SINGAPORE - Diniy Qurratuaini learnt first-aid skills in school as a national civil defence cadet, but she never imagined that one day she would single-handedly resuscitate a victim of a road accident.
The 15-year-old performed cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) on a woman who had been hit by a bus. She knew that after five cycles of CPR, she would need the help of an automated external defibrillator.
"My arms started to hurt. We are taught that if the person doing the CPR gets tired, you need to have someone to take over, but there was no one."
"Luckily, after three cycles of CPR, the pedestrian was conscious again," the Secondary 3 student from Temasek Secondary School said on Thursday (Sept 5).
Diniy held back her tears as she recounted the incident on July 19 to The Straits Times.
After finishing school at 6pm that day, she was on her way home on service 25 when the bus hit the pedestrian at a traffic light crossing in New Upper Changi Road.
"I was sitting on the lower deck of the double-decker bus when it hit a lady. I was shocked and I started to panic. But the first thing I did was to tell the passenger in front of me to call 995."
After Diniy explained the situation to a paramedic over the phone, she ran out of the bus to attend to the victim.
"I didn't want to leave her just lying there and have people looking at her. I ran to her quickly to check and realised she was unconscious and didn't have a pulse."
With the first-aid skills she had acquired during her training in the National Civil Defence Cadet Corps (NCDCC), her co-curricular activity (CCA) in school, Diniy was able to resuscitate the woman through CPR.
She said: "I did not hesitate when I was doing it because we practised it during our CCA, and we have been taught CPR since we were in Secondary 1."
"But when the lady woke up, she said that her spine was hurt. I realised that I did CPR on her without knowing what her injuries were," she added.
Afraid that she had worsened the woman’s injuries, Diniy burst into tears but continued to stay by her side, comforting her and ensuring that she was given enough water until the paramedics and police came.
“When they came, some of the bystanders told them that I did CPR and they were surprised. They told me I did a good job,” she said.
Diniy continued her journey home and told her parents about the incident. Only then did she realise the magnitude of the situation.
But the shy teenager, who is the eldest of five children, did not expect her act to receive so much public attention.
After the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) Facebook post on the incident on Wednesday morning (Sept 4), she has received countless praises from not just her family and friends, but also the public.
SCDF also decided to present its Community Lifesaver Award to the teen on Friday (Sept 6).
“Diniy’s quick thinking and selfless act showed that age is no barrier to saving lives,” it said. “SCDF encourages members of the public to emulate the selfless actions of Diniy... This is vital because every minute could mean an increased chance of survival.”
Diniy has since set a goal for herself to be promoted to a Cadet Lieutenant, a rank which will require her to train her juniors.
She said: “I am thankful that a lot of people have praised me for what I did, but I did not do the CPR to be popular or famous, I just wanted to save her life.”