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Success! Poe from Burma raised $1,500 to fund his spleen removal for thalassemia.

  • $1,500 raised, $0 to go
to go
Fully funded
Poe's treatment was fully funded on May 1, 2020.

Photo of Poe post-operation

April 20, 2020

Poe underwent his spleen removal for thalassemia.

Compared to before, Poe has become much more active and talkative. According to his grandmother, Poe is very happy that his stomach has gotten smaller. Before, it was abnormally enlarged due to his condition. With his smaller belly, now he feels much more comfortable when he is walking and playing. His grandmother said that now his pants are too big for him!

Poe’s grandmother shared, “I am very happy and grateful that the doctors said my grandson does not need to do as many blood transfusions as before. Now, he shouldn’t get tired as easily and I won’t need to take him to the hospital as often, either.”

“The support you have given us has been so helpful. If it wasn’t for your kind generosity, it would have been very stressful knowing that help was possible, but out of our reach due to our financial situation. In the future, when he grows up, I want him to become a doctor or leader who is able to help poor people like us. This year I want to send him to school together with his cousin. Thank you again for all of your support,” added Poe’s grandmother.

Compared to before, Poe has become much more active and talkative. According to his grandmother, Poe is very happy that his stomach has gott...

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March 6, 2020

Poe is a five-year old boy who lives with his family in Shwe Koke Ko village of Karen State in Burma. In his free time, Poe likes to play with his friends and toys. He also likes to eat sweets. Poe does not go to school because of his condition.

Poe’s mother and father are divorced, and both are remarried. His father lives and works in Bangkok, Thailand and he contributes to Poe’s financial wellbeing by giving the household 5000 baht (approx. $167 USD) per month. His mother does not provide the family with any extra income. Poe stays with his grandmother and great grandmother from his father’s side. His grandmother works as a cleaner. The rest of the family does not currently have work.

When Poe was eight months old, he got a severe fever and his family took him to the Wang Pha clinic near Mae Sot, Thailand, which is the same place where he was born. He was admitted at the clinic for three days, but his condition did not improve. Doctors at the clinic told his family to take him to Mae Sot Hospital (MSH) for further investigation. The family immediately took him to MSH and he was admitted for one week. At MSH, he received a blood test and was diagnosed with Thalassemia, a blood disorder. He received a blood transfusion and after the transfusion, Poe felt better, but only temporarily.

His family went back for three follow-up appointments to MSH, where he had blood transfusions each time. When he was one year and five months old, the family could not afford going to MSH any longer, so they took Poe to Myawaddy Hospital. He received another blood transfusion and an IV line. He was admitted for three days at the hospital. Although he felt better after getting discharged in Myawaddy, since his condition is chronic, he needs regular blood transfusions to stay healthy.

It became increasingly difficult for the family to pay for Poe’s care, however, they decided to come to Mae Tao Clinic (MTC) for further help in 2016. Since then, he has received many blood transfusions at MTC, sometimes monthly and sometimes bi-monthly. With these treatments, he is able to survive. However, his condition also affects his spleen, the organ that filters blood. To prevent further problems, medics at MTC told his family that doctors need to remove Poe’s spleen. Since it cannot be done at MTC, he needs to go back to MSH to undergo the operation.

Currently, Poe has frequent bloody noses, coughs up blood, and has blood in his stool. He feels better after having a transfusion, but it wears off in the weeks following the procedure. When its nearing time for another transfusion, he feels weak and tired.

When asked what he wants to do when he grows up, Poe was adamant that he wanted to be a medic. “I want to help people,” he said. “When he sees people that are sick, he always tells me he feels sorry for them,” added his great grandmother.

Poe is a five-year old boy who lives with his family in Shwe Koke Ko village of Karen State in Burma. In his free time, Poe likes to play wi...

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Poe's Timeline

  • March 6, 2020

    Poe was submitted by Bue Wah Say, Project Officer at Burma Children Medical Fund.

  • March 9, 2020

    Poe received treatment at Mae Sot General Hospital in Thailand. Medical partners often provide care to patients accepted by Watsi before those patients are fully funded, operating under the guarantee that the cost of care will be paid for by donors.

  • March 9, 2020

    Poe's profile was published to start raising funds.

  • April 20, 2020

    Poe's treatment was successful. Read the update.

  • May 1, 2020

    Poe's treatment was fully funded.

Funded by 40 donors

  • Cost Breakdown
  • Diagnosis
  • Procedure
On average, it costs $6,081 for Poe's treatment
Subsidies fund $4,581 and Watsi raises the remaining $1,500
Hospital Fees
Medical Staff
  • Symptoms
  • Impact on patient's life
  • Cultural or regional significance

​What kinds of symptoms do patients experience before receiving treatment?

The patient has an enlarged spleen, causing him or her to need a blood transfusion. The patient is pale and fatigued.

​What is the impact on patients’ lives of living with these conditions?

Patients with thalassemia are usually chronically fatigued. They do not grow normally. Because of the need for frequent blood transfusions, patients spend less time at school.

What cultural or regional factors affect the treatment of these conditions?

Although patients can receive blood transfusions at all hospitals, there is only one center in Yangon that specializes in treating thalassemia patients. Patients who live far away have difficulty traveling there for a splenectomy.

  • Process
  • Impact on patient's life
  • Risks and side-effects
  • Accessibility
  • Alternatives

What does the treatment process look like?

Surgery will depend on the size of the patient's spleen and the patient's blood iron level. If a patient has received regular blood transfusions, his or her blood iron level may need to be controlled before surgery.

What is the impact of this treatment on the patient’s life?

After the surgery, the patient will not grow tired as easily. The patient will be more active and be able to eat and sleep well. In most cases, the patient will need blood transfusions less frequently. However, the patient must be careful. Once the spleen is removed, it cannot protect the patient from infections, so he or she can get sick more frequently.

What potential side effects or risks come with this treatment?

Potential side effects include bleeding, blood clots, and infections.

How accessible is treatment in the area? What is the typical journey like for a patient to receive care?

Many of our medical partner's patients live in remote areas. They cannot afford or access treatment because it is only available in large cities.

What are the alternatives to this treatment?

There are no alternative treatments. If the spleen grows very large, it can rupture, causing excessive internal bleeding that could lead to death.

Meet another patient you can support

100% of your donation funds life-changing surgery.

U Tin

U Tin is a 36-year-old man, living with his mother on the western coast of Burma. U Tin’s mother is retired and helps with household chores. U Tin works in a photo studio, printing photos and wedding invitations. Through this, his monthly income is just enough to pay for their basic living expenses. One year ago, U Tin started to experience pain in his lower left abdomen. Thinking that the pain would go away, U Tin relied on traditional medicine and pain medication. In February, the pain increased, but U Tin could not afford to seek treatment at a hospital. Instead, he purchased more pain medication from a pharmacy, which helped ease his discomfort somewhat. However in April, the pain became so severe that he could no longer work. He borrowed money from his friend, and went to a hospital. The doctor examined him, and diagnosed him with an inguinal hernia. When the doctor told him the surgery would cost 1,200,000 kyat (approx. $1,200 USD), U Tin told the doctor he could not afford to pay such a sum, and he returned home still feeling unwell. A few days later, U Tin told his neighbour about his problem, and she suggested that he seek treatment at Mawlamyine Christian Leprosy Hospital (MCLH), where care is more affordable. He followed his neighbour’s advice, and went to MCLH, where the doctor confirmed his diagnosis and the need for surgery. When U Tin explained that he could not afford to pay for the surgery, the doctor referred him to our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, for assistance in accessing the treatment he needs. Currently, U Tin is experiencing severe pain, and he cannot sit or stand for any length of time. Fortunately, he is now scheduled for surgery on May 24th, and Burma Children Medical Fund is requesting $807 to cover the cost of U Tin's hernia repair treatment. U Tin said: “I would like to recover. I am worried that I will not be able to work and take care of my mother. When I recover, I will go continue to work [at the shop] and pay back the money I borrowed from my friends.”

34% funded

$530to go

Meet another patient you can support

100% of your donation funds life-changing surgery.