Htoo is a one-year old baby boy who was born at Mae Tao Clinic (MTC). He lives with his parents in Mae Sot, Tak Province, Thailand. Htoo’s mother is a homemaker while his father works as a factory worker and earns 8,000 baht per month (approx. 267 USD). Their household income is not enough to cover their daily needs and sometimes they have to borrow money with 20 % interest. They currently owe 30,000 baht (approx. 1,000 USD).
In January 2017, when Htoo was one month old, he started to cry a lot and would not breastfeed. His parents took him to MTC where he was diagnosed with a hernia. The medic told them that they could not perform surgery yet as Htoo was too young. They were told to come back when he was five years old. Soon after they went home, Htoo began vomiting. His mother brought him back to MTC, where another medic examined him and determined that he required surgery soon. Htoo was referred to Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF) to help pay for the operation.
Htoo was admitted on 6 January 2018 at Mae Sot Hospital where he received an ultrasound, a blood test and a urine test. After the doctor diagnosed him with bilateral inguinal hernia, he received surgery that same day on his left side to repair the hernia. The next day, he was discharged. Htoo was readmitted at MSH for his second surgery on 7 February 2018. Later that day he had the hernia repaired on his right side. He was later discharged on 10 February 2018.
While at the hospital, Htoo’s mother had some difficulty communicating with the medical staff because she is not fluent in Thai. However, she understood most of what was explained to her. “The nurses and the doctor treated us well, though, when the nurse first showed me how to care for my baby’s [surgical] wound, she talked with me a little dismissively,” said Htoo’s mother. “However, after the nurse saw me interpreting for the other patients, she became nicer.” Htoo’s mother also mentioned that the patients helped each other while they were hospitalised.
A ROAD TO RECOVERY
Htoo is recovering well. He no longer cries a lot, and he is able to eat, sleep and play. His mother no longer has to carry him all the time to soothe him. Now, both Htoo and his family are happy. “I cannot express how relieved I feel,” said Htoo’s mother. “[In the future] I would like him to recover fully and grow up to become a teacher.”