RELIEVED : Kamal Affandi holding up the MRI image of his brain.
PETALING JAYA: ”Tell Malaysia I’ll be OK.”
This was the message sent out by Asia’s first crime analyst Kamal Affandi Hashim to well-wishers who had expressed concern over his health after he was diagnosed with a life-threatening brain disorder.
Known as Artery and Vein Malformation (AVM), the condition leads to an abnormal cluster of arteries and veins, which places pressure on the brain. This has left the 44-year-old criminologist with numbness on the right side of his body, and he was admitted into hospital early this month.
Doctors had described his condition as a ‘ticking time bomb’ as there is no way of knowing when the brain will succumb to the undue pressure, which could lead to death.
Kamal, known for his public talks on how to combat crime and his consultancy work with the police force, has nevertheless remained upbeat over his condition and has undergone a series of treatments at the Beacon Hospital in Petaling Jaya, where he is currently warded.
He said he first became aware of the disorder on October 3.
“I was on my motorcycle when I felt a tingling in my right hand, which later led to uncontrollable shaking.
“I was puzzled as this was something I had never experienced before. The shaking continued for an hour and eventually it spread to my waist and leg,” he said.
He said he then consulted doctors at a hospital in Shah Alam,
“I was initially told that it was a stroke, but I didn’t think so as I was highly aware and conscious of my surroundings. It was only after a CT scan and MRI of my brain did the doctors diagnose it as AVM,” he said.
He said he was offered three types of treatments before he was introduced to the current one, known as the Cyberknife procedure, which is only available in the country at Beacon Hospital.
“The first was open skull surgery, which I was briefed could lead to paralysis from waist down. The second was radio treatment, similar to chemotherapy.
“However, this was also risky as it could lead to speech and writing impairment. The third was angioplasty, but I was eventually introduced to the Cyberknife process, which seemed the best option,” he said.
The Cyberknife technique is a non-surgical and non-invasive procedure which involves lasers targeting the affected area, which is determined via multiple MRI images.
Kamal Affandi has already completed his first session. He will have to undergo a total of 121 hours of laser treatment to treat the AVM.
“I can feel my face now. One more session and it’ll be OK. Don’t worry,” he told reporters from his hospital bed today.
HONORED: Datuk Seri Shahrizat (left) paying Kamal Affendi (right) a visit at the hospital earlier.
Kamal Affandi, who is a former policeman as well as exco member of the Malaysian Crime Prevention Foundation (MCPF), had needed RM40,000 for the procedure. He had posted on his Facebook page that he was willing to conduct public lectures for those who helped with his medical fee.
Malaysians, upon learning of his plight, responded swiftly and donations came in via corporate donors as well as private well-wishers.
Kamal Affandi said he was touched by the show of support by Malaysians.
“It was unexpected. I received so many messages of support and contributions from regular folk, as well as well-known people. I’m truly honoured.
“I am thankful to have been given this opportunity to undergo this treatment. Even though initially I did not have enough funds to cover the treatment fees, the hospital had also allowed the procedure to go through first based on humanitarian grounds.
“The AVM could have placed me in a coma or even killed me if there were any delays,” he said.
The latest donor was Wanita Umno, whose ‘Squad Sayang’ yesterday donated RM5,000 towards his medical bills.
Wanita Umno chief Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil had paid Kamal Affandi a visit to break the good news to him.
“We came here to see him very highly energized and positively motivated for getting proper treatment. We pray that he recovers well soon,” Shahrizat said.