Remember Aung Moo? We took him to the hospital, thinking he was detoxing from alcohol; learned he had meningoencephalitis. He then spent three weeks in the hospital, which included: the doctors assuming he would die and wanting to know which level of cremation we wanted, many miracles, a wee bit of laughter, dealing with his belligerent spitting-on-people behavior, and a bill for $2,724 upon his discharge!
Either way, here’s where we are now, through too many miracles to count: He is cared for by many members of the community, collectively bringing him food and needs & helping with hygiene. And he can walk!
Unfortunately, he still can’t see. His eyesight has improved, and he now knows when the sun rises and sets. While we were away in England, he asked his friends to ask us about going to the clinic in town. We have been working toward it, and made it this Tuesday.
The eye clinic is the busiest part of Mae Tao Clinic. Five of us went–Stephen & I (we were worried his belligerent nature might rear its head), Aung Moo, Mo Bya (for Karen-Burmese translation), and another friend to help with walking. We waited for over an hour, when a nurse evaluated him and determined he didn’t need glasses, but a further eye exam by the doctor. We actually know the doctor, Frank, a man from Scotland who goes to our home church. He is an incredible eye surgeon and performs surgeries all day, every day.
About 11am, Stephen had to head off to his Burmese lesson, and the rest of us were promoted to the interior waiting room. Here we sat with a few people awaiting advanced eye exams, like Aung Moo, and quite a few people prepped for surgery, with a permanent marker arrow above one eye. Two of the ladies were older, nearing deaf, and very, very chatty. They sat with their heads wrapped in towels, just talking and talking. They were Karen, so I got a mini-lesson while I tried to eavesdrop into their shouted conversation.
We were seen just before lunch, and then asked to come back again at 1pm. In the end, we learned that his eyes are functioning perfectly. Instead, the damage is likely in the connectors from his brain to his eyes.
See how I don’t know the words for that? Yeah, I don’t know it in Karen either, especially if I don’t know it in English. I ended up translating to Mo Bya that you have your brain and your eyes, and in between, there are things that look like worms that talk to each other; those are not working in Aung Moo. A really accurate anatomy lesson, I’m sure.
For the future, I now know the word for that in Karen. Obviously still lacking it in English, though, if anyone wants to help with that.
We also did some research and learned this is a common condition called cortical blindness. It often comes from meningitis & encephalitis, but vision can be reacquired.
We are now pursuing other options: we have contacted a blind center in Mae Sot that was established just last year. We are hoping they might have a staff member that would be willing to meet with Aung Moo once or twice a week to help him learn to care for himself, walk, and function with blindness.
We are hopeful. So many miracles have occurred already for this man! It is amazing just to see how different situations provide different opportunities within the community, for new relationships and new conversations and new evidence of God’s goodness. I feel like I have ended so many posts with this as of late, but do keep praying with us for him, too!