Squash player's mum relieved his heart condition was discovered
When she heard the news of student Benjamin Sim's collapse and death, her thoughts raced to her son, Dylan, 15.
He was diagnosed with a heart condition only last year, despite having played competitive squash for nearly 10 years.
His mother, Mrs Dora Fernandez, 45, told The New Paper: "He vomited frequently after training and had breathing difficulty. Worried, we took him for a check-up."
He was diagnosed with acongenital coronary anomaly, or malformed heart vessels.
On the doctor's advice, Dylan would not be able to participate in Napfa tests or competitive sports.
Dylan, who secured Direct School Admission to Raffles Institution through his sport and was subsequently awarded the Half Colours Award for outstanding achievement in sports by his school, was disappointed.
But he has been given the clear to continue recreational physical activities.
Mrs Fernandez, a teacher, said: "Because he is an athlete, his body can compensate in other ways for his heart condition, so he can still do physical education and play sports.
With his mother's consent, Dylan has continued with squash training but is barred by his coach to participate in the school tournaments this year.
Dylan has also learnt to listen to his body. He said: "If I cannot breathe properly, I will stop. Also, I sit out of the 4.8km training runs."
His school has also been informed of his condition. During PE lessons, he sits out of the 2.4km runs.
Before Dylan started showing symptoms, his parents were not aware of his condition. They are grateful they discovered the condition before it escalated.
Mrs Fernandez said: "We could have lost him at any game."
She also advised parents to not brush off warning signs, however small.
"Sometimes it is not a lack in stamina - it could be a sign of a possible condition that should be checked," she said.
Students' safety the top priority: MOE
A Ministry of Education spokesman said students' safety is of top priority and safety protocols are in place for physical activities.
The spokesman said: "Schools collect medical declarations from parents, so that teachers are made aware of any pre-existing medical conditions students may have. At the start of each physical education (PE) lesson, students are asked if they feel well and a visual check is done. Students who are unwell - identified through these checks or via parents' letters and medical certificates - and those who have just recovered from flu, cold and cough, are excused from physical activities."
According to the ministry, warming-up and cooling-down exercises are conducted prior to and after physical activities, and students who are asthmatic are advised to have their medication with them at all times.
Besides regularly reviewing PE programmes, all PE teachers are equipped with skills to respond to medical emergencies.