LONDON, June 18 — Eight-month-old baby girl Ainul Mardhiah who successfully underwent surgery here last week to remove extragonadal germ cell tumour, a rare type of cancer, covering her mouth yesterday had a surprise visitor, Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
The girl’s father Ahmad Safiuddin Ahmad Razak and mother Nurul Erwani, both 24, were elated to see Dr Mahathir coming to visit their daughter after completing the itineraries of his three-day working visit to the UK.
Ainul Mardiah who has been showing good sign of progress after the surgery last Monday at a children’s hospital here and according to the father she is already breathing on her own.
She was born prematurely at the seventh month of pregnancy and was diagnosed with the rare cancer after birth. Though the cancer growth was initially removed at the Kuala Lumpur General Hospital, the symptoms returned this time at her mouth.
Dr Mahathir when met by the Malaysian media after seeing the baby said: “I am touched by the infant. However, I am happy with the attitude shown by the Malaysian people that enabled Ainul Mardhiah to get the treatment here”.
Ahmad Safiuddin said despite the condition, his daughter had a zest for life like any other child of her age.
Ainul Mardhiah and her parents arrived here for the surgery at a private hospital on May 24. A team of surgeons removed the 200g tumour that covered her entire mouth during the five-hour surgery.
Her costly and intricate surgery was made possible by the generous Malaysian public and the help from UK-based, Malaysian-born trainee surgeon Dr Nur Amalina Che Bakri who sought advice of her medical acquaintances in the UK on how the child could best be treated.
The total cost of the surgery could surpass RM1 million. The Melaka state government, the Immigration Department and Malaysia Airlines had also come forward to help.
Ahmad Safiuddin thanked Malaysians for their unwavering support for Ainul Mardhiah.
The visit to the hospital is Dr Mahathir’s last itinerary for his three-day visit here. — Bernama