and EMS with their defibs were unsuccessful.”
But why did the AED not work?
”The battery had somehow become dislodged from the unit when it was removed from the case,” Ross explained. “This has been shared with EMS to make sure people are aware of this anomaly. All units on TTC property have been checked.”
“Four in 10 cardiac arrest incidents went unnoticed by private ambulance crewmen when they responded to non-emergency calls…”
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