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.
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."
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.
Yo Sue is a 24-year-old man who lives in a village in Burma. He lives with his mother, older brother, and cousin. The family farms and sells pigs and chickens. Yo Sue used to work as a security guard in Bangkok. However, he left his position when he started to experience vision problems. Yo Sue lost vision in his right eye when he was 14 years old. A cataract was diagnosed and surgically treated. The cataract replacement procedure was not successful, and he never recovered vision in his right eye. Recently, he began to experience vision problems with the left eye, causing him great concern. One day, Yo Sue was riding his motorbike and the bright sunlight made it difficult for him to see. When he arrived home and took off his helmet, his vision was blurred. Yo Sue visited his local clinic and was referred to our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), for further evaluation. His symptoms were blurred vision and lack of visual acuity. He was diagnosed with retinal detachment. The retina of his eye has separated from the layer underneath, allowing fluid to leak out of the eye behind the retina. Yo Sue's doctors recommended he have a vitrectomy to salvage his vision. Surgeons will clear the inner jelly, remove scar tissue, inject dense liquids to smooth the retina, and inject a gas or silicone oil to secure the retina in place as it heals. The procedure, supplies, medication, and three days of inpatient care costs $1,500. His procedure has been scheduled for February 27. Yo Sue will use eye drops for several weeks following surgery to help the recovery. Barring any complications in the procedure, he will have his vision restored. "I hope to restore my vision so that I can help my mother, brother, and cousin with the needs of the family," shares Yo Sue.
“I don’t want to be a burden to my family anymore,” Ko Day shares. “I just want to recover so I can work again.” Ko Day is a 59-year-old farmer from Burma. In 2013, he developed a very tiny growth under his left eyelid. The lump grew over time, until Ko Day was so alarmed by its size that that he sought treatment—first with healers in his village, then with a series of doctors in and outside of Burma. Ko Day underwent surgery to remove the growth from his eye on January 30, 2017. His doctors concluded from a biopsy that the mass contained orbital lymphoma, a type of blood cancer. In order to determine whether the cancer has spread to any lymph nodes, Ko Day needs to undergo a chest and abdominal CT scan on February 24. Though this diagnostic test is crucial to Ko Day’s survival, he cannot afford to pay for it on his own. Prior to his series of eye doctor visits, Ko Day had never left his village for healthcare due to the associated travel and medical costs. Now, he needs our help to raise the $469 necessary to fund his scan, as well as the three days of travel entailed in getting to the hospital in Thailand where he will have the procedure. Ko Day is grateful for the treatment that he has received so far through the aid of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund. Let’s help make sure his doctors have all the information they need to treat him.
Min Zaw is a 23-year-old man from Burma. He lives with his mother, sisters, and extended family. Min Zaw works on a rubber plantation to support his family. During downtime, Min Zaw enjoys listening to music. Min Zaw was born with poor vision in his right eye, which has always been blurry. A few months ago, he completely lost vision in his left eye after accidentally being kicked in his face while playing soccer. On March 2, Min Zaw will undergo eye surgery at our medical partner's care center, Maharaj Nakorn Chiang Mai Hospital, to repair his vision. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is asking for $1,500 to fund his surgery and accompanying physical, hospital, lab, and medication fees. After surgery, Min Zaw is looking forward to going back to work to support his family!
Meet Htoo, an 11-month-old baby boy from a village in Burma. He lives with his parents, sister, and his grandmother on a small piece of land that his grandmother owns. When Htoo was four days old, he developed a high fever and stroke-like symptoms. His mother took him to their local hospital, where Htoo was admitted and given intravenous medication over eight days before he was discharged. At four months of age, Htoo's mother noticed that his head was growing abnormally on the left side. She took Htoo back to the hospital and was given prescriptions for specialized medication. However, Htoo's head continued to swell. Htoo's mother took him to a private clinic to seek help. Doctors at the clinic referred Htoo to our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF). Htoo's mother traveled with her son for five days to reach our medical partner's care center, Maharaj Nakorn Chiang Mai Hospital, in Thailand. Once there, Htoo had a [CT scan](https://watsi.org/profile/37dbedd6b2b6-htoo) funded by Watsi and was diagnosed with congenital hydrocephalus. This is a medical condition in which excess cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) builds up in the brain cavities. Htoo will undergo brain surgery on March 4. Surgeons will perform a ventriculoperitoneal shunt insertion to remove the excess CSF and relieve pressure on the brain. BCMF is asking for $1,500 in donations to cover the costs of Htoo's surgery, hospital stay, and medication. This has been a difficult time for Htoo's family, but they look forward to Htoo recovering from his surgery. Htoo's mother says, "I hope he will be like a normal boy."
Eh Htoo is a seven-month-old baby boy from Burma. When Eh Htoo was born, his mother noticed a thumb-sized bump near the base of his spine. She took him to various government and private hospitals, where he was diagnosed with meningocele, also known as spina bifida, a condition in which parts of the spine do not form properly. Unable to afford treatment, Eh Htoo's family returned home. Through some villagers, Eh Htoo's mother learned about our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), and took him to their care center, Maharaj Nakorn Chiang Mai Hospital. On March 7, Eh Htoo will undergo an MRI, so doctors can better prepare for surgery to correct his spinal defect. BCMF is asking for $968 to cover the cost of this test. After his MRI, Eh Htoo's mother is looking forward to being one step closer to curing her son.
Htoo Myint is a 20-year-old-student from Burma. She is currently studying to become a teacher at Karen Teacher Training College. She lives with her parents and siblings. The family works together as subsistence farmers, raising crops for consumption. Since she was a baby, Htoo Myint has been living with mastoiditis, a condition in which an infection affects the middle ear, often causing severe headaches and other unpleasant symptoms. While she has sought treatment over the years, none have proven successful. On March 8, Htoo Myint will undergo a CT scan at our medical partner's care center, Maharaj Nakorn Chiang Mai Hospital, to help identify what is causing her condition. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is asking for $469 to fund her CT scan and the accompanying physician and medical supply costs. "I would like to return to school to become a teacher and work in my village helping my community," says Htoo Myint.
Meet Aye Nay from Burma. He is 65 years old and is a father of five children. Aye Nay works as a rice farmer, but he also farms nuts and durian fruit. He lives with his wife and his daughter's young family. Aye Nay is having difficulty breathing. Three years ago, he noticed a mass in his nostril. This mass has grown considerably in the last three months, to the point where Aye Nay can no longer breathe through his right nostril. Aye Nay went to a local clinic, but he was unable to be treated. He then visited a care center associated with our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF). Following several diagnostic tests, doctors have diagnosed Aye Nay with a nasal polyp. They want him to undergo a CT scan. A CT scan will enable doctors to pinpoint the size and location of the nasal polyp. BCMF has arranged for Aye Nay to have his CT scan on March 13. Due to his limited income, Aye Nay cannot afford to pay, so BCMF is asking for donations to cover the $414 CT scan. Aye Nay shares, "I want to be able to get well and look after my family."
Wai Thein lives with her husband and two young daughters in Karen State, Burma. She, her husband, and her older daughter work as agricultural day laborers. Her seven-year-old daughter attends school. Since June 2016, Wai Thein has been experiencing headaches, dizziness, and upper back muscle tension. She attributed this to fatigue and took medication to relieve the symptoms. However, Wai Thein is still experiencing severe headaches and neck pain. She is also unable to see clearly in her left eye. A local clinic referred her to our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF). On March 19, Wai Thein will undergo a CT scan so that doctors at BCMF can make an accurate diagnosis and recommend appropriate treatment. As Wai Thein has been ill, she has been unable to work. Her family members have had to borrow money to support themselves. Even though Wai Thein is anxious to find out what is wrong, she cannot afford to pay $693 for the CT scan and associated hospital costs. Wai Thein says, "I am hopeful that BCMF is able to help me get back to work, so that I can support my children."