Medical assistance is inaccessible to many people living in Burma because of the high cost of treatment and lack of free healthcare. There are also an estimated 2 million Burmese people living in Thailand unable to access the Thai healthcare system.
BCMF is one of the few organizations that has a strong enough relationship with the relevant Thai authorities to facilitate the transportation to and treatment of Burmese people at Thai hospitals.
Myint is a 21-year-old man from Burma. His family farms beans and radishes in their village, and his parents also work periodically picking fruit. Myint aspires to become a police officer. When Myint was 17 years old, his peripheral vision started to fail. Over the subsequent two years, his vision continued to deteriorate. After an initial diagnosis of nerve inflammation, a CT scan revealed a benign mass on his pituitary gland. Following surgery, his condition improved. However, his vision problems returned six months ago. Now, he can only see shadows. He also experiences memory difficulties. These symptoms prevent him from living independently, studying, or working. Myint traveled to visit our medical partner's care center. On January 11, Myint will undergo an MRI scan, which will enable his doctor to plan further treatment. Myint’s mother is hopeful for her son's recovery, saying, "When my son was healthy, he enjoyed reading. Unlike now, he was very talkative. I hope that he will recover from this medical condition. I want him to graduate from university studies, and then he wants to become a senior police officer."
Moh Zin is a 19-year-old student from Burma. She was recently diagnosed with acquired hydrocephalus, a condition in which fluid builds up in the brain. With help from Watsi, Moh Zin underwent a [shunt insertion](https://watsi.org/profile/befae6021651-moh-zin), during which doctors inserted a device to drain the fluid from her brain. Prior to her surgery, Moh Zin experienced difficulty urinating and was unable to walk without assistance. She also experienced headaches that made it hard for her to sleep at night. However, after surgery, Moh Zin has been able to walk on her own and is no longer experiencing headaches, enabling her to sleep better. She is also enjoying an increased appetite. Her brother is elated to see his sister in better condition! To check whether the shunt is working properly, Moh Zin's doctor has requested a CT scan. The result of the scan will determine whether she will need another surgery. Moh Zin will be receiving the scan at our medical partner's care center, Maharaj Nakorn Chiang Mai Hospital, on January 16. Our medical partner is asking for $693 to fund Moh Zin's CT scan and hospital stay fees. "I am very happy to see my sister improving," says Moh Zin's brother. "I can't wait to know if she needs more treatment. We are very excited to go home."
Kar Aung is a one-year-old boy from Burma. One of six siblings, he lives with his mother, father, and older brother on a relative’s farm. His mother hopes that he will become a medic when he grows up. Hours after Kar Aung was born in September 2015, his mother noticed an abnormal growth on his nose. A few days later, she took him to a private clinic, where the doctors diagnosed Kar Aung with nasofrontal encephalocele. This neural tube defect, resulting from a failure of the neural tube to fully close during fetal development, causes protrusions of the brain through openings in the skull. Kar Aung and his mother returned to the clinic four times, at great financial cost. Each time, they received medication, but his symptoms never improved. Finally, Kar Aung’s father contacted our medical partner's care center, Mae Tao Clinic (MTC). In March of 2016, six-month-old Kar Aung and his parents made the long, expensive journey to MTC. Upon examination, Kar Aung was diagnosed with tuberculosis and nasofrontal encephalocele. “I worried that my son will not be cured, as I have never seen kids like this in my village,” Kar Aung’s mother says. “I will always love him." Fortunately, Kar Aung is scheduled to undergo corrective surgery on January 13. Our medical partner is requesting $1,500 to cover medications, surgery, transportation, and two weeks of hospital stay. When Kar Aung is fully recovered, he should be pain-free and able to see clearly.
15-year-old Soe was born with a ventricular septal defect (VSD), a hole in the lower chambers of his heart that disrupts the circulation of his blood. Since he was born, he has been in and out of hospitals with fevers and fatigue. Soe lives with his parents, younger brother, and younger sister in Burma. His mother takes care of his siblings at home. His father sells roti, an Indian flat bread, from a cart. Because of his symptoms, Soe has had difficulty regularly attending school. He left school after sixth grade. “Soe is very smart, works hard, and always got good grades, but he did not have enough energy to put in the time needed," says Soe's father. Then, in October 2016, Soe developed a very high fever. A clinician examined him and recommended surgery. On January 13, a surgeon will close the hole in Soe's heart. Our medical partner is asking for $1,500 to pay for the procedure, the surgeon's fees, four days of hospital stay, and one day of in-home care. When he recovers, Soe plans to play soccer with his friends and continue his studies, with the aim of becoming a religious leader in his community.
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."
Aye is an eight-month-old baby girl from Burma. She lives with her mother, two sisters, grandparents, and two uncles. Her father lives in Bangkok, where he works in a restaurant, sending his earnings home to his family. Aye was born with meningocele, a condition in which membranes that cover the spine and part of the spinal cord protrude through a bone defect in the vertebral column. When Aye was born, she was too young for treatment. Now that Aye is older, she is eligible for treatment. Aye's mother heard of our medical partner's care center, Mae Tao Clinic (MTC), from people in her village. On January 26, Aye will undergo a CT scan at MTC. Our medical partner is asking for $693 in funds to cover physician and hospital stay fees. Having a CT scan will allow Aye's doctor to better understand her condition and plan for further treatment, so she can grow up to be a happy, healthy child.
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.