From the moment she was born, Malika Hana’s first few months of life have been nothing short of eventful.
Malika was diagnosed with Transposition of the Great Arteries (TGA) at birth, much to the surprise of her unsuspecting parents. “We were not prepared at all, since the scan didn’t indicate any issues”, her father, Hilmi Ramlan tells us.
Shortly after her birth, she went through life-saving emergency intubation and was rushed to Hospital Sultan Idris Shah (HSIS) Serdang. As her oxygen levels were critically low, she went through a balloon atrial septostomy (a procedure to improve the amount of oxygen in blood) on her arrival. Due to a GBS infection she contracted, she was put on a cycle of ten to twelve medications to ensure her survival.
TGA is a condition where the two main blood vessels of the heart, the aorta and pulmonary artery, are switched in position. The surgery to repair a TGA defect is aptly named an “arterial switch” operation, to correct the position of the blood vessels. The condition causes very low levels of oxygen in the blood circulation and Malika had to rely entirely on her medication and breathing tube to support her body.
During the weeks they waited for a date for Malika’s surgery, she encountered additional difficulties. Malika had to undergo a few other procedures and be on a continuous cycle of medication due to her condition.
Getting a date for her surgery did not go as smoothly as they expected.
Hilmi tells us, “Due to some unfortunate circumstances, her surgery date was pushed back three times.”
Malika was finally given the OK for her surgery and she entered the operating theatre at only 2 months old.
Malika’s surgery was thankfully a success. Malika and her mother called the hospital ward home for a few more months during her recovery, before she could finally be discharged to home care.
At home, Malika needed to be on a CPAP respirator full-time with different types of daily medication until she turned 11 months old. The CPAP machine restricted her physical movements, and it was difficult for her parents to see her struggling and having people stare on their afternoon walks to a nearby park or mall. The scar from Malika’s surgery is quite large, while it’s covered most of the time, people will stop and stare when they catch a glimpse of it.
Malika today has come a long way and is as healthy as she can be. She’s learnt to crawl, albeit slowly, sit up straight and eat solid foods as well.
Thank you to Mr. Hilmi Ramlan for sharing their journey with Malika. We wish our #WiraJantung Malika Hana a full recovery ahead!
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