Baby born with heart defect leads normal life

GEORGE TOWN: For a young mother whose hope was to watch her unborn child progress normally, it was indeed, heartbreaking when at four months into Maziah Abd Wahab's pregnancy, doctors confirmed the baby had a congential heart defect.

Thankfully, Nur Qistina Shahirah Irwan, who was born with only one atrial chamber of the heart instead of two, is now five years old.

"All I wanted was to see her healthy and play like other children her age," said Maziah, 29, when met at the National Heart Institute (IJN), Corporate Social Initiative (CSI) 'My Heart My Life 2017' programme to share her experience on having a child with heart condition at Kampung Neran, Batu Maung near here.

She said as a result of the heart defect, Nur Qistina had to undergo three major surgeries to treat the problem, with the first surgery performed on the infant at 14 days old.

She added that a second surgery was performed when Nur Qistina was a year old but the suffering continued until she was three as she was prone to health problems and shortness of breath which caused her to turn blue.

"In view of her overall deteriorating state of health, doctors informed us that a third surgery should be performed immediately.

"Thankfully, the surgery was a success and Nur Qistina has been healthy ever since," she said.

Maziah is among the thousands of people who have received financial assistance from the IJN Foundation, with almost the entire cost of treatments and surgeries covered by the non-profit organisation.

"According to records, the three surgeries cost up to RM100,000 and the next atrial septal defect surgery in May is estimated at RM25,000.

"I am grateful that everything, including my stay in Kuala Lumpur throughout my daughter's treatment, was borne by the IJN Foundation.

"If not for their assistance, I cannot imagine how difficult it would have been for us to cope with the situation as my husband is self-employed and does not earn much," she said. — Bernama