​As part of celebrating CardioConnect’s 50th issue, we asked staff to submit some of their most memorable moments in NHCS. This is the third story. Click to read the first and second.

It was my second week as a medical officer at the Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery. I witnessed a patient who went from talking normally to collapsing in mere seconds. 

We had to emergently open his chest to perform an internal cardiac massage. By ‘we’, I meant the experienced care team who was present. As a newbie, I felt like a space occupying lesion who was obstructing the team! Besides being clueless as to what was unfolding in front of me, I remember being awestruck at the efficiency of the doctors and nurses who stepped up swiftly to save the patient. Thankfully, the patient survived.

Years later, I had a eureka moment about that eye-opening encounter – I realised that as healthcare staff, we need to do what we must do to save a life, and that in emergency situations, everyone has an important role to play.

Having gained years of experience under his belt, Dr Tham is unfazed as he prepares for his first educational interview video on cardiac surgery which will be out on NHCS Instagram soon – keep a lookout!

With diseases getting more complex, I would say that my patients are the ones who keep me on my toes, constantly motivating me to challenge myself to improve the care for them. Watching patients get better, grow older and live a fulfilling life have been the best parts of my work!