One-armed girl copes well in pre-kindie class

KLANG - Lai Yok Shan has only one arm but that did not stop the four-year-old from having fun with her fellow classmates in pre- kindergarten class.

Her father, mechanic Lai Kian Khee, 26, said Yok Shan lost her left arm due to medical negligence at the Tengku Ampuan Rahimah Hospital (HTAR) in 2007.

Her arm turned gangrenous and dropped off after a houseman at HTAR inserted an intravenous needle into a muscle instead of a blood vessel when the newborn was placed in an incubator.

The Government accepted responsibility and offered an ex-gratia payment to Yok Shan's parents, who initially turned it down.

However, Yok Shan's family reached a settlement with the Government two years ago and received a generous sum in addition to a lump-sum payment for her prosthesis which will need to be replaced every few years.

Lai, who refused to disclose the amount he received, said he had yet to get Yok Shan a mechanical arm.

However, he said Yok Shan's condition had not stopped other children from playing with her.

"I thought they would avoid her but that has not happened.

"She does not show any frustration anymore and is really happy despite knowing other children have two arms," Lai said.

He added that Yok Shan did throw tantrums when she could not play with some of her toys when she was younger.

She, however, improvised her movements and had managed to do well despite only having one arm, he said.

Lai added that he and his wife Nut Tuemthong are grateful that Yok Shan is alive and doing well.

"I am glad that Yok Shan is around to put a smile on our faces," he said.