Ya is a 41-year-old woman from Burma. She currently lives with her father who is retired, her brother who is a student, and her son who works on the family rice farm with her. Their farming sustains their family, as they have no other source of income. They also forage for plants and vegetables from the forest. In her free time, Ya enjoys weaving traditional Karen (her ethnic community) bags.
As a result of COVID-19 and the February 2021 coup, it is no longer feasible for Ya’s family to have traditional jobs. Her family faces extreme instability due to ongoing fighting in their area. Often, they must escape to nearby forests to avoid the conflict. They spend around a week at a time displaced in the forests. After the fighting has moved, they return to their village. Recently they had to sell their two cows to support themselves.
In September 2020, Ya began experiencing back pain, and it was uncomfortable for her to walk and do regular activities because she cannot put pressure on her abdomen. She was diagnosed with myoma, or uterine fibroids. She has been advised to undergo a total abdominal hysterectomy, the surgical removal of her uterus and cervix. If left untreated, Ya’s symptoms will continue to worsen and put her at risk for further health complications in the future.
Fortunately, Ya is scheduled to undergo her hysterectomy on July 10th with the help of our medical partner Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), who is requesting $1,500 to cover the cost of her procedure and care. Once recovered, Ya will no longer be in pain and will be able to walk without discomfort and work on the farm with her son.
Ya said, “I want to get the surgery and recover quickly so I can go back to my family and help with the farm.” She is not sure what the future will hold as the fighting in her village is still happening, but she said, “I just want to be happy and stay with my family for the rest of my life.”