Where Did the Sound in My Tummy Go?

May 27, 2021

Four-year-old Ice was born with a congenital heart defect — a hole in her heart’s lower chamber. On March 27, 2021, Ice received her long-awaited heart surgery through the Rak Jai Thai program.

Four-year-old Ice was born with a congenital heart defect — a hole in her heart’s lower chamber. Her condition was discovered when she was about two months old. She is one of two children in her family, coming from the southern province of Nakhon Sri Thammarat. As Ice was asymptomatic, there seemed to be no need for immediate surgery.

However, when Ice was only a little over one year old, the Cardiac Children Foundation of Thailand under the Royal Patronage of H.R.H. Princess Galyani Vadhana Krom Luang Naradhiwas Rajanagarindra happened to be offering screenings to children to screen for congenital heart defects at a local hospital in Nakhon Sri Thammarat. Ice’s mother had decided to bring her daughter in for a screening, with the hopes of meeting doctors who would be able to tell her more about her daughter’s condition, and to see if they can assist in healing her. There, the doctors told her that Ice would indeed eventually need to undergo surgery to fix the condition. So, with the assistance of the foundation, Ice was referred to a hospital in Bangkok to undergo the next stage of treatment.
Ice’s mother began taking Ice to the hospital in Bangkok for heart check-ups, while waiting for the opportunity to undergo surgery. After the second check-up at the hospital, Ice was put on a waiting list to receive surgery. Ice’s mother was told that she would be contacted once the hospital was ready to operate. Although they were full of hope and with their goal seemingly in sight, there was still the concern that the surgery would exceed their means, due to having to pay for some of the expenses out of pocket. Ice’s mother was worried that she would not be able to afford it, even with most of the surgery costs being covered.

After a two-year wait, they finally received a call from the hospital, but it wasn’t about the long-awaited schedule for the surgery. Instead, they were informed that the hospital could not schedule Ice’s surgery. At this point, Ice’s mother grew desperate, not knowing where to turn, not knowing what to do.

On August 15, 2020, the Cardiac Children Foundation was once again screening children for congenital heart defects, and Ice and her mother had gone in to share their situation with the foundation. The President of the foundation, after hearing their story, suggested they contact the Rak Jai Thai Program of the Bumrungrad Hospital Foundation.

On March 27, 2021, Ice received her long-awaited heart surgery at no cost through the Rak Jai Thai program. Cardiologists at Bumrungrad International Hospital closed the hole in Ice’s lower chamber and repaired her heart valve.

After her surgery, once she had enough energy to speak, Ice asked her mother, “Where did the sound in my tummy go?” followed with, “I can’t hear it anymore.” Ice was referring to the murmur she was experiencing and hearing, a symptom of her heart defect. Finally, the “sound in her tummy” was silenced.
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