Soe is a 27-year-old woman who lives with her husband in Burma. Soe came to our medical partner, Burma Border Projects (BBP), seeking treatment for gallstones.
The gallbladder—a small, pear-shaped organ that sits under the liver—stores and drains bile. When an individual has gallstones, bile drainage may be blocked, causing irritation, spasms, pain, nausea, and vomiting.
“Soe is experiencing stomach and lower back pain making it difficult for her to sleep and eat,” BBP tells us. “Usually, when she eats, she feels nauseous and needs to vomit.”
Until recently, Soe had a job as a waitress at a hotel restaurant in Thailand, but her symptoms made it impossible for her to work. Facing financial trouble, she and her husband returned to Burma in the hopes of finding treatment for Soe and receiving support from their family.
For $1,500, Soe will undergo a laparotomy, a surgical procedure to access the abdominal cavity and remove the gallbladder. Funding also covers the costs of an eight-day hospital stay, transportation to and from the hospital, pre- and post-surgical consultations, and blood tests.
“Soe should fully recover following her gallstone surgery,” says BBP. “She should be able to return to her family and again find a job so that she and her husband can save money for their future.”
Soe looks forward to a successful operation. “I will work and save money for the next few years, and then, one day, we will have a happy family,” she shared in her pre-operative interview with BBP.