Yar is a 18-year-old girl from Thailand. She lives with her parents, three younger sisters and three younger brothers in a refugee camp on the Thai-Burma border. Yar and her parents are all too ill to work and are homemakers, while her siblings are students. Her family relies on the monthly food allowance they receive from an organization to get by. They also grow vegetables for themselves to supplement this income. Yar completed grade nine, but felt too ill to return to school this year. In her free time, she likes to weave traditional Karen bags for her siblings and help her mother with household chores.
One day in early January 2020, Yar started to experience neck pain, fevers, and chills. When she went to the refugee camp’s hospital, run by the International Rescue Committee (IRC), she was diagnosed with tonsillitis and was given oral paink medication and antibiotics. During her follow-up appointment, the medic gave her more of the same medications. After her follow-up appointment, Yar felt a small growth with her tongue inside her bottom left jaw behind her front teeth. She told the medic about this at her next appointment, but it was not checked out and she received more oral medication each week until the beginning of June 2020. During this time, the mass increased in size.
In June, she was referred to Umphang Hospital, which then referred her to Mae Sot Hospital (MSH) for surgery. IRC brought Yar to MSH, where she received a physical examination, a CT-scan, and a biopsy of the mass. The CT result indicated that the mass was benign. In July, when she went back to MSH for her follow-up appointment, the doctor removed the mass in her mouth as well as five of her lower front teeth during surgery.
Since the surgery, Yar has experienced swelling where the mass was removed. Daily, she experiences an achy pain in her lower left jaw, her neck and her back. The mass has also returned and is increasing in size. IRC referred Yar to Watsi’s Medical Partner Burma Children Medical Fund for assistance accessing treatment in Chiang Mai Hospital. After reviewing a CT scan to confirm her diagnosis, the doctor in Chiang Mai recommended she move forward with surgery to remove the tumor.
Now, she is scheduled to undergo mass removal surgery on December 3rd. She is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of her procedure and care.
Yar shared, “I am scared to receive surgery but I believe that I will be recovered after that so I am happy.”