MacRitchie jogger's death shocked family

This article is more than 12 months old

After his Saturday morning runs at MacRitchie, businessman Rajadanran Suppiah would usually be back at home with lunch by 2pm.

Last Saturday (Aug 12), he did not return.

His wife, civil servant Perummalammal Vailmuthu, told The Straits Times that when she called him multiple times and got no response, she initially thought he was delayed by that day's rain.

But when 4pm came and went, she knew something was amiss.

Mr Rajadanran, 54, had collapsed on the MacRitchie Nature Trail near Singapore Island Country Club during his run. Joggers who went to his aid said he had only a set of car keys on him. He was taken to Tan Tock Seng Hospital but died at around noon of cardiac arrest.

His death came as a shock to his family, as Mr Rajadanran had been in good health since he had bypass surgery 11 years ago.

Ms Perummalammal, 52, said her husband had recovered fully from his surgery in 1½ years. "Running was his passion," she said.

Ms Perummalammal and her son, Mr Gautham Rajadanran, 23, went to MacRitchie Reservoir on Saturday afternoon in search of him.

She said: "We were hoping his car was not there, which would have meant his phone battery had gone flat or something."

But when she saw his car, she realised that something was terribly wrong. She called Tan Tock Seng Hospital, where the staff confirmed that someone had collapsed near the golf course. She was asked to go there right away.

But when she got to hospital, she was told the man who had collapsed had died, and his body had been taken to the mortuary at Singapore General Hospital.

She ended up having the grim news of her husband's death confirmed over the phone when she described him by the clothes he was wearing, and collected his body only yesterday.

The couple were married for 24 years, and had met through mutual friends.

Ms Perummalammal said her husband was a charitable man and, every Thaipusam, he would set up a stall along Serangoon Road to distribute food and water for free.

He would rope in family and friends, and be there from dawn till dusk, spending between $7,000 and $10,000 each time.

Mr Rajadanran also organised blood donation drives twice, paying thousands of dollars for costs such as venue rental. He had many interests and had produced a Tamil film in India called Unnal Ennal, which is due for release next month or in October in both India and Singapore.

His nephew, property agent Ganesh Thamilselvan, said at the wake that Mr Rajadanran had wanted to live "up to 100 years old so he could do lots of things".

Asked what she would miss the most about him, Ms Perummalammal paused, before she said: "He was a really good husband and good father. He was a man of discipline, never drank and never smoked. He was very spiritual and had a lot of discipline.

"I'm going to miss everything. Because he was really a good protector. He gave us that security and that pillar of support."

She said she and her son, who studies life sciences at the National University of Singapore, will do their best to carry on his dreams, such as his Thaipusam charity work.

Speaking softly, she said she was proud of him and their marriage. "What more can I ask for?" she asked. "He gave me 24 years of good memories."