Boy needs RM55,000 for heart surgery


Teah hopes Bak Zhuan will be able to lead a normal life after his heart surgery.

LOVING sports but unable to play any games is Tang Bak Zhuan’s reality.

He can only watch from the sidelines as his peers play basketball and badminton.

He was diagnosed with a congenital heart disease since birth. He has bicuspid aortic valve, coarctation of aorta, patent ductus arteriosus, severe aortic regurgitation and mild to moderate aortic stenosis.

As such, the 13-year-old boy from Penang has never had the chance to join in any games.

His mother Teah Hoo Ling, 38, hopes and prays that her son can live a normal life like other children.

The single mother earns RM1,600 a month as a factory worker and struggles with monthly expenses that include Bak Zhuan’s medical bills.

Teah said her son depended on medication to keep his condition under control and had to go to the National Heart Institute (IJN) every four to six months for check-up.

The cost of each follow-up can amount to RM3,000, depending on the procedure required.

“In the earlier days, my son was too young to undergo major surgeries and the doctor could perform only two minor ones to help him,” said Teah.

“In recent years, we have had to go to Kuala Lumpur for medication and follow-up visits.

“He needs to strictly control his diet, avoid carrying heavy objects and doing strenuous exercise.

“Without undergoing a corrective surgery, Bak Zhuan’s heart is like a ticking time bomb.

“It will malfunction at any time, and the heart will be weaker,” she added.

IJN recently informed Teah that Bak Zhuan was ready for surgery to repair his heart valve.

“The doctor said after surgery, Bak Zhuan’s heart could function normally for at least 25 to 30 years. This is great news for me and my son. I hope he can live a healthy life,” she said.

The surgery would cost RM55,000.

Star Foundation’s Medical Fund programme is helping to raise funds for Bak Zhuan’s surgery and treatment at IJN, in collaboration with Community Care Enrichment Programme (CCEP).

The joint fundraiser hopes to speed up the fundraising process to reach the targeted amount of RM55,000 as soon as possible.

Those who wish to help can channel donations to Star Foundation Medical Fund’s 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 foundation’s 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 Star Foundation Medical Fund was started in 2015 to help underprivileged individuals suffering from chronic illnesses by sponsoring one-off medical treatment and care.

For details on how to donate, go to starfoundation.com.my or email starfoundation@thestar.com.my

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