San Moe Oo's Emergency Surgery Fund
Organized by: GlobeMed at Emory
OUR GOAL: $10,000 to help San Moe Oo pay for surgery, ongoing care and living expenses this year, until she can support herself.
San Moe Oo is a twenty-year-old Karen woman from Mon State, Burma. She attended school until the 4th grade, is married, and has an eighteen-month-old daughter. On April 7th, 2014, San Moe was returning from a ceremony in Southern Burma with her husband and daughter when an oncoming bus veered off course, and her life followed suit.
The bus crashed through their car, killing one other passenger instantly. San Moe Oo and her daughter lost consciousness. Her husband remained awake to watch the bus driver and attendant attempt to flee the scene, only to be apprehended by one of their passengers. When San Moe awoke, she found her husband and daughter miraculously unharmed, but her own leg shattered.
She waited in agony for help to arrive, eventually being driven to a hospital in nearby Palaw. Surgery there stabilized her, but without modern equipment or even running water, Palaw was ill-equipped to continue her treatment. At her husband's insistence, she was driven ten hours away to Mae Sot, Thailand's Mae Tao Clinic; physicians there immediately sent her to Mae Sot Hospital for emergency surgery.
After three surgeries and one month in Mae Sot Hospital, San Moe was sent back to Mae Tao Clinic to recover, her leg encased in stabilizing screws. After seven months, one of these screws became badly infected; Mae Sot Hospital physicians saw amputation as the likely outcome. Unwilling to sacrifice her leg, San Moe and her husband appealed to BCMF, the Burmese Children's Medical Fund, for financial support; they ultimately assented, and referred San Moe to Chiang Mai's Suan Dork Hospital for treatment.
Although treatment at Suan Dork saved her leg, it exacted steep financial and personal costs. San Moe is an uninsured migrant, but still requires regular, expensive follow-up care at Suan Dork. Her leg is still encased in screws, making travel all but impossible. Her husband spends his days caring for her, and cannot work. The 7cm hole in her tibia is slowly closing, but she needs another surgery before she can hope to walk again. The procedure is scheduled for this September, and right now, she has no money to pay for it.
San Moe faces a hospital bill of roughly 400,000 Thai Baht, or $13,300 US. BCMF has agreed to cover roughly $7,300, leaving San Moe to work out the remaining $6,000. Her upcoming surgery will add to this total, and with no income to support her family, she will also need a way to pay for her living and follow-up care expenses, roughly $300 per month. $10,000 will see San Moe through her surgery, most of her hospital bills, and one year of food, lodging and follow-up care.
San Moe is cautiously hopeful. When asked whether she feels she is getting better, she smiles shyly and says that her bones are growing back. She knows she is a long way from a full recovery, however, and longs for the day when she can finally move on: "I want my leg to heal. We want to be a family again."