Ma Wint War Thaw is 18 years old and comes from Burma. She came to the Mae Tao Clinic in May 2010 with her mother and her father. She has a younger sister, 16 and brother, 14 who are currently attending school in Burma and being looked after by a neighbour.
Ma Wint War Thar has finished high school and studies mathematics at university. Her father used to work in a factory but does not anymore due to heart problems and a motorbike accident. Her mother used to work in a factory too but has also had no work recently.
When Ma Wint War Thaw was 14 she worked very hard on her studies at middle school. However, one day, she got a headache and became dizzy and fainted. She went to Yangon General Hospital, where she received 17 days of treatment for an intracerebral bleed that she recovered from and has had no residual symptoms. A few years later she went back to Yangon for 3 days of treatment and once again, felt better afterwards. Unfortunately, Ma Wint War Thaw’s condition cannot be treated in Burma. The doctor said that they don’t have the resources and he told her to go to a ‘foreign’ hospital.
Her family heard about the Mae Tao Clinic from their friend who had previously been to the Clinic to receive treatment. It took 2 days by bus and car to get to the clinic and it cost them 60,000 Kyat (US$60). The family’s financial difficulties are crippling – they sold their house just so they could make the journey to the Mae Tao Clinic in the hope of getting treatment. Ma Wint War Thaw’s father maintains that the main goal is to get treatment for his daughter and he will do whatever it takes. He will accompany her if she needs to go to Chiang Mai or Bangkok for specialised treatment.
Although she still gets dizzy, Ma Wint War Thar has recently felt better. Sometimes she gets very sad – her health problem has caused quite a bit of financial stress on her family and she cannot attend university. Her family have very high expectations for their daughter’s recovery, and hope to live in a better situation in the future. They don’t want to return to Burma, but they are in debt so they have little choice.
MA WINT WAR THAW HAS COMPLETED HER TREATMENT.