Ray of hope for childless couples


  • Metro News
  • Wednesday, 09 Oct 2019

The King and Queen with the underprivileged couples who received offer letters for fertility treatment from TAFF at the foundation’s family day in Seri Kembangan. — Photos: RAJA FAISAL HISHAN/The Star

MANY married couples look forward to becoming parents. The presence of a little one in the house is a blessed addition to any family.

However, not all couples get to experience the joy of parenthood. For some, luck is not on their side even after years of trying to conceive.

It is for this reason that the Raja Permaisuri Agong Tunku Hajah Azizah Aminah Maimunah Iskandariah set up the Tunku Azizah Fertility Foundation (TAFF) in 2004.

Since its inception, TAFF has helped many couples realise their dream of having a child. A family day was held to celebrate the couples’ success stories.

At the event, Tunku Azizah said she was motivated to set up the foundation owing to her difficulty in conceiving for nine-and-a-half years.

“I understand how much couples struggling with infertility have invested, both emotionally and financially.

“It’s a roller coaster of emotion that I know only too well,” she said.

She was heartbroken after suffering six miscarriages. She thanked her husband, the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah, for his support during the trying times.

“As a woman, there are no words to describe the experience once you hold your baby in your arms for the first time.

“My advice to couples out there is to persevere and never stop praying.

“To the children, remember that you are very special because your parents worked really hard to get you,” she said.

Yogendran (second from right) with her twins and husband at the event.Yogendran (second from right) with her twins and husband at the event.

Victoria Yogendran said she and her husband tried conceiving for four years to no avail.

Thanks to TAFF, she is now a proud mother of twins aged 13 years old.

“I first heard about the foundation after reading an article about it in the newspaper.

“After registering my application, I had to submit some medical reports to start treatment,” she said, advising all couples seeking treatment to be mentally and physically prepared.

Yogendran expressed her gratitude to the foundation for sponsoring the cost of her treatment.

Another mother, Safiah Daud, said she began looking for fertility treatment when she had trouble conceiving after two years of marriage.

“After treatment, I suffered a miscarriage during the first pregnancy. However, I successfully carried my second pregnancy to term,” she said.

Her daughter, now 13 years old, was one of the first babies in the first treatment batch.

Father Ng See Liong said he and his wife were married for four years before they tried the treatment at TAFF.

“My wife was told that there were blood clots in her fallopian tube which prevented the ovum from reaching her uterus for successful fertilisation to take place,” he said, adding that it was important for husbands to support their wives.

“She underwent surgery and took six months to recover, after which she became pregnant.

“I advise all couples wanting to conceive to seek fertility treatment to find out if there is any issue preventing pregnancy after a year of marriage.

“It is best to find out when you are young so the chances of success are higher.”

TAFF honorary advisor Datuk Hamimah Abdul Karim said TAFF had assisted more than 500 couples since its inception.

“Some 115 babies were successfully born, including twins and triplets.

“Our focus is on couples approaching 40 who have difficulty conceiving,” she said.

Hamimah added that the foundation targeted to assist 50 couples annually but lacked funding.

“It costs RM50mil annually to operate. However, we were lucky to receive financial support from the King himself to continue operations.”

During the event, 60 couples were presented with offer letters for treatment.
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