The life of a Dunedin and Hamilton-based Kiwi-Indian family has suddenly come under huge strain – emotional and financial – when their visiting father suffered a heart attack forcing an open heart surgery without any insurance cover.

The saddest part of the story of the visiting father who suffered a massive heart attack while in the country to meet their newly born grandson was that even after undergoing through the open-heart surgery, supposed to be privately funded, could not survive and leaving behind a seemingly insurmountable amount of financial debt.  

The family members Bala Murugan and Mr Ravi reside in Hamilton, and another family member Mrs Shobana Chinnasamy is based in Dunedin where she was expecting a newborn. To grace this joyous occasion, their father Mr Ramalingam Chinnasamy had travelled from Chennai, India to welcome the new member in the house.

Mr Chinnasamy, on Tuesday, March 19 suffered a cardiac arrest and had undergone open heart surgery to survive. Mr Chinnasamy did not regain consciousness post surgery at Dunedin Public Hospital and died on Sunday, March 24 due to multiple organ failure.

The family already trying to mend the loss of their father were now facing a massive amount of bills owing to the hospital for the surgery. The total bills have accumulated to over $100,000 and topped by another $15,000 for body repatriation.

In the excitement of welcoming a new member to the family, Mr Murugan’s parents travelled without insurance to New Zealand that has now led to a massive debt in hospital bills for the family that they have to pay.

Mr Bala Murugan and family are now facing this unprecedented situation of arranging the funds accumulating $115,000 so that they can lay rest to their father in peace.

Community organisations Dunedin Tamil Society and Tamil Society Waikato have come together asking the community to help the family at this hour of distress.

A Givealittle page has been set up by the community organisation who have appealed to help the family so that they can pay the hospital bills and take their departed family member back to their hometown to conduct their last rites.

People can make their donations to the Givealittle page: