Wai Wai is a 48-year-old woman from Burma. She lives with her mother and younger sister. They own a small shop, in which they sell goods made from bamboo.
Eight years ago, Wai Wai started to experience pain in her joints. She was diagnosed with rheumatic arthritis. She visited a clinic, where she received injections for the arthritis. After a year of receiving injections, her pain subsided.
Wai Wai did not experience any health problems until March, when she began to cough and have difficulty breathing. She grew tired easily, and her joint pain returned. She experienced strong heart palpitations, which sometimes prevented her from sleeping.
In May, Wai Wai visited a hospital and underwent a diagnostic echocardiogram. She was diagnosed with mitral valve stenosis, a narrowing of the heart’s mitral valve. Inflammatory diseases, such as Wai Wai’s rheumatic arthritis, can affect the connective tissues of the body, particularly those in the heart. Her doctor recommended surgery, but she she could not afford treatment. She tried using traditional medicines, but her symptoms did not improve.
Fortunately, Wai Wai was referred to our medical partner. She is now scheduled to undergo a mitral valve replacement on December 23.
Wai Wai hopes to get well soon. She plans to help her sister with their business, and resume her religious activities, including meditation and teaching children about Buddhism.
“I’m very happy now,” says Wai Wai.