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.
Yar Blu is an 18-month-old baby girl from Burma. She lives in a refugee settlement with her parents and eight older siblings. Her oldest siblings are in Bible school, and her other siblings are enrolled in the camp's school. Her father works as a medic to support their family, and up until giving birth to Yar Blu, her mother taught in the camp. When Yar Blu was born, doctors noticed a small mass on the bridge of her nose, and recommended she return for surgery when she was three months of age. She has now been diagnosed with encephalocele, a defect in neural tube formation. On June 25 Yar Blu will undergo correctional surgery at Maharaj Nakorn Chiang Mai Hospital, our medical partner's care center. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is asking for $1,500 to cover the cost of her operation. After surgery, Yar Blu and her family are looking forward to a speedy recovery!
Htay is a 30-year-old woman who lives in Thailand with her husband and four children. While she and her second oldest daughter work as day laborers on corn and chili plantations, Htay's husband recently had to quit his job in order to look after their two youngest children at home. After giving birth to her youngest child, Htay received an intrauterine device (IUD) as part of her family planning. Recently she experienced severe abdominal pain and vomiting. Her neighbor, concerned for her health, sent Htay to Mae Tao Clinic. There she was referred to our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), as an emergency case. BCMF is requesting $1500 to fund an abdominal hysterectomy for Htay. The procedure is scheduled to take place on June 24 and, once completed, will hopefully relieve Htay from her recent pain and discomfort.
Nyunt is a 53-year-old woman who lives with her husband and her daughter’s family in Burma. They own a paddy field and several farm animals that they use to support their family. A few months ago, Nyunt began noticing chest pain and experiencing difficulty breathing and a dry cough. She currently has trouble sleeping because of the pain, and her condition has made it very difficult for Nyunt to work and care for her grandchildren. She travelled from her home village to the hospital where medics performed an X-ray and told her that she appeared to have a lesion in her lungs. She likely has a pleural effusion, a buildup of fluid in the tissues that line the chest and the lungs, although her condition could also be linked to lung cancer. To be sure, doctors have recommended that Nyunt receive a CT scan in order to more accurately diagnose her condition. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $414 to cover the cost of a CT scan for Nyunt. The scan is scheduled for July 3 and, once completed, will hopefully provide Nyunt with clarity and peace of mind regarding her condition. "I wish to get better as soon as possible to return to farming and spending time with my family," says Nyunt.
Blet is a 30-year-old woman from Burma who works as a farmer in order to support her elderly parents, daughter, niece, and nephew. In early June, Blet was hit in the nape of her neck by a tight bunch of bamboo as she was trying to pull the bunch apart. While she resumed working, Blet noticed dizziness and pain three days later when she was eating a snack. She hoped that the discomfort would get better on its own, but, six days later, her pain intensified to the point where she now feels as though her head might explode. Breathing is difficult, her left leg and hand tremble and ache, walking is slow and tough, and her right eye is swollen shut. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $414 to fund a CT scan for Blet in order to properly diagnose her condition. The scan is scheduled for July 4 and, once completed, will hopefully provide Blet with clarity regarding her current symptoms.
Phyo is an 11-year-old girl from Burma who lives with her parents. Her parents work in a paddy field, cultivating rice mainly for home consumption and occasionally for sale. When Phyo was one month old, her parents noticed that her right eye appeared white and cloudy. They never sought medical care at the time, particularly because they believed that surgery might worsen Phyo's condition and did not have the resources to focus on Phyo's eyesight. Phyo was recently diagnosed with congenital cataracts, which have caused her to develop partial blindness. Her cataracts have now greatly affected her ability to learn, as her schoolteacher has refused to educate her because of her condition and special needs. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund cataract surgery for Phyo. The procedure is scheduled to take place on June 27 and, once completed, will hopefully restore Phyo's vision to as great of an extent as possible, allowing her to continue with her studies. "I enjoy reading and I am always found studying at home. I hope to be a teacher when I grow up," adds Phyo.
Aung is a 20-year-old who lives in Burma with his family. His father runs a tea shop where Aung used to work before he got sick. About a month ago, Aung was in a motorcycle accident and sustained injuries to his head, chest, neck, and back. Five ribs on his left side and six ribs on his right side were fractured, and he cannot move either of his legs. He also sustained a perforation through his chest and back. In order to remove the abscesses that Aung had in his hip and thigh bone, doctors had to cut away Aung's left thigh bone. He has unfortunately additionally developed bedsores on other areas of his body. Aung sold one of his houses to cover some of his medical costs, however he needs further help to fund his hospital care. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $851 to fund surgery for Aung, which is scheduled to take place on July 6. Aung requires a local rotation flap surgery in order to treat his bedsores. Following treatment, some of Aung's discomfort will hopefully be alleviated. "I thought that there was no hope for my condition to get better, but I very feel happy as there is a hope to care my bed-sore and now I feel relieved as my condition is improving," shares Aung.
Aung is a 31-year-old man from Burma. When Aung was 20, he began to experience inexplicable weakness in his lower limbs. After walking for even a short distance, he would fall down. By the time he turned 22, he could no longer walk. Aung's paralysis has caused him to spend his waking hours sitting, which causes pressure sores, also called ulcers. Sometimes these sores become infected and Aung is required to seek antibiotic treatment. He hopes to find a way to heal this sore. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $851 to fund Aung's treatment. Surgeons will remove the ulcerous tissue on July 6, relieving Aung of his infection and pain. "I hope to open up a shop where I will repair broken TV, VCR, and DVD-players and can generate income for my family," Aung says.
Aung is a 22-year-old living in Mae Sot, Thailand with his mother and older brother. Sadly, Aung's father passed away many years ago. Aung and his brother have been working together as blacksmiths that build roofs and chairs. A month ago, Aung got a small cut on the big toe of his right foot. Considering it to be only a small cut, Aung did not seek treatment and continued to walk. However after two weeks, his toes started to blacken. Aung tried some traditional Burmese medicine to no avail. His infection spread and his foot is now black up to his ankle, with a hole and maggots in it. The pain is so severe that Aung is unable to walk and work. There is no other choice than to amputate his leg. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to help fund Aung's amputation. The surgery is scheduled to take place on June 30 and, if all goes well, Aung will be able to recover smoothly. Aung remains optimistic, saying, "I am hoping to be able to continue working and someday being a manager after I recover."
Thet is a 19-year-old farmer who lives with his family in a village in Mon State, Burma. His family owns a rubber tree farm where they harvest the sticky resin and create rubber sheets to sell. A few months ago, Thet began feeling tired and experiencing chest pain and difficulty breathing. Thet tried oral medication from a local hospital, however his symptoms still failed to improve and ultimately forced him to take leave from farming. A month later, Thet decided to go to a private clinic. Following the administration of an echocardiogram, doctors diagnosed Thet with an atrial septal defect, or a hole in the wall between the two upper chambers of his heart. The cost of surgery was too high, so Thet returned to his home without treatment. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to repair the defect in Thet's heart. The procedure is scheduled to take place on July 10 and, once completed, will greatly improve Thet's quality of life. Thet worries about his family’s finances and hopes to be able to go back to work as soon as possible. He looks forward to being able to save up for his future, saying, “I would like to save some money first, and then later have children."
Meet Zaw, a 44-year-old man from Burma. He has lived in a Buddhist temple for fifteen years, ever since his wife passed away. He receives no income from the temple, but is provided with food and a place to sleep. In his spare time, Zaw enjoys making small handicrafts, such as bamboo umbrellas. Four months ago, Zaw started coughing up blood. His local doctor put him on oral medication for three months. However, Zaw began to feel extremely tired, and breathing was becoming difficult for him. Further exams—a tuberculosis test, an x-ray, and an ECG—have come back negative, but Zaw’s symptoms continued to worsen. Today, he still has a hard time breathing, has no appetite, and is severely underweight. Zaw’s current physician is not sure whether he has lung cancer or chronic lung disease. In order to determine this, and to decide on an appropriate treatment plan, Zaw’s doctors need him to undergo a CT scan. Although Zaw has no money to pay for this test, we can raise the $414 he needs. This will cover his CT scan on July 11, as well as his pre- and post-scan appointments. Let’s make sure Zaw’s doctors have all of the information they need.
Yar is a 40-year-old woman from Burma. She is unemployed and lives with her 70-year-old father. After experiencing severe stomach pains, Yar recently underwent abdominal surgery at a local hospital. A few days into recovery, she noticed that her incision did not appear to be healing properly. She returned to the hospital, where they discovered that her intestine was protruding through the wound. On July 19, surgeons will operate on Yar's abdomen to address the improperly healing wound. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, requests $1,500 to cover her treatment. In the future, Yar looks forward to recovering and regaining independence. "I hope to raise pigs and chickens for a source of income once I am recovered," she says.
Kyaw is a 52-year-old rice farmer and father who lives with his family in Burma. Seven years ago, Kyaw began experiencing difficulty breathing, blocked nasal passageways, decreased sense of smell, and began having headaches. After a year of living with these symptoms, his condition worsened and he noted a mass in his nose. His condition makes it uncomfortable to attend social events and difficult to work. On July 20, doctors will perform a CT scan to figure out what is causing Kyaw's symptoms, and decide upon a treatment plan. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $414 to cover Kyaw's scan and care. Kyaw looks forward to life after treatment, saying, "I like to meditate and in the future, when my condition is treated, I dream of continuing to work and also work as a carpenter. I also wish to practice more of my religion, Buddhism."