SINGAPORE: A much-anticipated journey to parenthood for one family took an unforeseen turn when their baby entered the world at an incredibly fragile 25 weeks, weighing a mere 590 grams.
Born right after Christmas via emergency Cesarean section at the KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital (KKH), the infant faced immediate health complications with underdeveloped lungs and heart.
Currently, the family is facing challenges in meeting the financial demands of medical care and is reaching out for assistance through a fundraising initiative on Give.Asia, a fundraising platform for social causes.
They humbly ask this assistance from those willing to support, expressing gratitude for any contribution, big or small, as it would greatly impact their little one who is facing a life-threatening challenge.
“All contributions received will be managed by Give.asia and channelled directly to KK Hospital to alleviate the mounting medical expenses accrued during our son’s stay in the Neonatal ICU.
“No donation is too modest. Your generosity, regardless of the amount, holds the power to ignite hope and grant a renewed chance at life for our precious little one,” the family wrote.
Journey to parenthood took an unexpected turn
After a five-year wait, the couple’s hopes for pregnancy were realized in May 2023.
The family wrote, “After a heartfelt journey spanning five years, the delightful news finally graced us in the blissful month of May 2023—I’m pregnant!”
The journey towards parenthood proved challenging as the couple underwent a thorough series of screenings, including detailed fetal ultrasound scans, blood tests, Down Syndrome assessments, and regular blood pressure checks.
Fortunately, the outcomes of these exhaustive procedures were all positive.
However, “in the span of a day,” the family remarked that their lives took an unexpected and dramatic turn.
On the morning of 25 December 2023, a medical emergency unfolded when the mother’s severe high blood pressure and preeclampsia necessitated an emergency Cesarean section at KKH.
At first, the mother consulted a general practitioner due to sudden and intense headaches, which she was later diagnosed as having severe high blood pressure.
Upon realizing this, the mother promptly sought medical attention at KKH Hospital, where doctors and nurses diligently worked to stabilize her blood pressure. However, a subsequent diagnosis confirmed the severity of preeclampsia, a serious blood pressure condition that develops during pregnancy.
Consequently, the medical team deemed it necessary to perform a Cesarean section the following day to safeguard the baby, whose fragile heart needed protection.
Born prematurely at 25 weeks and weighing a mere 590 grams, Baby Jun Chen is currently fighting for his life in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at KKH Hospital.
The family faces a substantial financial burden, with projected medical costs surpassing S$330,070 for a 120-day stay, including extended care and routine check-ups.
“As my baby was born premature, his lung and heart are not fully developed, which contribute to the hefty medical bills. Considering his progress, the likelihood of an extended stay exceeding 360 days looms large,” the family said.
“Even after discharge, routine check-ups will persist until he reaches the age of 8.”
The mother holds permanent residency (PR) status, while the husband is a Singaporean.
Despite deductions from Medisave and partial government subsidies, the family states that the medical bills remain significantly higher than what they can afford.
Family seeks assistance through fundraising campaign donations
To alleviate the mounting medical expenses, a fundraising campaign has been initiated by a family member, Gaw Chee Hoe. The campaign, launched recently is titled “Please Help My Premature Baby Jun Chen (Big Heart for Little Ones).”
As of 3 January, a total of S$4,925 has been donated out of the S$170,000 goal.
The campaign, managed by Give.asia, aims to channel all contributions directly to KKH Hospital to address the mounting medical expenses.
The family expresses gratitude for any donation, emphasizing that no amount is too modest. Every contribution, regardless of size, has the power to provide hope and a renewed chance at life for their precious baby, says the family.
To support Baby Jun Chen’s journey and contribute to the fundraising campaign, please visit the campaign page on Give.asia.
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