SINGAPORE - She was an active and healthy schoolgirl who had just joined her school's squash team.
But tragedy struck Wednesday morning when Nur Aisyah Ismail collapsed in the Singapore Chinese Girls' School (SCGS) and died on the way to hospital.
Wednesday also happened to be her 13th birthday.
Nur Aisyah was doing a 2.4km run during a physical education lesson when she collapsed.
Her father, Mr Ismail Adan, 50, told The New Paper Wednesday evening: "When the school called her mother at about 8.35am, I was already at work.
"She then called me saying that my daughter had fallen."
His first thought was that it was not serious but he got worried after his wife said she was being taken to hospital.
Mr Ismail, who works at Nanyang Technological University, rushed back to his Choa Chu Kang home on his motorcycle to pick up his wife, then they rode to the KK Women's and Children's Hospital.
"On our way there, there was a huge jam but fortunately, we were on a motorbike and I weaved my way through the traffic," he said.
When they were almost at the hospital, they received a call and he pulled over to the side of the road to answer it.
He said the person on the other end of the line told him that their daughter was "unresponsive".
Said Mr Ismail: "I begged them to keep trying to revive her, but they said they had done all they could."
When they arrived at the hospital, its representative confirmed that Nur Aisyah had died. They were then taken to see her body.
"We were devastated. I couldn't believe that I was losing a daughter. I hoped that it was all just a dream, but she was just there lying on the bed, motionless," Mr Ismail said.
"She was gone. She was not going to come back."
Mr Ismail said the hospital told him and his wife that they could spend some time with their daughter before her body was removed.
"So we called the schools my two sons are attending to inform them," he said.
"The schools made arrangements for them join us at the hospital. It was nice of them."
It was especially hard for the family because it was Nur Aisyah's birthday.
"We were going to order pizza for dinner and maybe a small cake," Mr Ismail said, adding that she shares her birthday with her twin brother.
Nur Aisyah was a bright student. She had an aggregate score of 257 for the Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE) last year and was in the integrated programme (IP) in her school.
"She was a go-getter and worked hard to pursue what she wanted. She always wanted to do her best in everything.
"She had already completed some projects under the IP programme and was doing well," her father said.
"She was a fantastic girl. Whenever you asked her to do things, she would do them with no complaints.
"She was always the first to volunteer and help her mother in the kitchen."
He said that he was close to his daughter.
"When I go out with her, she will hold my hand. I always asked her why she did that and she said she didn't want to let me go," he said.
"I'll never get to hold her hand again."
Mr Ismail said that she was an active girl and had just joined the school's squash team earlier this year.
He added that the family would go out to play badminton or football every Sunday.
Nur Aisyah had done 2.4km runs before and did not appear to have any problems, he said.
"She had no health problems and was always healthy. It's a big shock that this happened."
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