Ashin Mala is a 30-year-old monk from Burma. He became a monk a year ago and currently lives in a monastery in Karen State. He receives two meals a day and cash donations from worshippers.
In October 2022, he visited the house of a member of the ethnic armed group in the village. At the home, a child was playing with a pistol and accidentally shot the gun, hitting a wall. Unfortunately, a part of the bullet ricocheted off the wall and hit Mala in his left eye. Immediately, Ashin Mala was brought to a hospital, where an X-ray showed that bullet shards were lodged under his left eye. The doctor removed most of the bullet shards and closed the gunshot wound. Though time has since passed, he still feels pain in his left eye and has lost vision in that eye. He has also developed itchiness and a burning sensation in that eye.
Eventually, he was brought to Mae Sot Hospital in Thailand, where, with the help of Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF) and Watsi donors, he underwent a CT scan. The results showed multiple foreign bodies in his left eye, most likely shards left from the bullet, and indicated that his left eyeball was most likely ruptured. He was then referred to Chiang Mai Hospital (CMH), where an ophthalmologist told him they would have to remove his left eyeball. He was then admitted for surgery at CMH on February 22nd. Mala needs help raising $1500 to fund this procedure that will relieve him of his pain.
Ashin Mala said, “I believe my pain will disappear after the operation. I want to get rid of the pain. Afterward, I will work hard to attend Dhamma University. I want to become a preacher. I will preach about Dharma [the teachings of Buddha] around my country.”