Shanna joined Watsi on February 7th, 2014. Five years ago, Shanna became the 319th member to automatically support a new Watsi patient every month. Since then, 5,150 more people have become monthly donors! Shanna's most recent donation traveled 8,300 miles to support Cherry, a healthcare worker from Burma, to fund her kidney stone treatment.
Shanna has funded healthcare for 60 patients in 10 countries.
She lives with her parents in Karen State, Burma. She now works at Kyaw Hta Rural Clinic, 45 minutes away by motorbike from her village and earns 70,000 Kyat (approx. 70 USD) per month. Her parents are farmers and their total income is 100,000 kyat (approx. 100 USD) per month. Their income is just enough for their daily needs. Around eight years ago, Cherry developed pain in the right side of her abdomen. She went to the clinic near her village. At the clinic, the medic thought that she was suffering from normal stomachaches. Since the clinic did not have the necessary equipment to run diagnostic tests, the medic treated her for the pain. She received pain killers and when the pain was worse, a stronger does of pain killers through an injection. In May 2019, she was completing her training with Mae Tao Clinic (MTC), when the pain in her abdomen became worse. She received an ultrasound and painkillers at the clinic, before she was diagnosed with a renal stone in her right kidney. MTC then referred her to Mae Sot Hospital (MSH) for further investigation and treatment. At the hospital, she received an X-ray, ultrasound and a blood test, as well as oral medication for the pain. After checking her results, the doctor confirmed her diagnosis and told her that she needs to receive laser treatment two to three times, to break up the stone in her kidney. She received her first round of laser treatment on 7 August 2019. To pay for that, she had to borrow money from her supervisor and her neighbor. She was scheduled to undergo a second round of treatment on 18 September 2019, but she could no longer afford to pay. Luckily, MTC referred her to Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF) for assistance in accessing further treatment. Currently, Cherry still has pain in the right side of her abdomen. She is interested in the field of medicine and enjoys learning new things related to this field in her free time.
Mary is a child from Tanzania. She is the third born child in a family of five children. She is a friendly girl and very playful. Mary’s parents depend on small scale farming which they solely depend. His father says what they are able to harvest at the end of farming season is usually not enough to take them through to the next harvest season forcing him to seek day job to be able to supplement their income. Mary was diagnosed with genu valgus. Her legs bow inward so that her knees touch. This condition is typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, which often stems from contaminated drinking water. As a result, she is not able to walk comfortably. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $940 to fund corrective surgery for Mary. The procedure is scheduled to take place on August 27. Treatment will hopefully restore Mary's mobility, allow her to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease her risk of future complications. Mary’s father says “You are the my only hope of my daughter getting her leg correct, I have no means of affording her treatment cost please help my daughter.”
Woodmylens is a preschooler from Haiti. He lives with his mother and father on a farm in the mountains of central Haiti; he likes playing with toy cars and listening to music. Woodmylens has a cardiac condition called rheumatic mitral regurgitation. One of the four valves in his heart was severely damaged due to a fever he suffered earlier in childhood, and cannot adequately pump blood through his body. Woodmylens will fly to Dominican Republic to receive treatment. On July 29, he will undergo cardiac surgery, during which surgeons will first attempt to repair the damaged valve; if this is not possible, they will implant an artificial replacement. Another organization, Mitral Foundation, is contributing $6,000 to pay for surgery. Woodmylens's family also needs help to fund the costs of surgery prep. The $1,500 bill covers labs, medicines, and checkup and followup appointments. It also supports passport obtainment and the social workers from our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, who will accompany Woodmylens's family overseas. His mother says, "We are looking forward to this surgery so that our son can start school as a healthy boy."
Salman is a child from Kenya. He was born with hypospadias, a congenital abnormality that causes urinary dysfunction. Without treatment, he will continue to experience uncomfortable symptoms and will be at risk of infertility. Fortunately, Salman is scheduled to undergo corrective surgery on June 21. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $700 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. “We are unable to raise the funds needed yet we wish to see our son doing well. Please help us,” says Salman’s father.
Seang Khy is a woman from Cambodia. In March 2019, Seang Khy was in a motorcycle accident, dislocating her left hip. She is unable to walk without support, and experiences pain all along her left leg. Surgery will allow her to walk normally without any pain. Surgery is scheduled for May 2 and will cost $390. In her free time, Seang Khy likes to grow vegetables and feed the farm animals nearby her house. She is looking forward to returning to her work and regaining her independence. She says, "I hope that after my surgery, I will be able to walk like normal again and I can return to my work selling rice."
Thoeun is a 47-year-old rice farmer from Cambodia. She has five children, and enjoys watching movies and cooking for her family. In February 2019, Thoeun was involved in a motor vehicle accident, fracturing her left forearm. She is unable to work and experiences pain near her wrist. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, can help. On April 30, Thoeun will undergo a fracture repair procedure, which will cost $430. This procedure will secure the bones in her forearm so that they will align and heal normally. She says, "I hope that after my surgery, I am able to go back to my daily life and will no longer have any pain."
Dorica is a mother of two from Malawi. She lives with her children, two grandchildren, and her husband. She does a lot of cooking at home and likes to rest in her free time. Since December 2018, Dorica has been experiencing prolonged bleeding. She has been diagnosed with unspecified abnormal vaginal bleeding. She needs to undergo a hysterectomy, a procedure in which surgeons will remove her uterus. Our medical partner, World Altering Medicine, is requesting $650 to fund Dorica's surgery. On March 28, she will undergo gynecological surgery at Nkhoma Hospital, our medical partner's care center. The requested money pays for supplies, medications, and seven nights of hospital stay. She looks forward to getting better after this surgery and hopes to start a business of selling doughnuts when she recovers.
Si Blu is a 22-year-old girl from Thailand. She lives with her parents and younger brother and sister in Mae La Refugee Camp, Tha Song Yang District, Tak Province. She and her family fled Burma 12 years ago because of the civil war and a lack of job opportunities in their area. Today, Si Blu’s parents sell noddles and snacks from their home in the camp. Si Blu loves to listen to music and help her parents with household chores in her free times. Currently, Si Blu experiences fatigue and she is too tired to climb stairs. She often has rapid breathing as well as heart palpitations when she is more tired. Si Blu was born with ventricular septal defect, a cardiac condition in which a hole exists between the two lower chambers of the heart. Blood leaks through this hole without first passing through his lungs to obtain oxygen, leaving him sick and short of breath. Si Blu is scheduled to undergo heart surgery on March 17 to correct his condition and improve his quality of life. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of Si Blu's procedure and care. Si Blu said, “I feel like my health is getting worse and worse and I cannot handle it anymore. I am too tired to work or walk. I love to work but my work place has stairs I have to climb, and I cannot climb the stair every day. I hope that after surgery, I will be able to help my mother at home by selling noodles and snacks.”
Phyu is a 23-year-old woman from Burma. She lives with her husband in Mingalar Done, Yangon City, Yangon Division. Phyu's husband is a motorbike taxi driver. Phyu was diagnosed with a heart condition that involves a malformation of the mitral valve, the valve between the left atrium and left ventricle. This valve controls the flow of blood, but certain conditions may cause blood to flow backward or the valve to narrow. Currently, Phyu experiences shortness of breath and cannot walk long distances. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund a mitral valve replacement for Phyu. The treatment is scheduled to take place on February 14 and, once completed, will hopefully allow her to live more comfortably. Phyu says, “I want to get better so that I can get a job."
Beth is a farmer from Kenya. She is a mother of one daughter. Beth has been diagnosed with breast cancer. Without treatment, the cancer may spread to other organs. A mastectomy, a surgery to remove breast tissue, has been suggested to rid her body of breast cancer and to prevent the cancer from metastasizing. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $816 to cover the cost of a mastectomy for Beth. The procedure is scheduled to take place on January 8. After treatment, Beth will hopefully return to a cancer-free life. Beth says, “My hope is to have the treatment done. I want to fight the condition and finish victorious."
Sun is a mechanic from Cambodia. He has two daughters and two sons. He likes to do housework at home. Seven months ago, he developed hip pain on his right side. He cannot walk and is in chronic pain. Fortunately, Sun learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre. At CSC, surgeons can perform a total hip replacement to relieve Sun of his pain and allow him to walk easily. Treatment is scheduled for November 5, and Sun needs help raising $1,025 to pay for this procedure. He says, "I hope I can return to work soon."
Yee (BB) is a ten-month-old baby boy from Burma. He lives with his family in a village in Karen State. His grandfather and father are subsistence farmers who grow rice. The family also raises chickens and pigs, which they usually sell when they need money. Yee (BB) was recently diagnosed with hydrocephalus, which has caused fluid to build up in his brain. Without immediate surgery to alleviate the intracranial pressure that the excess fluid is causing, he is at risk of developing severe, potentially fatal medical complications. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund the insertion of a ventriculoperitoneal shunt for Yee (BB), which will drain the fluid that has accumulated in his brain. The procedure is scheduled to take place on October 30, and, once completed, will greatly improve Yee (BB)'s quality of life. Yee (BB)'s mother says, "I am far from my home to take care of my son (Yee (BB) ) more than two months now. I miss home but I am worry for my son and sad to see he is suffering."