Ma Win is an 18-year-old girl who lives with her parents, sister and brother-in-law in Yangon, Burma. Ma Win’s sister works at a clothing factory, while her brother-in-law works as a day laborer. Her parents are homemakers. Before Ma Win's current illness, she also worked at a factory. When Ma Win was four years old, she experienced a bout of high fever, and was brought to the local clinic. She received an injection, and the doctor informed her parents that she was born with a heart problem. However, she was too young at the time for corrective surgery. Instead, she was sent home with medication, and appeared to be doing well until this past year. In April, Ma Win began experiencing chest pains, high fever and difficulty breathing. She went to a clinic, and received an x-ray and an echocardiogram. After the doctor checked her results, she was diagnosed with an opening between two major blood vessels leading from the heart. The doctor told her and her family that she would need to have surgery. When Ma Win explained to the doctor that her family could not afford to pay for the surgery, she was referred to the abbot of a local monastery, who provided the family with information about our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund. Now Ma Win is scheduled for cardiac surgery on October 23rd at Pun Hlaing Hospital. After she has recovered, she should no longer experience chest pains or difficulty breathing, and she won't have to worry any longer about her condition. She will also be able to return to work, which will help ease her family's financial burdens. Now she needs your help to raise $1,500 to cover the cost of her procedure. Ma Win said: “I am scared to receive surgery, but my mother tries to encourage me. However, I am very happy that I will be able to receive treatment with your help. I would like to say thank you so much to all the donors.”
Swe lives with her parents and her son in a village in northern Burma. Her father is subsistence farmer, her mother owns a small weaving business where traditional Burmese blankets and sarongs are hand woven. Her son goes to school and Swe is a homemaker. In her free time, she enjoys visiting and talking to her friends in their village. In December 2021, Swe began to experience fatigue, sweatiness, vomiting and difficulty breathing. She also had a headache and a stiff neck. At first she could not travel due to COVID-19 travel restrictions, but eventually went to Mandalay in August to seek help. At a hospital, she received an echocardiogram and was diagnosed with mitral valve stenosis and aortic valve regurgitation. She was told she would need surgery costing 15 million kyat (approx. $15,000 USD), but she could not afford to pay for it. She then went to Yangon with her son, in the hopes of finding another hospital that cost operate on her for less money. While in Yangon, her condition deteriorated and her son rushed her to a hospital. The doctor there confirmed her diagnosis and her need for surgery, but told her it would cost 20 million kyat (approx. $20,000 USD). When Swe told the doctor that she could not afford to pay such a large sum, the doctor referred her to an abbot, who in turn referred her to our medical partner Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF) for financial assistance accessing treatment. Currently, Swe cannot walk for more than 10 minutes or she feels very tired and short of breathe. She has a rapid heartbeat, dizziness and headache. She said, "I want to say thank you so much to BCMF and all the donors to help me with my treatment cost.”
When U Eain was 10 years old, he became a monk. Now, at the age of 33, he lives with five other monks in a monastery in Yangon, Burma. As a monk, U Eain doesn't have an income. Instead, every morning, two of the novice monks from his monastery collect food donated by followers in Yangon. In addition, worshipers who visit the monastery donate vegetables, fruits and curries to eat. When the monks preach in other villages, they may receive small cash donations, and when U Eain's parents visit him every year, they provide U Eain with a small amount of money. In this way, the monks are able to cover their basic needs. In February, U Eain went to a town in Mon State to preach. During his second day there, he felt very tired and struggled to breathe, and ultimately, he had to stop preaching. He went to a local clinic, where he received two injections that helped him to feel better. The next day, he returned to his monastery in Yangon. Once he was home, he developed a fever and felt very tired, so he went to a nearby clinic. There, he received an electrocardiogram (ECG). After his results came back, the doctor told him that there were problems with his heart, and U Eain was referred to Yangon Government Hospital for an echocardiogram. On April 19th, U Eain had the echocardiogram, and then brought the results back to the nearby clinic. Due to numerous issues uncovered by the test, U Eain will need cardiac surgery to replace two valves in his heart. Fortunately, our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is able to help U Eain access the care that he needs. On October 21st, doctors at Pun Hlaing Hospital will replace the two valves in U Eain's heart, relieving him of the chest pains, rapid heartbeat, fatigue and difficulty breathing that he suffers from now. With his limited income, U Eain needs your support to raise the $1,500 to cover the cost of the procedure. He is hopeful to feel himself again soon and looks forward to returning to preaching and teaching. U Eain said: “I am so happy to receive treatment. I would like to say thank you so much to all of the donors.”
Naing is a 27-year-old man who lives with his parents, brother and two sisters in Burma. He enjoys playing cane ball and reading. His parents are retired and grow vegetables in their garden. Naing's brother is a day laborer, but he has been unable to find regular work since the Covid-19 pandemic, so he cannot contribute towards household expenses. One of Naing's sisters works as a government officer, while the other is a shop worker. Naing used to work in his uncle’s shop selling groceries and flowers, but he was forced to stop working when his health began to decline. Naing first developed a cough and a fast heartbeat in November 2021. At a clinic in Dawei, Naing was diagnosed with high blood pressure, provided with medication, and sent home. In December 2021, because of his rapid heartbeat, Naing traveled to the hospital in Dawei, where he underwent a series of tests. Doctors at the hospital told Naing that there were problems with the valves in his heart. Once again, Naing was given medication, and sent home. Last February, Naing vomited, could not sleep, and felt tired when he stood or sat. He went to Dawei General Hospital, and showed the doctor his previous echocardiogram result. The doctor told him to continue taking his medication from Yangon, and gave him some vitamins. A few days later, Naing felt better. Then in March, Naing and his sister went to Yangon General Hospital, where he underwent more testing. This time the doctor told him that he might need to have two of his heart valves surgically replaced. Naing’s sister told the doctor that Naing had been to several hospitals over the past year, and the family had no more money left. Naing's health continues to decline, and he has lost five kilograms; he needs to have surgery. Fortunately, our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is here to help Naing access the care that he needs. They are requesting $1,500 to cover the costs of Naing's valve replacement surgery, scheduled to take place on August 9th, at Pun Hlaing Hospital. Naing said: “I am so tired of visiting several hospitals and hoping to receive surgery. My sister has had to take leave [from her work as a government officer] several times, and now she has had to take leave without pay [to accompany me as my caregiver]. I feel embarrassed that my family has used up all their money, sold all their jewelry, and made sacrifices for me. Finally, I have met your organization BCMF, and I will have the chance to receive surgery with the help of donors. I feel less stressed that I will not have to wait so long to receive surgery, and that my sister will be able to go back to work. Thank you so much.”
Shwe is a 24-year-old woman who lives with her family in Burma and enjoys listening to Burmese pop music! Shwe previously worked in a factory, but she had to stop working last December when her health began to deteriorate. Her brother and stepfather both work as agricultural day laborers, and her sister-in-law and mother are both homemakers. The rest of her siblings are all waiting for schools to reopen so they can return to their studies. The schools were closed in February of 2021 following the Mayanmar military coup. About a year and a half ago, Shwe began to experience pain in her chest, as well as fatigue. She initially did not think that her symptoms were serious, but this changed after she fainted at work a few months later. After receiving an echocardiogram, she was diagnosed with mitral valve, aortic valve, and tricuspid valve regurgitation, which are all cardiac conditions that occur when the specified valve does not close properly. As a result, she experiences difficulty breathing, a rapid heartbeat, a lack of appetite, and trouble sleeping. She also feels very tired when walking longer distances. Shwe now needs cardiac surgery to help alleviate her symptoms and allow her to live more comfortably and confidently. However, once the doctor told her and her family the cost of surgery, they left the hospital because they could not pay for Shwe's needed procedure. Fortunately, they happened to meet a taxi driver who kindly told them about our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF). BCMF is now helping Shwe undergo cardiac surgery on August 12th at Pun Hlaing Hospital. Shwe and her family need your support to fund this $1,500 procedure. Shwe says, “When I recover fully, I will go back to work and work hard. I will save my money and support my family.”
Thidar is a 30-year-old woman who lives with her son, husband, parents in-law, brother-in-law, and sister-in-law in Burma. She, her husband, and her mother-in-law grow rice, beans, and sesame on their farm. During her free time, Thidar enjoys growing flowers and vegetables around her house. Ten years ago, after Thidar gave birth to her son, she began to experience troubling symptoms. These included chest pains and a rapid heartbeat. When visiting a clinic, medics determined that she has a heart condition. To help her condition and alleviate her symptoms, Thidar took medication regularly. However, she ran out of oral medication at the start of this year. This was a problem because medics at her local clinic were protesting against the February 2021 coup, so the clinic was closed. She also could not go to a different clinic because the military had many checkpoints around the nearest town at the time, and she was too scared to pass them. Months later, after experiencing exhaustion, a rapid heartbeat, painful and swollen joints, and a loss in appetite, Thidar was able to seek medical care and receive medication. Following the advice of a medic at the clinic, she eventually visited a hospital. There, she received an X-rays scan and an echocardiogram, which determined that Thidar has a heart disease requiring surgery. Due to financial constraints, she and her husband could not fund the needed procedure and had to return home with Thidar still experiencing the same troubling symptoms as before. Fortunately, our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is helping Thidar finally receive treatment. On July 22nd, surgeons will perform double valve replacement cardiac surgery. This procedure will hopefully alleviate her symptoms and allow her to live more comfortably and confidently. Now, Thidar and her family need help funding this $1,500 procedure. Thidar says, “I feel very sad and I want to cry because I have no money to pay for my surgery cost. My mother and husband had to borrow money with interest [to pay for some of my medical fees]. I am also worried that I cannot work and support my son. Now, I am very happy that my surgery cost will be supported. I am thankful to all the donors and the organization.”
Myo Htay is a 22-year-old who lives with his parents and younger brother in the border region of Burma. His parents work as day laborers at a gold mine, carrying dirt and debris. Myo used to work with his parents but stopped last November when his health deteriorated. Because the gold mine closes during the rainy season, his parents only have work for six months out of the year. The rest of the time they try to live off of their savings. Around six months ago, Myo started to feel tired when he worked. At first he thought he was tired from working too hard. When he continued to feel tired for over a month, he thought that he needed to see a doctor. However, because of their limited funds, he did not want his parents to spend what they had on a trip to a clinic or a hospital. Around the middle of April, his condition worsened. He had difficulty breathing, experienced chest pain, and also heart palpitations. His parents brought him to a nearby hospital where he was diagnosed with a heart disease. The doctor told them to bring him to Yangon for further treatment. After Myo's parents borrowed money, they went to Yangon and took him to two different hospitals. At the last hospital, Myo was admitted for five days as he was unwell at that time. He received a follow-up appointment for two weeks later, but was brought back on April 30th when he developed rapid breathing, heart palpitations, chest pain and oedema (swelling) in both his legs. Myo was readmitted to the hospital, and the doctor told Myo's parents that his surgery would cost 20,000,000 kyat (approx. $11,000 USD). When they told the doctor that they cannot afford to pay for his surgery, a nurse gave them the phone number of an abbot in Yangon. After they called the abbot and told him what the doctor had said, the abbot referred Myo to our medical parter Burma Children Medical Fund for the assistance accessing the cardiac treatment he needs. Currently, Myo is on oxygen. If he does not receive oxygen, he has difficulty breathing as well as heart palpitations. He cannot walk for more than three minutes and if he does, he feels extremely tired. His whole family is worried about his condition. Fortunately, Myo's surgery has been scheduled for May 8th. He will have both valves of his heart replaced. His family needs $1,500 to help with the total cost of his surgery and care. Myo’s mother said, “I would give up everything to save my son’s life. I would sleep on the ground if we had no home to live in. I only wish to see my son getting better.”
Sai Laung, who is 18 years old, lives with her parents and her younger sister in Shan State in Burma. Sai Laung used to be an agriculture day laborer, but she stopped working in July 2022 due to her illness. In her free time, Sai Laung likes to read Buddhist books and study English online. During the first week of July 2022, Sai Laung began to feel very tired and she developed a fever. At first, she thought it was because she was working a lot, but when she had difficulty breathing a few days later, her mother brought her to the hospital. She was told she might have a congenital heart condition, and the doctor recommended that she have an echocardiogram to confirm the diagnosis. Sai Laung had an echocardiogram at another hospital, confirming that she has a ventricular septal defect, or a hole in her heart. The doctor advised her to go to the Pun Hlaing Hospital in Yangon to see a cardiologist, which Sai Laung did towards the end of November 2022. During that visit, the doctor also diagnosed her with aortic valve regurgitation, and told her that she needs surgery. Currently, Sai Laung has difficulty breathing and is only able to walk short distances before experiencing fatigue. Performing ordinary household chores like cooking or cleaning is exhausting for her. Her lips turn blue, and she has sharp chest pain, fever, and difficulty sleeping. Fortunately, our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, has stepped in to assist Sai Laung access the care that she needs. On March 7th, she will undergo surgery to repair her heart at Pun Hlaing Hospital. Now Sai Laung and her family need your help to raise the $1,500 to fund this life-saving procedure. “I have felt so sad since I was diagnosed with this [heart disease]. I need surgery and we have no money. I look at my parents and I pity them because they work so hard to help me get treatment. I want to recover quickly and go back to work so I can help my parents with the extra income. When I learned that there are donors who will help pay for my treatment cost, I felt so happy," said Sai Luang.
Seint, who is 34 years old, lives with her parents and her aunt in Ayeyarwaddy Division in Burma. Her parents and her aunt make and sell mats from their home. When Seint was 13-years old, she noticed she started to easily tire, experienced heart palpitations, and had barely enough energy to play with her friends. Her mother took her to a nearby clinic, where the doctor examined her and told them that she had congenital heart disease. The doctor gave Seint medication, which she used together with traditional medicine. Both helped her to feel better. In November 2022, Seint felt extremely tired and experienced heart palpitations while she was completing physical exercises with her students. She also had difficulty breathing, and her vision became blurred. Her mother took her to a clinic, where she received medications which helped her to feel better. A few days later, however, she started to experience pain in her back whenever she felt tired. She also started to have difficulty breathing again, and had heart palpitations. Her mother brought her to a hospital in Yangon, where she received an echocardiogram that allowed the doctor to diagnose her with atrial septal defect. After additional testing, the doctor scheduled her to undergo urgent heart surgery at Pun Hlaing Hospital. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is seeking $1,500 to fund Seint's surgery, which will allow her to regain her health, and to live symptom free. Seint said: "I would like to recover as soon as possible. In the future, I will continue to work as a teacher. I love teaching students and wearing our school uniform proudly."
Ni lives with her mother & four siblings in Yangon, Burma. Her two younger sisters work in a clothing factory, while her mother and one brother are homemakers. Her other brother works as a driver assistant. Ni works in a factory that produces alcohol and in her free time, she enjoys watching television with her family. She also enjoys teaching English to their neighbor's children on the weekends. In July 2019, Ni started to experience chest pain and difficulty breathing. She went to a hospital in Yangon and was told she might have a problem with her kidney. When she did not feel any better after taking medication for a month, she went to another hospital in Yangon. She received multiple diagnostic tests and was told that her kidney is healthy but she has a heart condition. After receiving an echocardiogram, she was diagnosed with atrial septal defect (ASD). The doctor told her she would need heart surgery, but Ni told the doctor she could not afford to pay for it. Ni received medication and went back home. Unfortunately, she was unable to go back to the hospital for follow up because the hospital closed after the country's military coup. Due to the deteriorating security condition in their area, Ni’s family decided to go back to their village near Mandalay. Around her village, she could not find a pharmacy that sold her medication. When her family finally traveled back to Yangon she was feeling better and decided not to purchase more of the special medication she needed. Then in January, Ni felt like she could not breathe well, and experienced chest pain and rapid breathing again. She went to a hospital, where the doctor referred her to Pun Hlaing Hospital. After she undergoing more diagnostic tests, the doctor told her she would need to receive surgery costing 9,000,000 kyats (approx. $9,000 USD). When she told the doctor she could not afford to pay for it, the doctor gave her the phone number of a nurse who may be able to help. When Ni called the nurse, the nurse told her about our medical partner Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF) who is now helping Ni access treatment. On March 13th she will undergo cardiac surgery to close the Atrial Septal Defect. Currently, Ni has chest pain and difficulty breathing. Sometimes, she has rapid breathing at night. She cannot sleep well because she is always worried about her condition. Ni shared, "I am very scared to receive surgery but if I do not receive this treatment, I will not live a long life. I am so happy to receive treatment and I would like to say thank you so much to all the donors."
Daw Khin is a 45-year-old woman from Burma. She lives with her parents, who are retired and supported by Daw Khin's sister, who earns an income from renting out their land. Daw Khin used to work as a teacher before her condition made it difficult for her to continue teaching her students. Around June 2020, Daw Khin began to feel very tired and experienced heart palpitations. She shared that it felt like she could not breathe while teaching. Because these episodes happened infrequently, she did not seek treatment at the time; however, in December 2020, her condition worsened, and she went to a local hospital. After receiving an electrocardiogram, doctors determined she has an enlarged heart and an abnormal heartbeat and prescribed medication to help Daw Khin feel better. Since Daw Khin's symptoms continued, her sister brought her to a cardiologist in April 2021. Upon review, Daw Khin's condition was diagnosed as an atrial septal defect, a birth condition in which there is a hole in the wall that divides the upper chambers of the heart. The cardiologist informed her that she would need surgery, but the cost was too high for Daw Khin's family, so they returned home with medications. Daw Khin currently experiences headaches, difficulty sleeping, and fatigue and heart palpitations when talking or walking short distances. Fortunately, a friend visited Daw Khin in June and told her about our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF). Daw Khin contacted BCMF and learned that BCMF will be able to help her finally heal. On February 6th, she will undergo an atrial septal defect (ASD) closure. BCMF is requesting $1,500 to help fund her procedure. Daw Khin shared, "I would like to teach all my students again in the future. I like teaching students."
Ma Zin is a 22-year-old woman from Burma. She lives with her older sister, who works as a seamstress in a factory. Her parents and older brother live in Burma as well. Her father is retired, while her mother works as a day laborer and homemaker. In 2019, Ma Zin began feeling tired very often. She also began having heart palpitations and occasionally difficulty breathing. She was examined by a doctor who gave her medication and referred her to a local hospital for a chest x-ray. The doctor diagnosed her with heart disease, and prescribed medication to treat her symptoms. However, in January of 2021, Ma Zin began experiencing greater fatigue and difficulty breathing. She quit her seamstress job due to her condition and visited a local hospital where she received an echocardiogram. She was diagnosed with atrial septal defect (ASD) and surgery was recommended. Fortunately, our medical partner Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF) is helping Ma Zin receive treatment. On December 19th, she will undergo an atrial septal defect closure at BCMF's care center. Now, she needs help raising $1,500 to fund her procedure and care. In talking about her dreams for the future, Ma Zin shared, "I want to become a designer in the future. I want to recover quickly so that I can go back to work. After I recover, I will learn how to design clothes and sew them myself. I will work hard for my family. I would like to see my parents smile and be happy. I would also like to live with my family in my village."