‘Don’t be scared’ to step up and help, says couple who saved man having cardiac arrest

‘Don’t be scared’ to step up and help, says couple who saved man having cardiac arrest

The couple, who administered CPR and saved a man’s life last week, urged others to have “courage” to take action like they did.

SCDF lifesavers
Mr Muhammad Faizal Ibrahim (from left), commander Lim Boon Hwee (centre) and Ms Noor Hafawati Othman (right) met at the SCDF first division headquarters on Tuesday (Jul 3rd) for the Community Lifesavers award ceremony. (Photo: Noella Chye)

SINGAPORE: A "hero". That is what the colleagues of Mr Muhammad Faizal Ibrahim have taken to calling him, after the 26-year-old and his girlfriend revived a man who had collapsed outside Sim Lim Tower on Wednesday (Jun 27).

Mr Faizal and Ms Noor Hafawati Othman, 28, were on their way to supper when they saw a man fall to the ground from across the road. They ran over to the man's side, and found him unconscious and not breathing. 

“I didn’t know what was going to happen next,” Mr Faizal recounted.

Mr Faizal, an emergency response specialist and firefighter performed cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), and asked the 20 or so passersby to call for an ambulance.

His partner, Ms Hafawati said Mr Faizal was “very, very nervous”. She recalled him that his hands were shaking and he asked her repeatedly if he was “doing it right”.

CPR couple Jalan Besar collage
Mr Muhammad Faizal Ibrahim and Ms Noor Hafawati Othman came forward to help and perform CPR on a man who had collapsed outside Sim Lim Tower. (Photo: Facebook/Aaron Chua)

Ms Hafawati, a nurse at Thomson Medical Centre, has faced similar situations at work, but Mr Faizal - while trained in CPR - has never administered it in practice.

She guided him through the process and checked on the victim’s breathing, Mr Faizal said. He added: “I don’t know what would have happened if she wasn’t there.”

They noticed a passerby filming them as they helped the man, and had hoped it would not be posted online because they did not want the attention.

The videos posted on Facebook by user Aaron Chua were circulated widely.

The couple woke up the next day to see almost 100 notifications from “cousins, family, friends” informing them that their good deed had gone viral.

At least  “we went viral in the good way,” Mr Faizal joked. Colleagues at work called him a “hero”.

The victim, who was taken to Tan Tock Seng Hospital, is recovering and Mr Faizal and Ms Hafawati have arranged to visit him soon.

Looking back, Ms Hafawati said: “I’m very thankful that the man is still alive.” She added: “We just happened to be in the right place at the right time.”

“One of his family members commented on my Facebook,” Mr Faizal said. The victim’s sister wrote to thank him for saving her brother’s life.

The pair were honoured with the Community Lifesaver Award on Tuesday (Jul 3) by the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF).

Colonel Lim Boon Hwee, commander of the SCDF’s first division who presented the award, described it as “thoroughly deserved”.

"The man had suffered a cardiac arrest, and was unconscious and not breathing when the couple attended to him," the SCDF added in a Facebook post. " Their timely intervention saved the man's life."

Ms Hafawati urged those who find themselves in similar situations to take action, even if just to call the ambulance hotline. “Operators on the line will provide guidance,” she said.

She added: “It takes courage for someone to step up ... Don’t be scared, just help however you can help.”

Source: CNA/lc(aj)