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.
Sha is an 11-year-old boy from Thailand. He lives with his two sisters and his father in Mae Sot, Tak Province. Sha and one of his sisters are students, while the other sister works in a factory. His father works as a construction worker. Unfortunately, their mother recently passed away. Sha likes fishing and playing football with his friends. Since April 2017, Sha has had an inguinal hernia. This hernia causes him pain, and he sometimes misses his classes. Fortunately, on February 5, he will undergo hernia repair surgery at Mae Sot General Hospital, our medical partner's care center. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund Sha's hernia repair surgery. The procedure is scheduled to take place on February 5 and, once completed, will hopefully allow him to live more comfortably. Sha said, “I like to go fishing with my friends and I can even catch a fish with my hands!”
Ko is a young student from Thailand. He lives with his parents in Phop Phra, Tak Province. He likes to play football during his free time. On February 6, Ko and his classmates went to a farm to pick chilis. On the way back to school, the students were all crowded into the back of a pickup truck. When they arrived at the school, all the students scrambled to jump out of the truck. In the chaos, someone stepped on the back of Ko’s shirt, causing him to lose his balance and fall out of the truck onto his right arm, fracturing it. Currently, Ko is in pain. His arm has temporarily been put into a splint. With the help of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, Ko will undergo surgery to reset his fractured bones and ensure proper healing. The procedure is scheduled for February 6 and will cost $1,500. The surgery will help Ko recover from pain so that he can return to school. Ko says, "I hope to have surgery soon so that I will be able to return to school and also after I am fully recovered I can play football with my friends again."
Mu is a 27-year-old farmer from Burma. She rents a patch of land with her husband and farms. She has two children. Mu experienced abdominal pain and visited Mae Tao Clinic, our medical partner's care center. She received medication, which temporarily alleviated the pain but did not eliminate her symptoms. She has been diagnosed with gallstone pancreatitis. Mu says, “It is a sharp pain and it comes on without warning. Sometimes I can feel it all the way in my back.” Mu has been advised to undergo a cholecystectomy, the surgical removal of the gallbladder. If left untreated, Mu's symptoms will continue to worsen and put her at risk for further health complications in the future. After seeking treatment through our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), Mu is scheduled to undergo her cholecystectomy on February 14. BCMF is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of Mu's procedure and care.
Kyaw is is a 48-year-old man from Burma. He lives in a village with his wife and six children. He owns a small subsistence farm. About two years ago, Kyaw began to experience troubling symptoms, including pain, bleeding, and bowel dysfunction. Finally, he visited Mae Sot Hospital, our medical partner's care center. His doctors believe that Kyaw has a mass in a sensitive area and have requested a CT scan to diagnose the condition. Doctors want Kyaw to undergo a CT scan, a procedure in which x-ray images taken from several angles are combined to produce cross-sectional images of the body. This scan will hopefully help doctors diagnose his condition and formulate an appropriate treatment plan. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $414 to cover the cost of Kyaw's CT scan and care, scheduled for February 9. Kyaw says, "Currently, I remain in pain and I am concerned about my family. I am unable to take care of my family farm and would like to get better so that I can return to work and to taking care of my family."
Phyo is a 21-year-old day laborer from Thailand. He lives with his wife and works on the sugar cane plantations harvesting cane. On February 13, Phyo was on the way to the market in a tractor-drawn cart. His hat blew off in the wind, and he jumped down from the tractor to pick it up. The driver of the tractor did not know he had gotten off, and the tractor drove over his lower right leg. Both his tibia and fibula were fractured. Phyo is in a lot of pain and cannot walk. With the help of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, Phyo will undergo surgery to reset his fractured bones and ensure proper healing. The procedure is scheduled for February 13 and will cost $1,500. After surgery, Phyo will be able to walk and return to his job again. Phyo says, “Once I am better, I will be able to continue working so I can save money for our future.”
Thein is a 41-year-old Burmese man. He lives with his wife, and together they have two children. He has been unable to work for the past two years. His family is now entirely reliant on his sister and brother-in-law’s income. His sister works as a grocer, while her husband works as a motorcycle taxi driver. Thein was diagnosed with a heart condition that involves a malformation of the mitral valve, the valve between the left atrium and left ventricle. This valve controls the flow of blood, but certain conditions may cause blood to flow backward or the valve to narrow. Currently, Thein experiences severe fatigue and heart palpitations. He cannot walk long distances. He usually has difficulty sleeping at night, constantly worrying about how he cannot afford to pay for surgery. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund a mitral valve replacement for Thein. The treatment is scheduled to take place on February 21 and, once completed, will hopefully allow him to live more comfortably. “I have two children and a wife who I can’t support but I really want to,” explains Thein solemnly. “My sister only has a small shop but is trying to support everyone, so I feel very bad that I can’t help out.”
Mi is a 38 year-old woman from Burma. She lives with her husband, her mother, and her uncle. She used to work as a seamstress, but due to her symptoms, she stopped working seven years ago. Her husband plants vegetables and sells them in the market. He is the only provider for the family. Mi was diagnosed with a heart condition that involves a malformation of the mitral valve, the valve between the left atrium and left ventricle. This valve controls the flow of blood, but certain conditions may cause blood to flow backward or the valve to narrow. She experiences severe fatigue and chest pain. She cannot sleep, and sometimes her vision gets blurry. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund a mitral valve replacement for Mi. The treatment is scheduled to take place on February 23 and, once completed, will hopefully allow her to live more comfortably. Mi says, “I want to stay with my family and open a bazaar shop in Myawaddy to sell everyday objects.”
Mue is a 37-year-old domestic worker from Burma. She lives with her parents, sister, brother-in-law, and two nephews. In her free time, she helps around the house as much as she can and takes care of her nephew. Five months ago, Mue started to experience pain in a sensitive area, which made sleeping and walking challenging. At the hospital, the doctor diagnosed her with abnormal cervical cells. Her condition has impacted her ability to work and make a living for herself and her family. Mue sought treatment through our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund. She is now scheduled to undergo mass removal surgery on March 6. She is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of her procedure and care. Mue said, “After surgery, I will return to Bangkok to keep working. I want to save money so I can open my own shop. Maybe I will sell mohinga and other snacks. I wake up early naturally, so I would be able to start the day at the shop early.”
Khaing is a 19-year-old farmer who lives his parents, two siblings, and cousin. In Khaing’s free time, he enjoys playing football and volleyball with friends. In the summer of 2017, Khaing noticed that he had difficulty breathing and was constantly having a runny nose. He visited the hospital, where the doctor diagnosed him with a nasal polyp. Khaing is now scheduled to undergo sinus surgery on March 5 to treat the condition. He needs help raising $1,500 to fund the procedure. Khaing said, “I feel self-conscience because it is not easy to go out, travel or visit others. I don’t feel happy so I would rather stay at home. I hope to get better so I can continue working as a farmer and pay back my family’s debt."
Lwin is a 61-year-old housewife from Burma. She used to rent a patch of land for farming, but a recent medical condition has forced her to stop working. Lwin's husband passed away and she has six adult children. Now Lwin lives with one of her daughters and son-in-law. Lwin experiences back pain if she sits for long periods, and she feels a tightness and discomfort in her upper abdomen. Eventually she went to Mae Tao Clinic, our medical partner's care center, to have her symptoms checked. The doctor diagnosed her with a large kidney stone and told her that she requires surgery to remove the stone. Lwin will undergo a shockwave lithotripsy on March 8. Now, she needs help raising $1,500 to fund this procedure. She says, "Now I have a small garden where I plant vegetables. When I was away for my treatment, I didn’t get to water my garden and when I returned home, I saw that the plants were all dry. It’s costly to visit the hospital very often and I have no time to look after my garden. I just want to have the treatment and fully recover from my symptoms so that I can work in my garden again."
Yoe is a 16-year-old day laborer from Burma. He lives with his parents, two brothers, and one sister in Karen State, Burma. Yoe's parents work as subsistence farmers, and his older brother works on a neighbor's farm. On March 4, Yoe was driving a friend home at night when they got into a motorbike accident. Yoe injured his left thigh, breaking his femur. He is not able to walk or work, and he is in a lot of pain. With the help of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, Yoe will undergo surgery to reset his fractured bones and ensure proper healing. The procedure is scheduled for March 5 and will cost $1,500. After treatment, he will be able to support his family again. Yoe said, “I am worried that if I do not receive medical treatment, I will not be able to find to work."
Wah is a 20-year-old man from Burma. Before his accident, Wah and his mother used to work as day laborers on different farms near their home village. In October 2017, Wah fell ill after working and decided to stay at a friend's house. His friend lives in a house on stilts. At night, he woke up with stomach pains, and when he went to the edge of the house to vomit, he suddenly lost consciousness and fell out of the house. Wah was found later that night, lying on the ground unconscious and with a broken arm caused by the fall. Shortly after the fall, Wah developed severe walking problems. After multiple visits to hospitals and clinics in Thailand, he was diagnosed with a possible brain tumor. Doctors want Wah to undergo a CT scan, a procedure in which x-ray images taken from several angles are combined to produce cross-sectional images of the body. This scan will hopefully help doctors diagnose his condition and formulate an appropriate treatment plan. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $414 to cover the cost of Wah's CT scan and care, scheduled for March 6. Wah's mother says, “I hope that Wah will be able to work with me in the fields and continue to enjoy playing football in our village again."