Chris joined Watsi on February 24th, 2016. Six years ago, Chris joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Chris' most recent donation supported Gatguon, a newborn baby girl from South Sudan, to fund spina bifida repair surgery.
Chris has funded healthcare for 73 patients in 12 countries.
Chris has funded healthcare for 73 patients in 12 countries.
Gatguon is an 8-week-old baby girl from a remote area of South Sudan. The civil war in South Sudan has made it difficult for many to access healthcare and treatment, including Gatguon's family. Gatguon was born with swelling in the back of her head. Upon referral to Old Fangak Clinic, the doctor diagnosed Gatguon with spina bifida, a type of neural tube defect in which the spine does not properly close around the spinal cord. Without treatment, Gatguon is at risk of lower-limb paralysis, infection of the exposed nervous tissue, development of tethered cord syndrome, and possible developmental delays. Gatguon urgently needs spina bifida repair surgery to correct the condition and reduce risk of infection. Unfortunately, this treatment is not available for her in South Sudan. Dr Jill Seaman and her team at Old Fangak Clinic facilitated Gatguon’s travel to Kenya – a long and difficult journey for a sick baby. Now, doctors at our medical partner's care center in Kenya will perform the surgery she needs. Gatguon’s parents have two kids. Her mother is a stay-at-home mom and her father is a vegetable farmer. They are hopeful that baby Gatguon will be treated and that they will continue taking care of her and loving her unconditionally. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is helping Gatguon's family raise $1,151 to cover the cost of spina bifida closure surgery. The procedure is scheduled to take place on April 20th and will hopefully spare Gatguon of further complications and allow her to grow and develop along a healthy trajectory. Gatguon’s mother shared, “We hope that our child will be treated.”
Rachhan is a 12-year-old student with five siblings. His parents are construction workers in their province. Rachhan enjoys playing football and riding bikes with his friends. Six years ago, Rachhan had an ear infection. This infection caused a cholesteatoma, or an abnormal skin growth, to develop in the middle ear behind the ear drum. For this reason, Rachhan experiences ear fullness, headaches, hearing loss, and ear discharge. He shared that he does not want to go to school because he is ridiculed by his friends when the teacher scolds him for not listening. As a result he has poor grades and it is difficult for him to communicate with other people. His parents are worried, but cannot afford expensive treatment for him. Rachhan traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On March 10th, he will undergo a mastoidectomy procedure in his right ear. During this procedure, ENT surgeons will remove the cholesteatoma. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is requesting $925 to fund this procedure. This covers medications, supplies, and inpatient care. Rachhan was excited that he will start to feel better soon. He told us, "I hope that I can hear well and go back to school."
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."
Mercy is a hardworking laborer and a widow. Her husband died 17 years ago when she was pregnant with her only child. The same year she gave birth to her son prematurely. She has worked hard to raise her son alone and he is currently in secondary school. Mercy doesn’t have a stable job, but engages in casual jobs within her village where she does cleaning to provide for her son. She likes being in the company of her son and they live in a small rented room in their small town. Around 17 years ago, Mercy began to experience troubling symptoms, including a neck swelling that developed when she gave birth to her son. She has had a difficult journey looking for treatment for her condition and has been to different hospitals where doctors have recommended surgery. She has never gotten the chance to have the surgery due to a lack of finances. Mercy has muscle weakness and gets fatigued easily. She was diagnosed with a multinodular goiter for which she reported to Kapsowar Hospital seeking support. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Mercy receive treatment. She is scheduled to undergo a thyroidectomy on January 12th at our medical partner's care center. Surgeons will remove all or part of her thyroid gland. This procedure will cost $936, and she and her family need help raising money. Mercy says, "I have lost weight, I am weak and cannot work like before. My hope in life is to get treated and continue supporting my son. He is the only family I got.”
Nita is a 31-year-old seller of Khmer beverages. She has a 6-year-old daughter. Her husband works for a company in the capital city of Phnom Penh in Cambodia. When not caring for her family, she likes to exercise, read books, and listen to music. A year ago, a mass started growing on Nita's right mandible, which she originally thought was a wisdom tooth. She visited a local hospital for a biopsy, and she was diagnosed with a low-grade mucoepidermoid carcinoma. She experiences pain and discomfort. She is scared she will be permanently disfigured or might die. When Nita learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, she traveled for two hours seeking treatment. On December 6th, surgeons at CSC will perform a mandibulectomy and extensive facial reconstruction to to rid her body of the tumour and avoid permanent disfigurement. Now, she needs help to fund this $657 procedure. She is hopeful that the tumor will be removed and she will quickly heal.
Mary is a farmer and the single mother of three children who are now grown. She lives in her parents’ home in Central Kenya. Mary farms on a small piece of land given to her by her parents, growing food crops for home use. She has no source of income and relies on her kids for upkeep and support. However, all her children do not have stable jobs. Her parents are elderly and don’t work either, so she is worried about how to fund the care she needs. Mary first started experiencing pain in her stomach at the beginning of October. Mary's pain has gradually increased and her stomach began swelling making her uncomfortable. She went to a health facility in Central Kenya for a check-up and review. She has been diagnosed with cancer of the ovaries. She needs to undergo a hysterectomy, a procedure in which surgeons will remove her uterus. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, can help. AMH is requesting $1,260 to fund Mary's surgery. On November 24th, she will undergo gynecological surgery at our medical partner's care center. Once recovered, Mary will be able to resume her daily activities free of pain. Mary says, "I feel uncomfortable with a swollen stomach and I am in pain. I know this surgery will go a long way to help heal the issue and make me well again.”
Hasani is a 16-year-old boy and the fourth born child in a family of five children. Sadly, his father passed away in 2011. Hasani's mother needed help supporting her children, so Hasani and one of his siblings are living with their aunt, while the other three children are living with other relatives. Hasani's mother and his aunt work as small-scale farmers. For three years, Hasani has had a right inguinal hernia, which occurs when tissue, such as part of the intestine, protrudes through a weak spot in the abdominal muscles causing pain and discomfort. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Hasani to receive treatment. On October 18th, he will undergo hernia repair surgery at AMH's care center. Once completed, this procedure will hopefully allow him to live more comfortably and confidently. Now, his family needs help raising $566 to fund his procedure and care. Hasani shared, "it hurts badly when it swells up especially during the cold seasons and when I help a lot in the farm."
Myint is a 57-year-old man who lives by himself in a village in Burma. His wife lives in Thailand, but since she lost her work due to COVID-19, she hasn't been able to send back money for basic things like she usually does. They are in a hard postion because she also cannot come back to Burma because she doesn’t feel safe because of civil war that has started. Myint is a day labourer who earns 3,000 kyat (approx. 3 USD) per day. His monthly income of 100,000 kyat (approx. 100 USD) is not enough to cover his daily expenses nor pay for basic health care. Last month, Myint went out fishing and he caught a catfish. While he tried to hang the fish, the catfish fell onto his left instep. The catfish’s fin which is poisonous injured his left instep. He went to small clinic and got treatment. But his wound did not improve and instead he had swelling and it become infected. The village clinic doctor told him if the wound is not improve to go to see the specialist. Since he didn't have money, Myint went to visit a monk to seek the treatment. The monk gave him traditional medicine (an herb) for the wound. However, after using the traditional medicine for one month, his foot continued to worsen. Eventually, his friend recommended that he seek treatment at Mawlamyine Christian Leprosy Hospital (MCLH). At the hospital, the doctor examined his foot and saw that he had developed an ulcer. The doctor said that they would need to perform surgery on his ulcer to clean it properly and remove any damaged or necrotic tissue. When Myint told the doctor he had no money to pay for the surgery, the doctor referred him to our Medical Partner Burma Children Medical Fund for assistance accessing further treatment. Currently, Myint’s left foot is swollen and the skin around his ulcer is discoloured. He cannot sleep well at night due to the pain. He also has difficulty sleeping due to worrying about his foot and his economic situation. He is worried that if his leg has to be amputated, he will not be able to earn money to support his family. He's trying to remain hopeful and told us, “In the future I would like to grow and sell mushrooms so that I can support my family financially.”
Taw is a 43-year-old teacher. She and her husband work at the same Bible school and their daughter is enrolled in that school's nursery program. In her free time, she enjoys singing and reading with her students. She enjoys growing organic vegetables at home, and growing her own vegetables helps reduce household expenses. On August 19th, Taw was walking home with part of a banana tree she had just cut down for her family's dinner. It was drizzling and the dirt road was slippery. She slipped and fell, breaking both bones in her left forearm. She experiences pain that worsens when she moves her arm. She is worried about being admitted to a hospital for surgery, because she has never been admitted to a hospital before. With the help of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, Taw will undergo surgery to reset her fractured bones and ensure proper healing. The procedure is scheduled for August 20th and will cost $1,500. This procedure will help Taw's arm heal properly. She will no longer be in pain and she will be able to go back to school and look after her daughter. Taw shared, "I hope this treatment will allow me to go back to work and take care of my daughter again."
Jackson is a three-year-old boy and loving big brother. His father's work at the welding shop provides the main source of income for the family. His earnings are just enough to support the household. Jackson's mother is not working so she can take care of Jackson and his very young sibling. The family currently lives in a small rented house. Jackson was born with hypospadias, which causes urinary dysfunction. Without treatment, he will continue to experience uncomfortable symptoms and will be at risk of infertility. Fortunately, Jackson is scheduled to undergo corrective surgery on July 27th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is requesting $735 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. Jackson’s mother says, “It is difficult for us to raise the money for his treatment as we always rely on the National Insurance, which has turned us down.”
Joana is a 50-year-old primary school teacher from Malawi. She teaches a class of more than 80 children. She shared that she loves teaching because it makes her feel young and energetic. Joana is also a mother of two children of her own, ages 29 and 27. In March 2021, Joana visited a local clinic for a routine check-up and was diagnosed with a uterine mass. A total abdominal hysterectomy, or a procedure where both the uterus and cervix are removed, was recommended as treatment. If her condition is not treated, Joana is at risk of becoming severely anemic. After the surgery, it is expected that Joana will no longer experience the uncomfortable symptoms associated with her condition. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Joana to receive treatment. On June 5th, surgeons at AMH's care center will perform a hysterectomy. Now, Joana needs help to fund this $1,363 procedure. Joana shared, “I will soon be a grandmother and I want to be in good health so I can play with my grandchildren the way I play with learners at school. I appreciate your support to have this uterine mass removed."
Veronica is a cheerful, married 29-year-old mother of two children. Veronica shared that she left school in primary school, because her parents could not afford her school fees. Her husband earns a living through helping people lift heavy luggage at a local bus station, and he also does a variety of other jobs when he has the opportunity. Veronica enjoys spending time with her two children, ages two and four; they give her joy and fulfillment as a mother. Her family lives in a one-bedroom rented house. In 2009, Veronica developed a swelling on her neck. She ignored it, thinking it would soon go away, but in 2014, the swelling grew. In 2015, she was diagnosed with a goiter, or enlarged thyroid, and surgery was recommended. As the goiter continues to grow, she has experienced coughing, difficulty breathing and difficulty swallowing. She can no longer sing in church or carry heavy things on her head, and she shared that she can no longer eat hard foods like msima, a Malawian staple. Veronica also told us that the condition has changed her appearance and has impacted her self-esteem. Veronica has visited the government hospital more than 15 times since her diagnosis, but her surgery was always rescheduled. Two weeks ago, she went to a different hospital and was referred to our medical partner's care center, where a surgeon recommended a thyroidectomy. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Veronica receive treatment. On May 25th, Veronica will undergo a thyroidectomy at AMH's care center. Now, AMH is requesting $1,015 to fund her procedure. The surgery is expected to improve her life and heal her symptoms. With a hopeful smile, Veronica shared, “I am overwhelmed with this opportunity to be sponsored for this operation. After the operation, I hope to live normally and care for my children properly. I believe I should be able to eat hard msima [the Malawi staple food] or raw cassava and potatoes which I now miss greatly. I look forward to sleeping without struggles after this surgery, much appreciation!”