Paraplegic teen suffered a seizure while eating, says doctor

Paraplegic teen suffered a seizure while eating, says doctor
PHOTO: The Star/ANN

SEREMBAN - Sixteen-year-old Muhammad Firdaus Dullah who died on Wednesday had choked on his food during an epileptic seizure, Tuanku Ja'afar Hospital director Dr Ariffin Mohamad said.

He said a post-mortem conducted on the mentally challenged and para­plegic teenager had found ­traces of food in his throat.

Dr Ariffin Mohamad said the food samples had been sent to the lab to ascertain what he was eating and results could be expected within the next fortnight.

Muhammad Firdaus was pronounced dead at TJH after he was rushed there from the government-run Taman Sinar Harapan home.

He was having his lunch when he collapsed following a seizure.

Paramedics from TJH rushed there within minutes and tried to resuscitate him, but to no avail.

Muhammad Firdaus had been living at the home for the past 16 months. He was admitted after being found in a severely malnourished state by a team of Immigration officers conducting a raid to catch illegal foreigners. They had stumbled upon him in a filthy flat in Nilai in June last year.

The teenager, who was unable to walk, only had a tattered and soiled T-shirt on and was covered in his own faeces and urine. He weighed a mere 15kg when he was found.

His 41-year-old mother, Lolano­pita Sadi, then a helper at a catering company in Sepang, had claimed that there was no one to look after him when she went to work.

She was eventually sentenced to four months in jail after being found guilty of neglecting her son.

Muhammad Firdaus had been on the road to recovery since and weighed 27kg despite the occasional seizures.

Yesterday, Muhammad Firdaus' remains were taken to the state mosque here for prayers before burial at the Tuan Haji Said Muslim cemetery.

Lolanopita, who was present, was heard telling those present that she last met her son a week before his death.

"He loved to eat buns but they must come with filling. He never liked empty buns," said a grieving Lolanopita.

Negri Sembilan Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan and wife Raja Datin Seri Raja Salbiah Tengku Nujummudin were also present to offer prayers for Muhammad Firdaus.

Mohamad, saddened by the teenager's death, commended the state Welfare Department for doing its bit for Muhammad Firdaus.

"I was made to understand that he was getting healthier by the day until the fateful attack.

"It is extremely sad that he was neglected by his family during his lifetime and all we can do now is to pray for his soul," he said.

State Welfare Department director Mohamad Hapil said Lolanopita used to visit Muhammad Firdaus three or four times a month.

"She seemed attached to her son and would come whenever she was not working," he said.

Asked about the RM90,000 (S$30,000) in donations contributed by the public for Muhammad Firdaus, he said the department would decide what to do with the money in due course.

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