Diabetic, elderly beggar cuts down her toes on Pattaya street

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Paramedics arrive and try to convince Noochan Malaikham to go to the hospital.

An elderly woman whose diabetes-related foot pain drove her to despair cut her toes to the bone on a Pattaya roadside.


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Noochan Malaikham, 73, was found sitting at the intersection of Naklua Road and Soi Photisan about 9:30 p.m. Friday, both feet bleeding from deep scissor wounds. Noochan said she earns a living begging on the streets and lives in an abandoned house nearby.

Noochan told Sawang Boriboon paramedics that she suffers from diabetes, which has cut blood flow to her feet, leading to gangrene in her toes. The pain, she said, was unbearable.

The Maha Sarakham native told Sawang Boriboon paramedics that she suffers from diabetes, which has cut blood flow to her feet, leading to gangrene in her toes. The pain, she said, was unbearable.

Noochan said she couldn’t afford an operation and needed help from her children. But one is in jail on drug charges and the other three are scattered around the country. So she decided to cut off the dead tissue herself. She cut the skin of bit by bit until the bone was exposed. She then used extra force to cut all off her toes off.

Noochan lives in an abandoned house with her two sons-in-law, who supported her, but they both have their own financial troubles. She had no choice but to come out and beg for money to buy necessities and food.

She does not have expenses for the house because kind-hearted people pay for the electric and water bills and sometimes bring her food and necessities.

Noochan said she earns a living begging on the streets and lives in an abandoned house nearby.

She told medics she’d rather live on the streets than go back to the provinces to live with relatives and be a financial burden on them. She also refused to go to the hospital, so the paramedics cleaned and dressed the wounds and advised her to see a doctor.



She agreed to go to the hospital regularly as directed by medics for further treatment and take her medicine regularly.

A version of this story originally appeared in the Bangkok Herald.

Followup story: Pattaya grandma who cut off own toes refuses social worker’s help

Noochan said she couldn’t afford an operation and needed help from her children. But one is in jail on drug charges and the other three are scattered around the country.

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She refused to go to the hospital, so the paramedics cleaned and dressed the wounds and advised her to see a doctor.