"I am a father of three children, but my biggest worry is about the middle one. She has congenital heart disease and is physically weaker. Sometimes her nails and lips turn blue and purple, indicating a lack of oxygen, and she needs another surgery."
At 53 years old, single father Bong Gin Thau looks at his 17-year-old daughter, Angel Bong Yie Teng, with a mix of heartache and helplessness. Their life isn't affluent, and he doesn't dare to ask for much. He only hopes for his child's health and peaceful days, which are the most important things to him.
【Due to her frailty since childhood, she needs to widen the connection between the heart's arteries, otherwise it might lead to heart failure】
When Angel Bong Yie Teng was born, her family gave her a sweet English name, "Angel," full of hopeful anticipation. However, this child, who arrived in their arms like an angel, turns into a 'blue angel' whenever she cries. The first time they noticed her turning blue, they hurriedly took her to a clinic, and after being referred to a hospital for tests, it was confirmed that Yiting had congenital heart disease.
At 3 months old and again at 3 years old, Angel Bong underwent her first and second surgeries. After the surgeries, the doctors found that her learning abilities were slower compared to children her age, and she struggled with reading. She started walking at 3 years old, much later than others, and was considered to have learning difficulties.
As Angel Bong grew up, she didn't require medication but needed regular follow-up appointments at the hospital. However, due to the outbreak of the pandemic, the family's income was affected, and they had to temporarily pause her regular check-ups. She attended a special school in Cheras, Kuala Lumpur, and due to her heart condition, she was unable to engage in physical activities since childhood.
Starting last year, she often felt fatigued and experienced shortness of breath. When her father, Bong Gin Thau, took her to the hospital for a check-up, the doctors found that she had severe pulmonary valve stenosis. This meant that the passage between the valve connecting to her lungs was becoming narrower. She required a procedure called pulmonary valvuloplasty to widen the passage, otherwise, there's a risk of heart failure.
【Being a single father, I have to take care of my children while juggling work. Due to the rising cost of living, I'm facing financial constraints and cannot afford the surgery expenses】
After being hit with unexpected bad news, single father Bong Gin Thau found himself in a state of despair and helplessness. On one hand, he was deeply concerned about his frail daughter needing urgent surgery to save her life. On the other hand, he worried about his limited financial capacity, not being able to afford the substantial cost of the operation.
Bong Gin Thau works as a part-time chef, only being called upon when the restaurant requires extra hands. He suffers from hypertension, hyperlipidemia, and hyperglycemia, and regularly visits government clinics for medication to take care of his health, hoping to continue caring for his children. He went through a divorce with his ex-wife about 5 years ago and has since taken on the role of both mother and father, shouldering the financial responsibilities for his three children.
In addition to Angel Bong, he also needs to take care of his eldest son (19 years old), who is currently attending college part-time, and his younger son (16 years old), who has autism and ADHD.
The family of four currently lives in an apartment above a shop lot. With a monthly income of about RM4,000, Bong Gin Thau is responsible for providing three meals a day, covering living expenses, education costs, and purchasing daily necessities for his children. Coupled with recent price increases for various goods, their financial situation has become even more strained.
Considering Angel Bong's urgent need for medical treatment and aiming to alleviate the burden on the family, One Hope Charity decided to assist them in raising RM42,000. This includes RM30,000 for the surgical expenses, while the remaining RM12,000 will be used to support the child's education and provide assistance for the family's living expenses for a duration of 6 months.
The family has entrusted the fundraising efforts to the One Hope Charity & Welfare, who will also be responsible for collecting the donations. For any inquiries, you can contact the hotline at 04-539 9212, 016-4192 192, 019-2322 192, 018-911 4192.