Khaing is a 35-year-old woman from Thailand. Her husband is a day laborer while she is a homemaker who looks after their two-year-old daughter at home. Khaing’s husband earns 5,000 baht (approx. 166 USD) per month as there is less work, they shared, since the outbreak of COVID-19. In her free time, Khaing likes to make Burmese fish noodle soup called moh hin khar.
In the middle of June 2020, Khaing started to vomit each time after eating. She also experienced chest pain and discomfort in her stomach after eating and drinking. A few days after she first felt unwell, she went to a private clinic near her home. She received pain medication and one injection, and she was told she was suffering from an inflammation in her stomach. Khaing felt better after taking the medicine but by the end of July, Khaing actually felt worse. She started to experienced back and lower abdominal pain and constipation. Her abdomen also increased in size and she started to lose weight.
Khaing’s neighbor told her she was pregnant and Khaing believed her. Around 15 days after her new symptoms began, Khaing purchased a pregnancy test from a shop which showed she was not pregnant. Khaing thought someone might have cursed her so she then went to a fortune teller to ask for help. When the fortune teller told her she was not cursed, Khaing started to believe that she might be really be ill. She went to Mae Tao Clinic on August 20th, 2020. At the clinic, she received diagnostic tests which showed that both of her kidneys are swollen, a condition called hydronehrosis. She was then taken to Mae Sot Hospital on August 25th for further investigation and is now scheduled to return for treatment.
While waiting for her appointment, Khaing’s condition worsened. Her stomach is still increasing in size, she can no longer eat or sleep properly and she feels very uncomfortable. The pain in her lower abdomen had also worsened. When she called and talked to the medic, she was told to come back to the hospital sooner. At the hospital she received a blood test, and she was told she would need a CT scan so that the doctor could properly diagnose and treat her. Unable to pay for the CT scan, the MTC medic later referred Khaing to Watsi’s Medical Partner Burma Children Medical Fund.
Currently, Khaing cannot walk because she feels like her stomach is very heavy. She feels uncomfortable when she lays down and she cannot sleep well. She is still experiencing lower abdominal and back pain. Whenever she eats or drinks, she vomits. She also noticed that since the end of July she has to urinate frequently, but she is only able to pass a small amount each time.
Doctors want Khaing 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 is requesting $414 to cover the cost of Khaing’s CT scan and care, now scheduled for September 14th.
Khaing said, “I feel stressed and angry. I also don’t want to talk to other people and I’m growing inpatient with my daughter. Also I’m feeling worried that I will die early [at a young age]. I don’t want to die because my daughter is still very young.”