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Grateful to Walk Again

5Cheong Seow Yoong was in her mid-forties when she started experiencing pain in her knees. In the beginning she ignored the pain, hoping it would go away. But slowly, she says, “the pain worsened, the knee swelled and it came to a point where I was almost unable to walk! And that for me was devastating considering the situation I am in”.

Every morning she pushed her cart of vegetables to the market nearby and every afternoon she sold kuih outside a school near her house. Being unable to walk threatened the livelihood of her entire family as her husband did not have a job and she had three children to support. For almost two years, she struggled with the pain and the despair as she sought alternative treatments first from an Indonesian healer and then a Chinese traditional medicine man. Says Yoong, “I went through so much pain, these treatments also cost a lot of money but I got very little relief. I became really desperate”.

Help came in the form of a friend who after one look at her swollen knees took her immediately to Hospital Kajang. From there on she was in good hands. She was diagnosed as suffering from osteoarthritis and told that she needed total knee replacement. She did her first operation on her left knee and then a year later on her right knee.

The hospital also helped her apply for funds available from the Arthritis Foundation Malaysia to support the expenditure of the prosthesis. Her application was accepted and she became a beneficiary. The operations were done in Hospital Sungai Buloh as her doctor was subsequently transferred there.

A year now from her last operation, Yoong recalls, “The worst part was the post-operation recovery. I experienced excruciating pain and was in tears the first few days. But if I had a choice, I would do it all over again because the operations helped me walk again! Now I am back to my former life of pushing my cart and selling kuih. Besides some stiffness in my right knee, I feel fine. I can walk and climb stairs though I have to be very careful not to fall. I have an exercise chair in my house and I make the time to exercise for few minutes every day”.

She is very grateful for the funds received from AFM as it helped her walk again. “Thank you AFM” she says, with a beaming smile.

AFM is proud that we could assist one person be less dependent on others. AFM is also grateful to the public for contributions to the fund without
which we could not have made the difference to another.We provide an opportunity for the financially challenged arthritic person to improve their quality of life. We subsidise the cost of joint replacements for eligible persons. The aim of treatment in arthritis is to control the arthritis and prevent joint deterioration. However, occasionally, when the arthritis is severe or progressive or the patient presents for treatment late, the joint affected by the arthritis can be damaged irreparably. This will result in pain and loss of mobility. In selected cases, the damaged joint can be replaced by an artificial one by undergoing joint replacement surgery. This procedure can relieve pain, restore mobility and normalise joint function. It makes a tremendous impact in improving the quality of life of the person. The cost of implant for the knee surgery is generally above RM8,000. Many patients forego surgery and continue to deteriorate and suffer pain because they are unable to afford the implant. Arthritis Foundation, Malaysia (AFM) appreciates this area of need and has set up a fund to assist those who require a joint replacement but lack the means to purchase the prosthesis. For further details please contact AFM. You can check out our website too for more details at www.afm.org.my

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