Parents need RM120,000 for daughter's heart surgery

KUALA LUMPUR: A couple's joy turned into despair when doctors discovered that their infant daughter, Che Nur Ayesha Inara Che Muhamad Azri, was suffering from a congenital heart disease.

Inara's doctor noticed that her skin and nails had turned blue and her oxygen level had dropped during a weekly check-up.

A scan was immediately performed and it was discovered that Inara suffers from a condition known as dextro-transposition of the great arteries (d-TGA).

According to the American-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, d-TGA is a birth defect of the heart, in which the two main arteries carrying blood out of the heart — the pulmonary artery and the aorta — are switched in position, or "transposed".

As babies with this defect may need surgery or other procedures soon after birth, d-TGA is considered a critical congenital heart defect.

Her mother, Syafiqah Walmasri, 23, said she had a normal pregnancy and nothing was amiss until after she gave birth, adding that the doctor discovered that Inara had the defect during a routine medical check-up.

Syafiqah said her daughter's medical case was referred to Banting Hospital for further consultation.

Inara was later moved to the intensive care unit of Tengku Ampuan Rahimah Hospital in Klang for further observation after being administered CPR at Banting Hospital when she experienced breathing difficulties.

"When we heard that her heartbeat had dropped, we were devastated. We never imagined that we would lose our daughter," said Syafiqah.

After a couple of days in observation, the doctors at Tengku Ampuan Rahimah Hospital recommended that Inara undergo an arterial switch operation at Gleneagles Hospital Kuala Lumpur.

Gleneagles Hospital Kuala Lumpur consultant paediatrician Dr Lim Miin Kang said the arterial switch operation to place the two major blood vessels to their appropriate pumping chambers could treat her condition and allow her to live a normal life.

The doctor also recommended that Inara undergo an emergency procedure called balloon atrial septostomy before the operation to stabilise her heart pressure.

"The emergency procedure will expand the atrial septal defect and improve oxygenation of the blood. This is only a temporary measure to stabilise Inara until she is ready for the arterial switch surgery, which will create a normal circulation of blood in the body."

However, the two surgeries cost a total of RM120,000, which was more than the family could afford since the husband, Che Muhamad Ari Che Noordin, 26, was the only breadwinner.

Che Muhammad Air, a field technician, said the operations would help Inara live a normal life.

"We are appealing to the public to help us raise RM120,000 for my daughter's heart surgery so that she may recover as soon as possible," he said.

Well-wishers who wish to donate may send cheques made payable to the Media Prima-NSTP Humanitarian Fund, with the patient's name written on the reverse-side of the cheque and addressed to the Group Corporate Communications Department, Media Prima Bhd, Level 1, Anjung Riong, Balai Berita, 31 Jalan Riong, 59100 Bangsar, Kuala Lumpur. Donations to the Media Prima-NSTP Humanitarian Fund are tax-deductible.

Members of the public can also donate via cash to Maybank account (5141-0532-3170), indicating the patient's name in the recipients' reference section or other payment details section.

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