A Family’s Ordeal

We caught up with Noor Ismah, mother to baby Muhd Sayf Ashmin, who was admitted to PICU in January 2022.  

During the first trimester of her pregnancy, doctors found out through an antenatal check that Sayf had an Aortic Coarctation, which was closely monitored throughout the entire pregnancy. Earlier this year, Sayf was admitted for an operation to rectify the Aortic Coarctation. Ismah and her husband knew he had to be operated on, but did not expect for their mere 5 day old baby to be whisked into the operating theatre.

The operation went well but Sayf developed a few complications subsequently; such as an acute kidney injury, vocal cord palsy and Laryngomalacia. He then underwent Peritoneal Dialysis for his kidney injury and Laryngoplasty for his Laryngomalacia. Thankfully, other than his Laryngomalacia which required more time for recovery, Sayf got discharged after his acute kidney injury and vocal cord palsy were resolved. The 6 month ordeal saw Sayf headed home with CPAP and continuous NG feeding.

When asked if she’s ever heard of Ronald McDonald House Charities prior to their stay, Ismah sheepishly shared that she did, but initially thought it was for the children, and did not expect for it to primarily serve the patient’s parents. Upon being introduced to RMHC with Sayf’s admission to the PICU, Ismah was pleasantly surprised at our programmes like the Ronald McDonald House and Family Room for parents to be able to take a breather, rest and relax.

Despite being offered a stay at the Ronald McDonald House, Ismah and her husband decided against staying, so they could return home every day to attend to their other children and pass up the offer to other families. During this time, they found themselves frequent users of the Family Room, where they could retreat to when doctors were examining Sayf, to take their meals or just to unwind from the tensions in the PICU.

“RMHC is a very nice place for parents to be in especially when we are told to wait outside when the doctors carry out procedures or examine our children. It provides comfort for parents who are in distress, and a space to catch a breather. I couldn’t be more thankful for the amenities provided, which gave my husband and I comfort, relaxation and a safe place for us to let out all of our emotions away from the PICU.”

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