Girl gets heart surgery thanks to generous donors

Ariana and Mohd Nizam are relieved that the surgery went well and they can go home.

EIGHT-year-old Nur Batrisyia Ariana Mohd Nizam has a new lease of life thanks to generous Malaysians who made her heart surgery possible through Star Foundation’s Medical Fund programme.

Ariana, who was diagnosed with ventricular septal defect (VSD) at birth, underwent successful surgery to prevent her condition from getting worse and enable her to live like other children.

Ariana’s father Mohd Nizam Berahim recalled the anxious moments before his daughter was taken to the surgery theatre at the National Heart Institute (IJN).

“My daughter cried before she went for the surgery. I held her hand and told her that everything was going to be okay,” he said.

Feeling helpless, he could only pray that the surgery would go well and that his daughter would get better.

“I am very relieved that the surgery went well and we can now go back to Sarawak,” he added.

When asked about how she felt, Ariana, whose ambition is to be a teacher, smiled.

She said she was happy that she had gone through the life-changing surgery that would allow her to enjoy her childhood.

Following the surgery, Ariana is required to go for a follow-up appointment at Samarahan Heart Centre in six weeks’ time and carry out light breathing exercises to aid her recovery process.

As advised by the doctor, Ariana will go back to school two months after the surgery.

Mohd Nizam expressed his gratitude to IJN for the good care and treatment during their stay there.

“I am also thankful to the public for donating to pay for my daughter’s medical fees and to Star Foundation for helping to raise the funds for the surgery,” he said.

The surgery was supposed to take place in November 2021 but Ariana contracted Covid-19 right before they flew to Kuala Lumpur from Sarawak.

As a result, the surgery was postponed to February.

Dr Hew Chee Chin, the consultant paediatric cardiac surgeon at IJN who attended to Ariana’s case, said she was asymptomatic as her VSD was small.

“She was able to do most activities like children of her age group.

“However, recent 2D echocardiography showed a prolapse aortic valve, so she was advised to go for surgery,” the surgeon said.

“She needs to take care of her skin wound by taking a daily shower.

“She also needs nutritious food to help with the tissue healing, preferably a high-protein diet.

“There is no food restriction here. Regular exercise and good rest will also help in the recovery,” said Dr Hew.

“I would like to thank the public who contributed generously towards the sponsorship of this patient, especially in this challenging economic time.

“Their generosity and kindness have enabled Ariana to have the surgery.

“She can now enjoy her childhood just like any other child with no congenital heart disease,” Dr Hew added.

Established in 2004, Star Foundation is the charitable arm of Star Media Group aimed at delivering meaningful initiatives with lasting outcomes to a diverse group of beneficiaries.

The Medical Fund Programme was initiated in 2015 to sponsor one-off medical treatment and care for underprivileged individuals with chronic illnesses.

For more details regarding Star Foundation, visit

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