PETALING JAYA: On May 30, Jim and Woon welcomed their first child, a baby girl, into the world. The couple, who hail from Johor, have been married for five years and had been eagerly looking forward to this moment. They named their baby Tee Miin Yue.
Sadly, after her birth, Miin Yue was diagnosed with coarctation of the aorta – a birth defect where part of the aorta is narrower than usual – and ventricular septal defect, a condition caused by a hole in the wall that separates the two ventricles of the heart.
Owing to the urgency of her condition, Miin Yue was transferred from a clinic in Johor to a private hospital in Kuala Lumpur. The new parents, already devastated by the diagnoses, were informed that their baby was critically in need of surgery.
Jim and Woon, who work in sales, dug into their hard-earned savings, sought the assistance of relatives and friends, and managed to raise nearly RM100,000 to cover the cost of the procedure, which took place last month.
The surgery was successful in repairing the coarctation of the aorta, but the couple subsequently received another blow: to close the septal defect, another procedure – known as a heart septal closure operation – would be required.
It is estimated to cost them another RM100,000.
With their savings all but depleted, and hesitant to approach their loved ones again so soon, the desperate parents have turned to Persatuan Kebajikan Amal Da Ai Malaysia, a non-profit established in 2017 that assists disabled and special-needs individuals, as well as families going through difficult situations.
Speaking with FMT Lifestyle, Da Ai case worker Yumi Hwang shared that the NGO launched a crowdfunding campaign on Monday but has received little support to date.
“We earnestly request kind-hearted individuals nationwide to generously donate and help save this precious little life,” Hwang said, adding that “they hope the baby can live normally and healthily”.
Baby Miin Yue’s parents are understandably mentally and emotionally overwrought. Jim is also physically exhausted as he rushes back between KL and Johor so he can keep working.
In a video posted on Da Ai’s social media, they can be seen speaking tenderly to their baby. “You need to get well quickly so we can go home soon,” Jim is heard saying. “Mummy has prepared a lot of toys for you.”
He adds that it is difficult for him to see needles in her hands, and reassures her that even adults find it painful.
Woon then chimes in, saying: “Since her birth until now, I have spent a week in the hospital with her. When she was put on a ventilator, I was the one watching her.
“And tears were flowing because having this child is a rare blessing, but I also felt that giving birth to her had brought her a lot of pain.”
Due to Miin Yue’s low body weight – she is slightly over 2.8kg as at press time – the surgery can only take place once she has reached 3kg.
Until then, “I hope that the public can help my child overcome this difficult situation”, Jim concludes in the video. “I also hope that my baby can complete this surgery soon and come home with us”.
If you wish to donate towards Miin Yue’s cause, kindly contact Yumi Hwang at 016-964 9766 or email [email protected].