Teen on road to recovery after heart surgery in KL


Bak Zhuan bravely went through surgery for a chance at living a normal life.

Thirteen-year-old Tang Bak Zhuan’s new journey can now begin thanks to generous Malaysians who made his heart surgery possible through Star Foundation’s Medical Fund programme.

This time, Star Foundation joined hands with non-profit organisation Community Care Enrichment Programme (CCEP) to raise funds for Bak Zhuan’s surgery and the response was overwhelming.

Bak Zhuan’s mother Teah Hoo Ling expressed her immense gratitude towards donors who supported her son.

The teenage boy has been suffering from congenital heart disease.

“My son’s surgery was delayed for over three years and being a single mother, our finances were tight.

“Without the help of everyone, we would not have been able to proceed with this surgery.

“Now, Bak Zhuan can start anew,” added Teah.

Before the surgery at National Heart Institute (IJN), the young boy said he felt very nervous but bravely underwent the surgery so that he could have a normal childhood.

Now on the road to recovery, he needs to take up to four medicines at a time as well as vitamins.

Due to this life-long prescription of medications, Bak Zhuan also has to pay close attention to his daily diet.

“I have saved this brochure on vegetables to take back to Penang so that I can use it as a reference when caring for him,” said Teah while showing an informative brochure on nutrition and diet.

Teah wishes for nothing but for her son to grow up healthy and live a normal life.

To ensure a smooth recovery process for her son, she took three months’ unpaid leave to dedicate her time and attention to Bak Zhuan.

He won’t be able to attend school for two months while he heals.

“The doctors advised me to make sure he does not have any bleeding wounds, falls or carries anything heavier than 3kg when he gets home, as he is still in the process of recovery,” said Teah.

Bak Zhuan’s doctor Dr Sivakumar Sivalingam, who is IJN senior consultant cardiothoracic surgeon, said the five-hour surgery was a success.

Following the surgery, Bak Zhuan is required to have chest physiotherapy and to ambulate well.

He also needs to take warfarin therapy for the mechanical valve implantation.

“I would like to thank the public for helping to raise the medical funds to help this young lad.

“He will be able to get back to an active life after the recovery period. “During the pandemic, we had severe restrictions to our services and now with the help of such generous donations from the public, we are able to expedite the care of the patient,” expressed Dr Sivakumar.

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 starfoundation.com.my

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