Extending a helping hand to needy heart patients


  • Metro News
  • Thursday, 31 Oct 2019

Participants of the Charity Light Run embarking on their night jog around the Straits Quay and Seri Tanjung Pinang area.

PENANG Adventist Hospital’s Charity Light Run saw 1,820 participants taking to the streets to shine a ray of hope for needy heart patients.

With bright green tops, headlamps and upbeat spirits, they lit up a 3.8km course around the Straits Quay and Seri Tanjung Pinang area.

The fun and family-oriented event raised RM205,000 for the hospital’s Patient Heart Fund, said president and chief executive officer Ronald Koh.

“It is heartwarming to see the support from everyone here. Together, we’re able to offer hope and a second lease of life to those in need.

“Last year, our Patient Heart Fund disbursed more than RM867,996 to help 27 deserving patients, ” said Koh at the recent event.

This was just part of over RM3mil that the hospital had thus far disbursed under the various medical funds it had set up.

Several previous recipients of the Patient Heart Fund were also present for the event, including little Mahalakshmii Nair, aged just one year and five months.

Father Praba Raghaban, 36, said she was diagnosed with a hole in the heart, and thanks to the fund, was able to undergo a successful surgery in May 2018.

“We’re very thankful for the aid. It helped lighten our financial burden. After follow-up checks, my daughter is in very good health now, ” added Praba, an assistant engineer.

Also grateful were siblings Tan Beng Lai, 65, and Tan Kim Hwa, 71, who both suffered from arterial blockages that left them easily tired and short of breath.

Through the fund, Kim Hwa underwent an operation to remedy the problem in April last year, with Beng Lai following suit this April.

Beneficiaries of Adventist’s Patient Heart Fund Beng Lai (left) and Kim Hwa with Mahalakshmii and her parents Praba (right) and M. Rajeswery.Beneficiaries of Adventist’s Patient Heart Fund Beng Lai (left) and Kim Hwa with Mahalakshmii and her parents Praba (right) and M. Rajeswery.

“I constantly felt tired for months, not knowing what was causing it. Even after mild exertions, I needed to sit down and rest for 30 minutes just to recover.

“After the operation, I’ve been able to resume normal activities and feel good, ” said Beng Lai, a temple caretaker in Batu Maung.

“Thanks to the fund and operation, I can now do regular household chores without feeling weak. Previously, I couldn’t walk far as I’d be gasping for breath, ” added Kim Hwa.

Another success story was Goh Li San, the fund’s first-ever recipient 31 years ago.

Diagnosed with a heart condition at the age of five, she had a successful surgery.

Today, the 36-year-old manufacturing planner is a fit and healthy mother-of-two and a regular participant of fun runs and marathons.

Also present at the run, which kicked off under a shower of confetti, were hospital chief operating officer Dr Thomas Tean and senior finance director Albin Phua.

Pulau Tikus assemblyman Chris Lee was guest of honour for the closing ceremony.

During the event, there were booths set up for participants to have basic health screening, as well as learn about heart ailments.

One feature was the Mega Heart exhibition, a giant inflatable human heart replica measuring 3.9m tall, 4.5m wide and 7.92m long that visitors could step inside to learn about cardiovascular functions, observe examples of heart diseases and see displays of related treatments.

The event ended with a mock cheque presentation from major donors, a Tron Light Dance performance by Fresh Beat Dance Academy and lucky draws.

Well-wishers can donate to the Patient Heart Fund, which is tax exempted.

For inquiries, call the hospital’s Charity Department at 04-222 7606/7603 or its Community Health Department at 04-222 7344/7670.

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