PETALING JAYA: Senior citizen Abdul Manaf Mohd Noh, who made headlines after his desperate family launched a fundraising campaign via Facebook and GoFundMe to pay his hospital bills in Seoul, has returned home.
Manaf’s son, Mahfiz Abdul Manaf, said in a statement that his father arrived in Kuala Lumpur today from Seoul, Korea, and had been admitted to the Serdang Hospital for further care.
Tok Manaf, as he is fondly known , was on a holiday with his family in Seoul, when he collapsed on their fourth day there and was rushed to the hospital.
The eighty-one-year-old was diagnosed with a dissected aorta and underwent an open heart emergency operation that was further rectified the day after. Since then, Tok Manaf, had been treated in the hospital’s ICU on ventilation support and under the care of the hospital’s cardiology team.
Tok Manaf’s predicament became news when his plight of being stranded at the Korean hospital became viral on social media in early December. With open heart surgeries being a highly specialised and costly affair in Korea, Tok Manaf’s hospital bills had spiralled out of control; and at 81 years old, he had passed the age for travel medical insurance.
His family pooled whatever financial resources they had and took a personal loan in a bid to raise quick cash to fund the hospital bills, which needed to be fully settled before Tok Manaf could be discharged.
“What started as a family fund collection drive, became a worldwide campaign to bring our father home. The generosity of kind Malaysians and other people around the world who have come forward to contribute in whatever means they could has just been overwhelming,” said Mahfiz.
“On behalf of my father and my family members, I would like to convey our heartfelt gratitude to all parties who have helped us in all areas, including medical and logistics advice, administrative assistance, monetary contributions, as well as emotional and spiritual support,” he said.
He said help came from the general public, family and friends, the Malaysian embassy in Seoul, the health ministry, charitable organisations and medical services providers.
“We are absolutely amazed by it all and we can’t thank everyone enough,” Mahfiz said.
“The generosity of kind Malaysians and other people around the world who have come forward to contribute in whatever means they could has just been overwhelming,” he added.
Upon discharge, Tok Manaf’s 24-day stay at the hospital and reparation costs came to more than 340 million won (about RM1.3 million) in total.
The contribution drive has also been officially closed.
The New Straits Times had earlier reported that Tok Manaf, who lives in Petaling Jaya, had been caring for his wife who suffered from Parkinson’s disease until she died in November last year.
His children had sent him on the trip to Korea to take his mind off their mother and give him some rest, the report said.