Couple receive SCDF award after saving man in cardiac arrest

Mr Muhammad Faizal Ibrahim, 26, and his girfriend Noor Hafawati Othman, 28, immediately commenced cardiopulmonary resuscitation after realising that a man had suffered a cardiac arrest on June 27, 2018.
Mr Muhammad Faizal Ibrahim, 26, and his girfriend Noor Hafawati Othman, 28, immediately commenced cardiopulmonary resuscitation after realising that a man had suffered a cardiac arrest on June 27, 2018.PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO

SINGAPORE - A date night to watch a World Cup match ended with some real-life heart-thumping action for one couple - quite literally.

Mr Muhammad Faizal Ibrahim, 26, and his girfriend Noor Hafawati Othman, 28, were waiting for a taxi along Jalan Besar Road when they saw a man collapse outside Sim Lim Tower last Wednesday (June 27).

When they found that he was unconscious and not breathing, Mr Faizal, an emergency response specialist at port operator PSA, administered cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) on him.

It was the first time he performed CPR on a real person.

"I felt nervous and scared. I didn't know what was going to happen afterwards. My hands were shaking and I kept asking and checking with my girlfriend whether I was doing it right," he told The Straits Times.

Ms Hafawati, a nurse with Thomson Medical Centre, checked the man's breathing. The couple also asked a passer-by to call an ambulance.

The man showed some signs of breathing after CPR. The Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) said he was breathing again after paramedics used an automated external defibrillator. The man was later taken to Tan Tock Seng Hospital.

 

On Tuesday, the couple were presented the Community Lifesaver Award by SCDF in recognition of their public spiritedness.

Said 1st SCDF Division Commander Colonel Lim Boon Hwee: "A life was saved thanks to the quick response. We want to build a nation of life savers so that when someone is in need of help, the people nearby can immediately take the initiative and responsibility to conduct and administer aid."

The couple have also won praises among netizens, family members and friends, after videos and photographs of them helping the man were shared on the Internet.

"When I went to work the next day, everyone was shouting 'Wah! Hero! Hero!'" said Mr Faizal.

Although Ms Hafawati had administered CPR before, it was her first time doing so outside of work.

"I didn't expect the incident to go viral so fast," said Ms Hafawati, who has been a nurse for 10 years. "My mother has already cut out our interviews with the newspapers and is showing it to everyone who visits."

The victim is recovering in hospital. The couple intend to visit him within the next few days.