Ree is a 44-year-old man who lives with his wife, two sons, and his daughter in Mae Ra Ma Laung Refugee Camp in Thailand. Ree and his family used to live in a village in Hpa-pun Township in Karen State, Burma. However, due to conflict between armed groups in his area, they fled to the refugee camp in 2006.
Every month Ree’s family receives 1,244 baht (approx. 42 USD) from The Border Consortium (TBC), an organization that provides support to refugees in camps. He also works as a caregiver for the elderly in the camp, for the organization Catholic Office for Emergency Relief and Refugees. He earns 1,100 baht (approx. 37 USD) each month for this. All of his children go to school in the camp while his wife works as a cook at one of the schools.
On March 14, 2020, Ree slipped and fell on his right forearm while he was carrying a heavy load. When he got up, he was not able to move his right hand and he thought he had broken his forearm. Ree did not seek help at the camp’s medical centre and instead wrapped traditional herbal medicine onto his right forearm. As time passed, Ree could still not use his right arm and the pain in his arm did not go away. Eventually, on May 10th, he went to the camp’s hospital, run by Malteser International Thailand (MI). At the hospital, he was diagnosed with a fractured right forearm that had not healed properly. He was referred to the local Mae Sariang Hospital and received an x-ray on May 12th. The result indicated that he had fractured one of the two bones in his forearm. The doctor at the hospital then referred Ree to Watsi’s Medical Partner Care Center Chiang Mai Hospital (CMH) for further management and treatment. The following day, MI staff brought Ree to CMH. Once he met with the doctor, the doctor told him that he will need to receive surgery for his arm to heal properly. Currently, Ree is still in pain and his right arm is sore and not in use.
With the help of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, Ree will undergo surgery to reset his fractured bones and ensure proper healing. The procedure is scheduled for May 21st and will cost $1,500. His arm will no longer be in pain and he hopes he will be able to go back to his old job helping the elderly in the refugee camp.
While smiling he said, “I have been struggling to do tasks for the past month without using my right hand which is hard as I am right handed. I cannot wait to use my right arm again!”