Myat lives with his elderly mother. He stopped working two years ago after a stroke left the right side of his body weak. He is now unemployed and relies on his mother’s support. His mother is a street vendor, selling foraged vegetables and plants as well as sticky rice that she makes. The income she earns is not enough for their daily needs. They survive thanks to the generosity of their neighbors, who support them with food and allow them to live on their land in a hut rent-free. Starting three years ago, Myat has experienced pain in his lower right abdomen whenever lifting something heavy and now the pain is more regular. At the beginning of December, the pain in his lower right abdomen increased and became constant. His neighbor lent him 50,000 kyat (approx. $50 USD) and told him to seek treatment at Mawlamyine Christian Leprosy Hospital (MCLH). Myat traveled to the hospital and was admitted right away. A doctor completed a physical examination, diagnosed him with an inguinal hernia, and told him that he would need surgery. When Myat told the doctor that he cannot afford to pay for it, the doctor referred him to our medical partner Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF) for assistance accessing treatment. “When I recover, I want to sell traditional medicine again,” Myat shared with a renewed sense of hope that he might be able to finally have surgery.
U Hla is a 43-year-old man from Burma. He lives with his wife, three sons and a three-year-old daughter in Mon State. His sons go to school, while he and his wife collect recyclable plastic items and sell it to a recycling plant to earn a living. In his free time, U Hla enjoys growing vegetables in their garden. In October, U Hla was walking around his hut barefoot when he stepped on a piece of glass that cut his right toe. He could not afford to go to a clinic or a hospital and, over time, the injury became infected. His right toe is swollen and has turned blue. He cannot put any weight on his toe and has to use a wheelchair. Due to the pain, he cannot work as much as he needs to and he shared that since the end of November, he had to take his sons out of school to help him earn enough income for them to survive. Fortunately, our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is helping U Hla receive treatment. On December 16th, surgeons will perform a debridement to help his infection heal so that he can go back to work and his sons can go back to school. Now, U Hla needs help to fund this $694 procedure. “I really miss my children and I want to see them,” said U Hla. "After I recover, I will go back to work and plant more vegetables. My garden is small, but I want to grow more vegetables and sell it to earn more money. I want to support my family as much as I can."
U Hla is a 42-year-old man from Burma. He lives in a monastery with his daughter in Mon State. U Hla spends most of him time volunteering at the monastery, cooking and cleaning for the monks. Sometimes, he works as a motorcycle taxi driver. His daughter goes to school and the abbot pays for her school fees. For the past 20 years, U Hla has suffered from recurring infections. Two weeks ago, he developed an ulcer on his backside and now U Hla is in pain and he cannot sleep well. Fortunately, our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is helping U Hla receive treatment. On October 28th, surgeons will perform a debridement to help the ulcer heal and stop him from being in pain. Now, U Hla needs help to fund this $694 procedure. "I just want to be healthy and live with my family happily,” U Hla said.
Daw Tin is a 59-year-old farmer from Burma. She lives with her husband, son and daughter-in-law in Mon State. She and her husband are tenant farmers, but since she hurt her right toe, she cannot work. In her free time, she enjoys growing flowers and vegetables. Seven years ago, Daw Tin was diagnosed with diabetes but was unable to access regular treatment for her condition. One month ago, she noticed that she had a blood blister on the big toe of her right foot. Her toe was also achy, and she decided that she would prick the blister with a needle to drain it. Over the next couple of days, the drained blister turned into an ulcer. Currently, Daw Tin’s right big toe is swollen and discoloured, and she is in pain. She cannot farm and she cannot help with household chores. At night, she cannot sleep because she is constantly worried about her right foot and their financial problems. Fortunately, our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is helping Daw Tin receive treatment. On October 28th, surgeons will perform a debridement to help her go back to work and stop her from being in pain. Now, Daw Tin needs help to fund this $694 procedure. “I want to have my own farm in the future,” said Daw Tin. “Thank you so much to the donors.”
Thidar is a 47-year-old woman from Burma. She lives with her husband, son and daughter in Mon State. Thidar is a homemaker while her daughter goes to school. Since schools closed due to the recent coup and COVID-19, she now looks after her daughter and does the household chores. Thidar’s husband is too ill to work, and their son is a day laborer. One month ago, Thidar noticed that the back and inner part of her left calf was red and swollen. When she went to Mawlamyine Christian Leprosy Hospital (MCLH) to have her calf checked, she was admitted and diagnosed with cellulitis. She was given daily injections of antibiotics and when she was discharged, the doctor gave her oral medication and told her to come back if her condition worsened. At first, Thidar felt better, but three weeks later, her left calf became swollen and painful. She also developed a blister on her inner calf and at the back of her calf. Although she wanted to go back to the hospital, her family did not have any money. Ten days after her symptoms returned, her son sold his motorcycle and brought her back to MCLH. The doctor examined her and saw that her blisters had now turned into ulcers. She underwent surgery to clean the ulcers and remove any necrotic tissues. After the surgery, a nurse cleaned and dressed her left calf every day. A few days later, the doctor checked her left calf and saw that her calf was not healing well. The doctor told Thidar she would need to undergo another surgery to clean and remove necrotic tissue. When Thidar told the doctor she had no money left to pay for another surgery, the doctor referred her to our medical partner Burma Children Medical Fund for assistance accessing further treatment. Currently, Thidar’s left calf is in pain and swollen. She cannot do household chores and she is worried about their debt, as they have had to borrow money for her treatment, and they already owe money they borrowed to buy a house. Fortunately, our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is helping Thidar receive treatment. On October 22nd, surgeons will perform a debridement to help Thidar to be free from pain and able to resume her regular work. Now, Thidar's family needs help to fund this $694 procedure. Thidar said, “When I recover, I will raise pigs to earn money and pay back our debts. I will also have money for our everyday needs this way.”
U Ghwe is a 70-year-old man who lives with his wife and granddaughter in Burma. His wife is ill and not able to look after household chores most of the time. His granddaughter is a student in grade 12, but since her school is closed right now, she looks after the household chores. U Ghwe is a weaver and primarily makes bamboo baskets used to carry materials for construction. The family also fishes and raises chickens. Four years ago, U Ghwe had a stroke which left the muscles in his right foot very stiff. Although he can walk, he cannot wear sandals comfortably and instead goes barefoot. About a month ago, while cutting bamboo for weaving, he felt something bite the sole of his right foot. When he got home that evening, his foot was painful, itchy, red and swollen. Unfortunately, he did not have money to seek treatment at a clinic and eventually, the wound developed into an abscess filled with pus. A family member finally recommended that he visit our medical partner's care center for further examination and treatment. After examination, a doctor diagnosed him with an ulcer and told him that he has diabetes. The doctor shared with him that any injury U Ghwe sustains will not heal easily. His doctor has recommended surgery to clean the ulcer and help it to heal. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), is helping U Ghwe receive the recommended treatment. On October 7th, he will undergo a wound debridement procedure at BCMF's care center to help his wound heal. Now, he needs help raising $694 to fund his procedure and care. U Ghwe shared, "I do not know how long my daughter will not be able to [give] me money. Today, my daughter called me and said that my son-in-law will need to have surgery so she cannot send me money. I am the only one who can earn an income, so if I do not feel better, I will not be able to work. I am interested in working with wood. If was younger, I would learn and become a carpenter but now I feel I am too old."
Cho is a 50-year-old woman who lives with her husband and their three children in Burma. Cho is a homemaker, and her three children are students. However, their school is currently closed due to the ongoing political and humanitarian crisis in the country. Her husband used to work as a day labourer in Mawlamyine City but stopped working a few months ago because he was afraid of the military arresting him. To support his family, he goes fishing everyday near their village. From selling any surplus fish, he is able to earn about 100,000 kyat (approx. 100 USD) per month. This income is not enough to cover their daily needs or pay for basic health care, but they are working hard to get by. A few months ago, Cho noticed that she had a blister on her left heel. A few days later it burst and became an ulcer. Although she wanted to see a doctor, most of the public clinics and hospitals were closed, and she also could not afford to pay for treatment at them. In early September 2021, she went to a pharmacy nearby to buy medication for her diabetes but they could only provide her with painkillers and cleaning solution for the wound. At home, Cho cleaned the ulcer, but it continued to worsen. One day, her neighbour told her to go to Mawlamyine Christian Leprosy Hospital (MCLH), where she could receive affordable and good services. Cho borrowed money and went to MCLH. She was admitted on September 28th 2021, and the doctor examined her left heel and saw that her heel was swollen and that the ulcer had pus in it. The doctor then scheduled her to undergo surgery on September 30th 2021 to clean the ulcer and remove any necrotic tissue so she can heal. Our care center is requesting $694 to fund of Cho's wound debridement surgery, including her hospital stay and all other medical costs. Currently, Cho is in a lot of pain. When the temperature is cooler, especially at night, the pain worsens. If she does not take pain medication, she cannot sleep at night. Cho said, "When I heard donors may support my surgery, I felt very happy. Even though we have not met you in person, I want to thank you so much for helping me. I just want to live a healthy and happy life with my family.”
Maung is a 43-year-old father from Burma with two daughters. He used to work as a boatman, ferrying people to and from the island across from where they live; however, he had to stop working two years ago when a stroke weakened the left side of his body. Maung's mother supported the family until she developed severe diabetes and can now only provide them with rice. Maung's daughters are students; however, due to the current wave of COVID-19 infections and teachers protesting the country's recent coup, all schools are closed. As a result, his youngest daughter is looking after household chores, while his oldest daughter has found work to support the family. She works as a shop vendor and earns about 80,000 kyats (approx. $80 USD) per month. Maung's family shared that their current income is insufficient to cover daily needs or basic health care. About a month and a half ago, Maung's left toe became very itchy, and, eventually, the skin turned red and darkened further around his toe. Initially, Maung thought the skin was healing; however, the skin became hot, itchy, and painful. The area on his left toe later turned black, with the surrounding skin reddening. Maung was unable to see a doctor due to his family's limited income. Currently, the pain in his left toe makes it difficult to sleep and get around. Fortunately, in mid-September, Maung's relatives came to visit the family. When they saw Maung's toe, they were able to help him visit our medical partner's care center, Mawlamyine Christian Leprosy Hospital (MCLH). On September 21st, doctors examined Maung's toe and ordered a blood test. He was diagnosed with diabetes and gangrene on his left big toe. Maung will need to undergo surgery to clean and remove the necrotic tissue and help him heal. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $694 to fund this procedure. Maung shared, "After surgery, I will no longer be in pain ... I will try to find some work to support my family."
Myint is a 57-year-old man who lives by himself in a village in Burma. His wife lives in Thailand, but since she lost her work due to COVID-19, she hasn't been able to send back money for basic things like she usually does. They are in a hard postion because she also cannot come back to Burma because she doesn’t feel safe because of civil war that has started. Myint is a day labourer who earns 3,000 kyat (approx. 3 USD) per day. His monthly income of 100,000 kyat (approx. 100 USD) is not enough to cover his daily expenses nor pay for basic health care. Last month, Myint went out fishing and he caught a catfish. While he tried to hang the fish, the catfish fell onto his left instep. The catfish’s fin which is poisonous injured his left instep. He went to small clinic and got treatment. But his wound did not improve and instead he had swelling and it become infected. The village clinic doctor told him if the wound is not improve to go to see the specialist. Since he didn't have money, Myint went to visit a monk to seek the treatment. The monk gave him traditional medicine (an herb) for the wound. However, after using the traditional medicine for one month, his foot continued to worsen. Eventually, his friend recommended that he seek treatment at Mawlamyine Christian Leprosy Hospital (MCLH). At the hospital, the doctor examined his foot and saw that he had developed an ulcer. The doctor said that they would need to perform surgery on his ulcer to clean it properly and remove any damaged or necrotic tissue. When Myint told the doctor he had no money to pay for the surgery, the doctor referred him to our Medical Partner Burma Children Medical Fund for assistance accessing further treatment. Currently, Myint’s left foot is swollen and the skin around his ulcer is discoloured. He cannot sleep well at night due to the pain. He also has difficulty sleeping due to worrying about his foot and his economic situation. He is worried that if his leg has to be amputated, he will not be able to earn money to support his family. He's trying to remain hopeful and told us, “In the future I would like to grow and sell mushrooms so that I can support my family financially.”
Thidar is a 43-year-old woman who lives with her husband and two daughters in Burma. She is a homemaker while her two daughters are students. However, the school in their village is closed due to the teachers being on strike following the country's coup earlier this year. Thidar was diagnosed with diabetes 13 years ago, and recently noticed that her toe on her left foot was becoming black. After visiting a local clinic, Thidar was diagnosed with having an ulcer and was prescribed medication as treatment. Unfortunately, the ulcer was not responding to medication and various treatments. Thidar then was advised to visit an hospital where the doctor's further noticed more of her toes were swollen and black as well. Thidar was diagnosed with gangrene, a rare infection where blood flow does not reach your extremities. Our medical partner, the Burma Children Medical Fund is requesting $694 for surgery on Thidar's foot to treat the gangrene. Currently, Thidar is in pain especially at night. She is unable to sleep well and is worried about her foot and her family's financial situation. She told us, "In the future I want to open a shop in my home,” she said. “Thank you so much to all the donors and supporters.”
Thein is a 45-year-old man from who lives with his mother and two younger brothers in Burma. He and his brothers are day laborers, but unfortunately, Thein had to stop working after a foot injury. In his free time, he likes to help by cleaning their house. In August 2021, Thein was cleaning a fish pond when he injured his right foot. At home, his foot became itchy and when he woke up the next day, he saw a small blister and some swelling. He visited two different clinics, but the oral medications and the injections he received did not help. At the third clinic he went to, a doctor applied an ointment to his foot which was turning black and becoming more itchy. The doctor told him they would have to amputate his foot if the ointment did not work. Luckily, a neighbor referred Thein to our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), just in time. On September 14th, doctors at BCMF's care center will perform a wound debridement procedure to treat the infection in his foot. Now, Thein needs help raising $694 to fund his procedure. Thein shared, "my mother is worried about me because if my right foot is amputated, I will not be able to take care of her in the future. When I recover, I will try to work and support my family."
Ma Nwe is a 33-year-old woman who lives with her husband and two daughters in Burma. Her eldest daughter goes to school, while she looks after the youngest daughter at home. Her husband is a day laborer, but unfortunately, due to economic difficulties brought on by COVID-19 and the military coup in Burma, her husband cannot find work every day. The income he earns is not enough to cover the family's daily expenses or pay for basic health care. Two weeks ago, Ma Nwe was boiling water and sitting near the stove while her daughter played nearby. Her daughter accidentally bumped into the pot on the stove, causing it to spill the boiling water on Ma Nwe's left foot. Right away, Ma Nwe ran cold water over her foot and applied chicken fat to her burnt skin. The next day, she went to see a traditional healer who applied medicine to her foot. However, her foot has become infected and she has developed an ulcer. She is in pain and has difficulty sleeping. Due to her injury, she cannot look after her daughters or do household chores. Ma Nwe's husband’s grandmother recommended that she visit our medical partner's care center. On September 2nd, Ma Nwe visited the care center of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), for treatment. There, the doctor examined her foot, drained her ulcer, and ordered a blood test. Since her foot is badly infected, the doctor recommended that she undergo a wound debridement as soon as possible. Ma Nwe will have the procedure on September 9th. Now, she needs help to raise $694 to fund her procedure and care. Ma Nwe shared, "I want to recover as quickly as possible so that I can be with my daughters again. I want to play with them."