THIS STORY IS ABOUT A YOUNG MYANMAR BOY WHOSE FACE IS BURN BADLY YET, HE ACCEPT HIS LIFE WITH A BIG SMILE. IT SET A ENCOURAGE FOR US TO ACCEPT SETBACK WITH GREAT COURAGE.
caption:Though Myo Wai Kyaw has scars on his face even after skin grafting, he takes things in his stride and faces challenges with a big smile.
This young 13-year-old Myo Wai Kyaw is a very studious child who is always at the top of his class. Because of the cyclone, his studies had been delayed.
The boy was eager to catch up on his studies and lit an oil lamp to study in a night in early July. Accidentally bumped into the oil lamp above him when he stood up, the hot oil spilt over his head and face …
Myo Wai Kyaw kneeled and bowed to his parents to pay respect and express gratitude towards their unconditional love and care.
Meet my “relatives”
On Aug 15 morning, Myo Wai Kyaw waited earnestly by the window. Upon seeing Lin, two other Tzu Chi volunteers and an interpreter approaching, the boy turned to his mother saying, “Mom, our relatives are here!”
Everyone was in high spirits as it was the day Myo Wai Kyaw was going to be discharged and he would be going home after a month’s long stay at the hospital. Couldn’t wait for the time to come, the family had packed their belongings into two big bags and ready to go.
Taiwanese volunteer Lin had made this special trip to give her well wishes to Myo Wai Kyaw. Together with fellow Tzu Chi volunteers, she’s going to send him home personally.
When the boy heard that, he was overwhelmed and said softly to Lin, “I feel so happy!”
The road home was rugged. The group has to walk on foot even after riding a car and a jeep. But it was nothing for Myo Wai Kyaw and his parents, as they could not wait to go home after being away from home for over a month.
One night in early July 2008, while Myo Wai Kyaw was studying at home trying to catch up with his studies lagged behind by the May cyclone, he accidentally knocked down the oil lamp when he stood up. The hot oil spilt over his head and face, severely scalding over 20% of his body.
As his family is poor and lives in Kungyangon which is a fair distance from Yangon, Myanmar’s capital, his parents could only take him to be treated at a small local hospital.
It was July 6. It so happened that Tzu Chi volunteers had to send a gentleman to the local hospital in Kungyangon and went back to visit him again later that day that they discovered there was a severely scalded child in the bed next to this gentleman.
Myo Wai Kyaw’s skin has begun to fester. Seeing his condition, the volunteers encouraged and convinced his parents to allow them to help him transfer to a better equipped hospital. That was how the boy was brought to the best hospital in Yangon.
During the month long stay in hospital, Myo Wai Kyaw had surgery and his skin grafted. His condition had begun to stabilize.
Every 3 to 4 days, volunteers came to visit him and provide him with support. Lin, especially, treated the boy like her own child. Lin not only went to see him often, but also encouraged him to face life with bravery and urged him to study well. She also spent time teaching the boy to read and write.
Gradually, Myo Wai Kyaw’s skin recovered and he could start walking. He has a scar on the right side of his face while his right ear is disfigured. However, the love and concern from everyone has helped ease his pain. Besides his parents, Lin seems to be the next closest kin to Myo Wai Kyaw.
It’s good to be home!
The way home was rugged. It took five hours to reach Taw Kuu Village from the Yangon Hospital. Along the way, besides travelling by car, they also rode a jeep and had to walk for a distance; some volunteers found it difficult throughout the whole journey. However, it was not so for Myo Wai Kyaw and his parents. They have been longing to go back after being away from home for over a month.
During the hospital stay, Myo Wai Kyaw’s parents were constantly by his bedside caring for him. When they saw that their son was beginning to recover and that he could walk on his own, they felt much more at ease. Myo Wai Kyaw’s mum still has a lingering fear when she recalled the day her son was sent to the hospital. “He was badly burned, the journey was rough and when the car jolted, he screamed in pain. I thought he was not going to make it. I was in despair. But Tzu Chi saved his life.”
When volunteers asked Myo Wai Kyaw if he was in severe pain at that time, he lit up his big eyes and said that his pain had already been forgotten. What a brave boy! We thought. He remembers only the good things.
Upon reaching home, many people including close relatives and friends were there to welcome him. Myo Wai Kyaw was ecstatic to see all the people. His little brother even gave him a bear hug. Myo Wai Kyaw politely and with much gratitude said “kay zu tin ba tal” (‘thank you’ in Burmese) to everyone. He kneeled and bowed to his parents for their unconditional love and care, not forgetting the volunteers.
“Amitabha, Grand-master. Thank you all, Tzu Chi uncles and aunties. No matter which day, which week, or which month of the year it is, our door will always be open to you. Please come back and visit us sometime.” said the boy in Burmese with his palms folded in front of his chest.
”I am deeply gratified towards Master Chen Yen and the Tzu Chi uncles and aunties. Our home is forever open and we will always welcome you anytime.”
Immediately after saying that, the boy ran to Lin and gave her a big hug. Lin urged Myo Wai Kyaw sincerely: “Don’t you ever look down on yourself because of how you look; you have to be grateful that you have a pair of ears to hear and a pair of eyes to see. Furthermore, you have a pair of hands that you can write with. Treasure what you have! People all over the world will send their wishes to you through the Da Ai Satellite TV.”
Agreeing, the boy nodded with a big, bright smile. His parents felt deep gratitude towards Tzu Chi for giving their child a new lease of life. His mother promised she would become a Tzu Chi volunteer and would help those in need.
In fact, during the hospital stay, Myo Wai Kyaw’s mum and himself have begun to practice the way of Tzu Chi. When they heard about a little girl wanting a small radio, Myo Wai Kyaw immediately took out all his allowances and with the help of the little girl’s grandma, they bought her a small radio.
Although the boy had met with unfortunate events in life, he took it in his stride. He chose to face the inevitable with his bright eyes and pure smile. From this young and brave boy, the volunteers have indeed learned to be optimistic and contented, also to never give up on life easily.
I hope by sharing this story, can help those people who are facing problems now to face it bravely and never to give up in life.
Pray hard to get the guidance and patience to endure the impermanence.
Source from: http://www.tzuchi.org.sg/en/index.htm