PATTAYA, Thailand – A young monk at Wat Sutthawas Temple in east Pattaya has been taking care of his bedridden mother at the temple premises for the past two weeks, after she suffered a stroke that left her incapacitated and unable to care for herself.
Phra Maha Kittipong Visarttho, 22, shared his journey with reporters who visited the temple on November 26. He said that he has been a monk for three years, entering the monkhood at the age of 19 in Chonburi before moving to Wat Sutthawas Temple in Pattaya. He is the only child of his parents, and his father passed away when he was young.
His mother, Wanpen Ketchai, 62, suffered from a stroke two years ago, leading to a condition where the brain is deprived of blood. She has been unable to respond or care for herself since then. Due to the lack of caregivers, Phra Maha Kittipong initially rented a room close to the temple, ensuring proximity for care.
However, in the past two weeks, Wanpen’s condition worsened, leaving her unable to move her legs and powerless. Seeking assistance, Phra Maha Kittipong approached the abbot of Wat Sutthawas, Phra Maha Thaworn Thanavaro. The abbot compassionately allowed them to stay in a vacant room within the temple premises for more accessible care and to reduce living expenses compared to renting outside.
Phra Maha Kittipong said that, after completing daily monastic duties and teaching Buddhism to local students, he comes to see his mother every two hours taking care of her. This involves providing liquid food, water, medication, changing diapers, and repositioning her. The temple provides financial aid of 4,000 Baht monthly, and the monk also earns 2,000 Baht for teaching at a local school. However, the cost of caring for his mother amounts to around 7,000 Baht per month.
Expressing his gratitude for the support they have received so far, Phra Maha Kittipong mentioned that donations of nutritional supplements or adult diapers are welcome. He emphasized that his mother, despite being a layperson, is akin to a sacred figure, and his role is to care for her in her time of need. The monk concluded by stating that any additional support from kind-hearted individuals at the temple or call 096-801-4972 would be greatly appreciated, as it contributes to his ability to fulfill his monastic duties and care for his ailing mother with diligence and compassion.