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Ex-national swimmer dies of cardiac arrest

DOTING: Mr Ng with his daughter, eight, and son, three
Ex-national swimmer dies of cardiac arrest

HAULING THEM IN: Mr Ng was a national swimmer in his youth and had won many medals.


    Feb 26, 2015

    Ex-national swimmer dies of cardiac arrest

    FORMER national swimmer Irving Ng, 43, was out for his weekly jog on Saturday when he died due to a heart attack.

    The physical education teacher at Hai Sing Catholic School was only 1km from home when he collapsed after suffering a sudden heart attack, Chinese daily Lianhe Wanbao reported yesterday. Passers-by tried to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation on him, but he died after being taken to Singapore General Hospital despite efforts to revive him.

    His wife, a senior tax manager in her 30s, was red-eyed when speaking to Wanbao, saying that a good husband, father and teacher has been lost.

    He was recently nominated for the President's Award For Teachers. The couple would have celebrated their 10th anniversary on July 23, and Mr Ng had planned to take his wife on holiday as a surprise.

    Mrs Ng said that her husband took care of everything at home and was a "perfect" husband. She added that his parents had eaten lunch with Mr Ng in the afternoon, and they were shocked to have lost him by night.

    The teacher had put their daughter, eight, and son, three, to bed at about 8pm on Saturday, before going for his weekly run. His usual route begins at The Pinnacle@Duxton, goes round Marina Bay Sands and then ends back home, a distance of 9km.

    According to her, Mr Ng - who represented Singapore in the SEA Games in 1989 - was very healthy and exercised at least thrice a week, adding that she found his death "too sudden".

    However, he had complained about chest pains a few months ago, she said.

    "The strange thing is that he later made an online search for the reasons for his chest pains, heart disease and other symptoms," she said.

    He had tried to buy a life insurance policy last month, but was asked to go for a medical check-up by the insurance company as he had undergone surgery for appendicitis.

    "I've just received a letter from the insurance company and it said as they had not received his medical report, they would not be able to approve his application," she said.

    She told the evening daily that she was dazed by the sudden news of his death, but soldiered on, taking her children to her husband's bedside to see him one last time. She said she broke down only when she got home.

    According to Mrs Ng, her husband doted on their children, taking them swimming and teaching them Mandarin.

    When their daughter saw Mr Ng's body, she asked her mother repeatedly: "Who will cook from now on? Who will take me to school?"

    Choking back tears, Mrs Ng said that their son had clamoured for his dad early on Tuesday morning, saying that he "wants dad", and she replied: "I want your dad too."

    When asked about her father's death, the girl said that it was "very weird, the days without daddy are very weird".

    Mrs Ng said she now has to be both mother and father to her children, so she signed up for driving classes on Tuesday.

    Mrs Ng added that her husband had escaped death once in 2007, when a tree trunk fell on a tent he was in. He and two others who were in the tent were unhurt, while one fellow camper, Mr Mohammad Rohaizam Tumadi, died.

    The local swimming community has reacted with shock and disbelief over Mr Ng's sudden death. He was part of the relay team at the SEA Games in 1989 which won gold. His teammates were David Lim, Kenneth Yeo and Desmond Koh.

    After learning of Mr Ng's death, veteran swimmer Ang Peng Siong wrote on Facebook on Tuesday, "A friend of swimming we have lost! Irving, you will be dearly missed."