Ma is a 36 year-old woman who came to BCMF in August 2013 after being diagnosed with an ovarian cyst seven years ago. She has five children, including twins from her third pregnancy. She used to live in Bago Division in Burma, however eight months ago her family moved to a village just outside of Myawaddy in search of better job opportunities. Her husband is a day laborer and earns 3,000 kyat ($3 USD) per day, although his work is inconsistent. Depending on the season, she is occasionally able to go to the jungle and pick vegetables to sell in her village, earning 2,000 kyat ($2 USD) per day at most. The family has difficulties making ends meet and is unable to save any money from their earnings. Since they have a large family, Ma and her husband were unable to afford to send all of their kids to school. Her oldest son is 15 and occasionally helps his father as a day laborer, earning 2,500 kyat ($2.50 USD) per day.
Ma has been pregnant a total of six times; her most recent pregnancy ended in a miscarriage because she was carrying heavy things at the time. She took traditional medicine and recovered without any problems. All of her other children were born at home with the help of a traditional birth attendant and there were no complications. She says she first noticed that she had a mass inside her abdomen after she gave birth to her twins seven years ago. She could feel the mass through her skin when she touched her abdomen; at the time, it seemed like the mass was the size of a golf ball. When she asked the TBA about it, she told her that the mass was a result of her uterus getting bigger following the delivery of her twins because she did not take the proper medication or keep her body warm following childbirth. At that time, no tests were done and she did not attempt to seek further treatment because she could not afford it. After giving birth to her next child she noticed that the mass had become bigger. She eventually went to a private clinic where an ultrasound revealed her ovarian cyst, however the doctor didn’t mention anything about surgery as he knew that she would be unable to afford it. She eventually got to the point where she could no longer work as she couldn’t carry heavy objects or walk long distances. She also had difficulty doing housework and suffered from back pain, headaches, and lower abdomen pain
Ma heard about Mae Tao Clinic from her neighbor. As she would need to borrow money for travel expenses to get to the clinic, she was hesitant to come. She eventually decided to come and she and her husband made the three-hour trip from their village. She went to Mae Sot Hospital and underwent surgery in September 2013. She had a tubal ligation (having one’s “tubes tied”) and her left ovary was removed as well as the cyst that was on her right ovary. She recovered in the hospital and was discharged four days later.
Ma says that since undergoing surgery she is feeling much better. She says that she is now able to sleep and eat normally and feels much lighter. She hopes to fully recover soon so that she can help take care of her kids and go back to work. She would like to sell flowers and is eager to get back to work so that she can support her family.
When Ma told her friends and neighbors that she received treatment through BCMF, they didn’t believe her and said it was too good to be true. She says she feels so lucky and wishes to thank the BCMF staff and their donors. She says that as she is unable to donate money, she will put a picture of BCMF staff that was given to her on her altar and pray for their well-being.