Timeline of firefighter Adib’s three-week battle for life

Fire and Rescue Deptment personnel carry Muhammad Adib’s coffin out of the Kuala Lumpur General Hospital’s Forensic Department, December 18, 2018. — Picture by Hari Anggara
Fire and Rescue Deptment personnel carry Muhammad Adib’s coffin out of the Kuala Lumpur General Hospital’s Forensic Department, December 18, 2018. — Picture by Hari Anggara

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KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 18 — Firefighter Muhammad Adib Mohd Kassim died last night, after suffering from critical injuries allegedly inflicted by a mob during the November 27 riots at the Seafield temple in Selangor.

The 24-year-old Kedahan, who was due to marry his fiancee on December 22, spent three weeks fighting for his life in hospitals with the aid of life support machines and specialists.

Malaysians sent their well wishes and prayed for Adib, cheering him on with every small bit of progress in his recovery process.

Those who visited him included the deputy Yang di-Pertuan Agong, the Kedah Sultan, the prime minister, deputy prime minister and the Selangor Mentri Besar.

But his condition unexpectedly worsened several days ago, and he was pronounced dead at 9.41pm yesterday.

Malaysians nationwide grieved over the loss of the man many hailed a “hero”.

Adib was a member of the Subang Jaya Fire and Rescue Station’s *Emergency Medical Rescue Services* (EMRS) unit.

Below is a timeline of events during his final journey, based on news reports:

Nov 26 - First pre-dawn riots at Seafield Sri Maha Mariamman Devasthanam temple in USJ25, Subang Jaya, believed linked to a dispute over the temple’s relocation and management.

Nov 27 - Second riot breaks out at temple with vehicles torched. Nine firefighters, including Adib, deployed to respond to an emergency fire call, with their two vehicles attacked upon arrival.

- Mob allegedly pulls Adib out from emergency medical service vehicle and assaults him, causing him to have multiple broken ribs that resulted in a punctured lung, bruises on his chest and abdomen.

- Adib admitted to Subang Jaya Medical Centre’s Intensive Care Unit at 1am.

- Adib transferred at around 11.33pm to National Heart Institute (IJN), which has country’s only machine required for his recovery.

Nov 29 - IJN says Adib still in critical condition, but stable with continued signs of improvement. At this point, he is in a medically-induced comatose condition, but has shown signs of waking up and is responding to verbal commands.

- Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Mohamad Fuzi Harun confirms Adib was assaulted, says Fire and Rescue Department clarified yesterday he was not knocked down by fire engine as rumoured.

- Police forms special ‘Op Seafield’ task force to probe temple riots.

Nov 30 - Adib wakes up from medically-induced coma, able to understand instructions, respond to verbal commands, move lips. Remains highly sedated for organ recovery, reliant on dialysis, heart and lungs stabilised with aid of machine.

Dec 1 - Former Fire and Rescue Department director-general Datuk Dr Soh Chai Hock says assault on Adib was believed to be the first in the department’s history.

Dec 2 - At 11am, Adib taken off life support system for heart as his heart is able to function on its own, but still needs ventilator for lungs.

Dec 3 - IJN says Adib able to nod, open eyes and understand instructions; still in critical condition but stable.

Dec 5 - Datuk Seri Najib Razak visits Adib, says he’s conscious and can listen, but cannot speak.

- IJN says Adib’s left lung shows early signs of recovery, heart functioning well on its own, still needs dialysis for kidneys. Adib undergoing pulmonary rehabilitation and limb exercise.

- IJN restricts visitors for next two to three days to enable uninterrupted physiotherapy, reduce infection risks from visitors. Despite progress, Adib considered critical as lungs and kidney still need support systems.

Dec 8 - Adib still critical but stable, still on life support. Police yet to record statement from Adib, waiting for improved condition.

Dec 10 - A conscious Adib begins to communicate through writing on a whiteboard.

- IGP confirms 106 suspects arrested over temple riots.

Dec 11 - Adib shows great progress, taken off life support machine for lungs, but still needs ventilator and dialysis. Rehabilitation exercises to improve muscle power and limb strength to be intensified.

Dec 12 - Charges begin against 21 people over temple riots, mostly over the criminal offences of rioting and causing serious injuries. Police still awaiting IJN’s nod to record Adib’s account of events.

Dec 13 - Adib still critical but stable.

Dec 16 - IJN says Adib suffered progressive deterioration in lung function in last 24 hours as a result of his severe initial lung injury, life support system reinserted to support breathing, still requires dialysis. IJN says Adib “critically ill”, limits visits.

Dec 17 - At 9.41pm, Adib succumbs to his injuries and dies at IJN.

- Selangor police reclassifies Adib’s case from Penal Code’s Section 307 for attempted murder to Section 302 for murder.

- PM and DPM share sadness and offer condolences to family. DPM reminds Adib’s death not caused by racial or religious crime, but by “heinous crime” that would not go unpunished. DPM urges Malaysians to stay calm and let the authorities handle the legal process.

Dec 18 - Adib’s remains flown back to Kedah for funeral prayers and burial.

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