Teen needs K200,000 for overseas heart operation

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By the time  Fredah Dumu, turned six-years-old,  her parents noticed that  her development was a bit slower than other children.

Fredah had difficulty playing long hours with other children.  It wasn’t until she turned   13, that her parents that she  had serious difficulty breathing when travelling short distances to school.

“She was always late to school. She was experiencing shortness of breath,”  says her mother, Doreen.

Doctors later found that  Fredah  was suffering from a  rare congenital heart  condition.  The family travelled to Port Moresby for  further tests. Doctors in Port Moresby told  Penuel and Doreen that  their daughter needed a heart operation to  correct the heart defect she had from birth.

The family  was told  the operation had to be done overseas, preferably in Australia;    and that it would cost at least K200,000.

For the last six months,  the family have been living in Port Moresby trying to raise funds for the operation.  Doreen, a nurse, quit her job so she could take care of her daughter.  The travel and the medical  costs are eating into their meager cash reserves.

“We raised K10,000. That is as much as we could raise over the last six months. We got some help of K30,000 from the Sohe MP.  But that money is fast running out because of living costs, hospital reviews and travel.”

Fredah is now 15. She has not been able to attend a full year of  school.   For her parents who don’t have full-time employment,  raising K200,000 for the  operation  is a difficult task.

Scott Waide

is the Lae Bureau Chief and began his career with EMTV in 1997 as a News and Sports Reporter and Anchor and has been a media professional for over 19 years. Having previously worked as a Producer and Researcher for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation's Port Moresby Bureau, he is a recipient of multiple awards including the Asia Pacific Broadcasting Union Prize in 2005 in Iran for best news feature, the Pacific Island News Association Award and the Divine Word University Media Freedom Award.

Scott Waide