7-year-old Singaporean boy can’t walk or talk after near-drowning experience

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"When his parents hug and kiss him, Syahriz only responds with a distant gaze and a slight frown." As heartbreaking as this incident is, it reminds us - yet again - to always be alert and aware when our kids are in the pool.

Until last month, seven-year-old Syahriz Matin Abdul Halim loved running around and playing like any other little boy his age.

But after he almost drowned last month in a swimming pool, now, he can barely move.

According to The New Paper, the little boy is at KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital, where the only movement he can manage is caused by muscle spasms, making him fidget uncontrollably.

When his parents hug and kiss him, Syahriz only responds with a “distant gaze and a slight frown”.

His father Mr Abdul Halim Abdul Haziz, says his little boy is “almost like a vegetable”, unable to talk, walk or swallow food. “He doesn’t recognise us”, says Mr Halim, “he was not like this before (the incident).”

Syahriz has anoxic brain injury, which was caused by a lack of oxygen to his brain — caused in turn by his near-drowning experience last month.

near drowning Syahriz Matin Abdul Halim

Syahriz’s parents will never give up on him, and are doing all they can to ensure he gets the best of care.

A horrifying incident

Mr Halim revealed to The New Paper that on October 11, his son (who did not know how to swim) was playing in a private swimming pool during a family gathering, along with other friends and family members.

The tragedy reportedly happened when Mr Halim stepped out for a few minutes.

He says:

“I heard someone scream Syahriz’s name and I ran back quickly. All I saw was my son floating in the pool, motionless.

“I can’t really remember anything else because I was not there when he almost drowned, except that he no longer moved.

“It was heartbreaking.”

When Mr Halim returned, his brother-in-law had taken Syahriz out of the pool. Soon after this, a lifeguard appeared and administered CPR. The little boy reportedly had a pulse, but he was not breathing at this point.

After Syahriz was rushed to hospital, it was a battle to save his life. Doctors told the anxious parents that they couldn’t guarantee anything. All they said that they would try their best.

Syahriz thankfully started breathing again after being on life support for a few days.

But just as his parents thought the worse was over, “an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scan showed that the boy had anoxic brain injury, with damaged cells at the top and back of his brain.”

This brain damage has affected his vision and motor skills.

Parents never give up on their children. Find out on the next page what Syahriz’s parents hope to do next in terms of helping their little boy recover. 

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