In August last year, 11-year-old Let from Myanmar traveled to China Medical University Hospital in central Taiwan’s Taichung City to receive treatment for Goldenhar syndrome, a rare congenital disorder characterized by the incomplete development of facial features such as the nose and lip. This care was facilitated by a US$100,000 donation from Taiwan-headquartered Pou Chen Group, which has extensive operations in the Southeast Asian country. After undergoing seven months of treatment to correct her vision and reconstruct her right ear, Let returned home and started school again in April.
New Lease on Life
At a news conference, Let’s mother said that the care her daughter received in Taiwan was outstanding, adding that they are extremely grateful for the support. Let also expressed happiness and gratitude to Taiwan and PCG for enabling her to resume her studies.
Let’s overseas medical journey is due to the combined efforts of several organizations. Taiwan Christian International Holistic Care Missionary Association initially sought foreign health care assistance for her, and this was ultimately made possible through collaboration between Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA) and CMUH’s International Center, as well as PCG’s donation. Representatives of these organizations were in attendance at the news conference to offer Let their best wishes.
PCG Deputy General Manager Bruce Shih said he was pleased to see Let’s cheerfulness and optimism following her treatment. The company enjoys close ties with Myanmar, establishing a factory there in July 2015 and boasting more than 5,000 employees in the Southeast Asian country, he added.
According to Shih, corporate social responsibility is a core value at PCG. The firm’s support for Let underscores its commitment to strengthening public welfare in Myanmar, he said.
Myanmar Trade Office (Taipei) Representative Myo Thet said he was thrilled that Let’s health has improved so much. PCG’s philanthropy has had a positive impact on society and helped bolster relations between the two sides, he added.
Chang Chun-fu, representative of Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Myanmar, similarly stated that international medical cooperation has strengthened bilateral ties. Health knows no borders, he said, adding that the efforts to help Let spotlight Taiwan’s broader contributions to fostering international medical development.
According to David Liao, director of TAITRA’s Taiwan Trade Center Yangon Branch, compassion transcends national boundaries and brings people together irrespective of language and other differences. PCG’s generous donation serves as an example for enterprises operating overseas, and TAITRA will continue to work with Taiwan companies in promoting the nation’s advanced medical sector, he said.
TCIHCMA founder Alex Yang expressed thanks to participating organizations. It was gratifying to witness Let receive such excellent care, he said, adding that he hopes this experience will encourage her to move forward with confidence.
David Chiu, supervisor at Taiwan-Myanmar Economic Trading and Culture Exchange Association, also conveyed his joy at seeing Let leading a more fulfilling life. The association will keep working to deepen ties between the two sides in areas spanning business, culture, health care and trade, he added.
For Let’s treatment, CMUH International Center Superintendent Dr. Chen Hung-chi developed a three-stage surgical plan comprising specialists in such fields as dentistry, neurosurgery, ophthalmology, otorhinolaryngology and plastic surgery.
Dr. Lin Hui-ju, director of CMUH’s Department of Ophthalmology, led the first stage, which improved Let’s eyesight from 20/200 to 20/30 and corrected her astigmatism, blurred vision caused by an irregularly shaped cornea, from 7.5 to 5 diopters. The treatment also relieved her strabismus, or ocular misalignment, with Let’s sight making excellent progress during her recovery.
The superintendent took charge of the second phase in which part of Let’s ribs was used to reconstruct the auricle of her right ear over the course of multiple surgeries. The final stage is scheduled to take place in two-and-a-half years and will be performed by Dr. Chen Yuan-qien, director of CMUH’s Department of Dentistry. This will see Let undergo right-face reconstruction, including orthodontic mandible surgery to correct malocclusion, or bite misalignment. She will also visit Taiwan this October for a follow-up examination.