A 20-year old Malaysian died for failure to undergo liver transplant surgery due to his family’s financial incapability.
His father already emptied his savings and even borrowed money from relatives and friends but, sadly, the accumulated money wasn’t still enough to cover the cost of the surgery. The saddest part was, even if the patient’s siblings were compatible organ donors, they were still obliged to pay deposit to the hospital.
Lim Chi Ling was a university student in his final year. Aware of his family’s financial standing, the very understanding son took a part-time job when he was in secondary school to save up for his tertiary education.
Years passed until Lim managed to study in Melbourne University using his hard-earned money to support his education with the help of his father. He continued working while studying so that he will not be a financial burden to his father.
This June, he flew back to Malaysia to spend summer vacation but still took a part-time job.
One day, in a family’s gathering, Lim was seen suffering from stomach ache which they’ve never thought of as something big to deal with. Little did they know that it was the start of Lim’s battle as his condition gets worse and critical every day. He was brought to government hospitals where fees were low, for a medical check-up.
With the white of his eyes turned into yellow due to jaundice, losing consciousness and blood pressure getting weaker, Lim’s family was surprised after learning that he was diagnosed with liver failure.
Worried that the condition of his son may worsen, Lim’s father hired an ambulance which he paid for RM85,700 ($13,000) and transferred him to a hospital in Singapore. The concerned father emptied his savings and borrowed money from relatives and friends to raise the money and made Lim’s transfer to a better hospital possible.
The organ transplant in Singapore costs RM940,655 ($300,000). On top of that big amount, the organ donor still needs to raise RM313,133 ($100,000) as deposit to the hospital. Lim’s family felt so helpless for being unable to provide for the hospital’s deposit, so much more with the surgery that Lim was in dire need to undergo.
To help their family, the two older sisters of Lim begged in public for monetary donations. They also offered to donate their liver to Lim but unfortunately, they can’t still provide the $100,000 as an organ donor as demanded by the hospital.
One of Lim’s older sister said, “I can donate my organ, there’s no question about that, but I don’t have enough money for the operation. I can donate every single organ to him, but I just don’t have the money for it.”
“Of course I’m scared because I have my own family and children, but he is my brother. I must be the donor as I don’t want my younger sister to suffer through the surgery,” she added.
Lim’s other sister also said, “If my sister’s organ is not compatible, I will definitely donate mine. I only have one brother, I must save him.”
“We have compatible organs but we just don’t have the money. The doctors won’t perform the surgery due to insufficient money and my brother is lying in the hospital dying,” she said sadly.
Lim’s family needed to raise a total of RM1.6 million ($372,000) for Lim’s liver transplant surgery. With high hopes, they’ve waited for donations after begging for help publicly but unfortunately, Lim did not make it while waiting for the funds to come in.
Lim Chi Ling died at 11am of July 20.
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