“Chit is extremely fatigued and feels heart palpitations on the left side of her chest,” explains our medical partner, Burma Border Projects. “She has a hard time taking care of her niece and parents because she is so weak and tired.”
Chit, a 19-year old woman who lives with her family in Thailand, has a congenital heart condition called atrial septal defect (ASD). ASD refers to a hole in the wall separating the top two chambers (atria) of Chit’s heart, allowing oxygenated and deoxygenated blood to mix. The defect forces her heart and lungs to work harder to provide oxygenated blood to the body, causing fatigue and heart palpitations. Without treatment, the right side of Chit’s heart will grow larger and become weaker, and the blood pressure in her lungs will increase.
Chit’s two older brothers work as day laborers near the Thai-Burma border, but the work is inconsistent, and all of the money that they earn is needed to buy food for the family. As a result, Chit, who had to stop working when she got sick, has no money to pay for the life-saving surgery that she needs.
For $1500, Chit can receive cardiac catheterization to repair the ASD. In this surgical procedure, doctors use imaging to thread a catheter (a thin, flexible tube inserted into a blood vessel) from the groin to the hole in the heart. They position a mesh patch contained within the catheter to close the hole between the atria and then remove the catheter. Over time, heart tissue grows into and around the mesh to permanently close the hole. Funding for Chit’s treatment also includes transportation and post-operative hospital care.
“Chit hopes that after surgery she can return to normal life without being tired and in pain,” says Burma Border Projects. “She plans to work again and take care of her elderly parents.” Let’s help Chit achieve her goals!