Original post here. Please note that Yvonne is posting as a friend to a friend. If you have any suggestions, please direct them to Yvonne, not me. Thank you.
I have a friend. Her name is Pei Lee. Like me, Pei Lee suffers from Neurofibromatosis Type II. I came to know her when my story was featured in Sin Chew Daily last year. Like me, Pei Lee is deaf in both ears and blind in an eye.
Except that Pei Lee is less fortunate. She comes from a poor background, with limited education. At age 28, Pei Lee is fluent in Chinese and speaks some Malay. Her last known job involved selling kuih in the wet market.
Two weeks ago, Pei Lee texted me saying the tumor in her cervical spine is acting up, making her legs numb. I advised her to borrow her MRI scans and medical report from the Kuala Lumpur General Hospital. She tried, but the doctor refused. According to Pei Lee, the doctor simply wrote her a letter which I have not personally read.
Pei Lee wish to consult a neurosurgeon at private hospitals. Both of us have experienced removing spinal tumors in GHKL. We are aware of the poor quality of healthcare, especially those involving spinal surgeries.
This morning, I sent an email to someone who supported my cause not long ago. From our emails, I recognised him as a spine surgeon. The Heart4Hope products he bought online were mailed to the hospital. His reply came later in the afternoon. The kind man turned out an Orthopediatrician and spinal cord injury expert, but not tumors. He recommended me to a good friend, who is a neurosurgeon at another hospital, who may be able to help Pei Lee.
I wish to help Pei Lee save her spine, but then I came to another problem. How could she afford the treatments? Last week, Pei Lee asked if I could help her write an article to the press to request for donations. She can’t even afford the consultation fees. But I told Pei Lee the press does not work that way. They only help when your case has been ascertained, and a surgeon has decided to operate on you.
I’ve been thinking about her these days. RM60 (presumably) per consultation may sound like a small amount. RM1,000++ for a spine MRI is probably peanuts for some people. Yet I’m so baffled. How do I help Pei Lee?