Six-year-old needs surgery

Muhammad Hafiz (right) reading with his father, Muhammad Khairul. — THOMAS YONG/The Star

Like most six-year-olds, Muhammad Hafiz Muhammad Khairul Adnan is an active boy who enjoys playing with his siblings around their wooden house in Johor Baru.

However, he has a heart problem known as ventricular septal defect or hole in the heart.

Muhammad Hafiz also suffers from a deformity where his right arm is shorter than the other.

His father Muhammad Khairul Adnan Abdul Rahman Tan, 36, described his son as an energetic boy who enjoyed playing, but had difficulty breathing whenever he became too excited.

“My son was supposed to go for a check-up in April last year but it was postponed to September because of the movement control order.

“During a routine check-up at a hospital in Johor last year, a tiny leak was found in my son’s heart, which required immediate attention, ” he said, adding that his son was then referred to the National Heart Institute (IJN) in December.

Khairul said his family was shocked to hear that the cost of the operation was RM40,000 and that they did not have the money for it.

He said the doctors at IJN helped by alerting the Star Foundation of his son’s plight.

“We have been praying for a miracle and are grateful to Star Foundation for helping us with the cost of the operation, ” he said when met at his house in Kampung Tanjung Langsat.

He added that he earned only RM1,500 monthly as a road tax agent while his wife Siti Rawiah Ahmad Padzil, 34, was a full-time homemaker.

Khairul used to work as an insurance agent in Shah Alam, Selangor, but left the city to care for his ailing father in his hometown in 2017.

“My father was diagnosed with stage 3B colon cancer.

“I decided to move back to Johor to take care of him but in November 2019, he succumbed to the disease, ” he said.

“With the ongoing pandemic, it has been very hard to restart my career as an insurance agent and provide for my family.”

He also takes care of his ageing mother, who suffers from high blood pressure, with his siblings.

His son Muhammad Hafiz has two younger siblings --- brother Muhammad Ammar, four years old, and one-year-old sister Siti Nur Iman.

Star Foundation’s Medical Fund Programme is helping to raise funds for Hafiz’s surgery and treatment at IJN.

Excess donations will be used for the next eligible patient.

Those who wish to help can channel donations to the Star Foundation-Medical Fund Public Bank account (31-9984-9230) via bank transfer.

Donations can also be made via cheque, credit or debit card.

To get a tax-exempt receipt, donors need to fill in the Medical Fund-Donation Form available on the website.

Star Foundation is the charitable arm of Star Media Group which aims to support impactful initiatives to help a diverse group of beneficiaries.

The Medical Fund Programme was started in 2015 to help underprivileged individuals suffering from chronic illnesses by sponsoring one-off medical treatment and care.

For information on how to donate, go to and for enquiries, email

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