Max joined Watsi on January 27th, 2019. One year ago, Max became the 4537th member to automatically support a new Watsi patient every month. Since then, 1,387 more people have become monthly donors! Max's most recent donation supported Thi, a young woman from Burma, to fund cardiac surgery.
Max has funded healthcare for 17 patients in 6 countries.
Thi is a 31-year-old woman who lives with her husband, father-in-law, nephew and daughter in Shwepythar Town in the Yangon Division of Burma. Thi is a homemaker while her husband is an electrician. Thi’s nephew and her daughter are students. In mid-February 2019, Thi developed a fever, a cough, and difficulty breathing. She went to the nearest clinic where she received an injection and oral medication to treat her fever and cough. When she took the medication she felt better, but the next day, she had difficulty breathing, felt tired, had a sharp pain in her chest, and a rapid heartbeat. She then went to a hospital in Yangon, where she received another injection, oral medication, and an x-ray. After the doctor diagnosed her with asthma, she also received a nebulizer for her asthma. Once the doctor checking her had the x-ray results, the doctor told her that her heart is enlarged and referred her to another hospital for further investigation. There she received an echocardiogram (echo) and another x-ray. After her results came in, the doctor told her that her heart valves are not working well and that she might have to replace two of the valves in her heart. She was diagnosed with mitral valve stenosis, mitral valve regurgitation, aortic valve stenosis, and aortic valve regurgitation. The doctor also told her that the surgery would cost 2.5 million kyat (approx. 2,500 USD). Thi could not afford to pay such a large amount and when she told the doctor this, the doctor provided her with oral medication every month. She did not feel better after she took the medication. Last month, Thi’s husband was setting up the electricity in his friend’s house when he met a cardiologist. The doctor had come to look after his friend’s sister, who has a heart condition. Thi’s husband had told his friend about Thi’s heart condition and his friend introduced him to the cardiologist. After he told the doctor about Thi’s condition, the doctor told him to bring her in to his office with her medical records. After they came into his office and doctor reviewed her medical records, he referred her to Watsi's Medical Partner Care Center Pinlon Hospital to finally receive the treatment she needs. Currently, Thi feels tired, has difficulty breathing and cannot walk long distances. Aside from her symptoms, she is very stressed and upset about her financial situation. In her free time, Thi likes to do housework and bring her daughter to and from school. In the future, when she is fully recovered, she would like to work as a seamstress and save money for her family. Thi said, “I think too much about my condition and worry about the treatment’s cost. So, I cannot sleep at night and I have a small appetite.” Thi’s husband said, “I have to accompany her whenever my wife visits the hospital. My daughter and I have had to stop working and attending school whenever she is sick. I feel bad for my wife because she cries every night since she found out that she needs to receive surgery.” Thi added, “I am very afraid to die and to lose my family as my daughter is still young.”
Sopheak is a 38-year-old construction worker from Cambodia. He has one son and two daughters, and has been married to his wife for the last 22 years. In his free time, his favorite activities include looking after his children, doing the housework, feeding his chickens, and cooking. Last year, Sopheak was in a motorcycle collision and fractured his left leg. He experiences pain, swelling, and is unable to walk or stand without support. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, can help. On March 4th, Sopheak will undergo a fracture repair procedure, which will cost $465. Surgery will allow Sopheak to walk independently again and return to his activities with little difficulty. "My family is worried because they are no longer able to afford treatments. I hope that after my surgery, I will no longer have any pain or swelling, and will be able to walk on my own again. My wife is looking forward to getting back to her normal activities without having to look after me everyday," he said.
Bernard is a bodaboda (motorcycle) operator from Kenya. Bernard and his brother were riding home on the night of March 21st when they were involved in a head-on collision with a lorry truck near his home. He sustained several fractures of his ribs and femur. He also sustained facial abrasions and they were rushed to Watsi's partner medical facility. His brother was admitted in the ICU in critical condition. Bernard requires tractions and an ORIF fracture repair in the coming days. Without the right treatment, he risks complications and being unable to move. Bernard is a father of two. He operates a motorcycle taxi commonly referred to as bodaboda to make a living. His wife is not employed and takes up casual labour like washing people’s clothes to complement her husband’s income. The family is financially strained and with two brothers in the hospital, the burden gets heavier. Bernard’s mother appeals for financial assistance. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On March 30th, Bernard will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. The surgery will allow Bernard walk easily again. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,451 to fund this procedure. Bernard says, “Please help me be treated so I can continue providing for my family.”
Soe is a father of three children from Thailand. He and his family relocated to a refugee camp in 2007 due to conflict between armed groups around their village. Although his family receives a small ration at the camp, it is not enough, so Soe does gardening and farming at a nearby Thai village to bring extra income for his family. Whenever Soe has free time, he loves to play cane ball or helps his wife with their household chores. On January 11th, when Soe was coming home from work with his friend on his friend's motorbike, the brakes failed when they were going downhill. The accident caused a fracture in the small bone located in front of his right knee joint. He is in pain and it is difficult for him to walk without using crutches. With the help of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, Soe will undergo surgery to reset his fractured bones and ensure proper healing. The procedure is scheduled for February 20th and will cost $1,500. After this treatment, Soe will be able walk again without any assistant devices. This will also allow him to get back to work so he can provide for his family. Soe said, “I am desperate to be able walk again and work for my children. I cannot imagine how life would turn out if I could not walk anymore.”
Carolyne is a casual laborer from Kenya. Carolyne has been blessed with four children. She doesn’t have a permanent job hence she does all sorts of low income jobs to feed her family. Her husband is a small scale farmer who depend on seasonal plants like sorghum and Mangoes. Due to scarce jobs in their village, Carolyne enjoys spending her free time taking care of her children. About four months ago, Carolyne suffered an injury on her left hand after she fell from a mango tree. It is difficult for her to work and is in chronic pain. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On October 2nd, Carolyne will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. This procedure will help her work again. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $968 to fund this procedure. Carolyne says, “I have been struggling with pain for these four months. Working would be very difficult at times but because I had no money for treatment, I tried to ignore the pain I was in”.
Mean is a 71-year-old rice farmer from Cambodia. He has six children and ten grandchildren, and enjoys exercising, visiting the pagoda, and taking care of his family when he has free time. Two months ago, Mean started experiencing pain in his right hip, five years after seeking treatment in both of his hips. He now experiences the same difficulty with his walking, and has pain everyday. Fortunately, Mean learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre. At CSC, surgeons can perform a total hip replacement to relieve Mean of his pain and allow him to walk easily. Treatment is scheduled for January 7th, and Mean needs help raising $1,087 to pay for this procedure. "I hope that I will be able to walk again and will not experience anymore pain in my hip," he said.
Wine is a 23-year-old man from Burma. Wine’s family are subsistence farmers and they mainly grow rice and sunflowers. Since Wine’s health deteriorated, he can no longer work on the farm and now looks after two cows. In his free time, he likes to hang out with his friends. In 2016, Wine started to experience a rapid heartbeat and fatigue. As his heart rate continued to be fast, he went to see a medic in his village. The medic told him to go to the hospital instead so he visited a general hospital near his hometown. At the hospital, he received an echocardiogram and the result revealed that Wine's heart valves are not good. The doctor told him that he needs to have surgery and that it would cost six million kyat (approx. 6,000 USD). The doctor then asked his family to come back after they have enough money for the surgery and prescribed him monthly oral medication. Since then, Wine also tried to treat himself with traditional medicine. When that did not work, he relied on oral medication to stabilize his condition. However, his symptoms frequently return. At the moment, Wine cannot do strenuous work such as lift heavy things, and he has back pain. Wine said, “I am very upset that I had to stop working on the farm and that I cannot support my family anymore. I want to be healthy and recover as soon as possible. When I recover fully, I will find a good job to pay back my debt and I will help my community as much as I can.”
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."
Leah is a housewife from Kenya. She is married with three children. Leah is a housewife but sometimes she does casual work at neighbor’s farms or washing clothes for them. The husband is a casual laborer at construction sites but their income is not much. One year ago, Leah has been experiencing heavy abdominal bleeding. She has been diagnosed with uterine fibroids. She needs to undergo a hysterectomy, a procedure in which surgeons will remove her uterus. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $718 to fund Leah's surgery. On October 09, she will undergo gynecological surgery at our medical partner's care center. Once recovered, Leah will be able to resume her daily activities free of pain. “I have suffered a lot with this bleeding and it is making it hard to serve my family and to join other friends. Kindly support me so that I can be well again to take care of my family,” said Leah.
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.
Chhunny is a 20-year-old rice farmer from Cambodia. He enjoys listening to music, helping with the housework, and taking care of his son. In June 2017, Chhunny was involved in a traffic accident that resulted in the fracture of his lower left leg and ankle. He often experiences pain and numbness, and it is difficult for him to walk normally. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, can help. On August 7, Chhunny will undergo a fracture repair procedure, which will cost $430. Surgery will ensure that Chhunny's leg heals properly, and that he will be able to walk without difficulty. He says, "I hope that I will be able to walk without any pain, and will be able to return to work."
Somalai is a 26-year-old clothing seller from Cambodia. In his free time he likes to play soccer and volleyball, listen to music, and go for walks with friends. In April 2019, Somalai was involved in a motorcycle accident that dislocated his left hip, and fractured both his right wrist and knee. He is unable to walk, and has constant pain in his left hip. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, can help. On July 3, Somalai will undergo a fracture repair procedure, which will cost $430. Treatment will allow Somalai to move and walk without any pain or difficulty. He says, "I hope that I am able to go back to work and will no longer have any difficulty walking."