In 2007, Tee Hui Yi’s story made national headlines when she underwent a double heart transplant in the span of two days.
Known as the girl with the mechanical heart or “Mechanical Heart Girl” (and soon after the miracle girl), she stopped schooling after Standard Four when her health deteriorated.
When her body rejected her first heart transplant, by miracle, another one became available just then. The second transplant was successful.
Hui Yi went on to lead a normal life after having spent 15 months at the National Heart Institute (IJN).
As a matter of fact, she was to have started work as a kindergarten teacher yesterday. However, at 7am, she complained of back and chest pains. Her mother, 52-year-old Dina Bato Sam Bua said that Hui Yi had refused to go to the hospital for treatment.
“Then she said she wanted to rest for a while. The next moment, her body went stiff. I tried to press her chest and perform CPR but nothing worked. We rushed her to the hospital but doctors pronounced her dead half an hour later”, Dina said at the Chinese funeral parlour in Jalan Fatimah in Batu Pahat.
Hui Yi was 19 years old.
Hui Yi’s boyfriend, 22-year-old Lau Shie Chiek has also expressed his shock at the news of his girlfriend’s death. Especially since he had just spent time with her on Monday night.
“I was having dinner with her on Monday night when she complained of severe backache and breathing difficulty. I told her I would send her to the hospital but she adamantly refused”, he said.
“She has a beautiful heart but would scold you in your face if you had annoyed her. I will miss her.”
A post-mortem report revealed that she died from a congestive heart failure.
RIP, Hui Yi. Your story has inspired hundreds of Malaysians and we’ll always remember how you single-handedly encouraged the act of being organ donors/pledging organs to save others’ lives.
You won’t be forgotten any time soon.