Nine-month-old Ainul Mardhiah’s plight first came to light when concerned netizens shared photos of the baby who was suffering from a rare form of cancer known as Germ Cell Tumour.
Many helped raised funds for the baby’s treatment, while others tried to seek the attention of various parties for help, from our national carrier Malaysia Airlines to famed straight-As SPM student, Dr. Amalina Che Bakri.
The move eventually worked and on 24 May, baby Ainul along with her family and a team of medical professionals arrived in London safely for the procedure.
After more than two weeks, the operation finally took place on 10 June and Ainul’s tumour, which weighed 200g, was successfully removed in a five-hour operation, as confirmed by Dr. Amalina on her Instagram account.
A team of surgeons and anaesthetists led by Professor David Dunaway, consultant plastic and reconstructive surgeon and head of the Craniofacial Unit at the Great Ormond Street Hospital removed the large tumour that grew in the baby’s mouth.
Juling Ong, a Craniofacial and paediatric plastic surgeon who was one of four doctors in the five-hour operation told the New Straits Times
that “The tumour came out as expected.”
“There was not too much bleeding. Thankfully, she was nice and stable throughout the operation. She had a massive tumour. It was a big operation,” he told the English daily.
Ong, who is from Penang, also added that Ainul will be put under Intensive Care to let her recover and let her wounds heal. The team will reassess her over the next few weeks to see if there are any signs of recurrence.
He also acknowledged Dr. Amalina’s efforts and initiative in bringing Ainul and her family from Malaysia to UK and also making the operation a reality.
“Without Dr. Nur Amalina, we would not have known about the case and the donations from Malaysians that made it possible for her to come here for treatment,” said Ong, adding “Malaysia Boleh” with a big smile on his face.
Dr. Amalina broke the news with the consent of Ainul’s parents on her Instagram account with the caption “Alhamdulillah, Ainul, you’re strong baby girl! 😭 After about 5 hours of battling in theatre, the tumour (weigh 200g) was successfully removed. You could not imagine how anxious I was, whilst in theatre. Such a tiny baby, so delicate, so beautiful — “don’t worry baby, everyone is here to help you”.
Alhamdulillah, Ainul, you’re strong baby girl! 😭 After about 5 hours of battling in theatre, the tumour (weigh 200g) was successfully removed. You could not imagine how anxious I was, whilst in theatre. Such a tiny baby, so delicate, so beautiful — “don’t worry baby, everyone is here to help you”. Because it was such a high risk operation, a lot of preparations needed to be done before the operation to ensure that baby Ainul was safe. A lot of planning, a lot of scans, a lot of meetings and a lot of patience. The team included surgeons from various specialties (including craniofacial, plastics and head and neck consultants) led by Prof David Dunway and Mr Juling Ong. They’re very experienced in their own respective field. I was very honoured to be part of the surgical team. Ainul is currently being monitored post-operatively and she’s stable. When I stepped out from theatre and saw Ainul’s parents, I couldn’t control my emotions. It was a mixed feeling, such an emotional journey and an uplifting experience at the same time. Ainul, Wani and Safi are like my own family. Let’s pray for Ainul’s recovery. Thank you for all your prayers. 🙏🏽 (Consent was given by Ainul’s parents for this story to be on IG)
She added that it was a high-risk operation and “a lot of planning, a lot of scans, a lot of meetings and a lot of patience” were needed before proceeding.
We’re very happy with the news and hope baby Ainul a speedy recovery. This goes to show that a little kindness on the internet can go a long way. We should be proud, Malaysians!