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Wel is five year old from Burma who needs $1,500 to fund eye surgery.

Wel
90%
  • $1,350 raised, $150 to go
$1,350
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$150
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January 19, 2020

Wel is a five-year-old boy who lives with his parents and an older sister and brother. His parents are subsistence farmers while he and his siblings are students. His mother forages for food and fishes to supplement their meals, while his father also works as a day laborer. The income he receives is just enough to cover their daily expanses but is not enough to pay for basic healthcare.

On the 26th of December 2019, Wel was playing with pebbles at school with his friends. When he came back home that afternoon, he was crying but no one was home; his mother was away fishing. When she came back home and saw him still crying, she asked him what was wrong. Wel told her that while he was playing with his friends at school, one of his friends threw a pebble that hit him in his left eye. Since then, his left eye hurt a lot. His mother checked his eye, but she did not see any redness, and thought that the pain would go away after a while. Five days later, Wel complained that his left eye hurt more than before. His mother then took him to Hpa-An General Hospital, where his eye was checked. The doctor saw pus in his left eye and told his mother to take him to a hospital in Yangon as they cannot do anything for him there. The doctor provided him with eye drops and they returned home.

Wel’s mother did not have enough money to go to Yangon. His mother administered the eye drops for him, but his eye did not get better. His mother started to worry more about him and tried to look for a way to take him to another hospital. One of their neighbors suggested that she bring him to Mae Tao Clinic (MTC) in Mae Sot, Thailand, as she has been to the clinic before. On the 5th of January 2020, Wel’s mother borrowed 100,000 kyat (approx. 100 USD) from a neighbor and took him to MTC. There, his eye was checked but the medic referred him to Mae Sot Hospital (MSH), as they could not treat Wel at the clinic. When Wel arrived at MSH, the doctor examined his eye and told Wel’s mother that he has an ulcer in the cornea of his left eye. His left eye had turned white and he also had pus due to the infection in his eye. The doctor told them that unfortunately the only option left was to remove his left eye so that his right eye would not become infected as well. Wel cried when he learned that his left eye had to be removed. Wel’s mother however agreed to the procedure and he was scheduled to receive surgery on the 20th of January. Unable to pay for the surgery, the medic at MTC referred Wel to Watsi medical partner Burma Children Medical Fund for assistance in accessing treatment.

Currently, Wel’s left eye is itchy and has discharge coming from it. He cannot look at sunlight, as if he does his eye hurts. Before he stated taking the painkillers provided by MSH, his eye was very painful. He can no longer see anything with his left eye.

“I want him to continue his studies after he receives treatment and I would like him to become either a teacher or a nurse in the future,” said Wel’s mother. “I don’t want him to work on the farm like us because he will have only one eye, so I want him to get a good job.”

Wel is a five-year-old boy who lives with his parents and an older sister and brother. His parents are subsistence farmers while he and his ...

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Wel's Timeline

  • January 19, 2020
    PROFILE SUBMITTED

    Wel was submitted by Bridgitte Agocs at Burma Children Medical Fund, our medical partner in Burma.

  • January 20, 2020
    PROFILE PUBLISHED

    Wel's profile was published to start raising funds.

  • January 21, 2020
    TREATMENT OCCURRED

    Wel received treatment at Mae Sot General Hospital. Medical partners often provide care to patients accepted by Watsi before those patients are fully funded, operating under the guarantee that the cost of care will be paid for by donors.

  • February 26, 2020
    AWAITING UPDATE

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

  • TODAY
    AWAITING FUNDING

    Wel is currently raising funds for his treatment.

Funded by 18 donors

Funded by 18 donors

Treatment
Enucleation
  • Cost Breakdown
  • Diagnosis
  • Procedure
On average, it costs $3,058 for Wel's treatment
Subsidies fund $1,558 and Watsi raises the remaining $1,500
Hospital Fees
$1,270
Medical Staff
$393
Medication
$17
Supplies
$400
Labs
$86
Radiology
$550
Other
$342
  • Symptoms
  • Impact on patient's life
  • Cultural or regional significance

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

Patients may experience blurred or dim vision, shadows or blind spots in the field of vision, sensitivity to light and glare, double vision, eye pain, headache, nausea, and vomiting.

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

In the case of an eye tumor, the patient is at risk of the cancer spreading.

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

The healthcare system in Burma does not permit the average citizen to receive proper eye examinations. This lack of attention to ocular health is due to a variety of reasons. However, a low optometrist-to-population ratio and insufficient funds are the leading causes.

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

What does the treatment process look like?

Surgery will only be performed if the pressure in the eye is stable. The time it takes to stabilize the pressure in the eye depends on the severity of damage to the eye.

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

In the case of a malignant tumor, removing the eye will actually reduce pain for the patient.

What potential side effects or risks come with this treatment?

Potential side effects include bleeding, infection, scarring, persistent swelling, wound separation, and the need to undergo additional surgery.

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

Burma has 309 ophthalmologists and 150 eye nurses. Fewer than half of the ophthalmologists perform surgery, and almost two-thirds confine their practice to the cities of Yangon (with a population of about six million) and Mandalay (about three million), where many people have the financial capacity to meet high out-of-pocket healthcare expenses. Aside from these main facilities, there is roughly one ophthalmologist for every 500,000 people, and eye health screening and treatment for children and adults is neither comprehensive nor consistent.

What are the alternatives to this treatment?

None.

Meet another patient you can support

100% of your donation funds life-changing surgery.

Meet another patient you can support

100% of your donation funds life-changing surgery.