Cho is a 32-year-old woman originally from Burma. One year ago, she moved to Mae Sot, Thailand with her family in search of better job opportunities. Since then, she and her eldest daughter have been working at a wool factory. Unfortunately, about three months ago, Cho started to experience symptoms of abdominal pain and fever. When medication from a local clinic did not help, she decided to go to our medical partner's care center for an examination. The doctor performed an ultrasound test, and Cho was diagnosed with gallstones with cholecystitis, an inflammation of the gallbladder. Now, with the help of our medical partner, Cho is scheduled to undergo repair surgery on January 19. She needs help to raise $1,500 to fund this operation. Cho wishes to return to work as soon as possible. She plans to work in Mae Sot for a few more years before returning to Burma with her family. Cho's husband says, "I am very happy that my wife is receiving help.”
Meet Thet, a 23-year-old man from Burma who has two sisters and one brother. His youngest sister studies in the sixth grade, while the rest of his siblings work to support the family. “If Thet has free time, he loves to help cook, but his favorite hobby is playing soccer," his parents say. About six years ago, Thet moved to Malaysia to look for a job. He found work as a waiter at a restaurant, but soon began experiencing mild symptoms, such as dry skin. The restaurant owner brought Thet to a hospital, where he was given medication. While medication provided temporary relief, his condition soon took a turn for the worse. One morning, Thet woke up unable to see anything. He went to the hospital again for diagnostic testing, but the doctor told him they could not find any problems. Thet decided to return to Burma. Since returning to Burma, Thet's condition has steadily worsened. His vision has become more blurred, and he often has headaches. He has also developed severe muscle pains. He cannot sit or lay down for long periods of time. After learning about our medical partner, Thet and his parents traveled four hours to seek proper treatment. Thet's doctors believe he may have a brain tumor. A CT scan will allow them to develop an effective treatment plan. $414 will cover the cost of this scan, scheduled for December 14. Thet says that if his condition improves, he wants to go back to work in Malaysia so he can help support his family.
Mu is a fifteen-year-old girl from Burma. She lives with her aunt, uncle, and three cousins. Her aunt and uncle run their own shop that sells drinks and juices, where Mu and her youngest brother also work. Her parents have their own farm where they grow rice. They are all currently saving money in order to buy a house. In her spare time, Mu enjoys reading fictional stories. Four years ago, Mu started to feel pain in her stomach. Despite the pain, she did not visit a hospital or clinic. Last July, a heavy object fell on Mu's stomach. Her aunt brought her to the hospital, where she was told that she had a mass of blood in her abdomen. In other words, Mu had a hemangioma, a benign tumor made up of a bundle of blood vessels. Per the doctor's recommendation, Mu visited our medical partner's care center. Now, she is scheduled to undergo surgery to remove the tumor on January 11. Our medical partner is requesting $1,500 to fund the labor cost, supplies, lab tests, and medication needed for the procedure. Mu shares, "In the future, I would like to run a juice shop of my own in the village where I am from."
Nay Myo is a nine-year-old boy from Burma. He lives with his parents and has one older brother. Nay Myo's parents work as day laborers. They cut grasses, plant vegetation, and collect bamboo shoots. When Nay Myo was three months old, he fell very sick. He was subsequently diagnosed with thalassemia, a blood disorder characterized by an abnormal oxygen-carrying protein. Symptoms of this condition include fatigue, anemia, and trouble breathing. In order to treat these symptoms, Nay Myo has to receive oral medications and blood transfusions on a regular basis. Thalassemia has also caused Nay Myo's spleen to enlarge. After examination, his doctors decided to remove the spleen before other medical complications arise. On January 18, Nay Myo will undergo a splenectomy. Our medical partner is asking for $1,500 to fund the surgery. Nay Myo's mother is inspired by the caring hospital staff. She says, "I want Nay Myo to be an educated person and work like the staff."
Mu is a farmer from a small village in Burma. She is 37 years old and lives with her husband and 13-year-old daughter. Her son, who is 10 years old, lives and studies at a monastery in Bago City. About six months ago, Mu noticed that her menstrual cycle was late. She felt a heaviness in her abdomen and thought that she might be pregnant. Mu and her husband then visited a clinic near their village. To her disappointment, however, the pregnancy test was negative. The doctor advised that she undergo an ultrasound in a larger hospital. Mu then spoke with a neighbor in her village and learned about our medical partner's care center, Mae Tao Clinic (MTC). Mu and her husband arranged for their daughter to stay with Mu's sister and then made the five-hour trip to the clinic. At the clinic, the doctors discovered that Mu had an ovarian cyst. After a series of blood workups, Mu is now ready for an oophorectomy, the surgery that will remove her right ovary. Mu is scheduled to undergo the operation on January 26. Our medical partner, Burma Border Projects, is requesting $913 for Mu's treatment. Once she undergoes the surgery and recovers properly, Mu will be able to once again live a happy and healthy life with her family.
Poe is a 34-year-old man from Burma. He works as a border security guard and protects the Burmese border. While on the way to get a haircut, Poe hit a patch of loose gravel and was thrown off his bike. Poe landed on the side of the road and was knocked unconscious. When Poe woke up after the accident, he knew that his leg was broken. He was unable to stand, and a passerby helped him get to our medical partner's care center, Mae Sot Hospital, for an X-ray. The X-ray showed displaced fractures to the tibia and fibula of his right leg. The X-rays revealed that Poe will need surgery to fix the fractures. On January 27, Poe will undergo an internal fixation procedure to mend his broken bones. He needs help to fund this $1,500 procedure. "Thank you for helping me. I hope I will recover from this very soon so that I can play cane ball with my friends," he says.
Win Win is a 42-year-old woman who lives in Burma with her husband and son's family. Two years ago, Win Win noticed pain in her lower abdomen. She has sought treatment on multiple occasions, but her symptoms have relapsed each time. After she received an ultrasound, doctors found a uterine myoma, or noncancerous mass, in her uterus. Win Win will undergo a surgery on January 26 to remove her uterus and the mass. “I really want to be healthy again," expresses Win Win, "so I can go back to work and save money to pay back my debt.” Her family operates a knife-repairing business but does not have the funds to cover the surgery. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, has requested $1,500. This will cover Win Win's surgery and hospital stay.
Win Than is a 32-year-old housewife who lives with her husband and three children in Burma. Her husband is a motorcycle taxi driver and deliveryman and is the sole earner in the family. Her youngest child is in school, and her older children help her around the house. The family income is just enough for their daily expenses. About three months ago, Win Than began to experience lower abdominal pain. An ultrasound confirmed that Win Than had an ovarian cyst on her left ovary. She will undergo an oophorectomy to remove the ovary on February 3. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $913 to fund this procedure.
Maung Chit is 43 years old and the father of a large family. He lives with his family in Burma. He works very hard as a day laborer, employed by several large farms. In April 2016, Maung Chit experienced an accident while unloading timber from a wagon. A portion of the load fell on top of him and broke his right leg above the ankle. In June 2016, he made the four-hour journey to a clinic, where an X-ray of his leg was taken. He was referred to our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), to examine the large bulge on his leg, which was preventing him from walking. In December 2016, Maung Chit underwent an internal and external fixation surgery. Maung Chit now needs another surgery to remove the rod placed during his first operation. Our medical partner, BCMF, is requesting $1,500 for this procedure.
Htwe is a 35-year-old wife and mother from Burma who works as an agricultural day laborer. She lives with her three-year-old daughter, husband, and extended family. Two years ago, Htwe began to feel a lump developing in her lower abdomen. As the lump progressed in size, she began to experience severe back pain, eventually finding it unbearable to work. After two and a half years of intense pain, Htwe and her husband decided to seek treatment in January 2017. They were referred to our medical partner's care center, Mae Sot General Hospital (MSH), where an ultrasound and other tests revealed that Htwe has a myoma, a benign, non-cancerous tumor in her uterus. It was recommended that she undergo surgery to remove her entire uterus. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund a total abdominal hysterectomy on February 2. Due to Htwe and her husband’s inconsistent sources of income, they are unable to pay for the surgery without support. This family-focused mother hopes to return to her job after her surgery and support her daughter’s future. “I want to work hard to save money for my daughter’s education. I want my daughter to become a teacher or a nurse when she grows up. I don’t want her to do hard work like me,” she shares.
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.