Insurance manager, 37, dies of heart attack after football game

Left:Mr Wan Hussin Zoohri, former Aljunied GRC Member of Parliament (MP), showing his mobile phone with a picture of his youngest child, Mr Wan Imran Haji Wan Hussin. Right: Mr Wan Imran.

They waited for him to reach home so they could have dinner together on Father's Day.

But he never made it.

On Sunday evening, former Aljunied GRC Member of Parliament (MP) Wan Hussin Zoohri's son, Mr Wan Imran Haji Wan Hussin, died of a heart attack after playing football.

The 37-year-old manager at an insurance firm had earlier shown signs of being unwell.

His brother-in-law, Mr Alif Lim, 50, a civil servant, told The New Paper that Mr Wan Imran had met his usual group of football "kakis" at 5pm to play at Yusof Ishak Secondary School.

"While playing, he felt uncomfortable and went to the toilet to vomit. When he returned, he asked a friend to take him home," saidMrLim Mr Wan Imran lost consciousness on the way back, on Tagore Drive, near Upper Thomson Road.

"His friend said he had fits, before becoming unconscious," said Mr Lim.

His friend immediately called for an ambulance.

The Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) said it received a call for assistance at about 7.20pm, and sent an ambulance.

The officers performed CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) and used an automated external defibrillator on Mr Wan Imran, before taking him to Khoo Teck Puat Hospital (KTPH). They continued with their resuscitation efforts en route.

Mr Lim said they were praying at home when they received a call from Mr Wan Imran's friend.

Together with his wife, her parents and two brothers, he rushed to KTPH.

Mr Wan Imran, the youngest of four siblings, was declared dead at 8.36pm.

Never complained of chest pains

Never complained of chest pain

"According to his friend, he was one of the fittest in the group, and would chase every ball," saidMrLim.

He said Mr Wan Imran's death was completely unexpected, as he never once complained of any chest pains nor had any records of medical problems.

The family is coping well, with support from relatives and friends.

Mr Wan Hussin, who was also former Parliamentary Secretary for Health and Culture, said his youngest son was a pleasant person who respected every one.

"We are closely knit. We gather at home for dinner every weekend and my wife would cook," he said.

He described his son as an ambitious man who wanted to climb the corporate ladder.

"He was promoted this month. We would tease him every morning and call him'Mr Manager'."

Mr Wan Hussin said his wife had taken the shock better than him.

"From the time he was lying in hospital until the burial, I couldn't stop crying. When I see his face, it just reminds meof his gentleness," he said.

He recalled how his son had given him a back massage before leaving on Sunday.

"My back had been uneasy for two days, so before he went out, he gave me a really good massage. I really enjoyed it," said Mr Wan Hussin.

Coping well

Coping well

"That was the last time I saw him alive."

Mr Wan Imran's best friend, Mr Sujen Jayakody, 36, flew in from Sydney, Australia.

Said the medical doctor, who has been based overseas for six years: "We've known each other since our primary school days at St Michael's School (Now St Joseph's Institution Junior)."

As soon as he got the news, he went online to book a flight to Singapore .

He arrived at 2.30pm yesterday and made it to Choa ChuKang Muslim Cemetery in time for the burial.

"He was a really cheerful person. He was very quiet, so it would take a while to get to know him. But once he warmed up, he would liven up the room," Dr Jayakody said of his friend.

The last time the two met was when he returned from Australia 11/2 years ago.

They kept in touch regularly through Facebook.

"On his last birthday on March 3, he told me that of all the texts and wishes he received, he cherished the one I sent him the most," Dr Jayakody said.

"He's like the brother I never had."

No symptoms till disease is severe

No symptoms till disease is severe

Cardiologist Soon Chao Yang said coronary atherosclerosis is a disease that leads to blockage of blood vessels of the heart.

"It is not uncommon as everybody eventually will develop it with ageing. Some will get it faster than others," said Dr Soon of Nobel Heart Centre, based at Mount Alvernia Hospital.

He added that there are generally no symptoms until the disease becomes severe.

"Unfortunately, the more severe cases sometimes end up in sudden attacks, such as in this case here," said Dr Soon.

He said factors that lead to this condition include elevated cholesterol, high blood pressure, obesity, smoking and diabetes.

"To keep all these factors in check, we have to lead a healthy lifestyle and screen for them regularly," he said.

But there are also factors beyond our control, such as gender, ethnicity and family history.

"It is more common in guys, and woman have lower risks until after menopause," he said.

Several social footballers in Singapore have died from heart attacks, but even professionals have not been spared.

They include:

  • PIERMARIO MOROSINI, APRIL 14, 2012: The 25-year-old midfielder, who played for Italian club Livorno, fell to the ground in a Serie B match. He received urgent medical attention on the pitch but never regained consciousness, and was dead by the time he was taken to hospital. 
  • DANIEL JARQUE, AUG 8, 2009: The captain of Spanish side Espanyol died after a cardiac arrest following pre-season training. Club doctors and paramedics tried to revive the 26-year-old midfielder using CPR and a defibrillator, without success.
  • ANTONIO PUERTA, AUG 28, 2007: The wing-back of Spanish club Sevilla collapsed in the 35th minute of a La Liga match against Getafe on Aug 25, 2007. The 22-year-old was able to walk from the pitch but collapsed again in the changing rooms. He had to be given cardiac resuscitation before being taken to hospital. He died three days later.

This article was first published in  The New Paper .