World

Johor boy develops Parkinson's-like condition after exposure to fumes

His health worsens as state's pollution crisis rumbles on

KUALA LUMPUR: A 12-year-old Malaysian boy has developed a Parkinson's-like condition after being exposed to pollution in Sungai Kim Kim in Pasir Gudang, Johor.

Called myokymia, it causes parts of the body to tremble.

Irfan Wafiy Idham Wazir - the fourth of five siblings and a student of Sekolah Kebangsaan Taman Bukit Dahlia in Pasir Gudang - developed the condition after experiencing breathing difficulties last March, Bernama reported.

It is believed he had inhaled poisonous gases at school, after which he was admitted to hospital.He was in hospital for 10 days, during which his health progressively deteriorated.

His mother Norlela Abu Hashim, 45, said specialists carried out various procedures to determine why his leg shook.

"His leg started to shake the second night he was in the hospital," she was quoted as saying.

"When he was asleep, his heart was beating fast. The doctor slapped his face several times but he did not wake up, as if he was in a very deep sleep. The medical team then decided to summon the neurologist."

His case was referred to Kuala Lumpur Hospital, where it was determined he has myokymia.

She said: "The neurologist told him to walk but he could not do so. I had to hold him.

"One time, I took him to the toilet and he fell because I forgot he could not walk normally."

His father, Mr Idham Wazir A Wahab, delivered a rebuke to Malaysian officials who were reportedly arguing over who should pay for safety measures after the pollution incidents, The Star reported.

Mr Idham Wazir, a 49-year-old former engineer, on Monday sneaked into a closed-door town hall session between Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change Minister Yeo Bee Yin and industry players.

He said he became infuriated after the stakeholders debated over who should spend money. His outburst went viral on social media. The video showed him shouting at the participants.

"I was angry because I have spent thousands for my child's medical treatment and yet they (government and industries) still have the time to argue," The Star quoted him as saying.

"No other family or kids should go through what I have gone through with my son.

"Now I have to go back and forth to Kuala Lumpur because there is no specialist in Johor Baru that can attend to his condition," he added.

He said he quit his job to take care of his son.

SHUT DOWN

Ms Yeo said yesterday joint enforcement operations will be carried out to shut down illegal factories in Pasir Gudang. She said the operations would be carried out in one month.

Nearly 475 educational institutions in Pasir Gudang were closed for three days last week after more than 100 students from over 30 schools experienced symptoms like nausea and dizziness.

When the schools reopened on Sunday, many students and teachers experienced similar symptoms and were rushed to clinics.

In March, 111 primary and secondary schools in Pasir Gudang were shut for two weeks following the illegal dumping of chemicals into Sungai Kim Kim.

Environment