KUALA LUMPUR - Her mother used to agonise over the length of time she took to finish a bottle of milk.
Sometimes, she even fell asleep, tired out by the sheer effort of sucking on the bottle.
This was because 8-month-old Chloe Lim Zi Xuan suffers from ventrical septal defect (VSD), or a hole in the heart.
According to Chloe's mother, Lim Lee Wen, a heart murmur was detected two days after she was born by Caesarian section at Seremban Hospital.
"The doctors there referred us to Gleneagles Medical Centre in Ampang where consultant paediatrician and paediatric cardiologist Dr Lim Miin Kang diagnosed Chloe with VSD.
"Dr Lim kept her under observation and told us that in some cases, the hole will close naturally within six months.
"However, in Chloe's case, that did not happen and Dr Lim recommended surgery, costing RM30,000 (S$12,000).
"Because of financial constraints, we waited for two months until Dr Lim advised us that our baby needed to undergo VSD closure as soon as possible.
"If the surgery was delayed further, it would result in irreversible damage to her lungs, shortening her life, as well as affecting her quality of life."
Lim, 26, is a sales assistant, earning RM800 a month, while her husband, Lim Daw Cherng, 30, is a car painter, earning RM1,655 monthly.
Chloe underwent the surgery on July 15. After a month of medication, she was discharged.
"Since the surgery, her appetite has improved.
"She is now drinking more milk and we have started feeding her porridge. She also sleeps well. But her body is still weak and she cannot sit up yet.
"We are grateful to all those who had donated generously for Chloe's surgery."
She also received RM15,000 from Shangri-La's Caring People Project, which provides support for the underprivileged community.
Those who wish to help children with medical conditions can send your cheques, made payable to The New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd, to: The Cashier, Finance Department/Charity Unit, The New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd, Balai Berita, No. 31, Jalan Riong, 59100 Kuala Lumpur.