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Retired Police Officer Reunites With Boy He Rescued From Drowning Over 19 Years Ago

Desmond, who now works in Tokyo, Japan, was ecstatic to hear about Uncle Umar, as he fondly calls him.

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It has been almost 20 years, but retired police officer, Umar Kamarudin, 67, still remembers how he saved a child from drowning

Umar, who served as a superintendent in Bukit Aman, recalled in a recent interview with Bernama that he was off duty when the incident occurred.

Recalling the moment from 19 years ago, on 8 May 2005, Umar said he was holidaying with his wife and two children at KL Plaza Suites, now known as Fahrenheit Suites, for the weekend.

The then-deputy superintendent said he was watching over his children playing in the children's swimming pool when he saw a boy, who was about six or seven years old, struggling to stay afloat in the adult pool.

"I looked away for just a few minutes and when I turned back, I saw the boy was no longer there. I then ran to the spot where I last saw him and he was at the bottom of the pool. I shouted at the crowd to get the child.

"He was already limp with a pale face... My immediate thought was to save him, so I performed CPR, which I had learned in the police force," he said, adding that there were no lifeguards around at the time of the incident.

Retired police officer Umar Kamarudin showing the 'Thank You' card he received almost 20 years ago.

Image via Bernama/New Straits Times

According to the father of four, the atmosphere at the swimming pool became pin-drop silent as he performed CPR on the boy.

Fortunately, the child regained consciousness.

"Not long after, the emergency team arrived and took the child in an ambulance to the hospital for further treatment. That was the last time I saw him," said the retired officer.

Umar said he had made several attempts to locate the boy after the incident, but his efforts were in vain.

He added that the last time he heard from the boy was when he received a 'Thank You' card a few months after the incident, signed by a Desmond Kwek Bo Yang.

"The card read, 'Dear Uncle Umar Kamarudin, thank you very much!' I was very happy to receive the card and have kept it, which is the only memory I have of him.

"I don't how they got my house address and I didn't know how to contact them at that time," he said.

He added that he wonders how the boy, now an adult, is doing and hopes to meet him again someday.

With a stroke of luck, after the interview was published, news reached 26-year-old Desmond, who is currently working in Tokyo, Japan

The film graduate, who pursued his further education in Japan, was ecstatic to hear about Umar, whom he fondly refers to as Uncle Umar, after nearly two decades.

Desmond told Bernama that he was initially surprised to receive several phone calls from acquaintances about a news report mentioning him.

"I thought it was a scam at first. I then called my mom and told her about the news... [Many users tagged my name] in the comments section on Facebook. I was so excited," he said.

Through Facebook, the film gaffer said he then got in touch with Umar's son.

Desmond added that he was also interested to get in touch with Umar when he was in high school, but could not find any information about the police officer, especially since his mother, who had his contact, broke her mobile phone.

Image via Bernama

The two have since reconnected via WhatsApp and had a conversation over the phone, during which Desmond promised to visit Umar when he returns to Malaysia next year

"I just went back to Malaysia in March, so I would be back again maybe next year. Uncle Umar said when I am back again, we will go lepak at a mamak," said Desmond.

Meanwhile, Umar also expressed his gratitude and joy to be able to talk to the little boy he once saved.

"I was overwhelmed with happiness to be able to speak to and hear the young man's voice. He has not forgotten me. I'm happy he is now a successful man working in Japan," he said.

The power of the Internet has also helped these people reunite with long-lost loved ones:

Read more #reunion stories on SAYS:

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