This is not the S-shaped curve that every girl dreams of but the scoliosis everyone fears. For 30 years, she could not walk straight and would experience back pains after standing and teaching for a long time.
Chan Shiau Yih, a Chinese primary school teacher from Johor, had more than 40 degrees of scoliosis during her teenage years. The doctor then suggested corrective surgery. However, due to the lack of technology, her family decided not to allow her for the surgery and opted for physiotherapy treatment.
When she was in secondary school, her mother took her to Kuala Lumpur by bus from Seremban for physiotherapy. The doctor told her that her treatment was over when she was 17 or 18 and asked her to exercise frequently. The doctor also told her to go to the orthopaedics if she felt unbearable.
【The spine is curved in two parts which affect the function of internal organs】
Shiau Yih is 43. She is a Chinese primary school teacher who has cultivated countless students. She married her husband and became a mother of one. After experiencing pregnancy and childbirth, her scoliosis accelerated and deteriorated due to a significant calcium loss. Since last year, she had unbearable pain in her lower back, so she consulted an orthopaedic specialist.
"May it be walking, sitting, standing or sleeping, my lumbar spine is always in pain. The doctor told me that my spine is now bent a lot, and the curvature is in two parts, the upper part is 80 degrees, and the lower part is 70 degrees. As I was born with one less bone than others, and the cartilage has also begun to degenerate, the doctor said if I do not undergo immediate surgery, my condition will deteriorate and even affect the other organs."
She said the curve in her spine is increasing, and now it has pressed against her lungs and weakened her lungs' function. The curvature of the lower half affects her intestines and kidneys. This means that if she does not undergo surgery, her respiratory and internal organ functions will continue to be affected. Considering her bones will also degenerate with age, the doctor advised her to go for surgery as soon as possible and not to delay it further.
Shiau Yih's surgery involves locking two screws from the fourth vertebrae to the second last vertebrae, installing a steel device to straighten her posture and putting medicine that helps bones growth, which causes the scoliosis treatment cost to be as high as RM80,000. Although she has insurance coverage, she started to insure as an adult. Therefore, the insurance will not cover her scoliosis corrective treatment.
【The family's financial burden is heavy, so they are unable to bear the entire surgical expenses】
Shiau Yih earns about RM5,000 a month as a primary school teacher. Her husband, Chan Wai Chua, is a supervisor, making slightly over RM5,000 monthly. The couple must pay for their housing and car loans, PTPTN, insurance premiums, education fee for their child, their parent's living expenses and other household expenditures. Besides, Shiau Yih and her husband also paid for her treatment and charges for follow-up visits for many years. As the surgery cost RM80,000, they could only take out their savings of RM10,000, and there was still a shortfall of RM70,000.
Therefore, the couple decided to approach One Hope Charity for help. To improve Shiau Yih's condition and reduce the family's financial burden, One Hope Charity agreed to assist in raising the RM70,000 she needed after reviewing the case.
Her family agreed to fully authorise One Hope Charity to take charge of the fundraising and collect donations from the well-wishers on their behalf. Call One Hope Charity's hotline at 04-539 9212, 016-419 2192, 019-232 2192 or 018-911 4192 if you have questions.