SAF regular who died: He was a pillar in his wife's life
SAF regular dies after being found unconscious in camp
Like any six-year-old, he was engrossed with his toys, oblivious to the solemn mood beyond his bedroom walls.
In the living room of the Hougang HDB flat, people moved quietly and talked in hushed voices as family, friends and colleagues of the boy's father, Master Warrant Officer (MWO) Jude Sebastian Vincent, 49, trooped in to pay their last respects.
The Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) regular serviceman was found unconscious in Stagmont Camp on Friday.
He was immediately taken to the camp medical centre, where an SAF medical officer attended to him when he arrived at 10.35am, said a statement released by the Ministry of Defence (Mindef) yesterday.
MWO Vincent was taken in an SAF ambulance to National University Hospital at 11am. During the journey, the medical officer and medics continued to try to resuscitate him. He was pronounced dead at 11.54am at the hospital, the Mindef statement said.
MWO Vincent's wife, who uses Mala Thiagarajan as her Facebook name, posted on her timeline at about 1am yesterday that "our world came tumbling down".
Madam Mala, a pre-school teacher, added: "I cannot express how I feel right now. I just wished it is a bad dream that I can wake up from. We can't even imagine a life without him."
Upon hearing the news, Madam Mala's sister, Mrs Jeya Dinesh, in her 40s, took the earliest flight out of India's Tamil Nadu, with her mother, to keep her sister company.
DEPENDED ON HIM
Describing MWO Vincent, Mrs Dinesh told TNPS: "He was a pillar in my sister's life. She depended on him a lot. Whenever there was anything to be done, she would say, 'Jude's there.'
"It is going to be very hard for her to be living alone with a young child."
An aunt, who declined to be named, said that the couple's only child has yet to grasp the gravity of the situation.
She added: "She (Madam Mala) has explained to him that daddy has gone back to God, but he still doesn't understand."
But she added that the boy, who was with Madam Mala, did cry once.
Mrs Dinesh described MWO Vincent, who was the youngest of nine siblings, as jovial, easy-going and well-liked.
"He was always with a smile," said a colleague of MWO Vincent, who declined to be identified.
Messages of condolences have poured in from netizens, with one posting a video tribute.
Posted by alvinpang7797, the video came with the following text: "I am sadded (sic) to hear this news when i just greeted you this morning and saw you after your run walking to the mess :( You never walk alone. See you again. You had gone (sic) a better place."
In the video, he also described MWO Vincent as the funniest and most helpful "encik" he has known in his life and said MWO Vincent was "too helpful" and willing to help anyone who needed help.
Mindef and the SAF have extended their deepest condolences to the family of MWO Vincent, said Mindef's statement.
"The SAF is assisting the family in their time of grief. A police investigation will be conducted," it added.
The hearse for MWO Vincent will leave for Mandai Crematorium at 2.30pm on Tuesday for cremation at 5.45pm.