Saw Kaw is a 38-year-old man from Burma. He is a soldier for the Karen National Union (KNU) and moves around frequently. In December 2016, Saw Kaw was helping people repair parts of the road around their village by clearing trees for road work. He was cutting a tree when it fell on his upper leg. He was admitted to a local clinic for treatment, but after two months, his leg did not feel any better. The clinic sent him for an X-ray, which showed a broken femur. He was referred to Watsi's medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), for evaluation and treatment. At the time of his interview with BCMF, Saw Kaw’s entire leg was swollen. He shared that he had been unable to walk since the injury occurred and was often in a lot of pain, especially at night. Saw Kaw needs help raising $1,500 to pay for an operation to repair his broken femur. During the operation, an orthopedic surgeon will insert a metal rod through the hollow center of the femur and secure it with screws. The rod will stabilize the broken bone until it is strong enough to support Saw Kaw's weight. Saw Kaw is scheduled to undergo surgery on February 17. Funding for Saw Kaw also covers the costs of seven nights in the hospital, lab tests, X-rays, physical therapy, surgical supplies, and crutches. "I really want to work for my community and the KNU, but I cannot do it right now," shares Saw Kaw. "I hope to recover fully so I can return to my village to work on the plantation with my family again."
Zaw is an 11-year-old boy from Burma who has an abnormal growth in his nostrils. He lives with his parents and two younger brothers. Zaw has completed fourth grade, but he stopped attending fifth grade earlier this year due to his nasal condition. Both of Zaw's siblings are currently in school. When he was nine years old, Zaw's mother noticed that he had a nasal problem, but she could not see the abnormal growth inside his nostrils. His condition would worsen at night, when Zaw found it difficult to breathe. Finally, they visited a clinic, where Zaw's mother was informed that Zaw had nasal polyps in both of his nostrils. These polyps are benign growths that form on the lining of the nose or sinuses. Several months after his visit to the clinic, the nasal polyps became visible. Unfortunately, Zaw's family could not afford to pay for more treatment. Both of Zaw's parents work. His mother sells watermelon in town, and his father cuts bamboo and works as a day laborer on construction sites. Most months, the family income is not sufficient to cover basic costs. Zaw's mother borrowed money from a neighbor to make the trip to Mae Tao Clinic (MTC), where the office of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is based. After a CT scan, our medical partner's doctors scheduled Zaw for surgery. Currently, Zaw’s condition is poor. He cannot breathe well, and he often feels fatigued and dizzy. Zaw is scheduled to undergo sinus surgery on February 19. Burma Children Medical Fund is requesting $1,500 for the procedure. Zaw's mother hopes that her son will recover quickly so that he can go back to his studies. “I want him to be a medical doctor because he often dreams of being one," she says. “If I am fully recovered, I will go back to school,” Zaw adds.
Meet Aye Nay from Burma. He is 65 years old and is a father of five children. Aye Nay works as a rice farmer, but he also farms nuts and durian fruit. He lives with his wife and his daughter's young family. Aye Nay is having difficulty breathing. Three years ago, he noticed a mass in his nostril. This mass has grown considerably in the last three months, to the point where Aye Nay can no longer breathe through his right nostril. Aye Nay went to a local clinic, but he was unable to be treated. He then visited a care center associated with our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF). Following several diagnostic tests, doctors have diagnosed Aye Nay with a nasal polyp. They want him to undergo a CT scan. A CT scan will enable doctors to pinpoint the size and location of the nasal polyp. BCMF has arranged for Aye Nay to have his CT scan on March 13. Due to his limited income, Aye Nay cannot afford to pay, so BCMF is asking for donations to cover the $414 CT scan. Aye Nay shares, "I want to be able to get well and look after my family."
Yee is a 24-year-old mother of two. She lives with her large family on a farm. Yee's husband and parents work on the farm, while she looks after the children and cooks. Yee's home does not have a stove, so she often collects firewood to cook meals. One month ago, while she was collecting firewood, a tree branch fell and hit her on the head. Yee immediately felt dizziness and later developed an intense, ongoing headache and blurred vision. She went to a local hospital for help and received painkillers, but her symptoms remained. Yee traveled seven hours to reach a clinic sponsored by one of our medical partners, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF). The doctors at the clinic recommend that she undergo a CT scan so they can develop a treatment plan. On March 17, Yee will receive the scan. Now, BCMF is requesting $414 to fund the diagnostic imaging.
Meet Naung Naung, a 29-year-old man originally from Burma. He now resides in Thailand with his older brother. Naung Naung has visited our medical partner's care center, Mae Sot General Hospital, in the past due to high fevers. In early 2017, Naung Naung began losing sensation and movement on the right side of his body. His symptoms have since worsened, and he is unable to walk without being supported by his brother. He has now been admitted to Mae Sot General Hospital. Doctors suspect Naung Naung may have cancer. They have requested that he undergo a CT scan so that they can correctly diagnose him and determine what is causing his loss of movement and sensation. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), has scheduled the CT scan for March 20. Now, Naung Naung needs assistance to pay for the $414 scan. He says, "I hope to get the right treatment after the CT scan. I want to return to work."
Kyaw Soe is a 46-year-old father from Burma. He is married and has three daughters and a son. Kyaw Soe's wife sells a traditional breakfast dish to support the family. Until recently, Kyaw Soe was working in a factory. He can no longer work after being injured on the job. Last December, Kyaw Soe was working when he fell on a fan and cut his left leg. Three years prior, Kyaw Soe had broken that leg in another workplace accident, and had a metal rod inserted to stabilize his leg. His recent wound has failed to heal properly, leaving the metal rod exposed. On March 14, Kyaw Soe will undergo surgery at Mae Sot General Hospital, our medical partner's care center, to remove the metal rod from his leg. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is asking for $1,500 to fund his surgery and the accompanying medical supply, physician, and lab fees. Kyaw Soe and his wife are hopeful that the surgery will go well and that he will be able to return to work.
Meet Daw Than from Burma. She lives with two of her children. Daw Than's other daughter lives close by with her own family. Daw Than previously had an ovarian cyst, but it was removed when she delivered her youngest daughter by C-section. She was fine up until October 2016, when she started losing weight and experiencing abdominal heaviness. She tried to relieve her symptoms with traditional medicine, but they were ineffective. Daw Than then visited a care center affiliated with our medical partner and was subsequently referred to Mae Sot General Hospital. After several preliminary tests, doctors at Mae Sot General Hospital have diagnosed Daw Than with a large ovarian tumor and have recommended surgery to remove it. In order to pinpoint the location of the tumor, Daw Than requires a CT scan. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, has arranged for the CT scan to be performed on March 22. Daw Than says that she knew she "needed to go to a big hospital and spend a lot of money," but a lack of financial resources prevented her from seeking treatment earlier. With $414, we can help Daw Than pay for her CT scan and help her start her road to recovery.
Aung is a four-year-old boy from Burma. He lives with his maternal grandparents while his mother and father work in Bangkok. Two months ago, Aung’s grandmother noticed an abnormal mass growing out of Aung's right nostril. His grandmother took him to a local clinic, where he was examined and given medicines. However, the medicines were not effective. After being notified of her son's medical problem, Aung’s mother returned to Burma to take care of him. By the time she arrived in the village in mid-March, the mass had grown significantly. On March 21, Aung and his family visited Mae Sot General Hospital, our medical partner's care center. It was decided that Aung needs a CT scan to determine if his mass is benign or malignant, and what treatment should be taken next. On March 29, Aung will undergo a CT scan. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is asking for $414 to cover the cost of his treatment. Aung's mother is hopeful that her son can recover and go back to school!
Nwe is 45 years old. She lives with her younger sister in Mon State, Burma. Nwe is the principal of a local primary school and is very proud of her job and education. She loves watching her students learn from their teachers. About two years ago, Nwe started to experience severe pain during her menstrual cycle. She was unable to sleep or eat during this time. Nwe treated herself with traditional medicine but was unable to relieve her symptoms. An ultrasound at a local clinic revealed that Nwe had developed a mass in her uterus. Nwe says that the medication she received helped to reduce the pain, but she is still experiencing uncomfortable symptoms. In late 2016, Nwe visited Mae Sot General Hospital, a care center associated with our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF). The hospital performed an ultrasound and biopsy, and doctors there advised Nwe that she requires surgery. BCMF has arranged for Nwe to undergo a total abdominal hysterectomy to remove the uterine mass on March 28. A biopsy will also be performed to determine the cause of the mass and to help doctors make a definite diagnosis. Nwe needs help to raise $1,500 for her surgery. She says, "I hope that after surgery I will be able to return to full health, and have the chance to study further and continue working with my teachers and students."
Chit is a 50-year-old man who was born in Yangon. He lives with his wife and son in a refugee camp in Thailand. Two years ago, a fragment of wood injured Chit's eye. He received treatment and was given eye drops from the medical clinic at the camp. Discomfort returned to his right eye shortly afterwards, and Chit's eyesight has begun to deteriorate. He is also experiencing headaches and pain. As a result, he has been unable to continue working as a farm laborer. Although the camp provides food rations, he needs income to buy more food for his family. During a visit from an eye specialist to the camp, Chit was advised to get a CT scan of his eye. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, has arranged for this to be performed on April 4. The CT scan will cost $414 and will provide detailed information about what is causing Chit's eye injury. This will assist his doctors in preparing an appropriate treatment plan. Chit says, "I hope to return to work to provide for my family and also start reading again."
Pan is a nine-year-old young girl. She lives with her family in Kawkareik Township, Burma. Her parents work hard as agricultural day laborers to provide for their family. Two years ago, Pan started experiencing stomachaches and developed a solid mass in her abdominal area. Her mother brought her to our medical partner's care center, where Pan received an urgent blood transfusion. She has been diagnosed with thalassemia, an inherited blood disorder in which the body does not make enough of a protein called hemoglobin. Hemoglobin carries oxygen around in the red blood cells, and individuals with thalassemia can have severe anemia. Pan's parents cannot afford to pay for regular blood transfusions, so Pan has been receiving blood transfusions every few months. Pan's spleen is growing larger as a result of having to filter all the abnormal and damaged red blood cells. Doctors have recommended Pan for a splenectomy to remove her spleen. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, has scheduled Pan's surgery for April 5. $1,500 will cover the costs of the surgery, hospital stay, and post-op care. Pan says, "I want to be a teacher someday." Let's help Pan achieve her goal!
Aye is a 40-year-old farmer from Burma who moved to Thailand ten years ago in search of better work opportunities. She and her husband currently work on a corn and onion farm, although their income is barely enough to cover their daily expenses. They have two children who are too young to attend school, so they stay with neighbors while Aye and her husband are working. In late 2016, Aye first noticed that her lower abdomen felt firm. She began to have constant abdominal discomfort. Gradually, her lower abdomen started to enlarge, and she developed worsening pain in both her lower back and abdomen. Aye has been unable to work for the past two months due to this pain. When Aye visited a local clinic and hospital for her symptoms, imaging showed that she has an ovarian cyst, a small fluid-filled sac in her ovary. To treat this condition, she will need to have a total abdominal hysterectomy. This is a surgical procedure in which the uterus and one or both sets of ovaries and fallopian tubes are removed. On April 9, surgeons at our medical partner's care center, Mae Sot General Hospital, will perform a total abdominal hysterectomy. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 for Aye's treatment. This will pay for her surgery, medications, follow-up appointments, laboratory tests, imaging, and twelve nights in the hospital. After Aye recovers from her surgery, she looks forward to returning to work, saying, “I will work on the farm again to help support my family.”