Mehmet joined Watsi on June 27th, 2014. Three years ago, Mehmet became the 2130th member to automatically support a new Watsi patient every month. Since then, 3,677 more people have become monthly donors! Mehmet's most recent donation traveled 5,000 miles to support Poe, a five-year-old from Burma, to fund his spleen removal for thalassemia.
Mehmet has funded healthcare for 73 patients in 12 countries.
Poe is a five-year old boy who lives with his family in Shwe Koke Ko village of Karen State in Burma. In his free time, Poe likes to play with his friends and toys. He also likes to eat sweets. Poe does not go to school because of his condition. Poe's mother and father are divorced, and both are remarried. His father lives and works in Bangkok, Thailand and he contributes to Poe’s financial wellbeing by giving the household 5000 baht (approx. $167 USD) per month. His mother does not provide the family with any extra income. Poe stays with his grandmother and great grandmother from his father's side. His grandmother works as a cleaner. The rest of the family does not currently have work. When Poe was eight months old, he got a severe fever and his family took him to the Wang Pha clinic near Mae Sot, Thailand, which is the same place where he was born. He was admitted at the clinic for three days, but his condition did not improve. Doctors at the clinic told his family to take him to Mae Sot Hospital (MSH) for further investigation. The family immediately took him to MSH and he was admitted for one week. At MSH, he received a blood test and was diagnosed with Thalassemia, a blood disorder. He received a blood transfusion and after the transfusion, Poe felt better, but only temporarily. His family went back for three follow-up appointments to MSH, where he had blood transfusions each time. When he was one year and five months old, the family could not afford going to MSH any longer, so they took Poe to Myawaddy Hospital. He received another blood transfusion and an IV line. He was admitted for three days at the hospital. Although he felt better after getting discharged in Myawaddy, since his condition is chronic, he needs regular blood transfusions to stay healthy. It became increasingly difficult for the family to pay for Poe’s care, however, they decided to come to Mae Tao Clinic (MTC) for further help in 2016. Since then, he has received many blood transfusions at MTC, sometimes monthly and sometimes bi-monthly. With these treatments, he is able to survive. However, his condition also affects his spleen, the organ that filters blood. To prevent further problems, medics at MTC told his family that doctors need to remove Poe's spleen. Since it cannot be done at MTC, he needs to go back to MSH to undergo the operation. Currently, Poe has frequent bloody noses, coughs up blood, and has blood in his stool. He feels better after having a transfusion, but it wears off in the weeks following the procedure. When its nearing time for another transfusion, he feels weak and tired. When asked what he wants to do when he grows up, Poe was adamant that he wanted to be a medic. “I want to help people,” he said. “When he sees people that are sick, he always tells me he feels sorry for them,” added his great grandmother.
Khin lives with his wife and five children along the Thai-Burma border. Khin and his wife work as porters on the river that runs between the Thai-Burma border. They carry items to and from the boats that bring Burma people across to Thailand. However, Khin has been unable to work for the past year, and his wife stopped working in December 2019, when she accompanied Khin to Mae Tao Clinic (MTC). His eldest son works at a bicycle shop as a salesman and earns 200 baht (approx. 7 USD) per day. Khin’s other children all go to school. One day in February 2019, Khin was playing football with his friends. During the game, Khin went to hit the ball with the inside of his right foot. However, someone from the opponent team accidentally kicked him above his right ankle when they tried to take the ball away from him. Right away, Khin’s leg hurt and he was unable to continue with the game. His friend brought him back home. For the next two months, Khin sought help from a traditional masseuse and a traditional healer. When neither treatments helped, he sought help from a health worker. There, he received an injection into his right leg, close to his injury. Khin said, “As soon as I received the injection, I felt better but it did not last for a long time and the pain returned.” He returned twice more and each time he received another injection that at first helped reduce the pain. One day, Khin heard about a traditional healer from a friend. When he went to see them, the traditional healer applied a bandage with herbs to his injured leg and provided him with instructions on how to reapply the bandage at home. Afterward, whenever Khin applied the bandage with herbs, he felt better so he continued to reapply it for the next six months. Khin thought his leg would finally heal, but after using the bandage for six months, he noticed that the area around his ankle and his right foot had become swollen, and that there was pus from sores on his ankle and the sole of his foot. A friend told him about a charitable clinic called MTC right across the border in Mae Sot, Thailand. Khin decided to seek help there, so accompanied by his wife, they arrived at MTC on the 1st of December 2019. He was admitted right away and he received oral medication, injections and had his leg dressed and changed daily. Every 10 days, he also had the pus in his injured leg drained. During the first week of January 2020, MTC brought Khin to Mae Sot Hospital (MSH) for further treatment. There, he received blood tests and an X-ray before the doctor told him that he needs to receive surgery which would cost him around 30,000 baht (approx. 1,000 USD). However, Khin was unable to pay for surgery. Once Khin was brought back to MTC, the medic saw that he had been diagnosed with chronic osteomyelitis, a severe infection of his bone, and referred him to Watsi Partner Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF) for assistance in accessing further treatment. BCMF connected him to Mawlamyine Christine Leprosy Hospital (MCLH) in Burma. After the doctor reviewed his medical records, the doctor recommended an amputation of his right leg below the knee. Currently, Khin suffers from a lot of pain in his right leg at night and he is not able to sleep. During the day however, the pain lessens if he does not walk long distances. He also needs to use crutches to get around. Khin said, “I would like to feel better as soon as possible so that I can go back to work to support my family and so that we can pay back our loan.”
Paw is a 62-year-old widow from Thailand. She lives with her older brother in Thaw Lae Hta Village, Mae Sariang Town, Mae Hong Son Province. Paw has works as a homemaker taking care of her brother who cannot work due to congenital mental and physical disabilities. Paw has a younger sister in the same town who supports her financially and is her main source of income. Since 2014, Paw has been experiencing some abnormal pain in her right lower abdomen. She has been diagnosed with a myoma. She has been advised to undergo a total abdominal hysterectomy, the surgical removal of her uterus and cervix. If left untreated, Paw's symptoms will continue to worsen and put her at risk for further health complications in the future. Fortunately, Paw is scheduled to undergo her hysterectomy on November 19th. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of her procedure and care. Once recovered, Paw will no longer abdominal pain and she will be able to take care of her brother. Paw said, "Since 2019, I have been experiencing increased levels of pain in my right lower abdomen, increased back pain, and difficulty sleeping. Riding a motorbike aggravates the pain even more. I also experience dysuria and sometimes it takes me longer to use the bathroom. My appetite is good, but I cannot eat as much as I want because I experiences abdominal tightness, difficulty breathing, and fullness in my stomach when I eat too much."
Jane, a self-employed woman, was unfortunate to fall in a latrine in July 2018, severely breaking her leg. Upon the accident, she was rushed to Nakuru Hospital, where she was admitted and had surgery in which a metal plate was inserted. She went for clinics in the same hospital after being discharged, but the leg was not improving at all. Her uncle came to her rescue in June 2019 and brought her to Kijabe Hospital. Jane was admitted, had the metals on her leg replaced with lighter ones, and was discharged. She has been coming for clinics to monitor her leg. An x-ray was done and it was decided that another surgery was needed. Due to lack of funds, Jane went home helpless. Being a divorced woman and self-employed (selling second-hand clothes), Jane is the breadwinner of her family of five children. With her mobility being hindered by her broken leg, she cannot do as much as she would have if she’d be on both feet. This surgery will definitely improve Jane’s and her children’s quality of life.
Jean is a student from Haiti. He lives with his parents and brothers in a neighborhood of Port-au-Prince. He is in the eight grade, and before becoming sick he enjoyed playing soccer regularly. Jean has a cardiac condition called rheumatic mitral and aortic regurgitation. Two of the four valves of his heart were severely damaged by a rheumatic fever he suffered in childhood, and can no longer adequately pump blood through his body. Jean will fly to the Dominican Republic to receive treatment. On October 28th, he will undergo cardiac surgery, during which surgeons will attempt to repair his two damaged valves; if they are unable to do so, they will implant artificial replacements. Another organization, The Mitral Foundation, is contributing $7500 to pay for surgery. Jean'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 Jean's family overseas. Jean said, "I am very excited to have this chance to get my heart fixed!"
Samnang currently studies in sixth grade, and enjoys playing with his two sisters, reading books, and listening to music. Samnang was born with scoliosis. Since birth, the curvature in his spine has been slowly worsening over time. Today, he experiences pain when lying down, and difficulty walking, breathing, and sleeping. Surgery will remove the curve in Samnag's spine and realign the bones along his lower spine. Samnang will be able to breathe normally and walk and sleep without difficulty. He looks forward to returning to school and playing with his friends and siblings.
Abdirahim is a child from Ethiopia. Abdirahim is a cute boy who loves to play with others. He loves to play football with other children in the village. He also loves to watch animation movies. Abdirahim’s father is retired while his mother was a business woman who supported the family until six months ago when she passed away. Abdirahim has five siblings. Abdirahim underwent a colostomy, in which the end of the colon is brought through an opening in the abdominal wall. This surgery is often performed to bypass bowel malformations, but colostomies are usually temporary and may call for closure. In Abdirahim's case, his colostomy requires closure in order to restore bowel function and prevent future complications. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $961 to cover the cost of a colostomy closure for Abdirahim. The surgery is scheduled to take place on September 09 and, once completed, will hopefully allow him to live more comfortably and confidently. His dad said “After the operation I see a bright future for our child. I believe his trouble will come to end. And for us the families, it is a big relief.”
Kuoy is a 41-year-old rice farmer from Cambodia. She is from Kampong Speu Province, and in her free time she enjoys planting vegetables nearby the house. Five years ago, Kuoy had an ear infection. This infection caused the tympanic membrane, or the ear drum, in her left ear to perforate. For this reason, Kuoy experiences itchiness, discharge, hearing loss, and tinnitus. She is unable to hear properly, which affects her communication with others. Kuoy traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On August 6, she will undergo a myringoplasty procedure in her left ear. During this procedure, surgeons will close the perforation. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is requesting $423 to fund this procedure. This covers medications, supplies, and inpatient care. She says, "I hope that the ear infection and discharge will stop, and I will be able to hear again without any tinnitus."
Chabenta is a girl from Haiti. Chabenta lives in an orphanage in a mountainous area south of Port-au-Prince; she enjoys her classes in school and would like to become a doctor one day. She has a cardiac condition called severe mitral regurgitation, in which one of the four valves of her heart has been damaged by rheumatic fever and can no longer open and close properly. As a result, her heart cannot adequately pump blood through her body, leaving her sick and short of breath. Chabenta will fly to Boston to undergo surgery on September 5. During surgery, the medical team will first attempt to repair her damaged valve; if this is not possible, they will implant an artificial replacement. Boston Childrens Hospital is providing $28,000 to fund surgery. Chabenta's family also needs help to fund costs of surgery prep. Our medical partner is requesting $1,500 to support these costs. She says, "I am looking forward to this surgery so that I can walk to and from school without having to rest."
Chheang is a teenager from Cambodia. He was born with scoliosis, which is progressing with age and making it difficult to sit in school for long periods, and causing a lot of discomfort. Surgery can help correct the position of his spine, and prevent further worsening of the condition. Spinal surgery is scheduled for June 6 and will cost $1,500. In his free time, he likes to read books, watch TV, listen to music, and go outside with his family. He hopes to one day become a doctor when he grows up.
Sovan is a 37-year-old hairdresser from Cambodia. He is the youngest of nine children, and enjoys watching television in his free time. When he was fifteen years old, Sovan had an ear infection. This infection caused a cholesteatoma, or an abnormal skin growth, to develop in the middle ear behind the ear drum. For this reason, Sovan experiences ear discharge, headaches, tinnitus, itchiness, and hearing loss. He has a difficult time understanding and communicating with others. Sovan traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On May 6, he will undergo a mastoidectomy procedure in his right ear. During this procedure, ENT surgeons will remove the cholesteatoma. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is requesting $842 to fund this procedure. This covers medications, supplies, and inpatient care. He says, "I hope that after my surgery, I will be able to hear clearly and my ear infection will heal."
Kasinjeni is a farmer and father to six from Malawi. During this free time, he likes to watch football and spend time with his 18 grandchildren. Since January 2019, Kasinjeni has been experiencing urinary difficulty and pain. These symptoms are caused by an enlarged prostate, a condition called benign prostatic hyperplasia. He needs to undergo a prostate resection surgery, a procedure in which surgeons will remove part of the enlarged gland. Our medical partner, World Altering Medicine, is requesting $733 to fund Kasinjeni's surgery. On April 9, he will undergo prostate surgery at Nkhoma Hospital, our medical partner's care center. The requested money pays for supplies, medications, and two weeks of hospital stay. He is happy about the surgery and his family is thankful. He is looking forward to working again without pain. He says, "Thank you Watsi for this assistance."