Monday, February 25, 2019

"I would help again": Interview with Lynne Solomon

Every week, SG Assist interviews everyday Singaporeans to ask them about their relationship with their family , and how it affects their work and personal life. This week, we interviewed Lynne Solomon, a 51-year-old entrepreneur and craftsmaker.

Lynne Solomon was home alone when she heard a frantic knocking at the door. When she opened it, she recognised the house-helper who lived with an elderly man in the HDB flat adjacent to hers on the same floor. At first, it was difficult to understand the helper due to her panic, but Lynne eventually understood that the elderly man had suffered a fall and was unconscious. Immediately, she left the house to assist her neighbour.

The elderly man, who was about eighty years old at the time, had apparently fallen in the bathroom as his helper was bathing him. To her horror, the elderly man, who was already suffering from a myriad of medical conditions, was unconscious and unresponsive. Frightened and unsure of what to do next, she sprinted across to Lynne's flat and requested assistance.

Lynne recalls not being especially close to her neighbours. The elderly man was mostly home-bound and lived in a five-room HDB flat with only his helper. "It was too big of a house for him to live in alone," she says. The children lived in their own houses and visited only occasionally. "Maybe it cost too much for him to live with them," she adds. The first thing that she asked the helper was: "Have you called his children? Are they with him?" To both questions, she answered "no." She did not even know their phone numbers.

Lynne called 995 and waited at the scene of the emergency and asked the helper for the necessary medical information to convey to the dispatchers over the phone. The emergency services soon arrived and thanked Lynne for her assistance. 

Without the help of a Kampong Hero like Lynne Solomon, the extended time in which he would have not received the proper support from emergency medical services would have exacerbated his condition.

When asked if she would offer her help again if a similar situation arose, Lynne said, “Yes. I would help again.” Lynne's inspiring display of 'kampung spirit' is one that should be emulated, especially in a society in which Singaporeans rarely have close relations with their neighbours. It is also admirable the calm yet efficient way in which she handled the situation so that the emergency medical services could swiftly address the situation.

SG Assist looks up to Kampong Heroes like Lynne as role models embodying the ‘kampong spirit’ in today’s society.

Written by Liyana Adnan

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