Snow is a 20-year-old woman who likes to play volleyball and the violin, listen to music, and weave traditional Karen clothes for herself.
She currently lives with 36 other female students in her school’s dormitory, which is located in Burma. Originally from Mae La Oon Refugee Camp in Thailand, where her family still lives, she moved to the dormitory to study Women’s Leadership and Management at the beginning of this year. At the dormitory and school run by Karen Women’s Organization (KWO), she receives free food, tuition, and accommodations. Although she does not have a source of income, all of her basic needs are covered by KWO. After she graduates in April 2023, Snow plans to work with KWO for two years before moving back to the refugee camp to live with her family.
This past June, Snow woke up feeling bloated in her abdominal area. A few days later, she also began experiencing pain in her lower left abdomen. After notifying a teacher, she was brought in to the free clinic, where she received an ultrasound and was informed that she has a cyst located on the left side of her lower abdomen. The medic notified her teacher that Snow would need to go across the border to Thailand to visit our medical partner's care center, Mae Sariang Hospital, for further investigation.
When Karen Department of Health and Welfare (KDHW) was finally able to arrange transportation for Snow, she arrived at a KDHW safe house in Mae Sariang on August 1st. She visited Mae Sariang Hospital with a KDHW staff member the following day. After receiving an ultrasound and a blood test, Snow was diagnosed with an ovarian cyst on her left ovary.
The doctor told her that she would need to undergo surgery to remove her left ovary. She may also require a partial hysterectomy, which is a procedure to remove the uterus, since the cyst is very large. However, they will only remove her uterus if absolutely necessary since they want to ensure she has the ability to have children in the future if she chooses to. Since Snow does not have a source of income, she is not able to fund her needed treatment on her own.
Fortunately, KDHW staff referred her to our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), for assistance in accessing further treatment. Snow is now scheduled to undergo an oophorectomy, the surgical removal of one or both of the ovaries, on August 10th. BCMF is requesting $1,005 to fund her needed surgery and care.
Snow has had to take time off from her studies to seek medical care, but she plans to resume once she receives treatment. She shares that both she and her family have been worried since they learned that she will need surgery.
Snow says, “I am worried about my condition, and I am worried that I will not recover. I have never been sick before, which makes me feel stressed about my condition.”