Yar is an 18-year-old girl from a Karen community who is now living in Thailand. She lives with her parents, three younger sisters and three younger brothers in a refugee camp on the Thai-Burma border. Yar and her parents are all too ill to work and are homemakers, while her siblings are students. Her family relies on the monthly food allowance they receive from an organization to get by. They also grow vegetables for themselves to supplement this income.
Yar completed grade nine, but felt too ill to return to school this year. In her free time, she likes to weave Karen bags for her siblings and help her mother with household chores.
One day in the beginning of January 2020, Yar started to experience neck pain, fevers, and chills. When she went to the camp’s hospital, run by the International Rescue Committee (IRC), she was diagnosed with tonsillitis and was given oral painkillers and antibiotics. During her follow-up appointment, the medic gave her more of the same medications. After her follow-up appointment, Yar felt a small growth with her tongue inside her bottom left jaw behind her front teeth. When she went back for her next appointment, Yar told the medic about the growth in her mouth however, this was not checked and she kept receiving more oral medication each week until the beginning of June 2020. During this time, the mass in her mouth increased in size.
In June 2020, she was referred to Umphang Hospital. However, Umphang Hospital then referred her to Mae Sot Hospital (MSH) for surgery. On June 16th, IRC brought Yar to MSH where she received a physical examination, a CT-scan, and a biopsy of the mass. The CT result indicated that the mass was benign but the doctor did not explain the results to her specifically. In July 2020, when she went back to MSH for her follow-up appointment, the doctor removed the mass in her mouth as well as five of her lower front teeth during surgery.
Since the surgery, Yar has experienced swelling where the mass was removed as well as aches in her neck and back. The mass has now returned and is increasing in size. On August 5th, the doctor told her that the mass in her mouth was increasing in size and that she would need to receive surgery again. However, she would need to receive treatment at Chiang Mai Hospital because they are unable to treat her further at MSH. IRC has referred Yar to Watsi’s local Medical Partner Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF) for assistance accessing treatment in Chiang Mai. Now, the doctor in Chiang Mai ordered a CT scan to confirm Yar’s diagnosis and plan for her treatment.
Doctors want Yar to undergo a CT scan, a procedure in which x-ray images taken from several angles are combined to produce cross-sectional images of the body. This scan will hopefully help doctors diagnose her condition and formulate an appropriate treatment plan.
Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $469 to cover the cost of Yar’s CT scan and care, scheduled for September 29th.
“I want to open a small sewing shop in front of my home,” said Yar. “I plan to attend vocational training to learn how to sew clothes in the future.”