Grateful: Teng with his mother Lim at his school.
MALACCA: Teenager Teng Cyun Shen, who survived a rare liver disorder, tells a story of gratitude — one that moved his schoolmates to tears.
It was a tale of caring schoolmates, teachers and alumni, and a stranger who went more than the extra mile to help the stricken teen.
Students of SMK St Francis Institutions (SFI) sobbed openly at the Monday morning assembly as Cyun Shen told his amazing story.
“I am alive today and I have to thank each and every one of you for giving me a new lease of life that I never imagined would be possible,” said the 17-year-old.
“Today, I declare myself as a true son of SFI. I thought I would be in God’s hands by now, but because of your help, I am still here as a student,” said the Form Five student after successfully undergoing a transplant in Singapore. His liver disorder was already in an acute stage before that operation.
In November last year, Cyun Shen was told by doctors he had only three more months to live after he was diagnosed with end-stage Caroli disease, a rare congenital disorder where the patient’s liver is abnormal. He was told he would die unless he had a liver transplant, a procedure only available at the National University Hospital in Singapore.
SFI and its Parents and Teachers Association (PTA) went on a donation drive to save Cyun Shen.
The fund received overwhelming response from alumni, Cyun Shen’s schoolmates, teachers and the public. In just two weeks, RM1mil was raked in.
The fund was then utilised for the liver transplant in Singapore in February and for Cyun Shen to stay in Singapore for three months for his subsequent check-ups.
SFI’s PTA chairman Mak Chee Kin said 27-year-old Lai Mee Yee from Kuala Lumpur donated 70% of her liver to Cyun Shen.
“Lai played a pivotal role in giving a second chance for the boy to live like any other teenager,” he said.
“Without her commitment, the transplant wouldn’t have been possible,” he added.
“The lass was willing to spare part of her organ to save a stranger after reading about his plight in the media, Mak said. “Her benevolence is extraordinary.”
Mak said Lai slept in a Buddhist temple in Singapore during the surgery, travelling to the hospital on her own expenses without demanding any form of payment.
“We are really touched,” he added.
Cyun Chen’s mother, Lim Choo Ngo, 52, said it was a miracle that her son was still alive.
“No word could describe my gratitude to the school, Miss Lai and Mak,” she said.