Bu is a 53-year-old man who lives with his wife, two sons and two daughters in a refugee camp in northern Thailand. He and his family fled there from Karen State, Burma, due to conflict in their area. Every month, Bu’s household received 1,514 baht (approx. 50 USD) as part of their camp rations. Bu’s oldest son works on farms outside of the camp as a seasonal day laborer. He makes 1,100 baht (approx. 37 USD) per month. The rest of Bu’s three children are students, and his wife is a homemaker. Despite receiving free primary health care services and schooling in the camp, Bu’s family is struggling to make ends meet every month.
Bu started to suffer from back pain and fever in 2015. He also experienced slight discomfort and a burning sensation while urinating. When he went to the camp’s clinic, run by Malteser International (MI), he received oral medications. For a few months, his symptoms and pain disappeared, but later on, they returned. Whenever the pain would worsen, Bu would receive more medication from the camp’s clinic.
On 2 July 2020, when Bu’s symptoms worsened, he went back to the clinic to received more medication. Noting that he kept returning to the clinic with severe symptoms, Bu was referred to Mae Sariang Hospital for further treatment. At the hospital, he received a blood and urine test, as well as a kidney, ureter, and bladder (KUB) x-ray. The doctor informed him that he has a stone in his left kidney. The doctor then referred him to Suandok Hospital in Chiang Mai for further treatment. On 29 July 2020, Bu saw the doctor at Chiang Mai Hospital. The doctor told him that he needed to undergo an intravenous pyelogram (IVP), a type of diagnostic test that uses an injection of contrast material to evaluate the kidneys, ureters, and bladder. Once he underwent the IVP, the doctor diagnosed him with a type of kidney stone called a staghorn stone. Bu was then scheduled to receive surgery to remove the kidney stone on 16 August 2020. Unable to pay for his treatment, MI referred Bu to Burma Children Medical Fund for assistance accessing surgery.
Currently, Bu experiences back pain and a burning sensation while urinating. He sometimes experiences headaches and cannot breathe well because of the severe pain. In his free time, his favorite thing to do is to help with household chores and grow vegetables for his family.
Now, Burma Children Medical Fund needs your help in funding the cost of Bu’s $1,500 surgery.
Bu shared, “I still experience back pain and a burning sensation while urinating. Sometimes due to the pain, I have a headache and I have difficulty breathing. But I am very excited that I will be free from this prolonged pain after surgery.”