Infant gets new lease on life

Siti Nadzirah is overjoyed that Nur Ameena is now on the road to recovery.

NUR Ameena Mikayla was born with a ventricular septal defect, commonly known as hole in the heart.

“The patient was experiencing heart failure and faced an increased risk of infections if her condition had not been treated,” said National Heart Institute (IJN) senior consultant cardiothoracic surgeon Datuk Dr Ahmad Sallehuddin.

Nur Ameena’s parents were at a loss on how to get help for their four-month old, especially when her surgery was billed at RM40,000.

This was a daunting sum especially for her father, Mohd Tazuin Saupi, 33, who earns RM1,200 monthly as a coconut water seller.

However, the severity of Nur Ameena’s condition compelled Mohd Tazuin and his wife, Siti Nadzirah Ibrahim, 28, to admit her to IJN for surgery.

They were initially reluctant due to financial hardships and the challenges of travelling from Johor to Kuala Lumpur.

With Star Foundation’s swift intervention, Nur Ameena, who is the youngest of three children, received the life-saving treatment she needed.

Her open-heart surgery, which lasted two hours and 20 minutes, involved closing the hole in her heart using a heart-lung machine.

“The hole was located in the wall that separates the two major pumping chambers of the heart, and it was closed using a specially designed patch,” said Dr Ahmad.

“The one-off financial assistance provided by Star Foundation has undeniably made a profound impact on the lives of our patients and their families by reducing the need for multiple hospitalisations and improving the overall well-being of these children.

“We are grateful for the foundation’s generosity in bringing positive change to the lives of these children, enabling them to lead normal and healthy lives.”

Thanks to the generosity of Malaysians donating to Star Foundation, Nur Ameena’s family received financial aid that enabled her to get surgery before her condition worsened.

The aid also covered their travel expenses and meals during her hospitalisation.

“I am very thankful for the invaluable help because we couldn’t have afforded this surgery otherwise,” said Siti Nadzirah, who is a housewife.

She was overjoyed that her daughter had undergone the surgery and was now on the road to recovery.

“Initially, I was scared just thinking of how she would undergo the surgery.

“She was crying so much that it got me worried.

“After the surgery, I didn’t dare to even carry her,” said Siti Nadzirah.

The surgery was successful and Nur Ameena has responded well after her discharge on March 4.

“She looks good now. When I call her, she responds. When I play with her, she laughs and smiles.

“Before this, she didn’t eat much and slept a lot. She would wake up for two hours before falling asleep again,” said Siti Nadzirah.

Nur Ameena will still need regular check-ups to monitor her progress, about once every six to 12 months.

“Her parents will need to ensure that the child follows the prescribed medication regimen and attends all follow-up appointments,” Dr Ahmad said.

“They should also watch for any signs of infection or unusual symptoms to report to her doctors.

“We expect to see improvements in the overall heart function. The child will be able to lead a normal life, with normal exercise capacity and growth, both physically and developmentally.”

The Medical Fund Programme, established in 2015 by Star Foundation, focuses on helping underprivileged individuals suffering from chronic illnesses by sponsoring one-off medical treatment and care.

Star Foundation is the charitable arm of Star Media Group and supports impactful initiatives to help a diverse group of beneficiaries.

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