Man who performed CPR on elderly man who collapsed is 'very selfless'
SAF signals specialist who performed CPR on stranger wins SCDF award for public spiritedness
Selfless is how he is described by his wife and daughter.
And yesterday, Mr U Silvakumar, 58, received a Public Spiritedness Award from the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF).
The Military Expert 3 (ME3) signals specialist with the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) hit the headlines this week when he performed cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) on an elderly man who had collapsed near a petrol station along Serangoon Road on Sunday afternoon.
Mr Silvakumar had been on his way to a nearby temple to prepare for a fire-walking ceremony.
The original Facebook post received 2,500 shares and garnered more than 3,300 likes by Monday night.
Mr Silvakumar's wife, Mrs Vasugi Silvakumar, 55, was not surprised by her husband's actions.
The owner of a transport company told The New Paper: "We have been married for 28 years and there were so many occasions that he did not hesitate to stop to help people.
"He is a very selfless man."
Also describing him as a family man, Mrs Silvakumar said her husband does not drink or smoke and is very religious.
"All his free time, he will be in the temple, helping the temple. Whenever we need help, he will never say no to us," she said.
Mr Silvakumar, who took up a CPR course in 1982 while in the army, sprang into action on Sunday when he saw a crowd surrounding an unconscious man lying on the ground.
He pushed through the crowd and administered CPR on the man after determining that he had no pulse or signs of breathing.
"I performed mouth-to-mouth CPR on him as well. I stayed until the ambulance came," he said.
"People around me were praying for him and I passed them the victim's phone to contact his relatives. When his heartbeat came back on the ambulance's monitor, I was overcome with emotion. I felt so relieved."
CARRY IT FORWARD
Unfortunately, the man later died in hospital.
Mr Silvakumar said that he had been praying for the man to pull through, and was affected by his death.
The deceased's nephew contacted Mr Silvakumar's daughter, Miss Aishwaryaa Kumar, on Facebook to thank Mr Silvakumar, who hopes to see the victim's family in person to offer his condolences.
Mr Silvakumar remains motivated to keep up his spirit of selflessness.
"What we can do, we did, and after that it's up to fate. We should keep on helping people, no matter the outcome," he said.
"We should also stay humble and hope that the person we help will carry it forward and help someone else."
He has taken a few refresher CPR courses over the years.
Miss Aishwaryaa, 24, told The Straits Times that her father, whom she described as selfless and caring, influenced her and her siblings to "do all they can to help people around them".
The chemical engineer said that during the Jakarta Marriott hotel bombing in 2009, her father ran to the bomb site to help victims.
Miss Aishwaryaa said: "My family and I can never be more proud of the man we live with and who brought us up.
"Even as most of us are praising him, he does not actually know that he is quite a sensation now."
Commander of 1st SCDF Division Colonel Alan Chow, who presented the award, told TNP that he was very proud of Mr Silvakumar.
He said: "His action was very commendable. I hope that this would spur others to respond in a similar manner if they witness something like this."
Mr Silvakumar's advice to the public?
"Don't see colour, don't see religion, forget about everything and just look at life. We can have our opinions, our opinions can change, but our lives will never change," he said.
"What we can do, we did, and after that it's up to fate. We should keep on helping people, no matter the outcome."
- Mr U Silvakumar
Where to learn CPR and other emergency procedures
Singaporeans can learn core lifesaving skills and essential emergency procedures for free through the Community Emergency Preparedness Programme.
You can register yourself at any four Singapore Civil Defence Force Division HQs - Queensway, Tampines, Yishun and Bukit Batok.
Participants will learn about first aid skills, cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and defibrillation, fire fighting and emergency procedures.
Participants will receive a certificate upon completion.
They are also invited to register themselves on the myResponder App, a mobile application that alerts users of nearby cardiac arrest cases within 400m of their location so they can help perform CPR or retrieve a nearby AED (automated external defibrillator) before the arrival of the ambulance.
The app is available for both iPhone and Android devices.