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Paula-Jean Lai

United States

Paula-Jean's Story

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.

Impact

Paula-Jean has funded healthcare for 43 patients in 9 countries.

All patients funded by Paula-Jean

Su

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.”

81% funded

81%funded
$1,223raised
$277to go
Khin

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.”

100% funded

$1,500raised
Fully funded
Veronicah

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.

100% funded

$708raised
Fully funded