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, 3,832 more people have become monthly donors! Marco's most recent donation supported Htay, a 45-year-old woman from Burma, to fund cardiac surgery.
Marco has funded healthcare for 67 patients in 9 countries.
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.
Aron is a child from Tanzania. Aron is one year old boy and the last born child in a family of three children. Both his parents depend on their tailoring job which they say keep them going though it’s not much. Since he was a few months old, Aron has had an inguinal hernia. This hernia causes him pain and discomfort and if not treated, it may result into intestinal tissue death Fortunately, on August 21, he will undergo hernia repair surgery at our medical partner's care center. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $539 to fund Aron's surgery. Once completed, this procedure will hopefully allow him to live more comfortably and confidently. Aron’s mother says, “My son has been going through a lot of pain but due to financial challenges we couldn’t afford the cost of the surgery. Please help my son if it’s possible.”
Brighton is a young boy from Kenya. For five years, Brighton has had an inguinal hernia. If not treated, the hernia may result in intestinal tissue damage. Fortunately, on August 2, he will undergo repair surgery at our medical partner's care center. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $423 to fund Brighton's surgery. Once completed, this procedure will hopefully allow him to live more comfortably. “I want to be a driver when I grow up,” says Brighton.
Dorcas is a child from Tanzania. She has clubfoot of both feet. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Fortunately, Dorcas traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on July 5. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $890 to fund Dorcas's clubfoot repair. After treatment, she will be able to walk easily. Dorcas’s mother says, "I am hoping my daughter can be able to get her legs treated and be able to walk like other normal children and be able to help me when she is all grown up."