Urgent Fundraising – Ooi Kooi Fern (Scoliosis)



“I hope to straighten my body to be more confident facing my future.”

32-year-old Ooi Kooi Fern with 80-degree scoliosis went for medical treatment three years ago. After receiving a scheduled date for surgery, the doctor found out she had lung bullae and decided to treat her lung problem first. She later managed to obtain a date for surgery. However, during an examination before the surgery, the doctor discovered she had a high-grade L5-S1 spondylolisthesis, so she had to go through emergency surgery to connect her spine. The insurance company paid for both surgeries, then.

And now, she is finally ready for the spinal correction surgery. Unexpectedly, she found that the insurance company would not cover the surgical expenditure, which caught her off guard. She is worried about her health but helpless as she cannot afford the surgical cost.

【Ooi Kooi Fern started feeling pain and numbness all over her body and later felt breathless when walking. She went for an examination and realised that her spine had oppressed her internal organs】

Ooi Kooi Fern from Sungai Limau, Kedah, learned from her neighbours that her shoulders were uneven 10 years ago. They advised her to see a doctor, but she was afraid then, so she ignored and avoided the problem. Although she often felt numbness in her spine and slight shortness of breath when walking, she did not take the matter seriously.

About three years ago, her condition deteriorated, so she tried to find more information about her condition online. On 22 December 2021, with the encouragement of her boyfriend, she finally dared to seek medical treatment at Universiti Malaya Medical Centre. The examination result showed that she had 80-degree scoliosis. Her condition was critical, and needed urgent surgery.

At that time, the doctor arranged spinal correction surgery in April 2022. Unexpectedly, on a day before surgery, the doctor discovered her lung bullae had ruptured, which caused her to suffer from shortness of breath and tiredness when walking, so the doctor prioritised treating her lung problem.

After that, the doctor scheduled the scoliosis corrective surgery in August 2022. However, the doctor later found that she had a high-grade L5-S1 spondylolisthesis, causing her body to tilt. The doctor then conducted an urgent treatment for her pelvic problem. The insurance company has borne the expenses of the two surgeries.

After recuperating, the doctor arranged another date in February 2023 to treat her scoliosis. However, the woman was worried about the risk of paralysis after the surgery, and she had some financial considerations, so she was hesitant to undergo surgery and missed the surgery.

Ooi Kooi Fern is from a traditional and ordinary family whose parents are not highly educated. Therefore, they neglected the impact of her scoliosis. As for Ooi Kooi Fern, she is used to avoiding and not facing the problem. After seeking medical treatment, she learned that she might be paralysed if she neglected her health condition, so she started to be concerned about her health. Now, she can’t stand or sit for a long time and can only drive for an hour at most. Therefore, her boyfriend always fetches her to the hospital for treatment.

Ooi Kooi Fern is introverted and shy. Her parents have retired. She and her mother cared for her grandmother, who had cancer for many years. They relied on pocket money from her uncle. After her grandmother passed away last month, she began to face up to her problems.

Due to low self-esteem, she always stays home and can’t socialise well. She always wears a jacket when she goes out. She sells children’s clothes online, earning about RM500 to RM1,200 monthly.

In the past three years, she exhausted all her savings on her medication, examination, transportation and accommodation expenditures, so she cannot afford the RM41,000 surgical expenses; hence, she approached One Hope Charity for help.

After reviewing the case following a home visit, she agreed to fully authorise One Hope Charity to take charge of the fundraising and collect donations from the well-wishers on her behalf. Call One Hope Charity’s hotline at 04-539 9212, 016-419 2192 or 018-911 4192 if you have questions.

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