Part-time student, 26, dies suddenly in his sleep

PHOTO: Part-time student, 26, dies suddenly in his sleep

SINGAPORE - His last words to his parents were "I'm very tired", before going into his room to take a nap. But his parents never saw 26-year-old Tan Songchun alive again.

Tan, a part-time student at the Singapore Institute of Management, was found lying motionless on his bed at about 11pm yesterday.

"His mouth was slightly open and his face was serene, like he was sleeping," said his father.

His mother, who discovered his body, told reporters from Shin Min News Daily that she also found a pool of vomit beside him on his bed.

According to the Chinese evening daily, Tan had come home at about 7pm, after work.

Complaining that he was tired, he told his parents that he would take a nap before dinner. But when he did not emerge from his room a few hours later, his mother went to check on him and found his lifeless body.

Paramedics believe he had been dead for at least an hour.

His father, a 55-year-old odd-job worker, said his son had always been healthy and was filial. The younger Tan had wanted to earn a degree so he could get a better paying job to help support the family.

He had just taken a week's leave to study for his exams, and yesterday was the first day he went back to work.

A doctor interviewed by Shin Min said that vomitting could be caused by a number of reasons including heart and digestive problems, or a head injury.

Vomitting could lead to death if it got into the lungs, leading to pneumonia. But this was more prevalent in alcoholics and the elderly.

He said it was unlikely that vomitting itself could be the cause of death here.

candicec@sph.com.sg

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