One Family’s Story

March 03, 2022

Puk-pik, now 10 years old, recently met with Dr. Preecha Laohakunakorn for his annual follow-up. They have a long history together, as Puk-pik had been a very special patient of Dr. Preecha since shortly after he was born. When Puk-pik was born, he had a heart condition known as transposition of the great arteries. Rak Jai Thai stepped in.

On February 11th, 2022 Puk-pik met with Dr. Preecha Laohakunakorn for his annual follow-up. They have a long history together, as Puk-pik had been a very special patient of Dr. Preecha since shortly after he was born. During the visit, Puk-pik’s mother reminisced over her pregnancy and Puk-pik’s birth.

During her pregnancy with Puk-pik, his mother had experienced severe back pain, for which her doctor in Krabi was unable to find a solution. When the pain became severe, to the point where it prevented her from even lying down, she went to see a physician at a private hospital in Phuket. Unfortunately, the Phuket doctor wasn’t able to help her with her back pain either, and she was told that the back pain was brought on by the pregnancy and it would only subside once she gave birth. This situation ultimately led to Puk-pik’s mother deciding that she would stay with that private Phuket hospital through the pregnancy and give birth there.

Having gone through a complicated pregnancy, things only got worse, as Puk-pik was born with a medical condition known as cyanosis, where the baby’s body tissue color turns a bluish-purple. His oxygen level was only at 60 percent due to a rare congenital heart disease known as transposition of the great arteries, which caused non-oxygenated blood to be pumped through the body. Transposition of the great arteries was considered a critical condition and required immediate surgical intervention. Thus, the hospital in Phuket had coordinated with Ramathibodi Hospital in Bangkok and planned to transfer Puk-pik over for treatment. Although the costs of the treatment and travel proved to be challenging for the family, they had no choice but to go. With the help of family members pulling together funds, Puk-pik was on his way to Bangkok for treatment.  

Puk-pik arrived at Ramathibodi Hospital at 9:00 AM after a 12 hour journey by ground ambulance. Even though he made it to the hospital, there was an extremely long wait to undergo surgery. After 5 days at the hospital with no update about the surgery, they were unsure of what to do next.

At this time, the Cardiac Children Foundation of Thailand had heard of Puk-pik and his family’s story. They decided to offer support and immediately contacted the Bumrungrad Hospital Foundation for assistance with this case. The Rak Jai Thai program under the Bumrungrad Hospital Foundation stepped in to provide medical support. Soon Puk Pik was transferred to Bumrungrad International Hospital’s Children’s Center where he was seen by Dr. Preecha, a pediatric cardiologist at the center, who arranged for Puk-pik to receive an arterial switch procedure on the 13th of February of that year. Cardiac surgeon Assoc. Prof. Dr. Samphant Ponvilawan and anesthesiologist Assist. Prof. Dr. Thamabovorn Neti also provided their expertise for a successful surgery. The total cost of the treatment amounted to 734,076 baht, which was taken care of by the Rak Jai Thai program.

Ten years has gone by since the surgery. Puk-pik’s mother said that her son is doing well physically, he is healthy and strong, and he is getting good grades at school.
Puk-pik and his entire family are extremely grateful for what all the doctors and the Rak Jai Thai program have done.

This story was permitted to be published by the family.
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