Naw Mu is a 44-year-old mother of two children from Burma. She lives with her daughter and son. Her daughter goes to school, while her son stays home with her. Naw Mu used to work as a day laborer, but stopped working last year when her health began to decline. Since then, her sister, who works as a pastor, has supported the family. In the summer of 2018, Naw Mu was tying sheafs of freshly harvested paddy when she experienced a sudden shooting pain in her abdomen and chest, along with other uncomfortable symptoms. From then on, she experienced abdominal pain whenever she worked hard or lifted something heavy. For the next four years, Naw Mu visited many clinics and hospitals, and was finally diagnosed with an umbilical hernia and high blood pressure. She experiences dizziness, nausea, and abdominal and joint pain. She also has little appetite, and has difficulty sleeping or sitting for long periods of time. Fortunately, our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), is helping Naw Mu access treatment. On April 8th, she will undergo hernia repair surgery at BCMF's care center. Now, she needs help raising $991 to fund her procedure and care. After recovery, hopefully her symptoms will subside and she can live comfortably. Naw Mu shared, "I was so happy when I heard that I have donors who could assist with the cost of my surgery! I really want to say thank you to the donors and everyone who helped me search for a donor."
Daw Aye is a 49-year-old woman who lives with her three sons, daughter-in-law, and a grandson in Burma. Two of her sons works as carpenters, while one works in a factory. Her daughter-in-law is a homemaker and her grandson is too young to go to school. Daw Aye was working as a vegetable seller, but recently stopped due to her injury. In February, Daw Aye and her grandson walked to her sister’s village for a visit. When her grandson tripped along the way, Daw Aye tried to catch him and fell herself. She injured her right knee, right elbow, hit her head and lost consciousness. Her elbow remained swollen and painful, and she sought treatment from a traditional healer. The healer suggested stretching exercises, but unfortunately, her condition did not improve. She visited a hospital where an x-ray and physical exam indicated a closed fracture of her elbow. Fortunately, our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), is helping Daw Aye access the treatment she needs to heal. On March 26th, she will undergo internal fixation surgery at BCMF's care center. Hopefully, the procedure will help her regain use of her right arm and alleviate her pain. Now, she needs help raising $885 to fund her procedure and care. Daw Aye shared, "when the doctor told me about the cost of the surgery, I started to cry because I do not want to burden my children. My children are very kind to me and they are all good. When they heard that the surgery will be expensive, they told me that my only option was to pawn the house to come up with money to pay for the surgery. When the monk told me not to worry about the cost and that donors may be able to help pay for it, my children told me they would kneel down in front of the donors [in respect] if they ever had the chance to meet them in person."
Steph is a 38-year-old man who lives with his parents and younger brother in a village in Burma. He works as a driver, while his father works in a nursing home and his mother is a homemaker. His younger brother attends university and also volunteers in the nursing home. In his free time, Steph like to grow vegetables in the garden and to help repair cars. In July 2021, Steph began experiencing pain on the right side of his abdomen. He bought medication from the pharmacy and felt better for a few months, but unfortunately, his symptoms returned. He visited a local hospital for examination, and he was diagnosed with gallstones. His doctor recommended that he undergo surgery to remove the stones. When he was admitted for the procedure, his doctors also diagnosed him with appendicitis. He is nauseous, has a fever, and cannot sleep well due to the pain in his abdomen. Fortunately, our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), is helping Steph receive appendectomy treatment, a surgery to remove his appendix. Now, he needs help raising $914 to fund his procedure and care. Steph shared, "I feel very upset because I can’t work and support my parents who are old. Sometimes, when I thought about my condition and where I could receive [and pay for] surgery, I would cry by myself."
Steph lives with his parents and younger brother in a village in Burma. Steph's father works at a nursing home, where his brother also volunteers. Steph is a driver, and his mother is a homemaker. In his free time, Steph likes to grow vegetables and help to repair cars for others in his village. In July 2021, Steph felt pain in the right side of his abdomen, which he was able to treat with medicine from a local pharmacy. Last month, however, his pain returned while he was delivering supplies. He shared with us that he was unable to safely drive home due to nearby military conflict, and was trapped away from home and in pain for two weeks. When Steph finally made it to the hospital, he learned he needed surgery to remove several gallbladder stones. The stones interfere with Steph's breathing and cause severe abdominal pain. He also has jaundice and difficulty sleeping. Fortunately, his doctor was able to schedule a cholecystectomy to remove the stones on February 3rg. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF) is requesting $1,487 to fund his surgery. Once recovered, Steph will be pain-free and able to return to work and enjoying time with his family. Steph shared,"I prayed every day that I would get a donor to cover the cost of my surgery, and I feel like my prayers have been answered. I am so happy! I would like to say thank you so much to all the donors. I will never forget what you have done for me, and I hope that one day I can help and volunteer to drive [BCMF] staff in Burma.”
Ma Ei is a 37-year-old woman who lives with and financially supports her parents and son in a village in Burma. Over the last year, Ma El has suffered from a debilitating uterine mass, which causes her severe pain and weakness. She was given medications for six months to try to help, but she did not feel any better. In January, Ma Ei went to Karen Baptist Convention (KBC) Hospital, where she was diagnosed with a myoma. Doctors shared that to heal she would need surgery to remove her uterus. She is now raising $1,207 to fund her surgery and care, which is scheduled for May 18th. Ma Ei says, “I am worried that I cannot support and care for my family. When I recover from surgery, I will go back to work in the garment factory. I need to support my parents and pay for my son’s education."
Daw Than is 54-year-old woman who lives with her husband, son, daughter-in-law, grandson, daughter and her son-in-law. Her daughter-in-law looks after her son, while the rest of her family makes and sells different types of breakfast food from their home to earn a living. Their income is just enough for their daily expenses, but they haven't been able to save any money. Five years ago, the vision in Daw Than's left eye began to blur. In 2021 she underwent surgery to replace the lens in that eye but soon after the surgery, she developed blurred vision in her right eye. She went to the hospital last week to have her right eye checked. The doctor told her she needs to undergo lens replacement surgery on that eye. She told the doctor that their family had used all the money that had for her first surgery so she went home feeling uncertain about the future. Later on, Daw Than's neighbour told her to go to a monastery where the abbot might be able to help her access surgery. Daw Than followed the neighbour's advice and went to see the abbot. The abbot then referred her to our medical partner Burma Children Medical Fund for assistance accessing the surgery she needs. Daw Than's daughter said, "We do not have any money to pay for my mother's surgery. It is very helpful for us that the organisation and donors are hopefully willing to help pay for it."
Daw Aye is a 76-year-old woman who lives with her family in Htantabin Township, Yangon Division, Burma. She is a retired teacher, and she volunteers at a monastery in Htantabin Township, helping students with their homework and guiding them in their night studies. Her pension is 110,000 kyat (approx. 110 USD) per month. Daw Aye’s daughter is a volunteer cook for the students who live at the same monastery. Daw Aye’s son-in-law sometimes volunteers to drive patients from monastery to various hospitals in Yangon. Her grandson is a high school student. They receive food from the abbot at the monastery and if they get sick, they go to the free clinic in the village, set up by the monastery’s abbot. Daw Aye cannot remember how long ago, but a few years ago, she noticed that the vision in both of her eyes began to blur, and she had difficulty reading. She went to a shop that sells eyeglasses and bought a pair for herself. She wore the eyeglasses until the middle of 2021, when she felt that the eyeglasses no longer helped her see clearly. However, she did not tell anyone and did not go to a clinic or a hospital because she did not want to bother her daughter about her vision. In early December 2021, she decided to go to the free clinic in Htantabin when her vision continued to worsen. When she met with the doctor, she was told that they could not help her as there are no ophthalmologists at the clinic. The doctor suggested she go to a hospital that has an ophthalmologist. Again, Daw Aye did not go to the hospital because she did not want to bother her daughter or son in-law. Around the last week of December 2021, one patient had to go to the Karen Baptist Convention (KBC) Hospital for investigation from the monastery. After Daw Aye learned that her son in-law would be driving this patient to the Hospital, she told the abbot about her blurred vision. She then with her son in-law and the other patient to KBC Hospital. At the hospital, the ophthalmologist tested her eye with a machine and diagnosed her with cataract in her left eye. The doctor told her that she would need surgery to replace the lens in her left eye as the lens had become cloudy. After surgery, she would be able to see again with her left eye. Currently, Daw Aye cannot see peoples’ faces with her left eye, but she can make out if it is dark or bright outside. With her right eye, she can still see things that are near to her, but she cannot see distant objects. She feels like she cannot help students with their homework as she cannot see with her left eye. She currently has to use her right eye to read when she helps the students, which feels strange and uncomfortable. In her free time, Daw Aye loves to meditate and pray. She wants to continue to help the students at the monastery after her surgery.
Askaw is a 47-year-old woman who lives with her father, husband, two sons and her daughter-in-law. Her husband is currently unemployed while her oldest son and her daughter-in-law are farmers. Her youngest son is a day labourer, finding work whenever he can. Askaw is a homemaker and looks after her father who is retired. In her free time, she loves to read, sing, and go to church every Sunday. Toward the end of 2018, Askaw noticed that the vision in both her eyes was blurred. In early 2019, unable to afford seeking treatment at a hospital or a clinic, she purchased eyeglasses for herself at a shop. Although the eyeglasses helped her see better at first, a year later her vision worsened and she could no longer see even with the eyeglasses. She purchased a new pair of glasses, but her vision worsened again. Finally in December she was able to go to an ophthalmologist's clinic with the help and financial support of her brother. After the ophthalmologist examined her eyes, she was told to go to a hospital for further investigation because she likely needed surgery. Askaw's brother knew of our medical partner Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF) which could help make her care possible even though it was out of reach financially for their family. Currently, Askaw can see very little in her left eye and she can only perceive light with her right eye. She cannot read anymore, and finds it difficult to pay for items when shopping since she cannot see the money. When she cooks, she will often mix-up the ingredients. She shared that sometimes, when she is alone, she will cry and feels sad about her symptoms. She said, “When I cook, I will mix-up the ingredients because I cannot see clearly. Now I am no longer able to cook and I have also stopped cleaning as it is so hard to clean with my poor vision."
Khine lives with her parents, daughter, and brother in a town near Yangon, Burma. Her daughter is a homemaker and looks after her parents, while her brother works in a sewing factory. Khine used to work as a street vendor but stopped in August when she was no longer able to see well enough to work. Around 2018, Khine's left eye became itchy and painful. Unable to afford treatment at a clinic or hospital, she used traditional medicine after her friend recommended a traditional medicine clinic for eye ailments. In October 2021, the pain and itchiness in her left eye increased and the vision in he right eye was blurry. She went to a hospital in Yangon, where the doctor diagnosed her with cataracts in both her eyes. Although she was referred to another hospital where eye surgery is affordable, the waiting list was very long and she was told it could take up to a year for her to be scheduled for surgery. With the help of our medical partner Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), she underwent cataract surgery on her left eye in October. She is scheduled to undergo cataract surgery on her right eye at BCMF's care center KBC Hospital on December 14th and needs support to fund her treatment. Currently, the vision in Khine's right eye is so blurry that she can only see shapes. Since her first surgery, the vision in her left eye is very clear and she is feeling a renewed sense of hope for her future. Khine shared, “I would like to work as a vendor again when I can see well after surgery.”