When it comes to commercials that make you weep uncontrollably, Thailand is in a league of its own. In fact, 7-Eleven Thailand's 9-minute-long ad titled "Teachers," which tells the emotional story of a school principal who fights to save her school, was named one of 2016's most viral clips. And we dare you to make it through this ad for shampoo or this ad for a mobile phone carrier (or, well, any of these) without reaching for a box of tissues.
Occasionally a story comes along that completely stops you in your tracks. Like this one.
Meet Sarayuth Sumrid, an eight-year-old boy who was diagnosed with congenital heart disease on the day he was born. While boys his age spent their days at school or in the playground with friends, Sarayuth grew up with the hospital as his second home and doctors as his best friends.
It wasn’t long until the disease led to a serious heart valve infection, leaving Sarayuth fatigued around the clock—unable to walk on his own or breathe properly. Dozing in and out of exhaustion, he saw other patients in the hospital come and go, one after another, as he remained.
His single mother was forced to quit her job to take care of him at the hospital, despite them desperately needing more income. Though hungry and tired, she would skip meals to ensure he was well fed with the little money they had. On days where he felt better, Sarayuth would do chores around the hospital, washing dishes or stapling documents, to earn spare change that would be just enough to buy them food for the day.
It was when he suddenly collapsed while walking around the hospital one day that doctors told Sarayuth he had no more than two years to live. The only remedy was to get immediate surgery—a life-saving procedure, but one that they could not afford.
It was then that a miracle happened. Patient transfer papers arrived for Sarayuth, stating that he would be brought to Bumrungrad International Hospital for further diagnosis and treatment through the Rak Jai program.
Every year, around 8,000 Thai children suffer from congenital heart disease. Rak Jai Thai is a social contribution program by the Bumrungrad Hospital Foundation which helps children suffering from heart defects to receive the surgery they need to prevent prolonged illness or premature death. Operating alongside the Cardiac Children Foundation under the patronage of HM Princess Kalayaniwattana, the program has made 735 treatments possible since it launched in 2003.
Today, Sarayuth has a strong and healthy heart that will ensure he lives a long life.
Bumrungrad Hospital is one of the largest private medical facilities in Southeast Asia, with over 55 specialty centers, an internationally-certified lab and pharmacy, clinical research centers, advanced imaging facilities, and a 24-hour emergency care unit. Certified by the Joint Commission International since 2002, Bumrungrad cares for more than 1.1 million patients a year at its state-of-the-art facilities right in the heart of Bangkok. Learn more at www.bumrungrad.com.