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.
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 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.
Aung Shin is a 65-year-old man from Burma who lives at home with his wife and two of their seven children. He works as a farmer and carpenter, but his income is inconsistent. Aung Shin has been living with an uncomfortable urinary condition. He first received help three years ago, when he was evaluated and received surgery. The initial surgery was successful, but his symptoms have recently reappeared. With the reappearance of his symptoms, he visited a local hospital for an ultrasound, blood tests, and urinalysis. The ultrasound revealed an enlargement of his prostate and a mass in his urethra. He then visited our medical partner's care center. There, medics examined him and diagnosed his condition as benign hypertrophy of the prostate, or abnormal enlargement of the prostate. To confirm the diagnosis, doctors have scheduled for Aung Shin to undergo a CT scan on February 7. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $469 to pay for the scan. After this scan, his doctors will be able to develop a treatment plan. Aung Shin says, “I am just hoping to regain my health so I can work better."
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.
Ma Kyi is a 15-year-old girl from Burma. She and her parents have lived in Hpa-an their whole lives. They own their own farm, where they grow rice and beans to sell. When Ma Kyi was born, she had a mass between her eyes. Her parents did not seek treatment for the mass, as it did not cause her any health problems. They also could not afford treatment. This condition has significantly impacted Ma Kyi's life. She stopped attending school five years ago because she feels self-conscious about her appearance. Since then, she has been helping her parents around the house. Recently, a friend of her mother referred the family to our medical partner's care center, Mae Tao Clinic (MTC). She told them that MTC would be able to provide treatment for Ma Kyi. Soon after arriving at the clinic, Ma Kyi began to work with our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund. Ma Kyi's condition is formally known as frontoethmoidal encephalomeningocele, or FEEM. Brain fluid and tissue are protruding through her skull. She will be receiving surgery to correct the FEEM on February 5. Now, her family needs help to raise $1,500 to fund this surgery. After recovery, May Kyi plans to return to school.
Ma Nyein is a dressmaker who lives with her son and extended family in Burma. In early 2016, Ma Nyein had an accident in her home, which resulted in chronic, severe pain on the left side of her head and numbness in her left eye. She was no longer able to work as a dressmaker. After the use of prescribed painkillers did not help, she consulted an eye surgeon. After numerous diagnostic procedures, Ma Nyein was found to have a large cyst on her optic chiasm. The optic chiasm is the point in the brain where the optic nerves cross. The optic nerves are pathways that carry information from the eyes to the brain. The cyst on Ma Nyein’s optic chiasm needs to be surgically removed. On February 8, Ma Nyein will undergo a cyst excision procedure. She needs help to fund this $1,500 surgery. Ma Nyein says, "I am excited to have surgery and get well soon. I plan to start sewing as soon as I recover from this illness."
Saw Ku is an 18-year-old student. Four years ago, he developed a tiny growth on his cheek that was not painful or sore. However, the growth grew more serious with time. After investigative testing, he was referred to our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF). Currently, the mass on his cheek is itchy and uncomfortable. It prevents him from washing his face and sleeping on his side. Furthermore, it also causes him to feel social anxiety. Fortunately, Saw Ku will undergo a mass removal procedure on February 14. BCMF is requesting $1,500 to fund this treatment. Saw Ku says, "I want to finish my Bible school and become a pastor."
Chit Sandar is 21 months old and lives with her older brother, mother, and grandparents in a village in Burma. Her father works in Bangkok to support the family. At six months of age, Chit Sandar became sick with a fever. She was brought to the hospital, where she was diagnosed with hydrocephalus, a condition in which excess cerebrospinal fluid accumulates in the brain. Although Chit Sandar is eating well, she has experienced loss of consciousness, fatigue, and sunken eyes. She was referred to our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF). On February 14, doctors will perform a shunt insertion surgery to drain the fluid from her brain. Chit Sandar's parents cannot afford treatment, so BCMF is requesting $1,500 to help fund this procedure.
Kyaw Thet is a 14-year-old boy from Burma, where he currently attends school. While riding on his motorbike, he got into an accident. Kyaw Thet sustained a broken leg, external wounds on his legs and the back of his head, and internal injuries. He underwent surgery and followup treatment in two hospitals in Burma. After he was discharged from the hospital, Kyaw Thet still experienced urinary dysfunction. With support from Watsi, Kyaw Thet has undergone several helpful [procedures](https://watsi.org/profile/3890954ea99b-kyaw-thet) to treat his urological condition. However, he is once again experiencing difficulty urinating. Kyaw Thet has been diagnosed with bladder trauma. His doctor has decided to dilate his urethra through a urethrotomy procedure. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund Kyaw Thet's procedure on January 25. Kyaw Thet says, "I thought I would not need any more surgeries. I am very sad because it keeps on coming back. I hope this will be the last time. I can't wait to get back to normal life."
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.