Ashin Mala is a 30-year-old monk who lives in a monastery in Karen State, Burma. He became a monk a year ago. As a monk, Ashin usually doesn’t have the right to save money and keep cash. But sometimes, worshippers donate some money, and he keeps it to use just in case. The monastery usually provides him two meals a day donated by the Buddhist followers.
In October, one day, he visited a house of a member of ethnic armed group in the village. A kid was playing with a pistol and accidentally shot the gun in the wall. Unfortunately, the bullet ricocheted and hit his left eye. The villagers sent Ashin Mala to Myawaddy General Hospital immediately. At the hospital, an X-ray was done and showed that a piece of the bullet had entered below his right eyeball. The doctors stitched the gunshot wound and gave some medications. There was no ophthalmologist at hospital. Ashin visited the hospital regularly and got wound dressing as well as medication to relieve pain. But the pain didn’t go away. He has lost sight in his left eye. Pain and itchiness, and sometimes a burning sensation, is present in the right eye and surrounding area. Hot tears are coming out from both eyes during blinking occasionally whenever he reads book for a long time. Due to the lack of ophthalmologist, he was provided only with medications and eyedrops.
Now doctors want Ashin Mala to undergo a CT scan, a procedure in which x-ray images taken from several angles are combined to produce cross-sectional images of the body. This scan will hopefully help doctors diagnose his condition and formulate an appropriate treatment plan. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $414 to cover the cost of Ashin Mala’s CT scan and care, scheduled for December 9th.
Ashin Mala said, “I don’t want to blame anyone. It is my destiny. I am not sure my condition can be treated or not. But I am so happy to be treated here because I think I can have better health care here than in Burma. I don’t expect complete recovery, but it will be great if I can see with both eyes. In the future, I want to learn more about Dhamma and hope to attend Buddha University in the future.”