[UPDATED Aug 16, 2023 @ 12:45pm]
PETALING JAYA: Khoo Yeak Xuan, who urgently required surgery to implant a permanent pacemaker to prevent sudden heart failure, has successfully undergone the procedure and is on the road to recovery.
In a statement from Persatuan Kebajikan Amal Da Ai Malaysia, the NGO explains that the crowdfunding target has been achieved and doctors have implanted a permanent pacemaker following “an emergency situation” that required the procedure to be done quickly.
“Thanks to people across the country for generously donating surgery fees to Yeak Xuan, allowing this outstanding SPM 10-A student to be implanted with a pacemaker to save his life,” Da Ai said.
It added that the channel for donations is now closed.
A video published on Da Ai’s social media reads: “Donation goal reached! Congratulations to Khoo for successfully completing the surgery and wishing him the best of health.”
Khoo himself conveys a message of gratitude, saying: “Thank you Da Ai and the public for the help. I appreciate everyone’s help, thank you.”
Original story, published Aug 3, 2023 @ 7am:
When the SPM results were announced last year, Khoo Yeak Xuan and his family were elated to discover he had scored straight As.
Today, however, the 18-year-old is in hospital and urgently needs funds for a procedure to implant a permanent pacemaker that will prevent sudden heart failure.
Yeak Xuan suffers from a severe congenital heart defect known as Tetralogy of Fallot, which includes pulmonary artery stenosis (a narrowing of the pulmonary artery) and ventricular septal defect (a condition caused by a hole in the wall that separates the two ventricles of the heart).
It also includes aortic enlargement as well as right ventricular hypertrophy, the latter defined as an abnormal enlargement of the cardiac muscle surrounding the right ventricle.
He was only a year old when he went for his first heart surgery. More recently, on May 16, he was admitted for a second operation that has left a long, vertical scar on his chest.
Several weeks later, Yeak Xuan began to experience weak heartbeats and a slower heart rate.
Now, he critically needs another surgery at a private hospital in Kuala Lumpur to implant the pacemaker, the cost of which is estimated to be RM60,000.
Yeak Xuan and his family hail from Johor. His father, Khoo Keng Siong, is a technician in a factory, while his mother, Tan Bee Yan, is a homemaker.
As they are unable to afford the cost of the procedure, Khoo and Tan have reached out to Persatuan Kebajikan Amal Da Ai Malaysia, a non-profit organisation that assists disabled and special-needs individuals, as well as families going through difficult situations.
According to Da Ai case worker Yumi Hwang, a crowdfunding campaign was launched two weeks ago, and they have raised approximately RM10,000 as of press time.
“He has a bright future,” she told FMT Lifestyle. “He didn’t give up and we won’t give up on him, too. We sincerely hope people across the country will contribute towards his cause, to let Yeak Xuan and his family know they are not alone.”
Yeak Xuan is the third of four children aged between 16 and 20. His siblings, who are all studying, also perform well academically.
Besides excelling in his studies, Yeak Xuan is a talented artist who has won numerous awards in art competitions. He is also a skilled chess player who, back in primary school, was selected as a role-model student.
In a video shared by Da Ai, Tan describes her son as a “very well-behaved child”, saying: “I hope the public can help with his medical expenses, so he can happily go to school, live a healthy life and fulfil his dreams.”
Yeak Xuan himself voices his wish to “live peacefully and healthily”, adding: “I want to go back to school like a normal person and live life without being troubled by these illnesses. These would be enough for me.”