In December 2015, Maung Shwe was walking on a dirt road when an out-of-control motorbike crashed into him and fractured his leg. He sustained several flesh wounds that healed in the subsequent weeks. He first sought treatment on the day of the incident with a traditional healer but this was ineffective. Next, he visited the local village health worker who could only provide him with injections to relieve his pain temporarily.
The care provided by the health worker cost him a lot of money. Treatment at a hospital would have been too costly for him. He has never sought out treatment at a Burmese hospital but heard they are expensive. Maung Shwe’s nephew works for Mae Tao Clinic (MTC) and he encouraged his uncle to visit. In March 2016, he borrowed a mount of money from his friend for food and transportation so he and his daughter could make the trip to Mae Sot.
Maung Shwe is a 62-year-old man who has always lived in a village in Karen State, Burma. He is a retired farmer and currently lives with his daughter and son-in-law. His daughter used to be a domestic worker in Bangkok and his son-in-law is a subsistence farmer. They do not generate an income, but when his family needs money, they sell their leftover rice yield or their chickens and pigs.
Maung Shwe’s current symptoms include pain upon movement and the inability to walk. His daughter had to quit working as a domestic worker in Bangkok in order to care for him. She assists him with tasks like helping him walk, escorting him to bathroom, and cooking for him. There are no wheelchairs in his village, so his daughter must tend to him at all times
For $1,500, Maung Shwe will receive the operation he needs to treat his fracture permanently. This cost includes surgery, casting, and rehabilitation. Following surgery, Maung Shwe should no longer suffer from pain upon movement, and he should be able to walk again.