Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The Children - Who's Answering?

Father Suspects Baby Swapped At Hospital

NAJRAN: A Saudi man wonders if he and his wife were given the wrong baby after his son was born almost seven years ago.
Jaber Nasser Salim Aal Rizq said his wife delivered their fourth son in the King Khaled Hospital in the Najran area and at the moment of delivery, wristbands were placed on the mother and baby boy and he was taken to an incubator.
Aal Rizq pointed out that seven hours after the delivery, a female Saudi nurse came to check his wife, compared her medical file and the data on her wristband and found differences in the information.
The nurse changed the data without bringing the baby boy, who was in the incubator, to verify it.
“I met the doctor supervising my wife’s case and he informed me that I was blessed with a baby boy and said he would remain in the incubator due to a fracture in the left shoulder and dislocation in the left arm,” he said.
“The doctor informed me that a specialist was following up my son’s case.”
When he wanted to move his wife and son to another facility, he learned there were problems with the medical records.
“I got the release of my wife and son on my responsibility and I took the baby boy to a private hospital for treatment, but the hospital where he was born took three hours to give me a release for the mother and infant because they said the boy’s file was lost,” he said.
Aal Rizq’s doubts about the boy’s lineage led him to visit the hospital’s administration and ask for a detailed medical report on the boy’s case.
“I was shocked to find that the medical report mentioned only the time of birth and date of discharge from the hospital, without any other information,” he said.
Okaz/Saudi Gazette tried to contact the director general of Health Affairs in Najran to ask about the case and his office’s role in these matters, but he did not respond.
– Okaz/Saudi Gazette __

Source: Saudi Gazette - Monday, January 24, 2011

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Woman’s Stares Led To Reunion With Biological Parents
JOHOR BARU: Eight years ago Zulhaidi Omar noticed he was getting frequent stares from a particular Chinese girl at a supermarket in Batu Pahat where he worked.
To his bewilderment, the girl later came with an elderly Chinese couple and all three of them checked him out together.

Striking resemblance: Teo and Zulhaidi listening to questions during the press conference in Johor Baru.
But things took a serious turn when the couple turned out to be his biological parents. “They came to look for me three times and from our conversations, they were convinced that I was their son,” Zulhaidi, 29, told a press conference.
“I agreed to go for a DNA test and the results confirmed that they were indeed my biological parents.
“The girl who was always looking at me was actually my elder sister who suspected that I was her brother because of my striking resemblance to our father.”
Yesterday, the family highlighted their plight to the media because they wanted to change Zulhaidi’s name to a Chinese name, as well as his religion on his identification card to Buddhism instead of Islam.
As a child, Zulhaidi said, he had always felt out of place because he was teased about his Chinese-like features and never did seem to feel part of the family. When he was 13, Zulhaidi decided to leave his family in search of the truth.
“My Malay father had left us when I was three. My mother remarried, but I could not get along with my stepfather so I left,” he said.
“I took on odd jobs such as waiting at tables and working at a car wash to support myself throughout my secondary school.”
Zulhaidi, now a sales executive, has a diploma in Business Administration.
His natural father Teo Ma Leong, 66, revealed that among his six children at home, his fifth child Tian Fa has dark features.
He suspected that Tian Fa, now 29, had been switched at birth and thus ended up growing up with the family.
Tian Fa is married to a Chinese girl and now, despite the emergence of Zulhaidi, he has no intention of looking for his biological parents.
“We did not notice anything when the baby was brought home but one month later, we sensed that something was amiss because the baby was darker and did not look like any of us.
“A check with the hospital gave us no clues, so we brought him up as one of our own, although we knew our actual son was out there somewhere,” said Teo, a former mechanic.
Teo added that his wife Lim Sik Hai, 62, had to endure a lot of slander and gossip that the baby was born of an affair but Teo knew his wife better and trusted her.
“When our daughter found Zulhaidi, I knew this is the son we had been looking for. Three months after DNA tests confirmed that he is our son, Zulhaidi agreed to come and live with us,” said Teo, adding that it took another six months before Zulhaidi called them “mum” and “dad”.

Source: The Star - Saturday, February 3, 2007 

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Going His Own Way Since He Was 13

JOHOR BARU: At 13, he was supporting himself, washing dishes after school to pay for his books and rented room.
Zulhaidi Omar, 29, said he had never been tempted to take the easy way out by dropping out of school or straying into a life of crime. Instead, he worked at restaurants until midnight and washed cars to put himself through secondary school.

Zulhaidi: Wanted to taste a life of independence
Now a sales executive with a diploma in Business Administration, Zulhaidi said he was neither abused nor disowned by his family but he wanted to be independent. Unknown to him, he had been swapped at birth during a mix-up at the hospital in Batu Pahat.
“By the time I was in primary school, I knew I was different from the rest of my family members as I could tell the difference between their features and my obviously Chinese appearance,” he said at a press conference.
After a chance meeting that reunited him with his biological family eight years ago, Zulhaidi now wants to change his name to a Chinese one.
Zulhaidi is hoping the authorities would allow him to state his religion as Buddhism on his MyKad.
Bandar Baru Tampoi MCA branch chairman Michael Tay said Zulhaidi was never given the chance to choose his own religion because of a mistake made at birth.
“Under the Federal Constitution, everybody is allowed the freedom to choose his own religion, but Zulhaidi was never given that chance.
“We will try the diplomatic method first through negotiations with state officials and the hospital where he was born. If that fails, then we will have to seek legal recourse,” he said, adding that might even include a suit against the hospital for negligence.
State religious officials were unavailable for comment.

Source: The Star - Monday, February 5, 2007