After the travails of the past half-year, Pattharaporn Thatong never thought she’d become a mother, let alone have a new house in which to raise her daughter.
A week before Christmas, the 22-year-old – four months pregnant – was hit and run over by a six-wheeled truck. The baby survived. Her left leg and arm did not.
Pattharaporn came to the attention of the Rotary Club of Phoenix-Pattaya after she was tossed out of a government hospital, well enough to free up the 30-baht-a-day bed, but not well enough to rejoin the world. She began collecting 500 baht a month insurance from the government, but that and her husband’s 12,000 baht monthly salary didn’t cover the bills.
The young family with visitor Heiner Moessing.
Phoenix past president, Heiner Moessing, arranged help. Club members covered the cost of medicine, provided other necessities and spent 30,000 baht to create an accessible bathroom for her, all the while marveling at the young woman’s inner strength.
The happy mother holding her newborn baby “First”.
“It was unbelievable how much moral strength this woman has,” Moessing said. “She never cried or felt sorry for herself. Just the opposite: she smiled and showed so much optimism that we all couldn’t believe it.”
On June 16, Pattharaporn delivered a baby girl named “Neung,” or “First.” In many ways, she symbolized a new beginning.
Rotarians were among the “first” to welcome the new child. They brought gifts, but also news that the club would start raising funds to build a house for the young family. It will be built in a garden adjacent to the house they currently share with five other people. They also pledged to fund new artificial limbs for her.
To date, only 10,000 baht has been raised, but Phoenix club members say they’ve learned from Pattharaporn to be patient and optimistic.
Those interested in helping the cause can contact Otmar Deter at 089-8324125 or Moessing at 081-8611907.