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Mother, infant son reunited after 5 months

Jack Burton

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PHOTO: Abdullah Benjakat

A young Malaysian mother was reunited with her infant son yesterday after being stranded in Thailand for 5 months. She was marooned while on a visa run when Malaysia closed its borders in March due to the Covid-19 pandemic. 18 year old Nurahaleesa Jeh-awae was joyfully reunited with her 6 month old son at the Sadao district border crossing in Songkhla province.

The Southern Border Provinces Administrative Centre says Nurahaleesa worked at a restaurant in Malaysia and gave premature birth in Malaysia’s Selangor State on February 27.

On March 17 she returned to Sadao district in Thailand’s southern border province to extend her visa, but was unable return to Malaysia as planned because the border was closed the following day. Separated from her baby, she sought help from the government.

The assistant secretary-general of the SBPAC says medical personnel in Malaysia carried the baby from the hospital on Wednesday night on an 8 hour trip to the border. The child and mother will be quarantined in a special room at Pattani Hospital for 14 days.

Before the baby could leave, the Thai embassy in Malaysia paid the bill at the hospital where the baby was born. The boy weighed only 1.1 kilograms at birth and required special care. An elated Nurahaleesa said reunion would not have been possible without the generous donations that enabled her to meet the hospital bill of about 240,000 baht. The SBPAC contributed 50,000 baht, while family, friends and public donors helped with the rest.

The baby now weighs a healthy 3.6 kilograms.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

 

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Jack Burton is an American writer, broadcaster, linguist and journalist who has lived in Asia since 1987. A native of the state of Georgia, he attended the The University of Georgia's Henry Grady School of Journalism, which hands out journalism's prestigious Peabody Awards. His works have appeared in The China Post, The South China Morning Post, The International Herald Tribune and many magazines throughout Asia and the world. He is fluent in Mandarin and has appeared on television and radio for decades in Taiwan, Mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau.

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