10-month-old Fareena Shahmina was born with Down syndrome. What’s sadder, she was diagnosed with hole in the heart, also known as ventricular septal defect (VSD), and is in dire need of surgery.
That is not all. Her father, 40-year-old Faidzal Shahril Alang Abdul Rahman, a former stuntman trainer, lost his job at the Movie Animation Park Studio (MAPS) on January 28 without receiving any compensation.
According to him, Fareena will undergo surgery at the National Heart Institute (IJN) in Kuala Lumpur on June 3. It will cost the family around RM20,000 to RM30,000.
“The condition was confirmed in 2019 by a heart specialist from IJN who examined her in Hospital Raja Permaisuri Bainun Ipoh,” Faidzal explained. “The surgery has to be performed on time to cover two holes in Fareena’s heart.
“Frankly speaking, I do not have that amount of money with me right now. Since I lost my job at MAPS, I have been on jobs like small-scale T-shirt printing, fixing telephones and being a ‘runner’ for Runnermyrun,” he stated. “I’m willing to go for any job to cover daily expenses and the cost for Fareena’s surgery.”
Fareena is the youngest of four. Her eldest sister, Farisha, 10, is an autistic child and is currently under special education. Her second and third sister, Farzana Safiyyah, 5, and Farihah Surfina, 4 are in healthy condition. They are all cared for by their mother, Noor Suhaida Shariff, 40, a full-time housewife.
Faidzal fears for the family’s eviction as they are only renting the house they live in which costs RM900 monthly and they owe three months of rent. The family was visited by several State Executive Councillors and the social welfare department (JKM) who also offered help.
“Thanks to their visit and moral support, a fair bit of weight was lifted off my shoulders,” Faidzal expressed. “It was made known to me that JKM has registered my daughter for the disabled (OKU) card and she will be receiving RM400 in monthly allowance.
“I can only hope for the timely accumulation of money needed for the cost of her surgery. May our efforts be blessed,” he prayed.
Readers who would like to offer a helping hand to the family may contribute to their Maybank account 1628 0711 9308 – Faidzal Shahril Alang Abdul or head to their residence at address: No. 8, Laluan Meru Indah 2A, Gerbang Meru, 30020 Ipoh, Perak.