Mohammad Rafi Image Credit: Courtesy family

Abu Dhabi: When Mohammad Rafi was seen sleeping beyond his usual wake-up time on Friday morning, his roommates tried to wake him up but he fell down from the bed to the floor.

They were shocked to see the motionless young man who had fallen asleep the previous night as usual after having a cheerful conversation with them.

They took him to a hospital where he was pronounced dead due to cardiac arrest, the colleagues and family friends of the deceased told Gulf News yesterday.

The 28-year-old Rafi was working as a carpenter and did not have any medical problems at all, Shahul Hameed, his supervisor at work, said.

“He was always cheerful too, he was not at all under any stress,” he said.

He had been working with a private company in Abu Dhabi for more than three years and was from the south Indian state of Kerala.

Raafi is survived by wife and a two-year-old daughter. “He had gone on vacation about a year ago and had a nice time with his only daughter. He already planned next vacation early next year and started preparations for that,” Hameed said.

Colleagues and friends were unable to believe that a healthy person who did not have any medical problems could die so suddenly.

“To my knowledge, no one in his family has any cardiac problems,” Kunji Moidu, a family friend, said.

He was working with around 20 people who were from his same village. “He had a nice relationship with all of them. As he did not have any relatives in the capital, friends were everything for him,” Moidu said.

He said efforts to complete the formalities to repatriate the body were progressing.

Several cases of young people, especially children, dying unexpectedly of sudden cardiac arrest have been reported recently.

In a similar incident, 16-year-old Harold Robinson, an Indian school pupil, died in his sleep in December 2011. When he did not wake up in the morning, his parents felt he must be sleepy.

The boy had gone to bed as usual the previous night after dinner with his family. But the parents were shocked to find blood and foam on his lips in the morning,.

They called an ambulance and the paramedics declared him dead. The tenth grader was a very active boy who went swimming regularly and performed at public functions as a singer.

As Gulf News reported in October last year, Nazneen Nasser, an Indian 12th grader, felt an uneasiness while resting in her bedroom over the weekend — but was pronounced dead on arrival at a clinic close to her home within a few minutes. The family of the 17-year-old schoolgirl was unable to come to terms with the fact that their daughter, who never had any serious medical problems in the past, died of cardiac arrest.

“We all were resting at home on Friday afternoon. Her younger sister told us Nazneen was vomiting and we immediately took her to Khalidiya clinic. But doctors said she died of cardiac arrest,” Abdul Nasser, her father, had said.