BEIJING: Siti Zubaidah Abd Jalil raced against time to save her newborn Siti Nur Aaira Ameera Ridzuan, who was diagnosed with biliary atresia, a type of liver disease.
The baby, her fifth child, needed to undergo a liver transplant immediately.
“My heart broke each time I see Aaira groaning in pain. I would take the pain for her if I could,” said the 41-year-old mother of five, aged between eight-month and 15.
Apart from sending the newborn for regular treatments at the hospital, the couple from Pontian, Johor, also went on a desperate fund-raising drive.
“We sold our house but there wasn’t much left after settling the bank loan. We turned to our relatives and friends for help, and tried everything we could think of to raise the money for the transplant,” added Siti Zubaidah, a primary school teacher.
She said she and her engineer husband Ridzuan Isa, 45, had used up their savings on their third child, now eight years old, who suffered from a heart disease at birth and underwent several surgeries.
The mother and daughter finally flew to China for the surgery under the Embracing Hope for a Better Tomorrow programme.
The baby is currently recuperating at Renji Hospital in Shanghai.
“Words cannot describe how thankful and happy I am. I pray for the best for all the Good Samaritans,” said Siti Zubaidah.
The Embracing Hope for a Better Tomorrow programme was initiated by Datin Fairos Ishak, the wife of Malaysian Ambassador to China, Datuk Zainuddin Yahya.
Over the past two years, it has sponsored six Malaysian children and assisted more than a dozen others to undergo surgeries at Renji Hospital.
Fairos said the hospital has a success rate of more than 90% on liver transplant, adding that each surgery cost about RM250,000.
Recently, a charity gala was held here and raised over 678,000 yuan (RM425,000) for the good cause. Zainuddin expressed his gratitude for the donors at the event.
“You can make a difference, a difference which money cannot buy, (which is) a light of hope for children,” he said.