Singapore

Family of late footballer may not have to pay for ill son's treatment

Family of late footballer may not have to make any out-of-pocket payments for son's upcoming treatment

The fund-raising campaign by the family of late S.League footballer Nur Alam Shah ended last night with almost $190,000 raised to pay for son Muhammad Royyan's surgery for a rare heart defect.

The family had initially been targeting a sum of $120,000, but last week, the 38-year-old Alam Shah, a former Woodlands Wellington player who worked as a limousine driver and was the family's sole breadwinner, died of a heart attack.

Public donations for the four-year-old jumped after the tragic news.

His widow, Madam Azean Aziz, revised the target for the donation drive to $170,000, to also help support the family. Yesterday, she thanked those who opened their hearts and wallets.

"I am truly touched by the support given to our family," wrote Madam Azean Aziz, who has two other children aged eight and 14, on the Give.asia crowd-funding platform.

Royyan suffers from hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS), a rare heart defect that affects normal blood flow through the heart.

He has already had two procedures at the National University Hospital (NUH), which has been caring for him since 2014.

'COMPLICATED'

She also wrote that while the family does receive public grants for Royyan's medical care, his case "is complicated" and will need a surgeon from the private sector to conduct his future surgery.

Based on our records, there have been no out-of-pocket hospital expenses required for his medical treatments at NUH. NUH spokesman

The money raised will also go towards the boy's care for the next three years.

She also said she had lost her five-month-old daughter to HLHS in 2008 and "we don't want to lose our son".

Meanwhile, NUH told The Straits Times the family likely will not have to make any out-of-pocket payments for Royyan's upcoming treatment.

A spokesman said: "Given the financial status of the family, the patient has been on full Medifund assistance for the last four years.

"Based on our records, there have been no out-of-pocket hospital expenses required for his medical treatments at NUH.

"Given the subsidised status of the patient, we had estimated the bill size of the upcoming surgery to be in the range of $20,000. This would have been covered by Medisave and MediShield Life.

"Any outstanding amount would be assessed for eligibility for Medifund assistance based on the family's prevailing financial circumstances."

Medifund is a safety net for patients who face financial difficulties with their remaining bills after receiving subsidies and drawing on other means of payments, including MediShield Life and Medisave.

Give.asia said it verifies a beneficiary's needs by carrying out a video interview with the fundraiser and beneficiary, as well as "reviewing financial, medical status and documents".

Its co-founder Aseem Thakur said: "The family told me they were thinking of getting treatment done at a private hospital.

"We don't provide any medical advice as to whether they should have private or public care. Our role is to connect them to donors."

CORRECTION NOTE: In an earlier version of the story, we said that NUH told The Straits Times that the family is unlikely to have to make any out-of-pocket payments for Royyan's upcoming treatment. NUH has since clarified that it cannot pre-commit the position of the Medifund Committee even before eligibility of Medifund assistance is assessed. All applications for Medifund are considered and approved by the Medifund Committee which considers and approves, and decides on the quantum.

 

 

COMMUNITY ISSUES