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Soe is a student from Burma who needs $1,500 to fund heart surgery.

  • $1,195 raised, $305 to go
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January 8, 2017

15-year-old Soe was born with a ventricular septal defect (VSD), a hole in the lower chambers of his heart that disrupts the circulation of his blood. Since he was born, he has been in and out of hospitals with fevers and fatigue.

Soe lives with his parents, younger brother, and younger sister in Burma. His mother takes care of his siblings at home. His father sells roti, an Indian flat bread, from a cart. Because of his symptoms, Soe has had difficulty regularly attending school. He left school after sixth grade.

“Soe is very smart, works hard, and always got good grades, but he did not have enough energy to put in the time needed,” says Soe’s father.

Then, in October 2016, Soe developed a very high fever. A clinician examined him and recommended surgery. On January 13, a surgeon will close the hole in Soe’s heart. Our medical partner is asking for $1,500 to pay for the procedure, the surgeon’s fees, four days of hospital stay, and one day of in-home care.

When he recovers, Soe plans to play soccer with his friends and continue his studies, with the aim of becoming a religious leader in his community.

15-year-old Soe was born with a ventricular septal defect (VSD), a hole in the lower chambers of his heart that disrupts the circulation of ...

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Soe's Timeline

  • January 8, 2017

    Soe was submitted by Bue Wah Say, Project Officer at Burma Children Medical Fund, our medical partner in Burma.

  • January 16, 2017

    Soe received treatment at Lampang Hospital.

  • January 20, 2017

    Soe's profile was published to start raising funds.

  • March 14, 2017

    Awaiting Soe's treatment update from Burma Children Medical Fund.


    Soe is currently raising funds for his treatment.

Funded by 28 donors

Funded by 28 donors

VSD Closure
  • Cost Breakdown
  • Diagnosis
  • Procedure
On average, it costs $7,747 for Soe's treatment
Subsidies fund $6,247 and Watsi raises the remaining $1,500
Hospital Fees
Medical Staff
  • Symptoms
  • Impact on patient's life
  • Cultural or regional significance

​What kinds of symptoms do patients experience before receiving treatment?

Patients may experience excessive sweating, extreme tiredness and fatigue, irregular heartbeat, rapid breathing or shortness of breath, chest pain, cyanosis (a blue tinge to the skin), clubbed fingernails, lightheadedness, or loss of consciousness.

​What is the impact on patients’ lives of living with these conditions?

Patients cannot do labor work—even doing household chores may tire them. Adults will be unable to care for their families, and children will be unable to play or attend school. As the condition progresses, patients may become unable to eat.

What cultural or regional factors affect the treatment of these conditions?

Burma has a long queue of congenital cardiac patients who need surgery. With only four fully trained cardiac surgeons in Burma, children with congenital heart defects may have extreme difficulty accessing treatment.

  • Process
  • Impact on patient's life
  • Risks and side-effects
  • Accessibility
  • Alternatives

What does the treatment process look like?

Doctors may combine catheter and surgical procedures to repair complex congenital heart defects. If the defect cannot be fixed with a catheter, the patient will undergo an open heart surgery to close holes in the heart.

What is the impact of this treatment on the patient’s life?

This surgery saves lives. Children will return to school, and adults will return to working and caring for their families.

What potential side effects or risks come with this treatment?

Potential side effects include bleeding, infection, fever, swelling, inflammation, arrhythmias, damage to surrounding organs, stroke, and death. Heart surgery is more likely to be life-threatening for patients who are very sick before the surgery.

How accessible is treatment in the area? What is the typical journey like for a patient to receive care?

Many of our medical partner's patients live in remote areas. They cannot afford or access treatment because it is only available in large cities.

What are the alternatives to this treatment?

There are no alternatives. If left untreated, this heart condition will become life-threatening for patients.