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Family in Dire Straits

Nur Athirah Ayu Suhardy, 16, has spent almost a year at home, lying in bed, hoping to return to school, should she recover. Her father, Suhardy Che Omar, 40, and mother Zalifah Mustafa, 37, explained that their eldest of five children underwent surgery to remove a 5-cm tumour in her head at Hospital Raja Permaisuri Bainun on October 3.

“The effect of the tumour caused Athirah to suffer from pain in her back (chronic neuropathic back pain). Three months ago, she suffered from severe headaches, was weak and nauseated. Her doctor confirmed that she had a tumour on the left of her head (left subarachnoid cyst).

“Following the surgery, Athirah’s condition improved and she could lie down without pain on her back. However, she has not been able to move her left hand completely. A special implement has to be used for blood transfusion,” said Suhardy when met at their rented home in Taman Klebang Restu recently.

What is more painful for the family is that Athirah’s two siblings are also in poor health. Nur Ameera Aisyah Suhardy, 10, the third child of the family suffers from serious bronchial asthma since 2012. The couple’s fourth child, Muhammad Airel Daniel, suffers from kidney complications, hypertension, cardiovascular disease and glaucoma in his left eye. Their health conditions have forced them to skip school.

The Suhardy family receives RM350 monthly from Majlis Agama Islam Perak to cover their medical expenses and RM450 monthly from the Social Welfare Department.

“I am grateful to these agencies as it helps cover medical expenses for my three children. I am unable to work because I have to take them to the hospital for regular check-ups. Athirah goes twice weekly while Airel needs to visit the clinic and hospital more frequently because of his many illnesses. Besides, his glaucoma is being treated at the Alor Star General Hospital in Kedah. We travel by bus for his appointments,” said Suhardy.

A former security guard who was once assigned to work at a bank, Suhardy was asked to leave his job because he could not concentrate fully due to stress caused by his children’s illnesses. “Luckily, my wife is still able to help support the family with her job at a nearby factory.”

Readers wishing to help the family financially can do so by depositing money into Suhardy Che Omar’s Bank Simpanan Nasional savings account No.: 08100-41-00011038-4.

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