Couple lauded for performing CPR and reviving man who collapsed in Jalan Besar Road

Mr Muhammad Faizal Ibrahim, 26, and his girlfriend Noor Hafawati Othman, 28, rushed to the man's side when they saw that he had collapsed.
Mr Muhammad Faizal Ibrahim, 26, and his girlfriend Noor Hafawati Othman, 28, rushed to the man's side when they saw that he had collapsed. PHOTO: FACEBOOK/AARON CHUA

SINGAPORE - A couple was headed for supper in Jalan Besar Road after watching a World Cup match in the early hours of Wednesday (June 27) when they saw a man collapse across the road.

Mr Muhammad Faizal Ibrahim, 26, and his girlfriend Noor Hafawati Othman, 28, rushed to the man's side. The man, who had fallen outside Sim Lim Tower, was unconscious and had stopped breathing.

Realising that the middle-aged man had suffered a cardiac arrest, the couple immediately commenced cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and asked a passer-by to call an ambulance. He started breathing again after a few cycles of CPR.

As close to 20 passers-by looked on, the couple worked as a team, with Mr Faizal applying CPR while Ms Hafawati checked the man's breathing.

The couple's actions were highlighted by Facebook user Aaron Chua in a post early on Wednesday, which has since garnered nearly 400 shares.

The Straits Times understands that the man is a taxi driver, and had been walking back to his vehicle after a meal when he collapsed. 

In response to queries, the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) said it received a call for medical assistance at about 1.15am. He was breathing again after paramedics used an automated external defibrillator.

He was taken to Tan Tock Seng Hospital via ambulance, and the hospital was alerted to be on standby to receive him.

Mr Faizal told The Straits Times the quick response of the couple could be partly due to the professional training they had received at their respective workplaces.

 
 

"When I saw that he wasn't breathing, I quickly executed CPR even though this was my first time doing it in public. I work as an emergency response specialist for (port operator) PSA, and my girlfriend is a trained nurse from Thomson Medical Centre."

The couple also told onlookers to give space for the man to breathe, and enlisted the help of nearby eateries to provide cardboard to elevate the man’s head.

ST reported in April that more than 2,000 people a year suffer from out-of-hospital cardiac arrests.

With the help of SCDF dispatchers who give instructions over the phone, the percentage of bystanders performing CPR rose from just 22 per cent of such cases in 2011 to 54 per cent in 2015.