LONDON: Looking forward to spending their first Hari Raya Aidilfitri together, Ahmad Safiuddin Ahmad Razak and Nurul Erwani Zaidi have tailor-made a set of purple baju kurung for their 9-month-old daughter, Ainul Mardhiah.
The tiny set of festive attire was made from the same material as Nurul Erwani’s baju kurung; with silver songket-like prints fit for a festive celebration.
This, to a certain extent, reflected their determination and efforts to make life as normal as possible for their firstborn, who is suffering from a rare form of cancer called Germ Cell Tumour, resulting in a growth from inside her mouth.
But life for the past eight months had been far from normal for the young parents who have experienced something not unlike an emotional roller-coaster, bringing them to the pits of darkness just when there was a glimmer of hope.
“When we were down, it was as if we were in a deep, dark hole,” said Safiuddin of the ordeal they went through since Ainul was diagnosed with the tumour that grew rapidly before their very eyes, making it impossible to hug and kiss their baby.
“For the first month, we were really down. Since she was born, we were tested with sad news, one after another.
“News of the first tumour saw us really down but after the operation, we were positive, only to be told that Ainul has a cleft palate and that meant she couldn’t eat normally.
“We managed to pull ourselves up and decided to change our mindset and be positive. As we were preparing to bring her home, we were told about the second growth,” said Safiuddin.
“We believe Ainul is a test for us and we have to accept this as God’s will.”
Ainul’s plight, highlighted in her parents’ Facebook and Instagram posts, had garnered a lot of financial support, and attracted the attention of Dr Nur Amalina Che Bakri, a trainee surgeon here, who offered her assistance to help treat Ainul.
Malaysia Airlines offered to fly the family to London with two accompanying medical volunteers.
“We have visited Ainul every day since we arrived on May 25. If she was awake, I would greet her with assalamualaikum (peace be upon you),” said Nurul Erwani before breaking down in tears, adding that Ainul has come to recognise her parents’ voice.
“I will go with my broadest smile and say: ‘Kakak, you must not give up, you must fight this disease’,” quipped Safiuddin while consoling his wife.
“I told her, when you are better you can go to school, you can play and go walkabout with mama and walid (father),” added Safiuddin, exuding a positive attitude that he inherited from his parents — Ahmad Razak Joffri and Salmah Atan.
He wouldn’t cry in front of Ainul, he said, as he wanted to send positive vibes to his daughter.
His parents had flown in to give them emotional support, but they left yesterday for their hometown in Melaka, with the knowledge that Ainul was in the good hands of the medical team here, while Nurul Erwani and Safiuddin have the support of a group of Malaysians here, who have made it their duty to look after the welfare of the couple.
“We will be going to the Malaysian High Commission for our Hari Raya prayers and then, we will go and spend Hari Raya with Ainul,” said Safiuddin.