LONDON: The eight-month-old baby who underwent surgery here last week to remove an extragonadal germ cell tumour had a surprise visitor yesterday – Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad, who was on the last leg of his three-day working visit to the UK.
Ainul Mardhiah’s parents, Ahmad Safiuddin Ahmad Razak and Nurul Erwani, were elated to receive the visit by Mahathir, who dropped by the hospital after completing his itinerary for the trip.
Ainul was born prematurely at seven months and postnatally diagnosed with the rare cancer. The initial growth was removed at the Kuala Lumpur General Hospital, but the symptoms soon returned.
Ainul, who underwent surgery at a children’s hospital here last Monday has been showing signs of improvement and can now breathe on her own, Safiuddin said.
Mahathir told the Malaysian media that he was touched after seeing the baby.
“I am happy with the attitude shown by the Malaysian people that enabled Ainul to receive treatment here,” he added.
Ainul and her parents arrived in London for the surgery on May 24. A team of doctors removed the 200g tumour that had covered her entire mouth in a five-hour surgery.
The surgery was made possible by donations from the public and through the help of UK-based trainee surgeon Dr Nur Amalina Che Bakri who sought the advice of medical acquaintances in the UK on how the baby could be treated.
The Melaka government, immigration department and Malaysia Airlines also contributed towards the cost which could surpass RM1 million in total.
At the hospital, Safiuddin thanked Malaysians for their support for Ainul.