KUALA LUMPUR: A single mother from Penang is banking on public kindness to help raise RM40,000 to fund her only child's genitalia corrective surgery.
Five-year-old Sean Meng Fan Lin was diagnosed with a genitalia abnormality, which sees his urinary opening situated way below the normal position at birth.
Meng's mother, Lim Lee Ping said the abnormality was diagnosed during Sean's first check-up at Kuala Lumpur Hospital (HKL) and the doctor also discovered that he has Turner Syndrome (TS).
"Sean (Meng) was diagnosed with Turner syndrome, which is a chromosomal condition when one of the Y chromosomes (sex chromosomes) is missing and Sean was classified as XO," she said .
She added that the doctor also told her it is a rare condition that happens in 1 out of 10,000 cases.
"At first, I brought Sean to Kuala Lumpur Hospital for treatment and surgery, but due to a lack of availability and a long queue, I brought Sean to the attention of doctors at Gleneagles Kuala Lumpur Hospital."
"He does not have a normal genital hole position. It is slightly lowered at his urethra, and the opening is quite narrow," she said, adding that Meng's genitals are quite bent, necessitating the operation to correct them so he can urinate normally.
Meng needs to undergo two stages of correctional operations at Hospital Gleneagles Kuala Lumpur. The first to straighten his genital, and it will take six months for the second surgery to correct his genital hole position.
The 45-year-old said that Meng only had problems with urinating while defecating was unaffected.
Lim said the doctor also said they must observe him and wait until he is 12 years old since there is a possibility that he may be deficient in male hormones and so may require pills or hormone medication.
"Right now, he's more of a boy attitude and he mingles with a lot of boys. Hopefully, he will probably be a normal boy in the future. "
"It also takes time to send Sean to kindergarten because normal kindergarten does not accept him because his learning is slow and because he is already five years old but he is studying in a four-year-old class," she said.
"I'm worried that if he doesn't get this surgery, he may find it hard to use the men's bathroom at school in the future, where most of the toilets are standing and not sitting."
Lim, who is working as an online fortune teller earning about RM3,000 a month, said that she could not afford such a medical bill. She needs to pay RM1,100 for house rental and it is quite expensive to support Meng's other medical needs.
"I had to quit my job in Penang because I used to take a lot of leaves due to Meng's condition that I had to take him for check-ups twice a month."
"I want the best for Sean. I hope that Sean may experience the joys of childhood like any other kid and grow up to be a cheerful person with a family and a happy life," she said.
Lim also expressed her gratitude to the public that wanted to donate and hoped that Meng could have surgery as soon as possible.
Those who wish to help can send their cheques, made payable to the Media Prima-NSTP Humanitarian Fund at Group Strategic Communications Department, Media Prima Bhd, Level 4, Anjung Riong, Balai Berita, 31, Jalan Riong, 59100 Bangsar, Kuala Lumpur, with the patient's name written on the reverse.
The public may also deposit their donations to Maybank current account number 5141 0532 3170 and indicate the patient's name at the Recipients Reference or Other Payment Details fields.