Kwan is a 17-year-old boy who enjoys watching TV and learning Mandarin online during his free time. Although he is originally from Burma, he lives with his parents, two brothers, and both of his grandmothers in a village in Thailand. They moved to Thailand about five years ago in search of safer living conditions. Both of Kwan’s grandmothers are retired, and his father is unable to work due to being ill. His mother and older brother support their family by working as day laborers. Kwan and his younger brother both attend a local migrant school, where Kwan is a 10th grade student.
In September of 2017, Kwan broke his left forearm while playing basketball with his friends. He was referred to Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF) for financial assistance accessing treatment, and he underwent surgery to insert a steel rod into his left forearm at their medical care center, Mae Sot Hospital (MSH). Following surgery, doctors told Kwan that the steel rod would need to be removed a year after surgery. However, he was not scheduled for an appointment to remove the rod, and he was not told why it needed to be removed.
Initially, this did not seem like an issue since Kwan regained movement in his fingers, was able to move his arm more comfortably, and was able to help his mother with household chores. Since he was not in pain and his family did not have enough money to pay for the procedure, Kwan was not brought back to MSH to have the rod removed.
However, he began working as an agricultural day laborer in 2020 when his studies were moved online due to the outbreak of COVID-19. He began to experience pain in the area where the rod was located when carrying anything even slightly heavy. Due to financial constraints and a fear of being arrested for traveling to the clinic without documentation because of an increase in main road checkpoints, Kwan kept his pain a secret. However, he eventually sought medical attention at MSH after the pain progressed. There, a doctor confirmed that his arm had healed well and the rod needed to be removed.
Fortunately, our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund is helping Kwan receive treatment. On July 27th, doctors will perform rod removal surgery. This procedure will cost $1,500, and Kwan and his family need your support. He mentions that after he recovers from surgery, he wants to find work as a day laborer. He wants to help his family earn more money so his mother no longer has to do hard labor.
His mother says, “I don’t know what to say, but in our heart, we are so thankful to the donors for helping Kwan with his first, as well as this second, surgery. We will never forget this help for the rest of our lives.”