Ex-national swimmer dies of cardiac arrest

Former national swimmer Irving Ng, 43, was out for his weekly jog on Saturday when he died due to a heart attack.

Martynn Koh the Deceased

Former national swimmer Irving Ng the Deceased

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.”

Tags: , ,

Friday, February 27th, 2015 Event No Comments

Seemingly Healthy Frequent Runner Dies at Marathon

Martynn Koh the Deceased

Martynn Koh the Deceased

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.”

Tags: , ,

Tuesday, March 4th, 2014 Event No Comments

Loss of a Bright Child

Nur Aisyah Ismail, a secondary one student from Singapore Chinese Girls’ School, had collapsed early yesterday morning according to a Berita Harian news report. She had been running the 2.4 km run presumably during morning P.E when she collapsed and went into a short fit before losing consciousness.

Nur Aisyah Ismail

A call every mum dreads
Her mother, Madam Juriah Ahamad said that she got the fateful call at 8.46am while she was still having her breakfast. The teacher in charge had conveyed the news of her daughter’s condition and informed her that they had also called for an ambulance.

Before she was able to recover from the shock, the school called a second time, this time to inform her that the paramedics were unable to discern her daughter’s pulse and that her breathing had stopped.

She and her husband then rushed to KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital where her daughter was sent too. She told Berita Harian how she was hopeful as she knew her daughter was a fighter and had a strong will to live.

A birthday tragedy
Unfortunately, doctors were unable to revive Nur Aisyah who passed away in the hospital. She had just turned 13, that very day itself and would have celebrated the joyous event with her family and twin brother.

Her father, Mr Ismail Adan, recounted how he and his wife had planned to get their children pizza and a chocolate cake as a birthday surprise along with a birthday card written in Malay that translates to: “To my special children…We are forever thankful to God for blessing our lives with the two of you…Love you very much.”

The parents are shattered and at a loss as to how this happened especially since their daughter is both active and has no history of illness.

Tags: , , , , ,

Wednesday, March 13th, 2013 Event No Comments