Marco joined Watsi on July 23rd, 2016. Four years ago, Marco became the 2121st member to automatically support a new Watsi patient every month. Since then, 4,329 more people have become monthly donors! Marco's most recent donation supported Johnson, a baby boy from Tanzania, to fund spina bifida treatment.
Marco has funded healthcare for 70 patients in 9 countries.
Johnson is an 8-month baby boy from Tanzania. Johnson, the last born child in a family of four, and already is a very active and friendly little boy. Johnson's parents are both subsistence farmers. Johnson was born in a local hospital where his parents were informed that his spine was not fully formed, thus resulting in a condition known as spinal bifida. Because Johnson's condition was not severe, they were informed that he wouldn’t need treatment and that it would close on its own. As their family continued to attend clinics they were told to wait till Johnson gets to five months old for him to have any kind of treatment. At five months they took him to hospital for the treatment but the cost was too high for them to afford and they had to return home. As time went by, Johnson's mother saw that his condition could end up complicated if he didn’t get treatment soon and end up greatly affecting Johnson later in life. She decided to seek treatment. She went to Mt Meru and was referred to Watsi's Medical Partner Care Center ALMC for more help. Johnson 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, Johnson 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 $1,015 to cover the cost of Johnson's spina bifida closure surgery. The procedure is scheduled to take place on September 7th. This procedure will hopefully spare Johnson from the risks associated with his condition, instead allowing him to grow and develop along a healthy trajectory. Johnson’s mother says, “We are concerned if our son does not get his spine corrected, it might affect his ability to walk. Please help my son.”
Rin is a 49-year-old rice farmer from Cambodia. He and his wife have been married for 20 years, and have two children together. His wife works in a factory, and his children are all in school. He works long hours, and raises chickens for additional income. He enjoys cooking for his family in his free time. Rin had a work accident and has an open fracture on left forearm. He went to a local hospital for an open reduction internal fixation and skin graft, but the surgery did not help him feel better. He has now come to Watsi's Medical Partner CSC because the fracture is still impacting him in a challenging way. He cannot use his fingers and has pain when he tries to work with this hand. One year ago, he was dragged under a vehicle and fractured his left forearm. He went to a local hospital and was operated on, but the fracture did not heal properly. He still experiences chronic pain from his injury, and he cannot move his hand. His family has lost their primary source of income since he cannot work, and he is worried about being able to support them. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, can help. On June 3rd, Rin will undergo a fracture repair procedure, which will cost $465. After the surgery, he will be able move his wrist and hand, and return to work. Rin said, "I am proud of my work and I want to work so I can support my family. My hand is in pain all the time, but I really hope that this surgery is enough for me to keep working."
Noah is a casual laborer from Kenya and a father of five. His wife passed away in December of 2019 but he is still grieving for her. He usually sells flowers in the streets of Nairobi with his sons, but because of the COVID-19 lockdown they have been at home struggling to even put food on the table. Noah fell and fractured his right femur on the 5th of July. He is in a lot of pain and cannot walk on his own. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On July 7th, Noah will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. This procedure will help him walk again and heal well. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,049 to fund this procedure. Noah shared, “I don’t know how I fell and I have no money or anyone to turn to for this treatment. My children depend on me. I plead for help so that I can be able to walk again and resume selling flowers to sustain my family.”
Htay is a 45-year-old woman who lives with her husband and three daughters in Thae Phyu Village in Burma. Htay and her husband run a small shop selling betel nut and general groceries beside their home, however she has been unable to work due to her heart condition for the past year. Htay’s oldest daughter used to work at a factory in Yangon, but moved back home last year when Htay became too ill to wok. She now helps out at Htay’s shop while also helping with household chores. Htay’s other two daughters are students; one is in grade 10 and the other is in grade four. After she gave birth to her last daughter, Htay began to experience frequent pain in her chest and headaches. Whenever she would lay down, she also felt like she could not breathe well. She then went to Htantabin General Hospital in Yangon where she received an electrocardiogram (ecg). Later, the doctor told her that she has arthritis and Ischemic heart disease, a condition where an organ does not receive enough blood and oxygen. She was given medication and returned home. Htay said, “This medication seemed to help my condition and I continued to buy it from the pharmacy.” In February 2020, Htay’s condition deteriorated again; she felt like she could not breathe and that she was exhausted all the time. Htay and her husband went to Thiri Sandar Hospital in Yangon where she received x-rays and an echo. After checking her results, the doctor told her that she has a large hole in her heart and that she would need to have it closed surgically. Currently, Htay has difficulty breathing, mostly at night, and she feels tired especially when she uses the upstairs. She also has a rapid heartbeat. Htay told us, “I am worried about my condition and I am very sad whenever I think about it. But now I am happy to have found someone to help support my treatment. Once I have fully recovered, I will build a new shop [made of bamboo] because my old shop is starting to fall apart. I will also go back to working with my husband and I will support my children so that they can become educated people.”
Doem is a 59-year-old Khmer classical musician from Cambodia. He has one son, one daughter, and three grandchildren. In addition to helping his family plant crops, Doem and his music group play for wedding parties in his province. Two months ago, the retina of Doem's right eye detached, causing him blurry vision and tears. He has difficulty seeing things clearly, recognizing faces, and going anywhere outside. When Doem learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, he traveled for three-and-a-half hours seeking treatment. On May 6th, eye surgeons will perform a retinal detachment repair procedure in his right eye. After recovery, he will be able to see clearly. Now, he needs help to fund this $648 procedure. Doem said, "I want to return to playing music, but I also need my eyes to help my family with our crops because I am the only one who knows how to drive the harvesting motorbike."
Jimmy is the first born of two children and lives in Makadara rehabilitation center. Jimmy was brought to Watsi's Partner CURE Hospital by Elijah, a social worker at Makadara Rehab Center. The rehab center supports street children and their families. They rescue, rehabilitate, and cater for the basic needs and facilitate placement either in regular schools or special schools or rehabilitation homes. Jimmy was a street child and was rescued in January 2018. He had fled home in Kayole, Soweto slum where his single mother lives in a difficult state. Fortunately, he was rescued and enrolled in school. He recently finished his class 8 final exam and scored good grades that will enable him to join a national high school. Jimmy joined the street family in 2016. He fell in 2017 and injured his elbow so that to this day he cannot stretch out. He has lived like that since then and complains of pain and discomfort. Jimmy is afraid that his education might be affected and his aspiration of becoming an engineer might come to an end. Jimmy is scheduled to undergo right elbow interposition arthroplasty to realign the bones so that he can be able to stretch his hand and use it fully. On behalf of the Makadara Rehab Center, Elijah, a social worker requested for support because they have so many children who need different care and attention and they cannot meet the cost of this treatment. “I request for support to undergo surgery so that I can play basketball and even do other things like washing and writing which I am currently not able to,” Jimmy told us.
Mya Mya is a 40-year-old-woman who lives and work with her elder sister for a herbal medicine production workshop in Sanchaung Township, Yangon Division in Burma. They are originally from Bago Division and moved a few years ago. Since Mya Mya was 18 years old she has felt bronchial asthma and suffered from difficulty breathing. Sometimes she feels severely tired. She went to a health worker at her village and the health worker told her to go and see heart specialist in Yangon. However, at that time she did not have money to go to Yangon, so she did not go. She has only used herbal medicine for treating difficulty breathing since she was 18-year-old, which did help her feel better. For the last four months at night she has severe difficulty breathing, so she woke her sister up and asked her sister to send her to a private clinic called Yaung Chi Oo in Yangon. After the doctor's examination, she was told her that she needs to go and see heart specialist doctor. Then the doctor gave her an injection and some oral medication. Then, she went to Thiri Sandar Private Hospital on January 31, 2020 where she received an echocardiogram. The doctor told her that she has heart disease and she needs surgery. On February 5, Mya Mya went to Kan Thar Yar Hospital (KTYH) as suggested by the doctor at Thiri Sandar Hospital. The doctor at KTYH performed another echo before diagnosing her with large ventricular septal defect (VSD). The doctor at KTYH also told her that she needs surgery. Unfortunately, Mya Mya and her family cannot afford to pay for the surgery. After talking to the nurses and doctor about her problem, the nurses who know Watsi Partner Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF) refered her to BCMF. Mya May needs to stop working because of her tiredness. She is worried about her parents because if she cannot work. She shared, "If I recover from my disease, I need to work for my parents, to support them.”
Sandra is an 11-year-old student from Haiti. She lives with her parents in a city in northwest Haiti. She is in the fifth grade and especially likes reading and art. Sandra has a cardiac condition called ventricular septal defect and pulmonary hypertension. A hole exists between the two lower chambers of her heart; she also has blood flowing through her lungs at much higher pressures than normal. Sandra will fly to Cayman Islands to receive treatment. On February 24th, she will undergo cardiac surgery, during which doctors will first perform a catheterization to make sure the high pressures in her lungs can be reversed. If the results of this procedure are positive, she will go on to have open-heart surgery in which doctors will close the hole in her heart with a patch. Sandra's family needs help to fund the costs of surgery prep. The $1,500 bill covers labs, medicines, and check-up and follow-up appointments. It also supports passport obtainment and the social workers from our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, who will accompany Sandra's family overseas. Another organization, Have a Heart Cayman, is contributing $17,000 to pay for her surgery. Sandra shared, "I am looking forward to being able to walk to and from school without stopping to rest!"
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.
Kyu is 38-year-old-woman from Burma. She owns a farm which she is able to rent out for 200,000 kyat (approx. 200 USD) for each season. In her free time, she enjoys doing housework such as cooking and cleaning. Kyu was diagnosed with a heart condition that involves a malformation of the mitral valve, the valve between the left atrium and left ventricle that controls the flow of blood. Currently, Kyu has difficulty breathing, chest pain as well as pain in her neck. She also cannot walk fast or for long distances because she gets tired easily. Kyu is unable to sleep well for she worries about her condition. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund a mitral valve replacement for Kyu. Once her treatment is completed, it will hopefully allow her to live more comfortably. “If I feel better after surgery, I want to work and save money for my daughter,” said Kyu.
Khin is a 58-year-old Chin woman from Burma. She moved to Yangon one year ago when her health deteriorated. She lives with her sister, daughter and two grandnephews. In her free time she likes to read the Bible and pray to God. Sometimes she helps with household chores such as ironing her daughter and grandnephews cloths. Khin 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, Khin feels tired, experiences heart palpitations and cannot walk long distances. However, she feels slightly better when she takes her medication. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund a mitral valve replacement for Khin. The treatment is scheduled to take place on September 10 and, once completed, will hopefully allow her to live more comfortably. Khin said, “I don’t want to feel stressed and I stay happy even though I don’t have enough money to treat myself. I am happy that my family encourages me to be strong even though they can’t help me. When I recover fully I want to help and look after orphaned children from Chin."
Susan is a housewife from Kenya. She is a mother of six children who are grown up with their own families. But since she could not give them a good education they are also struggling to sustain their families. Susan does not work she is a house wife and the husband is a small scale farmer. Susan has been alright until 26th July 2019 when she slipped and fell. She was taken to hospital and an x-ray done showed she had closed fracture right radius/ulna bones. It is difficult for her to use her hand and she is in chronic pain Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On October 03, Susan 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 $998 to fund this procedure. “I love my wife and she has been very helpful to me and the family. I hate to see how she is suffering and kindly ask for help” said Susan’s husband.