SUNGAI PETANI: Erinna Natashya Mohd Sohaimi went under the knife in September to treat epilepsy seizures and since then, there has been no recurrence of the daily episodes that the nine-year-old had been battling since she was a baby.
Erinna’s mother Rosnani Abdul Rahim is immensely thankful to all donors who helped to raise RM40,000 for the surgery.
“She turned nine in October and she has not suffered a single attack so far. Thank you so much for helping to save my youngest child,” said the 51-year-old kindergarten assistant and mother of four.
She expressed her gratitude to Star Foundation and members of the public who generously financed the operation at Ara Damansara Medical Centre in Selangor on Sept 27.
Rosnani also extended a special appreciation to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Sultan Muhammad V, who came to their aid by donating a substantial sum upon reading the report by The Star on Sept 3.
The family initially reached out to Star Foundation, the charitable arm of Star Media Group, when doctors informed the family that Erinna’s uncontrollable seizures would lead to further deterioration of brain function.
Epilepsy patients need to seek early treatment for a better chance of recovery.
“My daughter is now happier and laughs a lot more when we play with her.
“She no longer suffers from seizures at night. This has allowed her to have uninterrupted sleep, something she had not experienced since the seizures started when she was eight months old,” she said recently during a visit by The Star to her flat in Sungai Petani, Kedah.
The positive development also opened up a new possibility, added Rosnani, who is hoping to let her daughter attend a special school in the near future.
“We did not send her to school due to the epilepsy attacks.
“If her situation improves and she becomes well enough, I hope she can learn to make friends and pick up new things in school,” she said.
Rosnani also thanked Star Foundation for donating a paediatric wheelchair under its Wheelchair Programme to assist her daughter’s rehabilitation due to the weakness in her daughter’s right arm and leg after the surgery.
“We hope the rehabilitation will eventually help her to become independent for basic daily activities.
“My husband left his job as a lorry driver so that he can take turns to care for Erinna with me.
“She needs to be spoon-fed and watched all the time,” she said.
Star Foundation donated RM8,000 to the family prior to the surgery to cover their expenses to Kuala Lumpur and will add RM16,000 from the public donation to fund their trips to Penang for Erinna’s physiotherapy sessions expected until July next year.
Star Foundation has been raising and administering funds for various causes.
Its Medical Fund Programme was set up in 2015 to help individuals and families in dire need of financial assistance and medical attention.