People with disabilities: from business owner with good eyes to blind fighting massacre – BBC News Thailand

image source, Napat Wesshasartar / BBC Thai

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From good eyes to blind people with new life in a dark life at nearly 60 years old

Former owner of a billboard shop in Surat Thani Must go blind from an accident during work. Encouragement from family and people around me changed my despair until I thought about ending my life. Make it a commitment on a new path as a masseuse in Bangkok.

“Hello, I’m Dr. Kaew. I’m going to give you a massage today.”

a man in a white dress Say hello to Thai massage guests with a friendly voice and a bright smiling face ready to stare directly at the service recipient Even his two eyes will not be visible

Wicha Chusuchon or Doctor Kaew, 61, is a masseuse in Arsawadee. A health massage shop under the Blind Association in Thailand Before becoming a massage shop worker He used to be a normal eye person. and the owner of the shop to make billboards in Surat Thani before

Inside the massage room, about 15 square meters in size, with soft, dim lighting, Wicha remembered when she could still see normally. “I opened a billboard shop before. shop sign making All types of steel work You could say we have about one point of view.”

“But one day There is cutting steel and fiber. And a splinter of steel and fiber flew into my right eye. Even then I wore protective glasses. But it still slipped in.” Vicha pointed a finger at his sunglasses. to show the point where the steel flakes strike

After that accident, Wicha felt angry and his eyes hurt. so he decided to see a doctor at the provincial hospital

“The doctor said my eyes would go blind. I need to have an operation urgently,” and submitted a request to receive an operation to Wicha Zen, the treatment was then The doctor injected gas into the eyes. which improves symptoms But when the gas ran out, the eyes could not see. need surgery again

“Maybe it’s us Or maybe it’s in the fog. It is difficult to prove” and it is something that Wicha has not answered to this day.

The hope is that we want to see it again.  A little bit is still good

image source, Napat Wesshasartar / BBC Thai

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“The hope is that we want to see again. Only a few are still good.” Topic

Even after surgery three times but the symptoms did not relieve It also spread to the left eye. “My left eye started to fade, I couldn’t see, I don’t know if it was an infection or something. The doctor recommended surgery on the left side. An operation had to be done according to the doctor’s advice.

Two years of (end of) hope

In summary, Vicha had a total of five eye surgeries. right eye three times and left twice by the second The treating doctor found that Inside the subject’s left eye, there was a membrane. Makes it impossible to put a vitreous so he had to be sent to a hospital with more modern equipment

“When I got to Hat Yai he said it couldn’t be treated, so I went to (a hospital) in Bangkok. But the hospital offered an operation to make our eyes flat. no eyes We thought it was useless. So we decided to refuse,” Wicha explained.

“We want to try the treatment again. Hopefully we want to see again. A little bit is still good because actually at the time of the conversation It’s still like fire in my eyes, a big canvas, floating around, still hoping to get better once more.”

That hope made the 57-year-old spend more than 2 years and spend more than 200,000 baht.

The dark world leading to the decision to end your own life

“When the eyes have darkened Doctors don’t really want to treat us. we ran out of everything The road was hard to walk. The road to go is difficult,” Vicha said in a very sad voice.

Wicha said that the life partner then was not as good as before.

when invisible So he decided to return to his hometown in Nakhon Si Thammarat Province and he must live alone

image source, Napat Wesshasartar / BBC Thai

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“I feel exhausted. Because our life before was comfortable.

“I feel exhausted. because our life before was comfortable I can do anything I want. If you want a car, you can buy it and drive it, but when you’re blind, it’s hard to walk anywhere.”

Wicha has three children. Before breaking up with his girlfriend before he was blind, in which the children helped with some of the medical expenses But there was one day that he happened to hear a conversation between you and your boyfriend saying “It we have more than a hundred thousand. Now there are only four thousand baht left. because he healed his father.”

“Remembering the words my son said The sound still echoes in my ears.” Wicha wiped away his tears before continuing with that “Since that day I don’t want my child to be a burden. age if the child cares but fears it would become a burden on the child I thought I wanted to kill myself.”

*Warning: Content may include attempts to commit suicide. and personal beliefs

image source, Napat Wesshasartar / BBC Thai

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“I think it was probably a haunted house that came to stop me.”

Two days after hearing his son’s words Vicha decides to end her life in her own home. “I took the medicine the doctor gave me. about a hundred tablets Put the glass next to the bed After that, I called and said to him, ‘You’re fine. If something happens to your father, don’t worry.” Wicha said that even if the son forbids it. But he has already made a definite decision. Moreover, their children are far away from different states.

“It was around midnight. I’m about to put a pill in my mouth. There was the sound of the big door shaking. I thought I suspected it was a relative who lived nearby to ban him. But after that there was a knock on the glass. Knocking on the door from all directions after a while I could feel the wind going through my ears. as if someone jumped beside him and followed by the sound of slippers Walked around me three times and the kitchen noise was loud.”

“I thought it was strange, so I shouted, ‘I’m fine. The child will not kill himself. don’t worry You have come to live in me.” And the voice was silent.”

After calming himself, he walked slowly towards the kitchen. and groped through the pantry to inspect the damage But all the cabinets are completely closed. There was absolutely no trace of ransacking, and after that, Vija went back to sleep. by before entering the reverie Then I felt a hand stroke my hair.

“I think it was probably a haunted house that came to stop me.”

The dignity of a blind man

Even then, subjects would have no one left in their feelings. but in fact His relatives were all worried. Some bought them food. Some support the capital.

“But the main support is the child, because he still takes care of me. When the child is good for me, I’m happy and I don’t want to burden him again.”

Deciding to start a new life as a blind person, Wicha was given an opportunity by the Southern Blind Association. Surat Thani Province applying for a disabled card To receive a salary of 800 baht per month, it is also recommended to go to massage classes. to bring skills to work too

Blind people can get Thai massage.

image source, Napat Wesshasartar / BBC Thai

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Blind people can get Thai massage.

“You won’t want me to go. Because I’m afraid I’ll be cheated, but since we’re blind, we’d better go learn massage. so as not to be a burden,” Vicha told BBC Thai.

Vicha spent more than two years studying massage. From Thai massage courses for health for the visually impaired, 255 hours, studying as a medical assistant, foot massage, including being a speaker. Who later applied to be a massage therapist in Arsawadee under the Association of the Blind in Thailand

“In fact, I would like blind people to work under Section 33 and 35. Visually impaired people will not be in trouble. Because some people have no cost of living at all. If he got here, it would make him a career. can help yourself or even raise a family.”

The Act on the Promotion and Development of the Quality of Life for Persons with Disabilities BE 2550 states that

  • Employment of People with Disabilities Section 33 for employers or owners of establishments and government agencies accept people with disabilities to work in the ratio of 100 non-disabled employees to 1 disabled person
  • Payment of money to the fund under section 34 The employer or owner of the establishment and government agencies that do not recruit people with disabilities to work in the amount prescribed under Section 33 will send money to the Fund. rather than employing people with disabilities
  • providing concessions under section 35 If the employer or organization and government agencies do not wish to accept disabled people to work under Section 33 or do not wish to send money to the fund under Section 34 to employers or government organizations and agencies to give concessions, organize places to sell goods or services they can subcontract work, train, or provide any other support to people with disabilities or their carers on their behalf.

A report on the situation of people with disabilities in Thailand by the Department of Empowerment and Development of the Lives of People with Disabilities. According to the Ministry of Social Development and Human Welfare dated March 31, 2022, there are currently 2,108,536 people with disabilities in Thailand, of which 1,061,096 are disabled or physically disabled, 393,998 people with hearing or meaning, and 186,701 of sighted people.

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