Parents of babies in need of immediate heart surgery appeal for donations

KUALA LUMPUR 15 JANUARI 2019. Japlee Pangiran bersama isterinya, Joy Supang Barok melihat keadaan anak mereka Terrence Hazekiel Japlee, 16 hari yang memerlukan dana perubatan selepas menjalani rawatan di Hostipal Gleneagles Kuala Lumpur. NSTP/ ZULFADHLI ZULKIFLI.

KUALA LUMPUR: Chua Ei Hsuan and Tan Yew Lo had always wanted children.

For more than a decade, they tried to have a child. Last year, Chua became pregnant and the couple’s joy knew no bounds.

On Jan 16, their son Tan Zheng Xuan was born and the couple were ecstatic. Their happiness, however, was tampered just a few minutes later when they found out that their beautiful baby boy had a heart problem.

Little Zheng Xuan was diagnosed with total anomalous pulmonary venous drainage (TAPVD), an extremely rare congenital malformation in which all four pulmonary veins do not connect normally to the left atrium of the lungs.

Instead, the four pulmonary veins drain abnormally to the right atrium.

“We were so happy to finally be blessed with a first born. He weighed at 2.5kg when he was born.

“But a few minutes after he was born, the doctor told me that he was diagnosed with a rare heart problem and required immediate surgery.

“We were both so devastated to hear the news. I could not contain my feelings at that time and until today, I’m still worried as the surgery has yet to be carried out,” said 36-year-old Chua when met at the Gleneagles Kuala Lumpur hospital here.

She said the surgery costs RM60,000, a sum too large for the couple as her husband only earned RM600 a month as a coffee shop assistant in their hometown in Sabak Bernam, Selangor.

Chua and Yew Lo are now appealing to the generosity of Malaysians to help them save Zheng Xuan.

Tan Tew Lo (right) and wife Chua Ei Hsuan checks on their baby, Tan Zheng Xuan. Pix by NSTP/ Zulfadhli Zulkifli

Meanwhile, another couple — Joy Supang Barok and Japlee Pangiran — are also pleading for donations from the public as their newborn son was diagnosed with transposition of the great arteries (TGA), a congenital heart defect where the large vessels that carry blood from the heart to the lungs, and to the body, are improperly connected.

Twenty-five-day-old Terrence Hazekiel Japlee requires immediate surgery.

Terrence, the fifth and youngest child among four siblings, will only have three months to live if the surgery is not carried out immediately.

“I underwent C-section surgery when I delivered him and the doctor immediately put him in the intensive care unit (ICU) after they found out that Terrence had a heart problem. He was born at Limbang Hospital and was brought to Sarawak Heart Institute in Kuching for further treatment.

“The doctor then told us that Terrence needs to be transferred to the Gleneagles here and he was admitted on Feb 11.

“The cost of the surgery is RM60,000 and we do not have that amount of money to pay the hospital bills,” said 37-year-old Joy.

Those who wish to contribute may send cheques made payable to the Media Prima-NSTP Humanitarian Fund, with the patient’s name written at the back of the cheque, addressed to: Group Corporate Communications Department, Media Prima Bhd, Level 1, Anjung Riong, Balai Berita, 31 Jalan Riong, 59100 Bangsar, Kuala Lumpur.

The public can also deposit the donation to Maybank current account number 5141-0532-3170 and indicate the patient’s name on the Recipients Reference or Other Payment Details fields.

By Esther Landau –