Paula-Jean joined Watsi on July 11th, 2013. 6 other people also joined Watsi on that day! Paula-Jean's most recent donation traveled 8,300 miles to support Su, a 16-year-old girl from Burma, to fund cardiac surgery.
Paula-Jean has funded healthcare for 43 patients in 9 countries.
Paula-Jean has funded healthcare for 43 patients in 9 countries.
Su is a 16-year-old girl from Burma. She has three siblings. Su’s mother is a home maker, and her older brother works as a day labourer. Su and her youngest sister are students and this year Su is in grade seven. Her family's combined monthly income is around 200,000 kyat (approx. 200 USD) per month, which is just enough for their daily expenses, but not enough to pay for basic healthcare. When she has free time, Su loves to play football with her friends at school and she likes to be the goalkeeper. She also loves to read books and watch movies. Su plans to continue her studies as soon as she finishes her treatment. Su 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, Su still feels tired, but not as much as before she started taking her medication. When she feels more tired, her breath quickens. Su has stopped attending school since she got sick. Although she wants to go back to school, her mother worries for her as her school is a little far and she normally walks there. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund a mitral valve replacement for Su. The treatment is scheduled to take place on February 12nd and, once completed, will hopefully allow her to live more comfortably. Su's mother shared, “Su really wants to go to school but I worry that the long walking distance from our house to her school will make her tired and worsen her condition. So, I asked her to stay home for a while until she can get treated.”
Saroeun is a 58-year-old rice farmer from Cambodia. She is married with two sons, four daughters, and eight grandchildren. Saroeun's husband is also a farmer. She shared with us that she enjoys watching Khmer dramas on TV, but this is hard to do as her eyesight has worsened. Three years ago, Saroeun developed a cataract in her right eye, causing her blurry vision, burning, and tearing. She has difficulty seeing things clearly, recognizing faces, and going anywhere outside. When Saroeun learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, she traveled for three and a half hours with her sister-in-law seeking treatment. On September 21st, doctors will perform a phacoemulsification 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 $229 procedure. Saroeun said, "I hope after surgery I can continue my work at the farm and can cook more at home."
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.”
Veronicah is a calm baby. She was diagnosed with anal-rectal malformation a condition where she lacked an anal opening at birth. Veronicah was born normally with a normal birth weight of 2.8 kgs and discharged on the same day. After two days, her mother noticed that her abdomen was swollen and she had difficulties breathing and could barely feed. They later realized that Veronicah lacked an anal opening and passed stool through her vagina. Her parents rushed her to the nearest hospital. It’s from here that their journey in search of a specialist began. Veronicah’s parents have been to two hospitals before they could find a specialist. A colostomy was created 10th June 2019 and supported through the national health insurance system. Veronicah has been attending weekly clinics and is now ready for the second surgery which is to create an anal opening. Unfortunately, having exhausted most of his hard-earned money, Veronicah’s father, the sole breadwinner could not keep up with National Health Insurance premiums and thus had no means to pay for the needed surgical care. The family turned to their local radio station to seek help and a well-wisher advised they visit Watsi Partner BethanyKids Hospital where they could access financial and surgical assistance. If not treated, Veronicah is at a risk of acquiring infection, scaring at the colostomy site due to occasional leakages. Veronicah is the last born of three children. The firstborn who is five years old just joined school. Her father is a subsistence farmer without an external source of income. Veronicah’s mother is a stay-at-home mom. They are not in a position to raise the needed funds and thus appealing for help. “I am willing to clean the hospital as long as you want just to pay for my daughter’s surgical care. I am very desperate,” says Veronicah’s father.
Coldy is a baby from Haiti who lives with his mother and father in a neighborhood of Port-au-Prince. Coldy has a cardiac condition called ventricular septal defect. A hole exists between the two lower chambers of his heart; blood leaks through this hole without passing through his lungs to obtain oxygen, leaving him weak and short of breath. Coldy will fly to Dominican Republic to receive treatment. On November 14th, he will undergo cardiac surgery, during which surgeons will close the hole in his heart using a patch. Another organization, Gift of Life International, is contributing $5000 to pay for surgery. Coldy'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 Coldy's family overseas. From Coldy's mother, "I am hopeful that after his surgery my son will start eating better and gaining weight!"
Meach is a 72-year-old rice farmer from Cambodia. He is from Kampong Cham province and enjoys listening to the monks pray on the radio in his free time. One year ago, Meach developed a cataract in her left eye, causing her vision loss. She has difficulty seeing things clearly, recognizing faces, and going anywhere outside. When Meach learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, she traveled for three and a half hours seeking treatment. On August 12, doctors will perform a small incision cataract surgery and an intraocular lens implant in her left eye. After recovery, she will be able to see clearly. Now, she needs help to fund this $211 procedure. She says, "I hope that I am able to see more clearly and can return to the pagoda and join the ceremony."
Nesly is a young man from Haiti. He lives in a small village in northwestern Haiti with his parents and siblings. He would like to go to college once he is in better health. Nesly has a cardiac condition called severe rheumatic mitral and aortic regurgitation. Two of the four valves in his heart have been severely damaged due to a rheumatic fever he suffered several years ago. Nesly will fly to the United States to receive treatment. On September 10, he will undergo cardiac surgery, during which surgeons will remove his damaged valves and implant artificial replacements.. Another organization, The Heart Hospital Baylor Plano, is contributing $35000.0 to pay for surgery. Nesly'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 Nesly's family overseas. "I am so happy that this surgery will finally be possible for me!"
Keminagano is 63 years, a widow with six children who are all are married but unemployed. Her husband passed away in 1993 and she doesn’t have any other support apart from the small scale farming she does. Keminagano reports lower abdominal pain associated with long-standing uterine prolapsed for 13 years. She has had difficulty in passing urine and has had poor quality of life and uncomfortable movements. If not treated, she may have persistent prolapsed of the uterus thus complicating her life. Keminagano has never visited a hospital for treatment but luckily she heard of the programs at Nyakibale Hospital and was diagnosed with a uterine prolapse. We expect to improve on her quality of life and halt symptoms.
Zacharia is a baby from Tanzania. Zacharia was born with spina bifida, a type of neural tube defect in which the spine does not properly close around the spinal cord. Without treatment, Zacharia is at risk of lower-limb paralysis, infection of the exposed nervous tissue, development of tethered cord syndrome, and possible developmental delays. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $966 to cover the cost of Zacharia's spina bifida closure surgery. The procedure is scheduled to take place on July 22. This procedure will hopefully spare Zacharia from the risks associated with his condition, instead allowing him to grow and develop along a healthy trajectory. Zacharia’s mother says, “We are living in fear of losing our son due to his condition please help save our baby we have not been able to afford his treatment cost all this time.”
Loserian is a baby from Tanzania. For a few months, Loserian has been experiencing difficulty breathing. He was recently diagnosed with enlarged adenoids, which are the soft tissue behind the nasal cavity. Without treatment, this condition will cause Loserian's symptoms to persist and possibly even intensify. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $609 to fund an adenoidectomy for Loserian, which is scheduled to take place on July 4. Surgeons will remove his adenoids, hopefully relieving Loserian of his symptoms and helping him live more comfortably. Loserian’s mother says, “Please help my son if it’s possible.”
Sreymean is a first grade student from Cambodia. She likes to watch television and read books, and hopes to become an English teacher when she grows up. Sreymean was born with a condition known as nevus, affecting her face and both lower and upper body. She has large patches of darkened skin and hair due to the proliferation of melanocytes, and is at risk for the condition to expand over time with the potential to turn malignant. When Sreymean learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, she traveled for half an hour seeking treatment. On June 18, surgeons at CSC will perform giant nevus excision to remove the nevus from her skin, preventing its expansion and growth. Now, she needs help to fund this $606 procedure. Her mother says, "I hope that my daughter's surgery goes well so that she will be able to look better and so that I will not have to worry about her condition anymore."
Alice is a baby from Kenya. She was born with a slight mass on her forehead and nose. Alice has been diagnosed with encephalocoele, a type of neural tube defect in which brain tissues and overlying membranes protrude through openings in the skull. Encephalocoele usually results from a failure of the neural tube to completely close during fetal development. Without treatment, Alice is at risk of developmental delays, brain damage, or premature death. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $929 to fund encephalocoele repair surgery for Alice. The procedure is scheduled to take place on April 15. Hopefully, the repair of this condition will allow Alice to grow up healthy. “Please help my child,” says Alice’s mother.