Yong joined Watsi on June 27th, 2013. Eight years ago, Yong joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Yong's most recent donation traveled 4,100 miles to support Swe, a 38-year-old mother and homemaker from Burma, to fund heart surgery to replace her valves so that she can breathe and live healthy.
Yong has funded healthcare for 102 patients in 13 countries.
Yong has funded healthcare for 102 patients in 13 countries.
Swe lives with her parents and her son in a village in northern Burma. Her father is subsistence farmer, her mother owns a small weaving business where traditional Burmese blankets and sarongs are hand woven. Her son goes to school and Swe is a homemaker. In her free time, she enjoys visiting and talking to her friends in their village. In December 2021, Swe began to experience fatigue, sweatiness, vomiting and difficulty breathing. She also had a headache and a stiff neck. At first she could not travel due to COVID-19 travel restrictions, but eventually went to Mandalay in August to seek help. At a hospital, she received an echocardiogram and was diagnosed with mitral valve stenosis and aortic valve regurgitation. She was told she would need surgery costing 15 million kyat (approx. $15,000 USD), but she could not afford to pay for it. She then went to Yangon with her son, in the hopes of finding another hospital that cost operate on her for less money. While in Yangon, her condition deteriorated and her son rushed her to a hospital. The doctor there confirmed her diagnosis and her need for surgery, but told her it would cost 20 million kyat (approx. $20,000 USD). When Swe told the doctor that she could not afford to pay such a large sum, the doctor referred her to an abbot, who in turn referred her to our medical partner Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF) for financial assistance accessing treatment. Currently, Swe cannot walk for more than 10 minutes or she feels very tired and short of breathe. She has a rapid heartbeat, dizziness and headache. She said, "I want to say thank you so much to BCMF and all the donors to help me with my treatment cost.”
Ma Win is an 18-year-old girl who lives with her parents, sister and brother-in-law in Yangon, Burma. Ma Win’s sister works at a clothing factory, while her brother-in-law works as a day laborer. Her parents are homemakers. Before Ma Win's current illness, she also worked at a factory. When Ma Win was four years old, she experienced a bout of high fever, and was brought to the local clinic. She received an injection, and the doctor informed her parents that she was born with a heart problem. However, she was too young at the time for corrective surgery. Instead, she was sent home with medication, and appeared to be doing well until this past year. In April, Ma Win began experiencing chest pains, high fever and difficulty breathing. She went to a clinic, and received an x-ray and an echocardiogram. After the doctor checked her results, she was diagnosed with an opening between two major blood vessels leading from the heart. The doctor told her and her family that she would need to have surgery. When Ma Win explained to the doctor that her family could not afford to pay for the surgery, she was referred to the abbot of a local monastery, who provided the family with information about our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund. Now Ma Win is scheduled for cardiac surgery on October 23rd at Pun Hlaing Hospital. After she has recovered, she should no longer experience chest pains or difficulty breathing, and she won't have to worry any longer about her condition. She will also be able to return to work, which will help ease her family's financial burdens. Now she needs your help to raise $1,500 to cover the cost of her procedure. Ma Win said: “I am scared to receive surgery, but my mother tries to encourage me. However, I am very happy that I will be able to receive treatment with your help. I would like to say thank you so much to all the donors.”
Meet Britney, a sociable, six year old girl, living in a village in rural Kenya. Britney is an only child, and is currently in school. Her mother is unemployed, and relies on family to support her and Britney. While Britney was born a healthy child, her legs began to bow out when she turned two. While her mother, who suffers from the same condition, brought her to various doctors, Britney's condition continued to deteriorate. Well wishers, who noticed Britney's condition, brought her to the AIC Cure International Hospital for further evaluation. Thanks to our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, Britney will undergo surgery on September 27th, to help correct her bowed legs. This procedure will enable Britney to walk more easily, and to live without pain. Britney and her family are seeking $1,224 to fund the operation. "I will be grateful to see my daughter growing and walking well like other children,” Britney’s mother told us.
Thomas is a sweet three-week-old baby from Kenya. He is the youngest in a family of four children. His father works as a luggage carrier, and his mother does laundry and other house chores for people to help provide for their family. Thomas was born at a hospital near their home. At birth, he was diagnosed with spina bifida, as well as clubfoot. Spina bifida is a type of neural tube condition in which the spine does not properly close around the spinal cord. Without treatment, Thomas 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 $1,151 to cover the cost of Thomas's spina bifida closure surgery. The procedure is scheduled to take place on August 31st. This procedure will hopefully spare Thomas from the risks associated with his condition, instead allowing him to grow and develop along a healthy trajectory. Thomas’s father says, “Currently, we are very stressed because of our child’s condition. We are requesting for any help to see him become well.”
Alison is a sweet 6-year-old from Bolivia who loves princesses and coloring in coloring books! She lives with her parents in a small town on the border between Bolivia and Argentina. Her father is a minibus taxi driver, and her mother is currently finishing her university studies. Alison also attends school and recently finished first grade. Alison was born with a ventricular septal defect, a cardiac condition in which a hole exists between the two lower chambers of the heart. Blood leaks through this hole without first passing through the lungs to obtain oxygen, leaving her feeling weak and short of breath. Fortunately, Alison is scheduled to undergo heart surgery on July 26th with the support of our long-standing medical partner Haiti Cardiac Alliance, which is now growing and expanding into Bolivia. Surgeons will close the hole with a patch, allowing blood to properly flow through her body and improving her quality of life. Another organization, Gift of Life International, is contributing $2,500 to pay for a portion of Alison's procedure costs. Our medical partner is requesting $1,500 to cover the remaining costs, which funds surgical expenses, cardiac exams, medications, and travel fees so Alison and her family can travel to receive her life-changing cardiac procedure in La Paz. Alison's mother shares, "Our family is so grateful for this opportunity to save our daughter's life!"
Wilna is a 13-year-old student from Haiti. Her family lives in a rural area in northwest Haiti, as Wilna's parents both work as farmers. Wilna is in the sixth grade and enjoys her math and social studies classes. Wilna has a cardiac condition called severe mitral regurgitation, which means one of Wilna's heart valves was damaged due to an infection she experienced earlier in childhood. As a result, Wilna's heart is not adequately pumping blood through her body. The care that she needs is not available in Haiti, but fortunately, Wilna will fly to the Dominican Republic to receive treatment. On July 26th, she will undergo cardiac surgery, during which surgeons will either repair her damaged heart valve or implant an artificial replacement, so that her heart can pump blood normally. Wilna's family is requesting assistance to cover the costs of her surgery prep, as our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance (HCA), is contributing the funds to cover the cost of surgery. HCA is requesting $1,500 to cover Wilna's surgery prep, which includes all labs, medication, check-up and follow-up appointments, and the passports needed for HCA's social workers to accompany Wilna and her family overseas. Wilna shared, "I am glad to be having this surgery so that I will be able to walk without feeling tired."
Teriki is a 74-year-old woman with three children. She is proud that all have grown up healthy and have children of their own now. Teriki’s husband passed away many years ago, and she lives with her grandchildren. Teriki’s children farm a small piece of land and take on labor jobs to help provide for their families. Alongside farming maize and vegetables, Teriki also helps on peoples’ farms to support her grandchildren in school and provide basic needs for herself. Teriki was recently in an accident when she had to separate some animals who were fighting on the farm. Now she has swelling and bruises, and her leg is broken. Teriki is experiencing severe pain and must use a wheelchair to move around, which has been challenging for her to do. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), can help Teriki heal. On May 18th, Teriki will undergo a fracture repair procedure called an open reduction and internal fixation. Upon recovery, Teriki will be able to walk easily again. AMH is requesting $1,145 to fund her medical treatment. Teriki says, “I really feel sorry right now. I have been depending on myself, yet now I cannot walk by myself. Please help me get back on my feet so that we do not suffer more for my grandchildren.”
Colleta is a 26-year-old woman who works at a small boutique in Nairobi. She is married and has two children, who are four-years-old and five-months-old. Colleta and her family currently live in the capital city, but they plan to relocate to Colleta’s hometown soon. Colletta and her family were involved in a serious car accident last month. Her parents and brother passed away, and her husband and two children were seriously injured and admitted to the ICU. Although her husband’s condition has stabilized, Colleta’s kids are in critical condition and under pediatric intensive care. Colletta sustained a fracture to her right pelvic bones. As a result, she experiences severe pain and cannot sit, turn her body, or feed herself. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), can help Colletta receive treatment. On April 28th, she will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation, that will allow her to sit and walk again. AMH is requesting $979 to fund this procedure. Colleta shared, “I am in pain and cannot even turn or sit. I am also sad that I lost my parents and my brother. My kids and husband are in critical care and still in ICU. I feel confused and heartbroken.”
Jackson is a fifteen-year-old student and the last-born child to his mother. He has a large family, as is common in the Maasai community where he lives. Jackson is a very hard-working boy both at home and at school. He is social and self-driven. He shared that most boys his age don’t like school or don’t get the chance to attend school, but not Jackson! His favorite subjects are Physics, Swahili, and History. He wishes to be a teacher in the future to help educate his community. Jackson is a big football fan, but he had to stop playing because his legs started hurting and it has gotten difficult for him to walk. Jackson was diagnosed with Bilateral Genu Varus, where both of his legs are curving outwards. This condition is typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, which often stems from contaminated drinking water. As a result, he experiences pain and difficulty walking. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Jackson. The procedure is scheduled to take place on March 22nd. Treatment will hopefully restore Jackson's mobility, allow him to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease his risk of future complications. Jackson says, "My legs have made walking very difficult due to the pain. I would like to walk to school without difficulty and enjoy playing sports and helping my parents."
Srey Ne is a 32-year-old woman who is married with two young daughters, aged 5 and 7-years-old. Srey Ne works in a factory, while her husband works in construction. She shared that she enjoys swimming and cooking for her family in her free time. For six months, Srey Ne has been experiencing knee pain. She managed the condition with medication at first, but in December, the pain became so severe that she went to a government hospital. Doctors diagnosed her condition as osteoporosis, but Srey Ne was unable to afford the recommended treatment. When she learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC), she traveled to there for review. Doctors at CSC conducted a biopsy and histology and determined she has a giant cell tumor on her left knee that is growing. Currently, Srey Ne experiences pain and discomfort. Fortunately, surgeons at CSC can help Srey Ne finally heal. On February 18th, she will undergo excision and fibular flap surgery to remove the tumor and heal the wound. CSC is requesting $657 to fund this procedure, which is also subsidized by Srey Ne's co-pay that she was able to gather. Srey Ne says, "This treatment will help me return to work so I can support my family. I am looking forward to being free of pain and walking easily."
Said is an active and fun-loving kid. He was born in Venezuela but due to the crisis there, almost 4 years ago his parents decided to move to Colombia seeking for better opportunities. Said loves soccer and video games, and is the youngest sibling in his family. His mother shared that he was first diagnosed with cryptorchidism in Venezuela, but despite her efforts she hasn't been able to find the way to pay for his surgery or find a hospital that could help them. Surgery is important to prevent him from having testicular cancer or a hernia. Fortunately, our medical partner Clínica Noel is helping Said to access care. He's scheduled for surgery on February 2nd and his family is raising $1,167 to cover his medical treatment. Said's mother said: "I'm really glad and thankful with those that might help my little boy, I've been seeking for years for a miracle. Knowing that I don't have the resources makes me feel helpless. Thank you so much for your help."
On Monday night this week, Christine started experiencing pain in her abdominal area which she thought would disappear but it did not. The pain began when she was in school and her roommate heard her cry at night and went to her help. Upon learning about Christine’s pain, she immediately requested a taxi and rushed her to a nearby hospital. She was examined in the emergency department where first aid and a diagnostic scan was done. Her scan did not reveal anything unusual and she was referred to another facility where she could have a CT scan. Based on her results from the CT scan she was immediately referred to Kenyatta National Hospital. She was taken there in an ambulance, but on arrival they were asked for money which her father did not have. Their family made a decision to bring her to Kijabe Hospital for treatment with hopes that she could get the care she needed there. Christine’s family is having a difficult time right now and is requesting help to support her treatment. They need help raising $1,074 to fund the emergency laparotomy that will heal her pain.