Baby Tuptim alive and doing well in Thailand

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

In December of 2010 MMA fighter Ben Pittsley, who had trained at Tiger Muay Thai & MMA in Phuket, Thailand, learned that camp trainer “Kru Nai” Rattanachai had a daughter, seven-month-old Tuptim, who needed a liver transplant to secure any hope of survival.

Cost of the operation alone was US $50,000, far beyond the means of the family. Per Capita GNP in Thailand is under $4,000 per year (by comparison, in the USA it is over $45,000).

Various fund raising efforts were underway when Pittsley came on The Underground and asked for UFC President Dana White to pay for the operation.

He did.

10 days later the full amount was paid to Dr Sumate Teeraratkul, the specialist responsible for the operation.

White posted on the UG today that baby Tuptim is doing well.


Baby Tuptims thread

From: dfw jr
Member Since: 1/1/01
Posts: 1263

“Tuptim’s parents said to tell you that she had a checkup and is healthy and they are thankful to you everyday and its their dream to meet you”

I just got this from a friend of their family and I was wondering who was the person that posted the original thread for me about her? Is that person still on the UG?

Pittsley reponded:

From: Ben Pittsley
Member Since: 1/6/10
Posts: 10

Hi Mr. White….There were a couple posts trying to help Tuptim that for the most part went unnoticed. I believe Ray Elbe was behind them. I was unaware of them when I made my post. I’ve stayed in contact with Kru Nai via Facebook and Tuptim is doing good. Never really thought you would notice the thread or respond. That was the 2nd time I’ve posted anything and haven’t posted here since. I felt it was important to do my part and get the word out…fast! Thanks for what you did it really saved Tuptim’s life.

A piece in May of 2011 by Neil Quail in the Phuket Gazette offers further details.

On January 19, two operations were performed simultaneously to transplant a section of  Tuptim’s mother Soisuda “Nit” Pile’s liver into Tuptim. A second operation took place to transplant veins from Nit’s leg to Tuptim, whose own veins were too small to support circulation to her new liver.

Nit’s surgery lasted four hours. At the time, Tuptim was eight months old. Her operation lasted for nearly 14 hours, a deeply harrowing and nail-biting period for family and friends alike.

As the Gazette listens to Nit recount her story about the surgery, husband Kru Nai clutches Tuptim closer to his chest, pressing his cheek to her head. He reaches tenderly for his wife, placing his free hand on her knee and gives a comforting squeeze.

Nit carries on with her story.

“When I woke after the operation, I immediately asked about my daughter. I had made it clear that my life was not important. As long as Tuptim had a chance of living I wanted the surgeons to keep going, to take all my organs if necessary,” she told the Gazette.

To her relief, doctors told her both operations had been successful, but Tuptim’s condition would have to be monitored closely to see if her body would accept the new liver.

Over the next three months, Tuptim’s recovery suffered many setbacks. The most serious was a lung infection, which doctors said most likely set in as a result of medication used to suppress her immune system and reduce the risk of organ rejection. Unfortunately the drug also opens the door to infections normally fended off by a healthy body.

“Apart from the 23 types of medication she must take for the rest of her life, she was also prescribed medicine to fight the lung infection. This cost 10,000 baht per day and had to be taken for a month,” Nit said.

The added expense put more strain on the family.

Kru Nai sold almost all of his worldly possessions, as did other family members to help with the mounting medical costs.

And another good Samaritan, Antonio of Hollywood Nightclub in Patong, came forward to help.

For three long months after her surgery, Tuptim was kept in the ICU in Bangkok. For this entire period, visiting was kept to a minimum by doctors concerned about Tuptim’s vulnerability to infection. While Nit stayed with Tuptim in hospital her father’s visits were restricted.

The period of separation was obviously tough on Kru Nai, who lovingly cradles Tuptim in his arms throughout the Gazette’s time with the family.

Looking to the future, the prognosis is good for Tuptim. Despite the prospect of having to take medication for the rest of her life – more for infections than anything else – Tuptim will likely be able to live a relatively normal life.


From: dfw jr
Posted: 4 hours ago
Member Since: 1/1/01
Posts: 1268

This is probably the most serious post I will EVER post here. You guys know I love this place and you guys crack me up and have been for 12 years. This Baby Tuptims situation has been life changing for me. I have done more charity work then you guys could ever imagine. Crazy stuff, like breaking records for the most money raised for many local and national organizations not including all the work we have done with the injured soldiers. But we and I mean WE saved a little girls life. The UG has entertained me for years and YOU being the UG have kept me coming back with witty, funny, stupid, idiotic, smart, entertaining commentary and pictures over the years. There are times when I read the UG everyday and times that I don’t come for months. On weekends I never get on a computer because I’m hanging with my kids. But one Saturday and I remember like it was yesterday, I walked by my computer at home and something just pulled me to it, and I know this sounds fucking weird and I’m not religious, but I got on the UG that day. I see a couple people on here going after Ben, but you have to understand and if anyone knows me how I talk, how I act, its you fuckers. Ben talked to me that day in that post in a way that I communicate. He basically said, “Dana, a little girl is going to die in four weeks if she doesn’t have $50,000 for this surgery and you should pay for it.” I read that thing and it was like a punch right in the face and I said you know what “He’s right, I should fuckin’ do this.” And it was two of the greatest decisions I have ever made in my life. 1.To get on the computer that day. 2. To pay for that surgery. It’s actually a very long story and the way that everything lined up trips me out, that I was suppose to do this for this little girl, and Ben is just as responsible or more for saving her as I am, if he wasn’t so passionate about trying to find that money, it would have never happened.It’s such a crazy story, there’s so much more to it and I think about it everyday. And when I finally do get the chance to meet her and her family you better fucking believe Ben will be right there with me. One of the greatest things that has ever happened to me!!!!!!!!!!!!