The COVID-19 situation seems to be under control and restrictions are eased. Since authorities are now allowing people to travel between provinces, two more children with congenital heart defects have been able to receive treatment through the Rak Jai Thai program
at Bumrungrad International Hospital. The two children were Beauty, age 3, from Udon Thani province, and Poy, age 13, from Trang province.
Both children came from less privileged families; Poy’s family has been fated to hardships by the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. His father who worked as a shrimp farmer was laid off in March as the business he worked for faced tough times. Poy’s mother was also facing work troubles, working as a rubber farmer who could not harvest during heavy rains. During the rainy season in the southern part of Thailand, heavy rains are frequent, leaving work scarce, forcing them to borrow money from relatives to survive.
But during these hard times, the news of the surgery was a light in an otherwise dark place. It was the first trip ever to Bangkok for Poy and his family.
The Bumrungrad Hospital Foundation and the Rak Jai Thai program took care of not only Poy’s heart surgery but the travel expenses for his entire family as well.
Initially, Poy was afraid of undergoing surgery and just being at the hospital. He was in tears. But with support and comfort from the team of Ward 7C, he built trust and soon felt at ease. The team even made him a Happy Birthday banner for his 13th
birthday. On July 16, 2020, two days later, he underwent a successful surgery under the expertise of Assoc. Prof. Dr. Samphant Ponvilawan
and Assist. Prof. Dr. Thamabovorn Neti.
On August 17, 2020, Poy came in for a follow-up visit, where he met Dr. Preecha Laohakunakorn
, who confirmed that everything was fine and that he could go back to Trang, and continue at his usual hospital. His family was incredibly grateful and he left smiling, ready for his new life.