Judy was the fourth child born into a working-class family. The day her mother discovered she was pregnant, she knew, she would not be able to care for her. The additional responsibilities and costs of raising another child would be too much. She didn’t know what to do.
After opening up and discussing her situation with her employer, her boss told her that once the baby was born she would adopt and care for it as her own. And that’s what happened, at first, but by the time Judy was only 9 months old, her adoptive mother fell ill and sadly passed away. Judy was then in the care of her adoptive mother’s sister, who has been taking care of her ever since. Now, Judy is 18 years of age, and her adoptive mother is 77 years of age.
Judy sometimes thinks about her biological mother and why she abandoned her. However, she feels deeply grateful that she has her new adoptive-mother, Noi, to take care of her. Overall Judy is joyful and feels safe that she was legally adopted by her adoptive-mother. Over the years, they have had a wonderful time together, but the loss of Mother Noi’s sister is not the only hardship they had to endure.
Back when Judy was a baby and starting to take her first steps, Mother Noi noticed that Judy would become easily tired and always ask to be carried. Because of this, worried, she took her to see the doctor, who discovered that Judy was suffering from a ventricular septal defect. Judy immediately received care, and continued to have regular hospital visits at a local hospital. At around 7 years old, Judy was able to share her story with the Cardiac Children Foundation while they were at Ananda Mahidol Hospital in Lopburi Province. The foundation referred Judy to the Rak Jai Thai program of the Bumrungrad Hospital Foundation. And then, on March 31, 2010, Judy underwent her first heart surgery. Although an intense procedure, the surgery was a success and Judy was able to go home to her family. She also received continued follow-up care at an affiliated hospital in Lopburi.
Eleven years went by since Judy’s first heart surgery. Then, on April 1st
, 2021, she felt ill and went back to the Cardiac Children Foundation for a visit and heart check. Judy informed the doctors that she was experiencing daily fatigue and tightness in the chest for quite some time. So, immediately, the doctors had her undergo an echocardiogram
which showed a heart valve abnormality. A request for assistance was sent to the Rak Jai Thai program, one of the Bumrungrad Hospital Foundation’s programs, and shortly after, on the 18th
November 2021, Judy was able to undergo a second heart surgery at Bumrungrad International Hospital. The team consisting of Dr. Preecha Laonakunakorn
, Pediatric Cardiologist; Assoc.Prof.Dr. Samphant Ponvilawan
, Cardiac Surgeon; and Assist.Prof.Dr. Thamabovorn Neti
, Anesthesiologist performed a successful surgery under Bumrungrad standards. The cost of her treatment amounted to 828,320 baht, which was covered completely by the program.
All smiles, as five days after her surgery, Judy was already feeling better. When asked about how she was feeling, she replied that she was looking forward being more independent and having more energy. She doesn’t feel as fatigued like before, and she’s able to lie down comfortably without chest tightness. Finally she is able to live life and do things like everyone else.
The heart surgery fixed Judy’s heart, but it’s very obvious that the treatment has also helped Judy emotionally. Currently, Judy is a Mathayom 5 student at Ban Mi School in Lopburi. She dreams of becoming a lawyer when she grows up.
This story was permitted to be published by Judy and her family.