Star donors help girl get back on her feet

Recovering well: Nur Syiffa receiving postoperative care at IJN, Kuala Lumpur.

KUALA LUMPUR: After a delay of close to eight years, Nur Syiffa Nasuha Mat Arif finally underwent corrective surgery thanks to donors of the Star Foundation’s Medical Fund Programme.

Nur Syiffa, 10, was diagnosed with Tetralogy of Fallot, a congenital heart condition, before she turned two but due to financial constraints, her family had to put the procedure on hold.

With partial sponsorship from German Motors Sdn Bhd and Liqui Moly Asia Pacific towards Star Foundation’s Medical Fund Programme for Nur Syiffa’s treatment, the surgical procedure was performed on Feb 8.

Nur Syiffa’s mother, Siti Hasliza Husain, expressed gratitude to donors when met at Institut Jantung Negara (IJN) after the surgery.

“We are thankful to Star Foundation, German Motors, Liqui Moly and others who reached out to help people like us.

“We have waited for so many years because we did not have sufficient funds for the surgery.

“Finally, Nur Syiffa can live like any regular child and take part in sports activities together with her friends, ” said Siti Hasliza, a mother of six, who added that she had seen improvements in her daughter less than a week after the procedure.

“Previously, Nur Syiffa’s fingers would turn blue whenever she was tired. Now I see a healthier tone.

“We were anxious during the four-hour surgery, but not anymore, ” she said.

IJN consultant cardiothoracic surgeon, Dr Hew Chee Chin, who performed the surgery on Nur Syiffa, also expressed gratitude to donors.

“I am happy people came forward to help. It is rewarding to see the smile on her face, ” said Dr Hew.

While Nur Syiffa still needs a follow-up at IJN in six weeks, Dr Hew said the surgery was successful and the patient is recovering well.

“I created a small piece of artificial valve using her own tissue.

“Now the valve is functioning well. In 10 or 20 years, she may have to return to change the valve.

“But other than that, she can live a normal life, ” said Dr Hew.

Nur Syiffa also underwent postoperative care and she has since returned to her home in Jerteh, Terengganu.

“Typically for this condition, we ‘repair’ them when the children are about a year old.

“But for Nur Syiffa, due to financial constraints, she had to wait.

“I hope we can see improvements to our healthcare system so that everyone can afford it and no one is left out, ” said Dr Hew.

The medical cexpenses cost approximately RM55,000.

German Motors and Liqui Moly contributed RM27,500 while the balance came from donations collected from cases previously supported under Star Foundation’s Medical Fund Programme.

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

The Medical Fund Programme was started in 2015 to help underprivileged sufferers of chronic illnesses by sponsoring one-off medical treatment and care.

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