After Apparent Heart Attack, Singh Returns to Work

Sase N. Singh, a public safety office at Manhattan College returned to work Feb. 22 after suffering a life-threatening heart attack inside of a Dunkin Donuts in December.

On Dec. 22, Singh collapsed in the doorway of Dunkin Donuts, located at 5987 Broadway, and hit his head on the ground. Livery cab drivers that had witnessed the incident waved down two police officers, Officers Roland Benson and Kevin Preiss, from their vehicle to help Singh.

“I don’t remember anything, except that I put my bag on the shelf inside the Dunkin Donuts and and then I just collapsed,” Singh said.

When Benson and Preiss arrived on scene, Singh had no pulse and was not breathing. The two police officers started administering and chest compressions until the ambulance arrived.

““He was laying across the doorway, you couldn’t even get in,” Benson said in an interview on Jan. 21. “My partner jumped over him and we both got down on our knees and I felt for a pulse, there was no pulse, and his eyes looked like he was dead already.”

The officers were able to revive Singh and keep him breathing until he could be taken to a hospital.

“We’re glad he’s doing OK,” Preiss said. “I mean that night, even when he was at the hospital he wasn’t looking too good.”

Singh spent the next five days in a virtual coma, before waking up for the first time since his collapse on Dec. 27. He stayed in the hospital until Jan. 5 and took little over a month to return to work.

Neighbors and friends from Singh’s hometown in Guyana came to visit him in the hospital, as he was the first person in their village to attend high school.

“In those days you just needed an education and my older siblings all wanted me to do something better than them,” he said.”

Singh said the doctors at Montefiore Medical Center did not find a clear cause for his sudden heart attack, and suggested little change to his current lifestyle. He was, though, given the option for a pacemaker, in order to insure that he wouldn’t suffer another cardiac arrest.

“Even though they said I don’t have to, I decided to take this option,” he said. “It would stop this from happening in the future.”

Benson and Preiss said they were happy to hear about Singh’s speedy recovery, they even received a thank you note from Singh’s wife.

“She very much appreciated what we did for her husband and her family, you know,” Preiss said. “It was nice because, you know, most times we help people and then we never hear anything else. It’s nice to get that feedback.”