Mark joined Watsi on May 3rd, 2016. Seven years ago, Mark joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Mark's most recent donation supported Sai Laung, an 18-year-old laborer from Burma, to fund heart surgery.
Mark has funded healthcare for 434 patients in 13 countries.
Mark has funded healthcare for 434 patients in 13 countries.
Sai Laung, who is 18 years old, lives with her parents and her younger sister in Shan State in Burma. Sai Laung used to be an agriculture day laborer, but she stopped working in July 2022 due to her illness. In her free time, Sai Laung likes to read Buddhist books and study English online. During the first week of July 2022, Sai Laung began to feel very tired and she developed a fever. At first, she thought it was because she was working a lot, but when she had difficulty breathing a few days later, her mother brought her to the hospital. She was told she might have a congenital heart condition, and the doctor recommended that she have an echocardiogram to confirm the diagnosis. Sai Laung had an echocardiogram at another hospital, confirming that she has a ventricular septal defect, or a hole in her heart. The doctor advised her to go to the Pun Hlaing Hospital in Yangon to see a cardiologist, which Sai Laung did towards the end of November 2022. During that visit, the doctor also diagnosed her with aortic valve regurgitation, and told her that she needs surgery. Currently, Sai Laung has difficulty breathing and is only able to walk short distances before experiencing fatigue. Performing ordinary household chores like cooking or cleaning is exhausting for her. Her lips turn blue, and she has sharp chest pain, fever, and difficulty sleeping. Fortunately, our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, has stepped in to assist Sai Laung access the care that she needs. On March 7th, she will undergo surgery to repair her heart at Pun Hlaing Hospital. Now Sai Laung and her family need your help to raise the $1,500 to fund this life-saving procedure. “I have felt so sad since I was diagnosed with this [heart disease]. I need surgery and we have no money. I look at my parents and I pity them because they work so hard to help me get treatment. I want to recover quickly and go back to work so I can help my parents with the extra income. When I learned that there are donors who will help pay for my treatment cost, I felt so happy," said Sai Luang.
Mark is a 2-year-old boy, His mother works as a teacher, while the father owns a small business of selling thrift shoes around town. However, ever since the lock down period during the COVID-19 pandemic, their business has been slow, thus, reducing their household income. The past year has been the most difficult for them, and they are unable to raise funds to seek medical treatment for their son. Last year, while playing with his friends, Mark accidentally pulled on a flask of hot water resulting in the water spilling and burning most parts of his arms and stomach. Following the accident, his mother applied honey and a raw egg on the wound as first aid and then rushed him to the hospital. Mark was given ointments to help the wound heal, but his mother was led to believe that applying mashed cassava mixed with honey would help Mark’s wound heal faster and better compared to the medicine he was given at the hospital. Two months after the incident, Mark no longer had an open wound, but the skin around the fingers of his right hand was badly damaged. Burn scar contractures have developed, tightening the skin around the burn. Now it is difficult for him to use his right hand. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Mark receive treatment. On March 3rd, surgeons at their care center will perform a burn contracture release surgery to increase the functionality of his fingers. Now, he needs help to fund this $874 procedure. Mark’s mother says, “Sometimes I wonder if not following the doctor’s advice is the reason my son’s hand is the way it is, and I’m the one responsible for that.”
Omega is a five-year-old boy. He lives with his parents and two siblings, and enjoys playing with them. As the last born, he is spoiled and loved so much by his mother. They live in Hai, a small town in the Kilimanjaro Region. The parents are cattle breeders, who breed cattle for meat and milk. The cattle breeding business has been hard in the past few months because of drought. The green pastures and rivers they used to depend on to feed their cattle are now dry. Cattle are not producing enough milk, and the meat they produce is not preferred by most of the consumers around their area. In 2019, while Omega was playing with his brother, he got into an accident and fell into a pot of boiling tea. After the open wound healed, his right arm could not extend fully, making it hard for him to fully use his arm. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Omega receive treatment. On February 28th, surgeons at their care center will perform a burn contracture release surgery to help him use his arm freely. Now, his family needs help to fund this $874 procedure. Omega’s mother says, “I hope this treatment will give him a room of new possibilities in the future because his hand will limit him so much in his life.”
David is a 17-year-old student from Kenya. He aspires to become a surgeon to help patients and children in need with different deformities. David, who is the third child in a family of four, lives in a children’s home based in Mombasa (Rainbow Children’s Home) together with his siblings. His mother does menial jobs, and is unable to support the children, so they are getting help from the orphanage. He is currently a 7th-grade student at the Rainbow Academy, a school nearby. David has clubfoot on both feet. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Fortunately, David traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, AIC Cure International Hospital. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on February 27th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,286 to fund David's clubfoot repair. After treatment, he will be able to walk easily. David said, “I want to become the best surgeon in the world so as to offer my experience and services to needy children.”
Chanthoeun is a 53-year-old homemaker from Cambodia. She lives in Phnom Penh with her husband and has one son, two daughters, and a grandchild to keep her busy. At home, she enjoys cooking, doing her housework, and caring for her grandchild. Five years ago, Chanthoeun had an ear infection. This infection caused her right ear's tympanic membrane, or the ear drum, to perforate. As a result, Chanthoeun experiences ear discharge, tinnitus, hearing loss, and sometimes cannot sleep well at night. She has taken medicine from a local pharmacy for treatment but has not seen any improvement. Chanthoeun traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On January 16th, she will undergo a myringoplasty procedure in her right ear. During this procedure, surgeons will close the perforation. Chanthoeun needs help raising $487 to fund her procedure and inpatient care. She said: "After surgery, I hope my ear stops having frequent infections and improves my hearing."
Rem is a 67-year-old widow in Kampong Chhnang province. She has four sons, two daughters, and seven grandchildren. Her husband passed away 18 years ago, and she lives alone now. Her children live far away, tending their own farms, so she doesn't get to see them very often, and she shared that she is often lonely. At home, she enjoys listening to local monks pray on the radio. One year ago, Rem developed a cataract in her right eye, causing her blurry vision, tearing and sensitive to sunlight. She has difficulty seeing things clearly, including colors and faces, and is worried about falling when walking, so is not able to go places on her own. When Rem learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, she traveled for four and a half hours seeking treatment. On January 2nd, doctors will perform a small incision cataract surgery and an intraocular lens implant in her right eye. After recovery, she will be able to see clearly. Now, she needs help to fund this $253 procedure. Rem shared: "I hope my vision improves and I can do housework, and get around easily by myself. I want to walk to the pagoda by myself."
Ferdinand is a father of two from the Philippines. He has one son and one daughter. Both he and his wife both work as public school teachers. Their income is still insufficient for their needs, however and, in addition to supporting their children, part of their salary goes to their medication for diabetes and hypertension. In September, Ferdinand began to experience several troubling symptoms, including severe abdominal pain. He was rushed to an emergency room to be treated. The ultrasound test showed that he has gallstones. Ferdinand has been advised to undergo a cholecystectomy which is the surgical removal of the gallbladder. If left untreated, his symptoms will continue to worsen and will put him at risk of further health complications in the future. After seeking treatment through our medical partner, World Surgical Foundation Philippines (WSFP), Ferdinand is scheduled to undergo a cholecystectomy on December 3rd. A portion of the cost of the procedure is being supported by the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation, and WSFP is raising the remaining $826 to cover the cost of Ferdinand's surgery and care. "Because of my condition, I'm in constant pain which hinders me from doing my usual activities. I've tried to reach out for help to our local government but was unsuccessful," Ferdinand shared. "I am glad there are foundations like Watsi and World Surgical Foundation Philippines that exist. I'm forever grateful for the help that you've given me," he added.
Regina is a small-scale farmer from Kenya. She rears cattle on a rented piece of land. She has two cows from which she gets milk for sale. Her husband is unemployed, and the income Regina earns is not sufficient to cater to all the family's needs. Regina first experienced a painful lump in her right breast in early August when she was taking a shower. She immediately went to a local health facility for a check-up and was later referred to a local government hospital in Olkalau town, situated several kilometers from her home. She has since had several tests including a mammogram and a CT scan. The result revealed the presence of cancerous cells. She opted to visit Kijabe Hospitals’s breast clinic after a referral by a friend. After a review, doctors recommended a partial mastectomy and she needs financial assistance to go through the surgery. Without treatment, the cancer may spread to other organs. The mastectomy, a surgery to remove breast tissue, aims to rid her body of breast cancer and to prevent the cancer from metastasizing. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1110 to cover the cost of a mastectomy for Regina. The procedure is scheduled to take place on November 2nd. After treatment, Regina will hopefully return to a cancer-free life. Regina says, “This is shocking, but I know God will give me strength to overcome the cancer.”
Elenita is a 60-year-old woman from Philippines. She previously worked as a Registered Midwife but lost her job during the pandemic's peak. She's now reliant on her four children for her daily basic needs. In January, Elenita began to experience troubling symptoms, including lower back pain that's radiating down to her lower extremities. She sought a medical checkup and was told to have an ultrasound and CT scan. The tests revealed that she was suffering from gallstones. These are small stones that are usually made of cholesterol that causes inflammation of the gallbladder. Elenita has been advised to undergo a cholecystectomy, the surgical removal of the gallbladder. If left untreated, her symptoms will continue to worsen and put him at risk for further health complications in the future. After seeking treatment through our medical partner, World Surgical Foundation Philippines (WSFP), Elenita is scheduled to undergo a cholecystectomy on February 17th. A portion of the cost of the procedure is being supported by the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation, and WSFP is raising the remaining $1,128 to cover the cost of Elenita's surgery and care. Elenita shared, "Thank you, WATSI and World Surgical Foundation Philippines! You are such a blessing and I will never forget how you save my life. If in the future you will need my service as a midwife, I'm more than willing to help out."
Lang Heang is a 62-year-old active grandmother. She has a rice farm with her husband, who is the assistant chief of their commune. She has one son, two daughters, and three grandchildren. At home, she enjoys listening to the news and monks praying on the radio. One year ago, Lang Heang developed a cataract in her right eye, causing her cloudy vision, light sensitivity, and frequent tearing. Household tasks and cooking for her family are difficult for her due to her declining vision. When Lang Heang learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, she traveled for three and a half hours seeking treatment. On October 3rd doctors will perform a small incision cataract surgery, and will implant an intraocular lens in her right eye. After recovery, she will be able to see clearly again. Now, she needs help to fund this $253 procedure. Lang Heang says, "I hope after surgery I can see well again, go back outside more and keep planting rice."
Esther is a 22 year old woman, living in Kenya. She is currently in her final year of school, pursuing a course in hospitality. Esther is supported by her mother, a widow, who runs a small grocery. Two weeks ago, Esther slipped on a staircase and broke her left ankle. At the local facility where Esther was initially taken, she was administered pain medication. An X-ray was performed at a second facility, and it was recommended that Esther undergo surgery to repair the fracture. Esther chose to visit the doctors at our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, and now she is scheduled for surgery on January 5th, at AIC Kijabe Hospital. While Esther is currently unable to walk without support and without pain, the scheduled fracture repair surgery should restore her mobility. Now she needs your help to cover the $979 cost of the procedure. Esther says: “I am unable to go to school due to the fracture. I cannot walk and need the surgery to be able to use my leg again.”
Judith is a farmer from Uganda, who lives with her two children and her husband in a two room rented house. She grows beans, maize and potatoes for home consumption. She did not proceed past primary school after losing her father, who was the breadwinner of the family, to a road accident. During her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family. Judith is currently expecting her third child. Her doctors recommend that she deliver via a caesarean section because of the risk of her two previous deliveries. She is not able to raise the money needed for surgery and appeals for help. By performing a C-Section delivery, doctors can best ensure the safety of both mother and child. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Judith undergo a C-Section on January 5th. This procedure will cost $252, and Judith needs your support. Judith says, “I request your support towards this surgery. The two previous surgeries have been a burden to my family."