Heart surgery

Boy needs RM55,000 for heart surgery

LOVING sports but not being able to play any games is the reality of Tang Bak Zhuan.

He can only sideways watch his peers play basketball and badminton.

He has been diagnosed with congenital heart disease since birth. He has a bicuspid aortic valve, coarctation of the aorta, persistent ductus arteriosus, severe aortic regurgitation, and mild to moderate aortic stenosis.

As such, the 13-year-old boy from Penang has never had the chance to take part in any game.

His mother Teah Hoo Ling, 38, hopes and prays that her son can lead a normal life like other children.

The single mother earns RM1,600 per month as a factory worker and struggles with monthly expenses which include Bak Zhuan’s medical bills.

Teah said her son was dependent on medication to keep his condition under control and had to visit the National Heart Institute (IJN) every four to six months for a check-up.

The cost for each follow-up can be up to RM3,000, depending on the procedure required.

“Before, my son was too young to have major surgeries and the doctor could only perform two minor surgeries to help him,” Teah said.

“In recent years, we have had to travel to Kuala Lumpur for medication and follow-up visits.

“He must strictly control his diet, avoid carrying heavy objects and doing intense physical exercises.

“Without undergoing corrective surgery, Bak Zhuan’s heart is like a ticking time bomb.

“It will malfunction at all times and the heart will be weaker,” she added.

IJN recently informed Teah that Bak Zhuan was ready to undergo surgery to repair his heart valve.

“The doctor said that after the operation, Bak Zhuan’s heart could function normally for at least 25 to 30 years. This is great news for me and my son. I hope he can lead a healthy life,” she said.

The surgery would cost RM55,000.

The Star Foundation Medical Funds Program helps raise funds for Bak Zhuan’s surgery and treatment at IJN, in conjunction with the Community Care Enrichment Program (CCEP).

The joint fundraiser hopes to speed up the fundraising process to reach the targeted amount of RM55,000 as soon as possible.

Those wishing to help can direct donations to the Star Foundation Medical Fund’s public bank account (31-9984-9230) via wire transfer.

Donations can also be made by check, credit or debit card. Surplus donations will be used for the next eligible patient.

To obtain a tax-exempt receipt, donors must complete the medical fund donation form available on the foundation’s website.

Star Foundation is the charitable arm of Star Media Group, which aims to support impactful initiatives to help a diverse group of beneficiaries.

The Star Foundation Medical Fund was established in 2015 to help underprivileged people with chronic illnesses by sponsoring one-time medical treatment and care.

For more details on how to donate, visit starfoundation.com.my or email [email protected]