Suay lives near the Myanmar/Thailand border. When, aged 18, he noticed patches on his arms, the nearest doctor told him he was allergic to the water – but no medication seemed to help. Another man who noticed suggested Suay go to the Christian Clinic in Chiang Mai, so he made the long journey to McKean Rehabilitation Center and received the correct treatment. Unfortunately he went on to develop severe leprosy reaction and required further hospital care.
A year later, Suay was asked what was the best way for The Leprosy Mission to help people who had his experience.
He replied "Please help them the way you have helped me. No one else understood my problem. I could never have afforded to pay hospital fees. I was so relieved and grateful that support was available. Being able to stay here, not going out to work hard on the land for every mouthful of food, and seeing the doctor and the occupational therapist regularly has saved my hands from bad deformity. My hands are weak but mobile and I am expecting surgery next year. Getting all the medicines I need at the right time has been absolutely wonderful. Having people round me who know what is happening in my body, who remind me to rest, and be hopeful, who teach me how to keep exercising my fingers which are losing strength, and remind me to keep at it. This has been a long marathon, but it would have been impossible without all the help I’ve received... And while here, I have learned lots of things I take back to my home village to improve our income. Tell the Mission thank you, and please keep doing what you’ve done for me for others too."