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.