Colar is a 53-year-old woman who lives with her husband in Karen State in Burma. She has two sons who are students across the border in Mae Sot, Thailand. Both Colar and her husband are subsistence farmers but are no longer able to work on the farm due to their poor health. Their limited income comes from breeding and selling pigs and goats.
In June 2018, Colar began to suffer from significant lower abdominal and back pain, constipation, headaches, frequent urination, blood in her urine and nausea. Her neighbor advised her to treat the pain with traditional medicine, initially believing this was caused by the fruit she was eating in the forest. However, after a week of severe pain, Colar lost consciousness and her neighbor called her brother who works as a medic at Mae Tao Clinic (MTC). Her brother advised them to bring Colar to MTC for treatment. At MTC, Colar underwent a blood test, urine test and ultrasound afterwards, the doctor at MTC diagnosed her with a renal stone in her left kidney and advised her she would need surgery.
Colar still suffers from constant pain and discomfort, she is very worried about the upcoming surgery, her health, and how she is going to support her husband and two sons who are still students. Colar said the constant worry for her health and her husband’s is causing them significant anxiety and depression. When she feels well enough, she likes to forage in the forest for fruits and vegetables and tend to her garden. When Colar recovers from surgery and her health improves, she hopes to grow enough fruit and vegetables to feed her family and to sell.