13-year-old Tang Bak Zhuan’s new journey can now begin thanks to the generous Malaysians who made his heart surgery possible through the Star Foundation’s Medical Fund program.
This time, the Star Foundation partnered with the nonprofit Community Care Enrichment Program (CCEP) to raise funds for Bak Zhuan’s surgery and the response was overwhelming.
Bak Zhuan’s mother, Teah Hoo Ling, expressed her immense gratitude to the donors who supported her son.
The teenager suffers from congenital heart disease.
“My son’s surgery was delayed for over three years and being a single mother our finances were tight.
“Without everyone’s help, we would not have been able to carry out this operation.
“Now Bak Zhuan can start again,” Teah added.
Before the operation at the National Heart Institute (IJN), the young boy said he felt very nervous but bravely underwent the operation so that he could have a normal childhood.
Now on the road to recovery, he has to take up to four medications at a time as well as vitamins.
Due to this lifelong drug prescription, Bak Zhuan also has to be very careful about his daily diet.
“I saved this vegetable brochure to bring back to Penang so I can use it as a reference when I take care of him,” Teah said while showing an informative nutrition and diet brochure.
Teah wants nothing more than for her son to grow up healthy and lead a normal life.
To ensure a smooth recovery process for her son, she took three months of unpaid leave to devote her time and attention to Bak Zhuan.
He won’t be able to go to school for two months while he recovers.
“Doctors have advised me to make sure he has no bleeding wounds, falls or is carrying anything over 3kg when he returns home, as he is still recovering,” Teah said.
Bak Zhuan’s doctor, Dr. Sivakumar Sivalingam, IJN’s senior consultant cardiothoracic surgeon, said the five-hour operation was a success.
After the operation, Bak Zhuan has to undergo chest physiotherapy and walk well.
He must also undergo treatment with warfarin for the mechanical implantation of the valve.
“I want to thank the public for helping raise the medical funds to help this young boy.
“He will be able to resume an active life after the recovery period. “During the pandemic, we had severe restrictions on our services and now, with the help of such generous donations from the public, we are able to expedite patient care,” Dr Sivakumar said.
Established in 2004, Star Foundation is the charitable arm of Star Media Group aimed at delivering meaningful initiatives with lasting results to a diverse group of beneficiaries.
The Medical Fund program was launched in 2015 to sponsor timely medical treatment and care for underprivileged people with chronic conditions.
For more details about Star Foundation, visit starfoundation.com.my