Customer saved eatery owner's life

Edwin Huang.
Edwin Huang.

The owner of the famous Authentic Hock Lam Street Popular Beef Kway Teow has a customer to thank for saving his life.

Mr Francis Tan, 63, was at his restaurant along Seah Street on Feb 9, 2014, when he collapsed and suffered a cardiac arrest.

None of the restaurant staff or customers knew how to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation.

But one of them, business analyst Edwin Huang, 32, who was having lunch at the restaurant that day, stepped forward to help anyway.


Without Edwin's help, my father would either be gone or brain dead. We really appreciate what he has done.

MR EDWIN TAN, on business analyst Edwin Huang, who stepped forward to help Mr Tan's father after he collapsed and suffered a cardiac arrest at his restaurant in 2014.

Over the phone, he was directed by the Singapore Civil Defence Force to start chest compressions.

"His tongue was sticking out and he looked very pale. As I was not trained, I was unsure of how much pressure to apply. I was afraid of damaging his organs," said Mr Huang.

The paramedics arrived about seven minutes later and took over.

Mr Tan's 35-year-old son, who is also named Edwin, said: "Without Edwin's help, my father would either be gone or brain dead. We really appreciate what he has done."

Yesterday, the elder Mr Tan was reunited with Mr Huang at the third Survivor Awards Ceremony, which recognises members of the public who have given first aid to those who have suffered a cardiac arrest.

It was held at the Pasir Ris Sports and Recreation Centre, as part of National Life Saving Day.

Mr Tan, who has recovered after a heart bypass operation and more than 20 days in hospital, has since closed the Seah Street branch.

His son now runs the sole branch in North Canal Road.

The elder Mr Tan said: "Edwin saved my life. I've thanked him and hugged him many times."

Adrian Lim

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 18, 2016, with the headline 'Customer saved eatery owner's life'. Print Edition | Subscribe