Firemen play doctor to coax man from suicide bid

Firemen play doctor to coax man from suicide bid

GEORGE TOWN - The sight of a mentally-unstable man standing precariously on a window ledge on the 17th floor of a private hospital here caused a two-hour gridlock at major roads here.

The 25-year-old was seen straddling the window ledge of Gleneagles Medical Centre at 1pm yesterday.

Half of his body was inside the ward while the other half was over the window.

Firemen, who had dressed up as doctors, spent two hours trying to coax him off the ledge by giving him food, such as apples, a bottle of drink and a few cigarettes before he was pulled back into the ward.

Eyewitnesses said the man was aggressive and required the help of six men, including a real doctor, before they seized the opportunity to overpower him.

The doctor, a visiting consultant neurosurgeon who had "buddied up" with him, injured his index finger during the struggle.

Lebuh Pantai Fire and Rescue Department chief Ismail Mohd Zin said they initially planned to throw a rope from the roof to lasso the man.

"However, our officers noticed that he had let his guard down, so we moved in to pull him to safety."

Gleaneagles Medical Centre deputy chief executive officer Ivan Loh said the man, from Lunas in Kedah, was admitted on Tuesday night after complaining of headache.

"He was fine the entire time. He went for a magnetic resonance imaging scan and underwent blood tests. He was stable then.

"Our nurses later told us that he had used a chair to break the window pane, which was locked, before attempting to jump."

It is also learnt that the man had said he called the police to report his car had been stolen.

Northeast district police chief Assistant Commissioner Gan Kong Meng said the case would be investigated for attempted suicide.

Samaritans of Singapore (SOS):1800-2214444
Singapore Association for Mental Health:1800-2837019
Sage Counselling Centre:1800-5555555
Care Corner Mandarin Counselling:1800-3535800
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