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Success! Zaw from Burma raised $1,500 for life-saving heart surgery.

  • $1,500 raised, $0 to go
to go
Fully funded
Zaw's treatment was fully funded on August 28, 2016.

Photo of Zaw post-operation

October 11, 2016

Zaw received successful heart surgery.

Zaw feels much better after surgery. Previously, he could not take long walks because he tired easily. Now he has no problem walking long distances. He also notices he no longer sweats at night nor has any more nightmares. He feels fresh every morning and it is a great change because before receiving the surgery he used to wake up with severe chest pain. He will be able to work again soon to pay back his debts, and at the same time support his family.

Zaw shared after surgery: “I thought I would die soon. I even told my wife to take care of our child when I am gone. She cried and said we have to do many things for our child. We both knew surgery was not an option. We were stressed and did not know what to do. I have never tried gambling before and I started doing it to take a short cut way to get money for my surgery but I did not win even once. Now, I feel like I am a new person. I just cannot find words to express how fortunate I am to be able to meet with the people who are willing to help fund the surgeries for the people like us. I never thought there are organizations like this but now I know that some people do care.”

Zaw feels much better after surgery. Previously, he could not take long walks because he tired easily. Now he has no problem walking long di...

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August 5, 2016

Zaw is a 30-year-old man from Burma. He lives with his wife and son at his parent in-law’s home. Though they live together, household income and expenses are not intermingled as his in-laws have their own children to care for. His wife stays at home to take care of their son while he works as a agriculture day laborer.

In 2014, Zaw became aware of the symptoms caused by his condition. Whenever he tried to do heavy lifting he would experience laboured breathing. He became especially alarmed when he began walking from sleep due to his difficulty breathing. Besides feeling weak and tiring easily, his legs would sometimes tremble.

On January 10, 2015 Zaw and his wife went to the National Heart & Lung Centre in Rangoon, which performed a cardiogram and referred him to Asia Royal Hospital for further testing. The doctor gave Zaw an appointment date to go back but because he ran out of money, he had to travel back home to borrow more money. Returning on time for their appointment, Asia Royal Hospital conducted a CT carotid angiogram. Zaw was told that treatment for his condition could cost 5,000,000 kyat (approx. 5,000 USD), Zaw and his wife returned home.

Back in their village, concerned neighbors recommended Zaw travel to Mae Tao Clinic (MTC), a Watsi partner. Departing from Mon State and accompanied by his wife and two aunts, they made a costly journey to Thailand. Upon arrival at MTC in July 2016, staff conducted an echocardiogram and diagnosed Zaw with a heart condition called Mitral valve regurgitation. He requires surgery to correct the condition and get healthy again.

When Zaw isn’t working, he looks forward to spending time with his son. Because work is hard, he rests during his time off and occasionally the family will go on outings to visit relatives.

“I look forward to returning to the days when I can work and provide for my family as I once did in the past,” Zaw shared.

Zaw is a 30-year-old man from Burma. He lives with his wife and son at his parent in-law’s home. Though they live together, household income...

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Zaw's Timeline

  • August 5, 2016

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

  • August 10, 2016

    Zaw's profile was published to start raising funds.

  • August 16, 2016

    Zaw received treatment at Lampang 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.

  • August 28, 2016

    Zaw's treatment was fully funded.

  • October 11, 2016

    Zaw's treatment was successful. Read the update.

Funded by 22 donors

Funded by 22 donors

MV, AV Repair and Valves Replace
  • Cost Breakdown
  • Diagnosis
  • Procedure
On average, it costs $20,349 for Zaw's treatment
Subsidies fund $18,849 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?

Patients may experience excessive sweating, extreme tiredness and fatigue, irregular heartbeat, rapid breathing or shortness of breath, chest pain, lightheadedness, or loss of consciousness.

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

Patients cannot do labor work—even doing household chores may tire them. Adults will be unable to care for their families, and children will be unable to play or attend school. As the condition progresses, patients may become unable to eat.

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

Patients cannot afford to go to the hospital. Many people rely on medications provided by dealers who are not authorized pharmacists.

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

What does the treatment process look like?

Damaged valves are repaired and replaced during open heart surgery.

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

This surgery saves lives. Children will return to school, and adults will return to working and caring for their families.

What potential side effects or risks come with this treatment?

Potential side effects include bleeding, infection, fever, swelling, inflammation, arrhythmias, damage to surrounding organs, stroke, and death. Heart surgery is more likely to be life-threatening for patients who are very sick before the surgery.

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 alternatives. If left untreated, this heart condition will become life-threatening for patients.

Meet another patient you can support

100% of your donation funds life-changing surgery.


Ar is a 28-year-old man who lives with his wife, three sons, and two daughters in a refugee camp. Originally from Burma, his family fled to Thailand 20 years ago due to civil war. His children attend school, except for his youngest daughter, who is not yet old enough. His wife is a homemaker and Ar works as a day laborer when work is available. Ar's family shared that, in addition to his day laborer pay, they receive a monthly cash card from The Border Consortium to purchase food in the refugee camp. Overall, the family's total monthly income is just enough to cover their basic needs. On September 2nd, Ar climbed a tamarind tree to pick tamarinds fruit. When the branch he was standing on suddenly broke, he fell and landed on his right arm and experienced pain in his back. He visited the camp hospital that day, and the medic initially determined that his arm was not broken. Due to recent positive COVID-19 cases in the refugee camp, Ar could not be immediately referred to the local hospital for further testing and was kept for observation at the camp hospital. When the pain in Ar's back and arm did not subside the next day, the medic referred Ar to the local hospital. After receiving a negative COVID-19 test, Ar was finally able to visit the hospital on September 6th, where he received an X-ray for his arm and a blood test for a second COVID-19 test. The X-ray revealed that his upper right arm is broken. With the help of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), Ar will undergo surgery on September 8th to reset his fractured bones and ensure proper healing. The procedure will enable Ar to continue working in the future. BCMF is requesting $1,500 to fund this procedure. Ar shared, "I am scared to receive surgery. But I was told that I will not be able to work using my right arm if I do not receive surgery, so I gave my consent to the doctor. I hope that I will be able to work again after I receive treatment."

87% funded

$188to go

Meet another patient you can support

100% of your donation funds life-changing surgery.