Eh Ka Lu’s Story:
Eh Ka Lu was born at the Mae Tao Clinic in October 2010. His mother didn’t realize that Eh Ka Lu had a medical problem until she took him home. She noticed that he had an abscess near his testes and that his urine seemed to be coming out from everywhere.
Eh Ka Lu’s mother moved to Thailand when she was 16 years old. She was raised by her aunty and had seven siblings. Her aunty told her that her parents died. Five of her siblings have died and just her and her sister are left from their family of nine people. Her older sister lives in Burma with her family. She came to Thailand because people said she would be able to find work and her sister told her to go to Thailand for a better life. Two years after she arrived, she met and married her husband. She has since had four children. Eh Ka Lu is the youngest and the only boy.
Eh Ka Lu’s parents are daily workers. They try and find whatever work they can on a daily basis. They move from place to place often. Sometimes they have a good place to stay but no job; sometimes they have a good job but a no place to stay. They are always on the move and it is very difficult with four young children. Eh Ka Lu’s mother is seriously considering moving to a refugee camp but it is a hard decision because they won’t be able to register as refugees straight away and they will have to wait many months or even more than a year to register (there are also many rumours circulating that Thailand wants to close the camps and send over 144,000 refugees back to Burma). If they are not registered, they won’t receive food rations. Their situation is very difficult and it makes things very hard to send their older children to school. Every time they move they have to take their children out of school and put them into a new school. Even though they live only a few kilometres away from Mae Tao Clinic, they don’t have money to travel to the clinic to get treatment and they are very afraid of being arrested. Eh Ka Lu’s mother has been arrested before as she does not have identification (despite living in Thailand for more than 16 years). She was asked for 300 Baht and she did not have the money. She was released and told that next time she would be detained. Since then, she has been very scared to travel.
Eh Ka Lu is sleeping and eating well however his condition causes him a great deal of discomfort. His bottom is red raw from constantly leaking urine. Sometimes pus comes out of the hole between his penis and testes. His health problem adds even more stress to their lives. They are in a vulnerable situation and have no documents. They want to get their son treated but are very scared.
Despite the obstacles they face, Eh Ka Lu’s mother is very eager to get her son treated. He cries and cries and she doesn’t know what is wrong with him. She is very confused and feels a lot of stress. She doesn’t know what to do because she has no one to look after her older children when she takes Eh Ka Lu to Chiang Mai to get treatment. She is very sad as she wants him to get the treatment he needs
UPDATE (Aug. 2011): since the intake interview in February this year, BCMF have worked with Eh Ka Lu’s parents to find a solution to who will care for the older children. Eh Ka Lu has been undergoing treatment in Chiang Mai. He has had one procedure done in July and still has another operation before his treatment is complete. He is currently living with a catheter until his final surgery.