To an ordinary child, a trip to the zoo means nothing but to Muhammad Iffat Badrul Hisam, 5, it means the world. Diagnosed with leukemia, it has been Iffat’s dream to see live animals up close but never had the opportunity to do so for a number of reasons, his parents’ disposition being one.
Iffat’s wish was finally granted when a day trip to the petting zoo at the Lost World of Tambun in Ipoh was arranged recently through the generosity of the Children’s Wish Society of Malaysia and the Lost World of Tambun.
Iffat with father Badrul Hisam Hasim, 35, mother Rosnani Abdul Rahman, 35, and younger sister, Nawal Qistina Hisam, 3, journeyed from Jeniang, Kedah to the theme park at Tambun, Ipoh. It took them almost five hours to reach their destination but it was worth the effort.
According to Iffat’s mother, her son was found to suffer from leukemia after a routine check-up at the Jeniang government clinic last December. “Iffat’s gums were bleeding and there were bruises on his body and hands. After further examinations at the Gurun Hospital, we were shocked to learn of his cancerous condition.”
“Incidentally, none of our family members have a history of cancer,” said Rosnani to reporters covering the visit. “It’s most unfortunate that this misfortune has befallen our child.”
Although their son is at the fourth stage of the disease, Rosnani and her husband have not given up hope on him. They are determined to provide Iffat with the best medications that they can afford. This is despite doctors’ decision to stop medication a month ago because Iffat’s cancer is already at its final stage and there is nothing more they could do.
“They told us that our son can only hold on for another six months. We’ve resorted to giving him homeopathic medicines to help him cope with his sickness. All that’s left now is to pray to the good Lord for salvation,” said a teary Rosnani. “Meanwhile, we’ll do our best to fulfil his wishes and that’s why we’re here today.”
Rosnani and Badrul Hisam were appreciative of the efforts taken by the non-governmental organisation and the management of the theme park for realising their son’s wish. “We thank those concerned for making this trip possible.”
The petting zoo at the Lost World of Tambun has a variety of animal species both foreign and local. Ipoh’s only theme park, covering some 100,000 sq ft and built at a cost of RM60 million, was opened to the public in 2004.