Ms Audrey Tan, 52, was reading her newspaper outside her office at the void deck of Blk 444, Ang Mo Kio Avenue 10 when she suddenly heard a loud thud. The therapy assistant from TOUCH Home Care (THC) had arrived early that morning and was taking a short rest before starting work. When Audrey turned around, she saw an elderly man lying motionless on the top of the staircase near the lift. A female resident who was on her way to work was beside him, tapping his shoulder and calling “Uncle, uncle!”
Quickly, Audrey ran forward to see what was going on. When she realised that the elderly was unconscious, she joined the resident and tried to wake him up. Immediately, they called 995. When Audrey saw his loose denture, she quickly took it to prevent him from choking. At this point, they were joined by a taxi driver who came forward to render assistance. When Audrey saw that the resident and the taxi driver had difficulty applying the correct Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation or CPR techniques given by the emergency medical personnel over the phone, her instincts kicked in and she quickly took over.
“My priority was to save the elderly’s life. Time was of essence as his face was turning pale. I did not have much time to think. I had to try my best to resuscitate him. He’s someone’s father and grandfather. I can imagine how worried his family members will be,” said Audrey.
Just two months ago, Audrey had attended an in-house CPR course, together with some 40 THC staff organised for the first time by the Agency for Integrated Care for voluntary welfare organisations. At THC, all field staff are required to attend the Basic Cardiac Life Support Course, which includes CPR training every two years. This is to help staff refresh their skills to enable them to respond quickly and efficiently to emergencies and help save lives.
“I remembered what I was taught. It came naturally although it was my first time applying what I have learnt in a real situation. I just did my best and prayed hard. When I was told by the paramedics that there was a pulse, I was so relieved. It was team effort. Everyone played a part,” added Audrey.
The elderly’s grandchildren had written a thank you note to Audrey and informed her that their grandfather is undergoing spinal treatment and is on the road to recovery. The family also made a donation to THC.
“On behalf of my family, I wish to thank Audrey for her helping my father when he fell. We were so worried when we learnt he was rushed to the hospital. Her kind act means a lot to us,” said the elderly’s youngest daughter.
“Audrey’s quick reaction in performing CPR speaks of her dedication in helping others. We are glad the elderly received timely help and we wish him a speedy recovery. In her five years with TOUCH, Audrey always goes the extra mile to support the needs of our frail seniors. We are also encouraged to see the benefits of our staff upgrading their skills and learning useful life support skills to help save lives,” said Mr Kavin Seow, Director, TOUCH Home Care and TOUCH Caregivers Support.