Aung is a 12-year-old boy who suffered severe injuries in a school bus accident near Mae Sot. He lives with his grandmother just outside of Mae Sot and his grandfather works in Bangkok at a restaurant cutting meat and earns about 6,000 Baht ($191.80 USD) a month. His parents are divorced and his father no longer has any contact with the family. His mother and older sister both work in Bangkok at a rug factory. Although his grandfather, mother, and sister all work, his grandparents are not always able to make ends meet. Sometimes they have to take loans from a neighbor, which they pay back when they can.
Aung and his cousin both attend a migrant school in Mae Sot and are in the first grade. On March 11th, 2013, Aung and his cousin were on the school bus when a pickup truck ran into the bus from behind and both cars went off the side of the road. During the accident, a piece of metal pierced Aung’s leg, causing a severe break and shaving much of the flesh from his leg. He was taken to Mae Sot Hospital where doctors had to place pins in his lower leg in order to stabilize the bones. He lost so much flesh from his leg that they had to take skin from his upper leg in order to do skin grafts.
Aung stayed in Mae Sot Hospital nearly one month and the total cost of his hospital stay was 138,000 Baht (US$4,500). Due to the severity of his injury and the fact that his grandparents were unable to afford the ongoing cost of his treatment, hospital staff referred him to BCMF.
Aung traveled 3 times to Chiang Mai. The first visited was on April 21st, at which time he was admitted to McKean Hospital. Doctors gave him a vaccination because his leg had gangrene and had to clean and change his dressing every day. He stayed at the hospital for one and a half months and was then moved to Suandok Hospital. There, they took off his brace, put on a cast and gave him an IV for 5 days. They left an opening on the cast so they could access and clean the wounded area which was needed everyday. Doctors gave him antibiotics as well as medicine for his fever. After one week, they changed the cast and discharged him. He had to return to the hospital for his follow-up on June 13th, at which time his cast was changed again. One month later, he went back to the hospital for doctors to change his cast once again and then came back to Mae Tao Clinic. The second visit to Chiang Mai was on August 4th. His doctor took off his cast and Aung was able to walk a little. The third visit to Chiang Mai was on September 19th. He had X-rays on September 26thand then returned home. He has to go to Mae Sot Hospital for another follow-up in early 2014.
He said that his overall experience in Chiang Mai was good. Since he can speak Thai, he could understand what doctors and nurses said and he added that they were very nice and friendly to him. He enjoyed his time while he was in McKean Hospital because he was able to use a wheelchair and could wheel himself around the hospital. However, he had to stay longer than expected because his bone shifted. He says he didn’t like Suandok Hospital because there were no wheelchairs for him, but says that everyone was very nice to him there as well.
His family, relatives and friends were very happy to see him again when he returned home. They are also very happy and grateful now as Mae Sot Hospital had determined that it would be necessary to amputate his leg. However, after coming to BCMF and getting a second opinion, it was not needed and they no longer worry. He and his grandmother would like to say thank you so much to the donors and the BCMF staff.
Aung likes to play football, play cane ball and ride his bicycle. Riding a bicycle is his favorite thing, however he cannot ride quite yet because of his injury. He said that he really wants to recover soon just so he can ride. He wants to go back to school but it is difficult for him to ride on a school bus because he cannot walk without a pair of crutches. Instead, his teacher has been coming to his house to teach him until he has recovered a bit more. He says his dream is to become a policeman when he grows up.