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Press Release - Bong Go's Malasakit Center provides life-saving surgery for Sulu teacher

Senator Christopher "Bong" Go lauded how the Malasakit Center stood as a pillar of support as it paved the way for life-saving heart surgery for 29-year-old Mohammad Abdelrashid Juhuri, a devoted teacher from Maimbung, Sulu.

Mohammad's life took an unexpected turn in 2017 when a diagnosis of congenital heart disease threatened his dream of becoming a mechanical engineer. The heart ailment was not a mere medical diagnosis but a life-changer.

"Congenital heart disease, pero nalaman ko po ito way back 2017... nagpunta po ako dito after ko po mag-take ng board exam para sa mechanical engineering tapos yun nga, sabi ng doctor, parang may iba, iba yung sound ng the way po mag-breathe," Mohammad recounted.

Congenital heart disease is a birth defect that alters the heart's structure, leading to a spectrum of symptoms which may necessitate interventions like surgery or medication, or in milder cases, may require no treatment at all.

The financial strain of the required medical intervention proved daunting. Mohammad's monthly household income was starkly inadequate for the surgical intervention required to mend his ailing heart.

His early endeavors to secure financial assistance led him to ask favors from local officials, which eventually led him to the Malasakit Center at the Philippine Heart Center in Quezon City.

The Malasakit Center, which Go initiated in 2018 and principally sponsored and authored in the Senate before being enacted into law in 2019, served as a solid anchor amidst the financial challenges being faced by Mohammad at that time. This initiative, which was a result of a collaboration among various government agencies, aimed to provide financial relief to individuals like Mohammad. The intervention of the Malasakit Center demonstrated a tangible representation of the collective governmental effort to alleviate individual adversities particularly when it comes to one's health.

The financial aid provided by the Malasakit Center paved the way for Mohammad's much-needed surgical intervention. His reflections underscored the significance of the aid, "Siguro kung walang Malasakit... malaking tulong ito, kumbaga, binigyan nila ng kaginhawaan... wala kang