Girl needs RM49,000 for heart op


Ariana’s parents cannot afford the cost for her surgery at IJN.

Nur Batrisyia Ariana was diagnosed with a congenital heart disease when she was only 23 days old.

Known as doubly committed subarterial ventricular septal (VSD), the seven-year-old girl’s condition accounts for 5%-7% of all such diagnoses.

Much like other VSDs, the main symptom presents as a hole in the patient’s heart.

While not life threatening, doctors said it could cause complications later in life if left untreated.

The condition is unlikely to resolve itself without surgical intervention.

Ariana’s father, Mohd Nizam Berahim, 45, said they could not afford the cost of surgery.

He works as a farmer in Simunjan, Sarawak, while his wife is a full-time housewife.

“We also have to support four other children.

“Ariana’s condition has not affected her daily life so far.

“She is able to play with her friends and siblings like any other child.

“However, doctors told us that it would be best for her to get surgery as soon as possible to minimise the risks.”

Ariana is a pupil at SK Tanjung Pisang Selangking and loves to read books in English and Bahasa Malaysia.

Since she was diagnosed, Ariana’s parents have been taking her for check-ups every six months to Sarawak Heart Centre in Samarahan.

“We have to take a ‘van tambang’ to the hospital.

“Each trip costs around RM100 but there are other expenses involved.

“Even though we receive RM700 monthly from the Welfare Department, it is not enough to make ends meet,” said Mohd Nizam

During one of her check-ups, Ariana was referred to the National Heart Institute (IJN) for treatment and surgery.

Doctors recommended a ventricular septal defect closure surgery, which will cost RM49,000 inclusive of the procedure, hospitalisation and convalescence expenses.

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

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.

Excess donations will be used for the next eligible patient.

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

Star Foundation, the charitable arm of Star Media Group, 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 details, go to starfoundation.com.my or email starfoundation@thestar.com.my

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