SAF medic lauded for helping sick boy in plane

ME3 Thangaraj R. Krishnasamy was on a Scoot flight when he attended to a child who was having breathing difficulties.
ME3 Thangaraj R. Krishnasamy was on a Scoot flight when he attended to a child who was having breathing difficulties.

A Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) medic has been lauded for going beyond the call of duty to help a boy who had breathing difficulties on a Scoot flight to Singapore.

According to a post on the Singapore Army Facebook page on Saturday night, Military Expert 3 (ME3) Thangaraj R. Krishnasamy, 50, was on his flight home after a holiday when it was announced that a child needed medical assistance.

A passenger told citizen journalism website Stomp that the incident happened at around 7.20pm on board flight TR869 from Bangkok to Singapore on March 31.

The passenger added that the child was experiencing breathing problems.

"It was then I noticed a man who attended to this case," she was quoted as saying. ME3 Thangaraj assessed the child's physical state, obtained his medical history from the parents, and stayed with him to monitor his vital signs until the plane landed, the post added.

A medical team at Changi Airport, working with the cabin crew, was activated to be on standby at the landing gate to take the child to the nearest clinic upon arrival.

"Even when on holiday, our soldiers are always ready to answer the call to serve - not only within our camps but in their everyday lives," the Singapore Army Facebook post said.

Many netizens left comments praising his actions, including one Facebook user who described soldiers as "the real heroes".

In response to queries, a Scoot spokesman confirmed the incident and said a paramedic and a doctor had responded to cabin crew's call for medical assistance on board.

"It was assessed that the guest would require medical attention on arrival and the guest was subsequently met by medical professionals at Singapore Changi Airport and sent to a hospital," the spokesman said.

According to Stomp, ME3 Thangaraj is a senior medic heading the Maju Camp Medical Centre. He is also a cluster sergeant major at the Military Medicine Institute.

He told Stomp that his 34 years in the army has equipped him with skills to deal with medical emergencies.

"I was also part of the SAF medical team that was deployed to provide medical assistance during the Hotel New World disaster," he said of the tragedy in 1986, when the building collapsed and killed 33 people.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 09, 2018, with the headline 'SAF medic lauded for helping sick boy in plane'. Print Edition | Subscribe