Singapore

Smile Stories

When we think of children we usually envision happy, active kids running around without a care in the world. However for children with congenital heart disease they are often sickly and a bit of activity could tire them out. Some live sedentary lives not because they want to but because they need to. Many of them have uncertain futures and live each day at a time.

When we have the chance to help improve these children’s lives, every single smile we receive is priceless. Here are their stories and how Nu Skin distributors have helped create smiles.

Name   :   Yu Wadi Shaw
Age      :   13 years old

Yu’s condition was undiagnosed until the age of 2. She would break out in cold sweat when she was breastfed and later on in school, she would tire easily and was not as active as other children. It was only during a consultation that it was discovered she had a heart condition. With her father's income of SGD100.80 (USD80), it was not possible to cover the high medical costs.

Due to her sickness, Yu often felt stressed and left out that she could not do more than she wished. She also spent a lot of her time in and out of hospital but during these visits, she also witnessed many young children with similar life-threatening illnesses. This triggered her dream to become a doctor so that she could one day help other young patients. Thankfully, Yu was assisted by Nu Skin SEA CHF and KKH and underwent successful surgery. In the pink of health, she can now attend school regularly and fulfil her dream of realising a medical profession.

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Name:   Ye Htut Ko Ko
Age:    5 years old

Ko Ko was diagnosed with heart conditions when he was just 1 year old.  Then, he was not able to receive surgery due to his medical complications and family’s financial status. For 4 years, Ko Ko has been under medication and was unable to lead a normal childhood. Ko Ko is a playful child, but his condition deprived him of even walking for more than 10 minutes. Thus, he was unable to play with others and often felt lonely.  With SEA CHF, Ko Ko was able to receive the medical expertise and necessary funding to undergo surgery.  This made a huge difference in Ko Ko’s family and their lives.  After the surgery, the first thing  that Ko Ko did was to walk around the hospital premises.  That was actually the first time in his life that he could walk continuously for more than 10 minutes. Ko Ko’s life has been transformed!

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Name   :   Juicy Linn

Juicy was discovered with her heart condition when she was 19 months old. Since then, she was taking medicine regularly and only followed up with visits to the military medical station nearby the village in Myanmar as it was more affordable and accessible.

Juicy was entrusted to her aunty as her parents do not earn much and have many other siblings. As her aunty no longer works, her hefty medical bills were largely supported by the aunt’s adopted son’s earnings from his army stint and some contributions from the parents. Her kind-heartedness has definitely paid off as Juicy was referred to the Southeast Asia Children’s Heart Fund for medical treatment. After her heart surgery in Singapore KK Hospital, she does not feel tiredness and feels extremely happy and excited to go back to school. She aspires to be a doctor when she grows up so she may make a difference to the lives of people around her.

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Name:   Yin Nyein Phwe
Age:    3 years old

When Yin was 2 months old, she had difficulty breathing and her complexion turned blue when she cried. Growing up, Yin could barely walk without feeling breathless and  often cried for her mother to carry her.

After consulting a doctor, her family was  told that Yin had a heart condition  and would only have a life span of 10-15 years if she does not undergo the necessary surgery. Due to their financial situation, Yin’s family was referred to SEA CHF and received the support to undergo surgery.

Yin is now an active and playful girl like any normal child of her age.

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Name   :   Kyi Sin Shn Thant
Age      :   10 years old

It is a parent’s worst nightmare when a medical misdiagnosis happens and in the suburbs of countries like Myanmar where substandard medical practices are unfortunately common. In Sin Shn’s case, after the family observed frequent coughs and breathlessness, she was brought to the family doctor where she was diagnosed with chest infections twice and antibiotics were given, yet the coughs didn’t go away. At their third visit to another doctor, it was immediately recognized that Sin Shn may be suffering from a heart disease and was advised to approach the hospital. With a monthly average household income of $145.11 USD to support the family of five, it was almost impossible for Sin Shn to receive medical care. Luckily, with KKH-Nu Skin SEACHF, Sin Shn was able to receive professional treatment in Singapore for her heart condition and her dream to become an artist is now possible.

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Name   :   Lin Khant Aung
Age      :   3 years old

At 20 days old, Lin was already diagnosed with congenital heart disease. As he grew older, he could not play as much as his friends. He tired easily and had to squat down every few minutes to catch his breath. Without preventive surgery, his life expectancy was only estimated to last till 20 years of age.

However, with a monthly family income of SGD96.91 (USD120), surgery was unaffordable and this was a constant source of worry and concern. With the help of Nu Skin SEA CHF and KKH, Lin was able to undergo surgery successfully. He could finally play as long as he wished, without feeling tired and is now  an active child who enjoys playing with his friends.

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Name   :   Hein Moe Moe Win
Age      :   6 years old

Moe Moe got very sick when she was three months old and was brought to the doctor. That’s when she was diagnosed with congenital heart disease (hole in the heart). Since then, she had to constantly rely on medication to manage her medical condition. She gets breathless and exhausted from walking too long and was unable to play like other children do. She was also smaller in size as compared to children of the same age.

Her father, Mr. Tin Win who works as a farmer for a living and also the sole breadwinner for the family, draws no more than SGD150 per month. With his meager income, he has to support Moe Moe’s taxing medical bills without any financial support. Through Nu Skin’s support from the SEACHF, Moe Moe was able to have a second chance in life. Her successful surgery in Singapore transformed her life and like any other healthy children, she now looks forward to attending school and receive education to pursue her dream to be a doctor.

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Name   :   Thin Yamone Oo
Age      :   11 years old

The earnest student Thin Yamone Oo, or adoringly called Thin Thin by the nurses and doctor, was only four months old when her mother noticed her bluish nail bed and brought her to the doctor. She was on medication for a month and still made no improvements. As they lived near the borders where the father worked, she was sent to a hospital in Thailand and was later found to be suffering from a congenital heart disease. Her condition was stabilized through daily medication until she was a year old, when a medical team from Australia came.

A shunt device was implanted to allow better blood flow and was effective for about eight years while she was concurrently on aspirin to manage her condition. As the shunt degenerates over the years and her condition grew worse, the family was referred the Fund for her to receive treatment in Singapore. Due to complications, she was placed on the ECMO machine and undergone another operation. It was a relief for her parents when she came through the 12-hour operation successfully. As she journeys the road to recovery, she garnered all her strength to tell her mother that she can’t wait to go back to school to practice her Burmese traditional dance. Her aspiration is undoubtedly courageous and definitely one to laud of.

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Name   :   Min San Thit
Age      :   5 years old

When Min was six months old, he fell very ill and was rushed to the family doctor where the family was referred to a child specialist at the hospital in Yangon, a six-hour drive away. He was found to be suffering from a congenital heart disease that has gone undetected at birth due to poor medical technologies in the town where the family lives. The child specialist recommended for Min to receive treatment when he was a year old but coming from a poor family background, the parents could only delay the treatment and his condition worsened over the years.

At barely four years old, his condition has gotten too complex for the medical professionals in Yangon, Myanmar to operate for him. Fortunately, the family was introduced to the KKH-Nu Skin SEACHF for his treatment in Singapore. His mother who travelled to Singapore with him was elated and reassured to see him looking healthy after the surgery. Following after his mother, he dreams to be a school teacher when he grows up.

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Name   :   Su Latt Pyae
Age      :   4 years old

Su was first diagnosed with a heart condition as early as 2 months old. Her mother began noticing that her breathing was irregular and she would turn bluish. A cheerful, active girl, this condition prevented her from enjoying daily activities and as she grew up, she became increasingly frustrated with her weak physique.

Su's parents realised that this was also affecting her physical development and health and her condition would only worsen with time. With a mere monthly income of SGD252.50 (USD200), they could not  afford the expensive medical costs.

It was fortunate that they managed to receive aid from Nu Skin SEA CHF and KKH.  After a successful surgery,  Su has been given a new lease of life.

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Name:   Kaung Sat Naing
Age:    2 years 6 months

Kaung was diagnosed with heart condition when he was 3 days old. Due to his heart condition Kaung’s complexion is slightly blue and his growth and development tends to be slower as compared to a healthy child. A year ago Kaung was still a 'blue baby' until he was brought to KKH through SEA CHF. But due to his complex cardiac condition, Kaung was not able to recover entirely after one surgery. So in 2014, Kaung was  brought back to perform the final surgery required. After the surgery Kaung is in the pink of health and can always be seen with a smile on his face. His mother is very grateful to SEA CHF for giving her child the opportunity to experience a normal childhood.

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Name:   Shun Lee Wai
Age:    2 years old

When Shun was 3 months old, her mother noticed that Shun’s heart beat is slightly abnormal. Furthermore, Shun's skin and lips  were becoming more bluish in color day by day. After several medical examinations, Shun was diagnosed with a heart condition. Due to her illness, Shun was not able to play for more than 10 minutes as she tends to get tired very easily. Shun’s illness has greatly affected her family as they  were afraid  of losing  her if treatment  was not received early.  They were also worried that they would not be able to afford her medication and surgery fees. Through SEA CHF, Shun had corrective heart surgery in February 2014.  Shun is  now in the pink of health and her mother also shared that Shun wants to be a model in when she grows up.

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Name   :   Yin Kyae Khin
Age      :   2 years old

When she was 10 days old, Yin’s skin had a slightly bluish tint but her mother thought nothing of it, hoping it would clear up in time. But when her whole body turned blue at 6 months of age, her mother knew something was amiss. After medical consultations, it was confirmed that Yin had a hole in her heart which could lead to abnormal heart functions and various health problems.

Although saddened and worried, her parents were also financially strapped. Her father earned SGD189.40 (USD150) a month as a taxi driver, faced a dilemma regarding the high medical costs. Ultimately, Yin underwent successful treatment thanks to Nu Skin SEA CHF and KKH and is now enjoying her time playing around with her elder sister, experiencing a normal and healthy childhood.

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Name   :   Tin Zar Wai
Age      :   5 years old

As a toddler, Tin’s mother noticed she was breathing abnormally and there were other signs indicating that not all was right. After several medical examinations, it was determined that Tin had a heart condition. It limited her daily activities and her weak immune system prevented her from venturing outdoors which also meant that she could not attend school.

It was crucial for her to undergo surgery but with a monthly income of only SGD189.40 (USD150), her family could ill afford such high expenses. With help provided by Nu Skin SEA CHF - KKH, Tin underwent successful surgery and her parents are thankful and excited for her to experience a normal healthy lifestyle now.

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Name   :   Kaung Pyae Sone
Age      :   2.5 years old

One week right after he was born, Pyae Sone was brought back to the hospital after his parents found him to be bluish whenever he cried. He was diagnosed with congenital heart disease (hole in the heart) by the doctor and since then has been dependent on medications daily to help him manage the heart condition. His mother’s heart breaks whenever she has to keep his toys from him to stop him from playing as he gets exhausted and breathless easily. While other children could run and play, he could only go as far as ten little steps before breathing heavily.

With a humble pay of SGD250 per month to support the household and the hefty medical bills, the family of three was delighted to learn about the second chance in life they offered by the Nu Skin SEACHF. With the help of the Fund, this could mean the end to their constant worries for their son’s future. Following Pyae Sone’s successful surgery in KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital in Singapore, he can now start pre-school back in Myanmar, where he is able to socialize, play and study like the other children and to pursue his dreams.

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Name   :   Poe Yadanar Kyaw
Age      :   4 years old

When Poe was born and hospitalized at three days old, the doctor informed her parents that he suspects an issue with her heart due to an abnormal heart rate and breathing. However, no proper diagnosis was provided until last year, the family doctor advised the parents to send her to Yangon, the capital of Myanmar to have a better understanding of Poe’s health condition. It was then found out that Poe has a severe Tetralogy of Fallot which would require a major surgery, which Myanmar doctors are unable to perform due to lack of medical expertise and equipment.

The meager earnings the father brings home was unable to support for Poe’s surgery as well and they could only delay treatment until the KKH-Nu Skin SEACHF was offered to them. Her mother expressed gratitude and was overjoyed for her daughter to be able to receive treatment in Singapore and now, Poe can finally attend preschool with the rest of the children. Although at a tender age of four years, Poe has big dreams to become a school teacher one day.

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Name:   Thu Htet Htoo
Age:    1 years 5 months old

 

Htet Htoo was diagnosed with heart condition 7 days after he was born and his family was deeply sadden by the news. Due to his conditions Htet Htoo’s growth and development was also slower as compared to others. Even at the age of 1, he was still unable to crawl. When Htet Htoo’s family learnt  of SEA CHF, they were elated and extremely thankful.  After the surgery, Htet Htoo is no longer the sickly child that he used to be and enjoys playing with other children.

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