Myo is a 38-year-old from Thailand. He lives with his mother, sister, and a nephew in Mae Ku Village in the northern Tak Province. He moved from Burma to Mae Sot in 2008 search of better job opportunities. He and his sister work as agriculture day laborers while his mother looks after his nephew at home. In his free time, Myo loves to listen to music. Around two weeks ago, Myo developed a stomachache after he had dinner. He thought that it was because he had skipped lunch and ate too much during dinner. His mother bought him oral medication from the pharmacy and after he took it, he felt better. The next day, his stomachache returned in the evening. He took more of the same medication which helped to decrease the pain. Myo decided to rest two days at home and not go to work, in the hopes that he would feel better. Nevertheless, three days later he felt worse. He developed a sharp pain in his lower abdomen which made it hard for him to sit down or eat. When he tried to eat, the pain increased and his stomach became bloated. When Myo arrived at Mae Tao Clinic, the medic completed an ultrasound of his abdomen as well as a blood and a urine test. The medic told him that he has fluid build-up in his stomach. The medic inserted a tube through his nose and into his stomach to drain the build-up of fluid. He also received an intravenous (IV) line because he cannot eat anything since he arrived at MTC. If he tries to eat, the pain in his stomach increases. A few days after the tube was inserted through his nose, his stomach became less bloated. When the medic did another ultrasound of his abdomen a few days later he was admitted to the hospital, the medic found a small mass or cyst close to his navel. The medic told him he would have to go to Mae Sot Hospital (MSH) for further investigation and on the 18th of January 2021, Myo went to MSH with an MTC staff. At MSH, the nurse looked at his ultrasound result before scheduling him for a computerized tomography (CT) scan to confirm his diagnosis on 21st of January 2021. Doctors want Myo to undergo a CT scan, a procedure in which x-ray images taken from several angles are combined to produce cross-sectional images of the body. This scan will hopefully help doctors diagnose his condition and formulate an appropriate treatment plan. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $414 to cover the cost of Myo's CT scan and care, scheduled for January 21st. Myo's sister said, “Since my brother got sick, he cannot work, and I also cannot work because I have to accompany him. We do not have an income when we do not work and now, we are in debt.” Myo added, “I want to recover and work so that I can pay back our debt.”
Than is a 42-year-old woman from Thailand. She lives with her husband, three daughters, three sons, son-in-law and granddaughter. Than and her family moved from Burma to Thailand ten years ago in search of better job opportunities. Her husband, her oldest daughter, one son, and her son-in-law work as day labourers on their employer’s farm, growing and harvesting tapioca, corn, and cabbage. Her two other sons go to school, while her youngest daughter and her granddaughter are too young to go to school. Than and her second oldest daughter are homemakers. On November 7th, 2020, Than discovered that she had an incisional hernia. Currently, Than experiences abdominal pain throughout the week and has to take pain medication to decrease her pain. She feels uncomfortable when she sits, and when she is in pain, she has to walk or lie down for the pain to ease. Fortunately, on January 28th, she will undergo hernia repair surgery at Mae Sot General Hospital, our medical partner's care center. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund Than's hernia repair surgery. The procedure is scheduled to take place on January 28th and, once completed, will hopefully allow her to live more comfortably and go about her daily activities normally. Than shared, “I was so happy when I learned that I was to go to Mae Tao Clinic [and later Mae Sot Hospital] for treatment. My children are also happy that I will receive treatment with help from donors.”
Tun is a 73-year-old man who lives with his three daughters in Umpiem Mai Refugee Camp in Thailand. Each month, Tun's household receives a small cash card to purchase rations in the camp, and their monthly household income is just enough to cover daily expenses. In his free time, Tun loves to read books and loves telling stories to his neighbours’ children. He is always welcoming, giving the children snacks and telling them stories from his home. Tun also loves to grow different types of vegetables around his house, sharing the harvest with his neighbours who cannot afford to buy vegetables. Before he felt unwell, Tun used to volunteer, organising cleaning groups in the camp and helping with road repairs. Currently, Tun experiences on and off pain in his upper abdomen. He also has a slight fever and often feels nauseous. Over time, his appetite has gradually decreased, and he has lost weight. Tun has been advised to undergo a cholecystectomy, the surgical removal of the gallbladder. If his condition is left untreated, Tun's symptoms will continue to worsen and he will be at risk for further health complications in the future. After seeking treatment through our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), Tun is scheduled to undergo his cholecystectomy on February 16th. BCMF is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of Tun's procedure and care. Once recovered, he will able to resume gardening, volunteering, and socializing with others in the camp. Tun shared, “I love volunteering and I am happy to help the community with whatever I can. But since I got sick, I cannot participate, and I cannot go to the monastery to help clean nor can I meditate. If I ever feel better again, I will continue to help my community with whatever I can do and I will also continue to grow vegetables around my house for my family and for my neighbours.”
Kay is a 34-year-old woman who lives with her husband and two sons in a village on the Thai-Burma border. Her husband is a day labourer at a construction site, while both of her children are students. Kay used to work in a factory but stopped last year when her health deteriorated. Kay remembers first feeling the pain she has in her abdomen in April of 2014, a month after she gave birth to her second son. Five years later, the pain in the left side of her abdomen returned. Kay also could not eat or drink anything, and vomited every time she tried to eat. At the hospital, she was given medication and was instructed to take it regularly. Though Kay felt better at a follow-up appointment, some of her symptoms were still persistent, so the medic referred her to Mae Sot Hospital (MSH) for further investigation. At that hospital, Kay received an ultrasound, blood test and urine test, and the results revealed that she had stones in her left ureter. The doctor recommended that she undergo laser treatment to breakup these stones and treat the pain she has been experiencing. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is helping Kay receive treatment. On March 2nd, she is scheduled to undergo a shockwave lithotripsy treatment at our medical partner's care center. This procedure will cost $1,500, and she and her family need help raising money. Kay shared, “I really want to recover. I cannot work at the factory [because of my condition] but I want to earn money. In the future, if I recover, I want to open a small shop to sell dry goods.”
Ra Sa is a 67-year-old woman who lives with her nephew in Mae La Refugee Camp in Thailand. Ra Sa is a homemaker and her nephew is a student. Ra Sa’s daughter, who also lives in the camp with her husband, supports Ra Sa with food and visits several times a week. Ra Sa’s daughter works as a domestic worker in the camp, and her son-in-law works as a porter unloading supplies from delivery trucks, but the support they are able to provide for Ra Sa does not always cover her expenses. In her free time, Ra Sa likes to teach children at the local mosque. However, since a hernia appeared last year, she has not been able to teach in the same way. Once she has recovered, she wants to live happily with her nephew and to continue teaching. Since the 7th of March 2020, Ra Sa has had an umbilical hernia. She experiences a lot of pain in her lower abdomen and has three lumps that are increasing in size every day. She can no longer sit for more than 10 minutes before she is in pain, feeling more comfortable when she lies down. Sometimes she cannot breathe well and is having other troubling symptoms. Fortunately, on March 5th, she will undergo hernia repair surgery at Mae Sot General Hospital, our medical partner's care center. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund Ra Sa's hernia repair surgery, which will hopefully allow her to live more comfortably again. Ra Sa said, “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 of the donors. I will never forget what you have done for me and I hope that you will continue to help more patients in the future.”
Shoh is a 47-year-old man who lives with his wife, two sons, daughter-in-law and two daughters in Nu Poe Refugee Camp in Thailand. In the camp, Shoh and his oldest son are teachers who teach about the Quran for other refugees. They each earn 1,200 baht (approx. 40 USD) per month. His wife is often sick, and his eldest daughter has to look after her at home. His daughter-in-law is a homemaker while his youngest daughter and son are students. Shoh’s household receives 1,110 baht (approx. 37 USD) every month on a cash card to purchase rations in the camp. Their monthly household income is just enough to cover their daily expenses as they also receive free basic health care and education in the camp. Since February 2020, Shoh has had umbilical hearnia. Currently, Shoh’s abdomen pain is not severe but his hernia is still increasing in size. He feels uncomfortable when he walks because of his swollen abdomen. He cannot sleep well and is increasingly worried about his diagnosis. The pain in his abdomen increases when he feels cold, especially at night. Fortunately, on March 9th, he will undergo hernia repair surgery at Mae Sot General Hospital, our medical partner's care center. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund Shoh's hernia repair surgery. The procedure is scheduled to take place on March 9th and, once completed, will hopefully allow him to live more comfortably. Shoh said, “I do not want to stop being a teacher. I love teaching the Quran to young children. Also, if I do not teach, I do not earn an income and my family does not have enough income to cover our household expenses.”
Ku is an 11-year-old student from Thailand. Ku lives with his mother, four brothers and a sister in a refugee camp. All of his siblings also go to school, except for his oldest brother, who used to work with their mother as agricultural day labourers. However, since the outbreak of Covid-19 in 2020, they have not been able to leave the camp easily to find work. Ku's father works as a day labourer outside of the camp, but has also been unable to find consistent work due to the pandemic. Ku's family receives some financial support from an external organisation, but it is not enough to cover their expenses, and they shared that they often borrow rice or money from their neighbors. In March 2021, Ku and his friends were playing tag that led him to have a bad fall. Ku had taken off his sandals and left them at the top of a hill. When he ran up the rocky hill to fetch his sandals, he slipped and stuck out his left hand to break his fall, breaking his wrist. Currently, Ku’s left hand and forearm are very painful. He cannot bend his wrist and can only move his fingers slightly. Before his accident, Ku was able to prepare his own meals and set up his mosquito net at night. But now, he needs someone to help him do these tasks. With the help of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, Ku will undergo surgery to reset his fractured bones and ensure proper healing. The procedure is scheduled for March 10th and will cost $1,500. This procedure will help Ku use his left hand again and live pain-free. He will be able to cook his own meals again and set up his mosquito net by himself. Now, he and his family need help raising money for this procedure. Ku's mother shared, "After he receives treatment, I want Ku to continue his studies until he graduates and becomes a medic."
Paw is a 21-year-old who lives with her parents, a brother, three sisters, a daughter and a niece in a refugee camp. Her father used to be an agricultural day laborer, but had to stop working due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Her sisters go to school and her brother is unemployed. Paw looks after her daughter and niece, who are too young to go to school, while her mother looks after the household chores. In her free time, Paw likes to play with her daughter and visit her friends. On March 9th, Paw left the camp alone to collect firewood. While climbing a hill, she slipped, falling onto her right shin. She was in so much pain that she could not stand up. She got herself to a nearby road where a motorcyclist drove her back to the camp. At home, Paw was treated by a traditional healer, and a couple of days later, a second traditional healer told her family that Paw had fractured her leg. Paw's father made a bamboo brace for her leg, and carried her to the hospital in the camp run by International Rescue Committee (IRC). Knowing that she would need surgery, IRC staff referred her to Burma Children Medical Fund to receive treatment at a local hospital. Currently, Paw experiences a lot of pain when moving her right leg. She cannot stand up by herself and she cannot sleep at night when the pain is severe. Since she injured her leg, she feels more tired and she has lost her appetite. With the help of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, Paw will undergo surgery to reset her fractured bones and ensure proper healing. The procedure will help her walk and live pain-free. The procedure is scheduled for March 12th and will cost $1,500. Paw shared, "once recovered, I will take care of my parents. I will work and save money for my daughter, so that I can make sure that she has food and clothes."
Tin is a 38-year-old woman from Northern Thailand. She and her husband are agricultural day laborers, and they live in a hut on their employer’s land. They shared that, unfortunately, their earnings are not enough to cover their expenses or to pay for basic healthcare. Since early 2019, Tin has been experiencing dizziness, fatigue, insomnia and pain in her lower abdomen. She was diagnosed with a myoma and has been advised to undergo a total abdominal hysterectomy, the surgical removal of her uterus and cervix. If left untreated, Tin's symptoms will continue to worsen and put her at risk for further health complications. Since September 2020, Tin has been unable to work due to her illness. Fortunately, Tin is scheduled to undergo a hysterectomy on March 23rd. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to cover the cost of her procedure and care. Once recovered, Tin will no longer experience lower abdominal pain, dizziness or fatigue. She will be able to work again as a day laborer after her treatment. Tin shared, “I am not afraid to undergo surgery because I believe that I will receive successful treatment. I used to pray every day that a donor would help me. Once I have recovered from surgery, I will go back to work so that we can repay our debts. In the future, I would like to stay healthy so that I can work, eat good food, wear beautiful clothes, and earn an income.”
April is a 32-year-old health worker from Thailand. She lives with her co-worker, her co-worker’s husband and their three daughters on the border of Burma and Thailand. In her free time, April loves to watch comedy movies and listen to music. In January 2020, April was diagnosed with bilateral endometriotic cysts. She received surgery to remove the cysts from her right ovary and had her left ovary removed. Post surgery, April has been experiencing pain in her lower abdomen during the first day of her period. She has been diagnosed with a right ovarian tumor. To remedy this, doctors recommend that she undergo a total abdominal hysterectomy, the surgical removal of her uterus and cervix. If her condition is left untreated, April's symptoms will continue to worsen and put her at risk for further health complications in the future. Fortunately, April is scheduled to undergo her hysterectomy on March 24th. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is raising $1,500 to cover the total cost of her procedure and care. Once recovered, she will no longer have to worry about the tumor returning or spreading. April shared, "I am scared to have surgery but I want to be healthy. I want to spend time with my family and I want to work happily.”
Say is a four-year-old boy who lives with his mother, brother, sister, and grandfather in a refugee camp on the border of Thailand. His father returned to Burma to visit his village last year. When Thailand closed its borders because of the COVID-19 outbreak, his father could not come back to the camp. Say's grandfather is an assistant pastor in the camp and he receives his income through donations when he visits his church members for home prayers. Say goes to nursery school while both of his siblings go to primary school. His mother does all the household chores. Every month, their household receives some funding to purchase rations in the camp, which is just enough for their basic needs. They receive free healthcare and education in the camp, but specialized procedures like the care that Say needs are often not possible. In early February 2021, Say developed an inguinal hernia on his right side, which has resulted in swelling and pain. His mother has noticed that since he developed the hernia, his appetite has decreased, as eating more can sometimes cause additional discomfort. Fortunately, on March 25th, he will undergo hernia repair surgery at Mae Sot General Hospital, our medical partner's care center. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund Say's hernia repair surgery. The procedure is scheduled to take place on March 25th and, once completed, will hopefully allow him to live more comfortably. Say's mother said, "When I heard that my son needs surgery, I became so worried because he is the youngest in our family." She is eager for the surgery to be complete and for Say to have healed.
Zaw is a 40-year-old man from Thailand. He lives by himself in a hut on his employer's land on the Thai-Burma border and he harvests sugarcane for a living. He is paid 45 baht (approx. $1.50 USD) per bundle of harvested sugarcane, with each bundle containing 200 canes. He shared that the income he earns in a month is not enough to cover his basic needs, and has recently had to borrow funds to purchase food. Last Wednesday, Zaw decided to go home on his bicycle during his lunch break. While riding his bicycle, a dog started to chase him. He put his feet up on the handlebar so that the dog would not bite his legs. But while his feet were still on the handlebar, three cars drove towards him on the narrow road. Zaw swerved to avoid the cars and lost his balance, falling into the drainage ditch on the side of the road. The villagers who had seen him fall ran to the side of the ditch to check on him. When Zaw tried to stand up, he had difficulty breathing and had to sit down due to the pain in his abdomen. Since the accident, Zaw feels worse. He still has difficulty breathing, and he suffers from abdominal pain. He cannot stand up, has difficulty sitting up, and has difficulty eating or drinking water. Doctors want Zaw to undergo a CT scan, a procedure in which x-ray images taken from several angles are combined to produce cross-sectional images of the body. This scan will hopefully help doctors diagnose his condition and formulate an appropriate treatment plan. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $414 to cover the cost of Zaw's CT scan and care, scheduled for March 26th. “When I get better I will continue working,” he said. “I also have to pay back my debt.”