AUSTRALIAN REFUGEE AND MIGRANT CARE SERVICES LTD
"I couldn't say enough, ARMCare makes everything different, a huge difference. All my life I couldn't say enough of thank you to ARMCare ."
- Eh Paw
Eh Paw (not her real name) was 55 years old, but looked much older. She had been in Australia for 6 years and had been very ill when she arrived. Despite having seen different doctors and taken many medications, her health was worsening.
Eh Paw suffered significant trauma and lost many family members in the war in Burma/Myanmar. She had been forced to flee attacks by the Burmese army with her husband and young children, seeking safety in the jungle, where they had to survive with no food, shelter or medical care for weeks. They reached the Thai-Burma border, where they were to endure 12 years of hardship and near-starvation in a refugee camp before being settled in Australia.
Eh Paw was constantly weak and dizzy. She had not been able to sleep for more than an hour at night for over 10 years. She suffered nightmares and flashbacks, and could not concentrate or escape the pain in her body while trying to learn English and get a job. She had made two suicide attempts.
ARMCare helped Eh Paw to access the services she needed, where she was found to have post-traumatic stress disorder, type II diabetes, anaemia, gallstones, duodenal ulcers and a worm infection. She had no teeth, was undernourished, had blurred vision and was partially deaf.
Over the next 18 months, Eh Paw made many visits to a GP, a psychologist, dietitian, podiatrist, dentist, optometrist, and an audiologist. Her gallstones were removed, and her health gradually improved. She obtained glasses so that she could read for the first time in years, dentures so she could finally eat a healthy diet, and a hearing aid. She learned to test her own blood sugar levels and to manage her diabetes.
We helped Eh Paw to obtain a disability support pension, and for her husband to obtain carer’s payment, so that he could look after her. This enabled their daughter to resume her nursing studies, which she had been forced to defer to care for her mother.
Eh Paw is almost unrecognisable from the day we met her. She looks younger than her age, smiles, and laughs, enjoys her grandchildren, grows vegetables for the family, and loves fishing. She now visits friends, and attends church and community events.