Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Precautions and Prayers

We had a 7.5km marathon around Lembah Beringin on Saturday morning, in conjunction with KY's Health Awareness Week. Unfortunately, the run was marred by a tragic incident that happened to one of us.

One of the students, Syazwan who is also my petbrother was just 10m away from the finishing line when he collapsed and fainted. When he got conscious he had a seizure attack and fast-forwarded to now, he's in ICU fighting for his life. There are different theories as to what exactly is the cause, ranging from heatstroke to kidney failure to some superstitious stuff. But let's leave it at that, out of respect for him and his family.

The damage on him and his body system is far worse than what I can describe on here and we're all praying for the best, hoping he'll recover quickly from this ordeal.

His tragedy resurfaced a few things that needed attention. While there isn't anyone who should be blamed for what happened, I just wished things could have been handled in a better manner, particularly the marathon.

First things first, I can't help to question why weren't there any paramedics, significant police force or more volunteers looking after the runners? 7.5km marathon is not exactly a short distance run. It's even more perplexing that there wasn't any professional medical help on standby throughout the day should anything harmful were to happen to one of us. I could only see a few policemen at one checkpoint at a place which wasn't strategically located.

And let's not even get started on the jungle trail. There was no one on guard along the jungle trail which should not have been the case. There came a point of time where some of us were running alone on the trail with no one in front or at the back. Imagine how dangerous this could be especially for girls. Anyone could just grab you into the bush and no one would notice a thing. And since it's a jungle trail, it did not discount the fact that there may be wild animals lurking in there, ready for attacks. I wonder if the organizer did not notice this matter.

What comes next might touch a raw nerve in some people but I just have to say it. Intense pressure. High committee of Houses, I plead to all of you to stop putting ridiculous pressure on your members to perform. Words like "Whatever you do, don't stop running. Just keep going." or "I'm expecting most of you to get Top 30 or Top 50" only put even more pressure on us to outdo ourselves particularly before a big run like this.

I know they meant well, that these words were supposed to act as encouragement for the rest of us. And perhaps, it's okay to push ourselves to the limits. But the problem is that most of us do not know where our limits are and tend to go beyond them. The intense pressure from the House doesn't help either. Running non-stop for 7.5km?!

Unless you're a trained athlete, you're just putting yourself in a high-risk position to get injured. If those trained runners can't take it sometimes, what more the rest of us? I saw one of the athletic guys running non-stop for 32 minutes and his face was so pale he could have passed as a ghost. There's only so much pressure and hard work your body can take.

I don't know if we did all these because we were medically unaware of the repercussions of pushing the body too hard or because we were too hungry to outdo everyone else and just come top in the competition. God knows.

Yes, what happened to Syazwan was just a case of 1 out of 300 that ran on that day. That everyone else managed to finish the race in due health and fitness. That his case was a rarity.

Well, perhaps not. He was medically fit, he played sports frequently, he was good in his studies, he was just like one of us. And we just got lucky that what happened to him didn't happen to us.

But are we willing to take chances? This post is not about pointing fingers and blaming anyone on the incident. Far from it. It's just supposed to shed some light, to plead the Student Council to review the guidelines and the protocols of the marathon and to implore the Houses to take things easy on the pressure they put on their members. Necessary precautions are needed to avoid similar tragedies in the future.

Because we can't take such chances. Not when it involves lives. Young lives. We've a long way ahead of us. So many things left to do, so many people left to love. We don't want some hiccups of the system to jeopardize any of this, do we?

Also, please keep Syazwan in your prayers. He's currently in Hospital Sungai Buloh, undergoing 24/7 dialysis while doctors try their best to speed up his recovery. He's doing his best to continue fighting for his life.

Now, let's do OUR best to be cautious, to stay strong and remember him in our prayers.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Semoga Syazwan cepat sembuh. Kesian dia.