‘Walk for life’

Michael Fong after an interview at the Fiji Times office in Suva on Tuesday, July 03, 2018. Picture: JONACANI LALAKOBAU

THE pain of losing his son 20 years ago is still fresh for Michael Fong as if it happened yesterday.

Mr Fong’s son was to have turned 21 years old next March, but congenital heart defect got the best of the young boy when he was only six months old.

Since then, Mr Fong has been raising awareness and educating parents on the deadly effects of congenital heart defects.

Next year, he is planning to have a “Walk for Life” event on Vanua Levu to raise funds and help the Open Heart International (OHI) team assist children suffering from congenital heart defects.

“I lost my first son 20 years ago where he actually died in my arms at the Colonial War Memorial (CWM) Hospital,” he said.

“So from moving on from there I have started doing some small fundraising, supporting the families and the children who have come to the hospital for screening and open heart operation as well. Next year my son turns 21 and I am planning something big in partnership with OHI under the Seventh-day Adventist Church.”

He said for Fijians, finance was a challenge.

“The funds raised from this event goes towards looking after their transportation, bringing them from their homes to Suva for screening and a bit of catering,” he said.

He said he was closely associated with the OHI team because they had been with his eldest son before he passed away.

“At the end of the day it has to be congenital heart defect and how we need to look after these children when they are sick.”

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