A 60-year-old man from Singapore passed away in Zurich, Switzerland on Mar. 4 six days after suffering a cardiac arrest and collapsing on the streets, reported Shin Min Daily News.
The man, surnamed Hu (hanyu pinyin), was travelling in Europe for the first time with his family when tragedy struck.
After spending six days in the hospital, Hu’s family had to take him off life support as he was almost on the verge of being brain dead, his elder son told Shin Min.
Hu’s body has since been brought back to Singapore, and his funeral was held at an HDB estate at Haig Road.
According to Shin Min, Hu was strolling on the streets in Zurich with his family, including his wife, daughter, and youngest son, on Feb. 26 when he suddenly fell onto the ground.
Initially, the family had planned to spend two weeks in France and Switzerland starting from Feb. 16 and scheduled to return to Singapore on Mar. 1.
“When my father fell down, he was still breathing, and [I could feel] his pulse. Even though he couldn’t open his eyes, he was holding my hand tightly. At that time, it suddenly started snowing, and the church bell began ringing. Many people came out, saw [my father], and stepped forward to help,” recounted Hu’s youngest son.
However, when paramedics arrived at the scene, they could no longer feel Hu’s pulse, so they performed 45 minutes of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) on him, reported Shin Min.
“My father’s heart stopped at least four times, and on the way to the hospital, [the paramedics] continued to perform CPR on him for another 45 minutes,” Hu’s youngest son added.
Family had to remove life support
Upon arriving at the hospital, Hu was admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU) and was put on life support, according to Shin Min.
Over the next few days, Hu’s family remained by his side and continued talking to him, offering him encouragement.
Hu’s eldest son also rushed to Switzerland from his business trip overseas to keep his father company, reported Shin Min.
Unfortunately, the doctors were unable to save Hu.
Passing was unexpected: wife
Speaking to Shin Min, Hu’s wife shared that her husband’s passing came as a shock.
Prior to their trip, he had just undergone a health check-up, and the doctor said everything was fine.
Additionally, while Hu was diagnosed with diabetes, his conditions were under control with medications.
Children saved up for the trip
Hu’s daughter shared with Shin Min that she and her younger brother have been planning the family trip for 2.5 years:
“Every month after receiving our salaries, my younger brother and I would start booking hotels and planning the itinerary as well as sightseeing spots in France and Switzerland. To ensure our parents had a comfortable trip, we booked business class tickets and hired a car to travel around Paris. We also planned to bring them to experience hot-air balloons and helicopters. In total, we spent around S$57,000.”
Hu’s youngest son also told Shin Min that his father suddenly burst into tears during the trip.
The 24-year-old said he was very surprised because it was the first time he saw his father cry.
“[My father] said he never thought he would be visiting Europe in this lifetime, and he was really happy,” explained Hu’s youngest son.
“At least, [my father] passed away when he was at the happiest point of his life.”
According to Hu’s wife, he really enjoyed travelling and had even written down the following on his phone:
“I am very grateful for my children. With your company, I feel very happy. Families that live harmoniously will be blessed!”
Hu served in SCDF for 31 years
Hu’s wife told Shin Min that her late husband had served as a firefighter for 31 years at the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) and participated in rescue operations after the collapse of Hotel New World and Nicoll Highway.
Around two years ago, Hu began helping the public with the OneService App at the community club.
According to his wife, Hu enjoyed a good relationship with his colleagues, and many of them sent voice messages to cheer him up.
Outside of work, Hu was also a family man who would wait for his wife to finish work before eating dinner, reported Shin Min.
The couple had been together for 41 years.
Top images via Shin Min Daily News