Eric Tan’s first experience with congenital heart disease (CHD) was when his first child, Sean Xian, was diagnosed with CHD at two weeks old. When he first heard the news, he remembers feeling a mixture of worry and fear. He recounts that his biggest challenge was the lack of awareness and knowledge he had of the condition. He had never heard of CHD before. What was the best medical centre for his son? How serious was it going to be?
Another big challenge was financially. Sean Xian was first referred to a private hospital, but the medical bills were more expensive than he could have anticipated. While they had enrolled for a pre-pregnancy insurance program, they found out that congenital heart defects were not covered. Unfortunately, lack of insurance coverage is a common problem many people born with heart defects face. At the time, all Eric could do was ask for donations and help from families and friends, and he wasn’t sure where else to ask for help.
Eric’s son went through a major surgery to repair his heart condition. Eric and his family went through a tough and challenging journey, spending nearly two months in a hospital. He saw how his son fought during these hard times and he learned from the experience to become a better person. During those trying times, he tells us he could not have made it without the love and support of his family and friends.
Today, Eric’s son, Sean Xian, is recovering well and is like any other 8 year old, active and a little naughty. His experience with his son has also led him to give back to the community and Eric is an integral member to our team, supporting YJKM from day one and is now the CEO of YJKM.
Eric’s message to all CHD parents: Be strong and fight together with your child, Live with Hope! To everyone out there, CHD can be treated with proper funding and timely intervention, thus, let’s work together to help CHD patients to see a better future in life.