'I don't know how to thank my angels': 4 students commended for saving man who had cardiac arrest

(Clockwise from far left) Dunman High School student Zhang Yiying, Dunman High School teacher Ang Eng Choon, SCDF full-time national serviceman Daniel Wong, Dunman High School alumnus Ken Teo Rong Jye, Dunman High School student Liau Xuan Xuan Valeri
(Clockwise from far left) Dunman High School student Zhang Yiying, Dunman High School teacher Ang Eng Choon, SCDF full-time national serviceman Daniel Wong, Dunman High School alumnus Ken Teo Rong Jye, Dunman High School student Liau Xuan Xuan Valerie, Dunman High School student Lim Qi Yang, Mr Koh Aik Koon and Dunman High School student Ng Wen Min.ST PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN

SINGAPORE - Dunman High School student Ng Wen Min was studying for the upcoming A-level exams in her school's indoor sports hall last month when she heard a call for help.

A group of men, who had been playing basketball on campus, were looking for someone who knew how to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) as their teammate had suffered a cardiac arrest and collapsed.

Wen Min, who had acquired CPR skills in St John Brigade, set her books aside and rushed over to help the man who had blacked out.

The 18-year-old's quick reactions, as well as the timely responses from others including her schoolmates, saved the 44-year-old man.

Four of them - Wen Min and her schoolmates Lim Qi Yang, 18, and Liau Xuan Xuan Valerie, 17, as well as Dunman High School teacher Ang Eng Choon, 60 - got the SCDF Community Lifesaver Award.

The award recognises members of the public who have helped to save lives and whose actions involved an element of self-risk.

The other two - student, Zhang Yiying, 17, and Dunman High School alumnus Ken Teo Rong Jye, 54 - received the SCDF Community First Responder Award.

This award is presented to members of the public who have rendered assistance to others in distress, saved property, or both.

Recalling the incident that happened on Sept 2, at 7.40pm, Wen Min said she had rushed over to the cardiac arrest victim, Mr Koh Aik Koon, and performed CPR on him after realising he was not breathing and lacked a pulse.

 
 
 

It was her first time performing CPR outside of her training.

"I was very nervous, but I remembered this was what I had been trained in, so I applied the knowledge I had," said the Integrated Programme student.

"I'm thankful that I had the opportunity to be there at the right moment to help him."

Meanwhile, her schoolmates Qi Yang and Valerie, who were nearby and equipped with first-aid skills, helped a teacher, Mr Ang, and an old boy, Mr Teo, to set up an automated external defibrillator (AED).

The two men, who were playing basketball with the cardiac arrest victim, had brought the AED over when he lost consciousness.

Another student who was nearby, Yiying, helped to guide the ambulance to the victim.

SCDF full-time national serviceman Daniel Wong also helped to save him by performing CPR on him. The 20-year-old was having his dinner nearby when he was notified of the incident on the myResponder app, which alerts community first responders of cardiac arrest victims in close proximity to them. He then ran over to the school to help.

He will receive the Service Excellence Award.

The cardiac arrest victim, Mr Koh, who works as a building management staff member, said he was very thankful to all the people who helped him. "I don't know how to repay my angels," he said.

Speaking at an awards ceremony in Tampines, Colonel Alan Toh, Commander of the 2nd SCDF Division, said: "The collective effort of everyone stepping forward to render assistance led to a life being saved.

"This act of public spiritedness exemplifies SCDF's vision of 'a nation of lifesavers', where anyone can learn important lifesaving skills and make a critical difference to someone in need of help."

Correction note: An earlier version of the story said that the victim suffered a heart attack when he actually had a cardiac arrest.