Wai is a 14-year-old student from Thailand. He temporarily lives with his grandparents and great grandmother in Huay Ka Lote Village in Thailand, but Wai usually lives with his parents across the border in Burma. He came to visit his grandparents during his school break in mid-March 2020 after completing seventh grade, however, he was unable to return to his parents and home when Thailand closed it borders due to COVID-19. His parents are subsistence farmers and they also raise a few chickens, pigs, and goats to sustain their livelihood. When they need money to buy clothes or pay for healthcare, they sell some of their livestock. Meanwhile, his grandparents look after a landowner’s garden and land for 2,000 baht (approx. 67 USD) per month. The income that Wai’s grandparents earn from the landowner is just enough for their daily expenses.
Wai is diagnosed with cataract and currently he has lost most of the vision in his right eye and is only able to see light. His right eye also looks red. Aside from that, he has no other symptoms and his eye does not hurt.
Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund lens replacement surgery for Wai. On June 16th, doctors will perform a lens replacement, during which they will remove Wai’s natural lens and replace it with an intraocular lens implant. After recovery, he will be able to see clearly. Now, he needs help to fund this $1,500 procedure.
“I want to become a farmer when I grow up and follow in my parent’s footsteps, but I also want to become a nurse if I receive a chance to do so. I overheard my parents say that they don’t have enough money to continue supporting my studies once I graduate from grade eight, so I’m not so sure whether I’ll be able to continue my studies after next year,” said Wai.