In the wake of the elation following 9-month-old Ainul Mardhiah Ahmad Safiuddin’s successful tumour-removal operation in the United Kingdom, credit must be given to the Malaysian doctor who helped pave the way for the baby’s path to surgery.
Dr Nur Amalina Che Bakri, a UK-trained trainee surgeon, used her formidable social media presence to highlight the plight faced by Ainul’s parents when she first learnt of the issue.
She has more than 318,000 followers on her Twitter account handle and more than 328,000 followers on Instagram.
Dr Nur Amalina is no stranger to Malaysians. Through her Twitter account @dramalinabakri, she is known for her outspoken views on a wide range of subjects, especially on women’s rights and dubious medical practices.
The 31-year-old from Kota Baru, Kelantan, after scoring 17A’s in the Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) examination in 2004, first entered the public consciousness when she was awarded the prestigious Kijang Emas scholarship from Bank Negara Malaysia to study medicine in the UK.
She graduated as a doctor in July 2013 from University of Edinburgh.
She is currently serving as a general surgery registrar at Imperial College Healthcare after completing her studies at University of Cambridge.
When news of Ainul’s condition first broke, Dr Amalina had reached out to the baby’s mother, Nurul Erwani Zaidi, 24, and said she wanted to help the family.
Dr Nur Amalina had appealed for help on social media to bring Ainul to London for treatment after a course of chemotherapy failed to send the bright red tumour growing in the baby’s mouth into remission.
She also helped facilitate the arrangements for the baby’s surgery.
Following the surgery, Dr Amalina took to Instagram to express her relief.
“Alhamdulillah, Ainul, you’re a strong baby girl. After about five hours of battling in the theatre, the tumour (weighing 200g) was successfully removed,” she wrote.
She said she was honoured to be part of the surgical team. Ainul, she said, was being monitored and was in stable condition.
“When I stepped out from the operating theatre and saw Ainul’s parents, I couldn’t control my emotions. It was a mixed feeling, such an emotional journey and an uplifting experience at the same time.”