Pae is a 37-year-old woman who lives in Burma with her brother and his family. Her brother owns rice and sugarcane fields. Three of his children work in Bangkok, and the youngest is in school. He donates some of his money to a fund in their town for roads and monasteries. However, he cannot afford healthcare.
Two years ago, Pae moved to Bangkok to work as a housekeeper. Shortly after moving, she began to experience severe exhaustion, heart palpitations, and sweating. She sought care at a local clinic and underwent an echocardiogram. Her doctor found a large hole in her heart.
Pae had to stop working because she was too physically exhausted. After just eight months in Bangkok, she returned to her home village to live with her brother. Despite using traditional medicines, her symptoms did not improve. A nurse at a nearby clinic in her village suggested she visit our medical partner’s care center, Mae Tao Clinic (MTC).
In September of 2016, Pae made the two-hour trip from her village to MTC for the first time. She underwent an electrocardiogram and blood tests. She was also given atenolol, a medication to treat chest pain and hypertension. Pae was diagnosed with an atrial septal defect (ASD), a cardiac condition in which there is a hole in the wall between the two atria of the heart. On December 16, she underwent surgery to close the hole.
Pae is very appreciative of her family’s support, but does not want to rely on them. She needs our help to fund this $1,500 procedure. After recovery, she hopes to return to Bangkok to earn her own income.
“I want to be a normal person again,” says Pae. “I would like to do social work, like helping to clean at the monastery and helping people in their homes.”