A secondary school student in Singapore collapsed in school yesterday during 2.4km run and died later
On Wednesday (Feb 15) at around 5 pm, Madam Cynthia Lee got a call from Loyang Secondary School, saying her teenage son had collapsed.
Sadly, 15-year-old Bryan Chee died, after collapsing during a 2.4 km run in school. According to The Straits Times, teachers had tried in vain to revive him.
Congenital heart defect
His mother has been quoted as saying that Bryan had a congenital heart defect and there was a valve missing in his heart; a condition she and her husband Larry Chee got to know of when he was seven.
According to The Straits Times, his doctor said that after annual hospital check-ups for three years, his condition had stabilised, and check-ups were needed only once in two years.
Bryan was otherwise known to be healthy and fit, and a friendly school boy who never complained, and loved basketball.
On the ill-fated day, he had been on the first or second lap of his run, when he suddenly sat down and collapsed on the track.
According to the police, the boy was unconscious when he was taken to Changi General Hospital; he was later declared dead. While the exact cause of Bryan's death has not been confirmed yet, the death certificate apparently states it as cardiac failure.
Family and friends mourn
Friends and family of this young boy can't believe that he's gone so suddenly. About 20 schoolmates visited Bryan's wake in Pasir Ris. His mum has been quoted as saying, "They shared with me how likeable Bryan was and his friend's mother even said she treated him like her own son whenever he went over to their house."
His aunt, Agnes Tan, also wrote a heartfelt post on Facebook. "A nephew eyes have gone forever, his smile, his laugh, his face where once stood before us. A lone picture, takes his place...Someone dear to me who I watched him grow from an infant to a young handsome chap just left us today out of a sudden" she wrote.
We offer our sincere condolences to this family. It is really heartbreaking to see a bright, young life pass away so soon.
Precautions for children with congenital heart defects
Parents and teachers of children with congenital heart defects should be aware that such children may:
- Tire easily or want to avoid activities that require a lot of exertion. They may experience shortness of breath after exercise.
- Have activity restrictions. Their doctors should be consulted on how much activity is allowed for them. Teachers should be appropriately informed.
- May be prone to chest infections. They may be more likely to get common respiratory infections such as bronchitis and pneumonia.
- May have developmental delays or learning problems. They may also be shorter or lighter than their classmates, and have trouble gaining weight.
- Need to carry a water bottle to stay hydrated, or stay indoors on hot days.
- May be slower than the others, so may need extra time to go to and from classes.
- Need to go the bathroom a lot if they're taking diuretic medication.
- Have bluish skin colouring due to low oxygen levels. May need to use supplemental oxygen.
- Care should be given to their diet, and to ensure that it is balanced. They should also get enough hours of sleep everyday.
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