A Child In Need

A favour that was offered to a friend turned out to be a heart-wrenching experience for me. It really made me think and ponder about life and humanity.

    The 45-minute journey took me to a shanty wooden house, with missing wooden planks on its wall.

     A fairly good wind could blow down such dilapidated structure any minute. After introducing myself, I asked permission to snap some photos for the record. The interior of the house proved how deprived the family’s life has been.

     I stepped into the kitchen, hoping to find a fridge to store the milk supply I brought. I was relieved to spot a small fridge, with a surface rust, standing in the corner of the kitchen.

     It was a 2-room house – the kitchen and the bedroom (cum living room). The back of the house doubled as En. Emran’s workshop. Being the sole breadwinner of the family, it was pretty difficult for him to make ends meet.

     So, apart from repairing vehicles that could not provide a stable income,the 33-year old father of three had to do odd jobs in the village to earn at least RM800 a month. His 26-year old wife was a home maker. 
     I finally met Zikri, a vulnerable-looking 4-year old boy. Such timid soul had been staring at me ever since I first stepped into the house, perhaps wondering the purpose of my visit.

     He had this big, sad and bewildered looking eyes that could not conceal the pain and suffering he had to endure.

      When I called his name, he immediately approached me with open arms. While he was in my arms, I quickly poked a straw into a Yakult bottle and placed it is his hand. As he was drinking the milk, those wide round eyes looked straight into mine as if to say “thank you”. I held him close and could feel his bloated and firm stomach against my hand. 
      Zikri was born without an anus. The second day after he was born, the doctor did a surgery on him to place a colostomy bag which he had to depend on for the next 12 months. The doctor then did another surgery to provide Zikri with a rectal opening.

      He, however, had no control over the release of his faeces which explains why he had to be in disposable diapers at all times. His condition worsened after he swallowed a metal nut when he was barely a few months old.

      Because of that, his stool had to be pumped out 3 times a day. Drinking Yakult helped to soften the stool, thus reducing the pain when the stool is being pumped out. I can’t imagine what future lies ahead for this poor, sickly soul.

      How is it possible for him to be academically successful and socially healthy if his condition does not improve. He could have a much better future only if the family can afford to send him for surgery and medication.

      It struck me that while we are working our way to become a prosperous developed nation, there are still those out there who do not even have a decent living condition. If we can’t help all at once, at least help one at a time. And this one true case of suffering deserves help and support from our caring Malaysians.   


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