Van joined Watsi on April 9th, 2015. Five years ago, Van became the 1124th member to automatically support a new Watsi patient every month. Since then, 4,830 more people have become monthly donors! Van's most recent donation traveled 8,800 miles to support Horn, a man from Cambodia, to fund mobility-restoring hip surgery.
Van has funded healthcare for 63 patients in 10 countries.
Horn and his wife have been married for forty years, and have three daughters together. His wife works with him in the fields, while his daughters are all still in high school. He spends free time with his friends raising livestock for sale. Four months ago, Horn started feeling pain in his left hip. He had one previous surgery there, but no trauma. His pain reached the point where he can no longer walk unaided, and he had to stop working. On recommendation from one of his friends, he traveled for nearly ten hours to come to Watsi's Medical Partner CSC to receive treatment. Doctors at CSC will perform a girdlestone procedure in order to alleviate his pain. Once he recovers, he will no longer experience any pain in his hip, but his mobility will be reduced and he will use a cane. He will be able to continue working and doing the same activities he enjoyed before. Horn said, "I am glad my pain will finally be gone after my surgery. I cannot walk or do anything right now, so I am excited for the day I can finally go back to working and supporting my family."
Meet Sharon, a 5-year-old girl from Kenya. She is the second born in a family of four children. Sharon was brought to Medical Partner's clinic by her grandmother. Her mother has stayed at home and according to Sharon’s grandmother, she is mentally impaired. Both Sharon's mother and grandmother do not work and only depend on farm products and well-wishers. Their family hails from Makengi village in Embu county. Sharon has a burn scar deformity that she sustained at home when paraffin poured on her and unfortunately, she caught fire, severely burning her feet. She healed with contractures on her hands and feet as well. She currently cannot walk or hold things on her hand and she is in great pain at the moment. Surgery will be of great impact to her as she will be able to stand, walk, and hold things. Her family is not able to raise the estimated cost of surgery and thus requested for support. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is helping Sharon receive treatment. On May 20th, surgeons at their care center will perform a burn contracture release surgery to better allow her to use her hands easily. Now, she needs help to fund this $799 procedure. “We cannot be able to raise the estimated cost of surgery and if there are any means that you can support us, we will be grateful.” Sharon’s grandmother told us.
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.
Starlex is a student from Haiti. He lives with his parents and two younger brothers in Cap Haitien, a city in northern Haiti. His father is a taxi driver. He is in the second grade and likes going to school and playing with his friends. Starlex has a cardiac condition called Tetralogy of Fallot. This condition involves several related defects including a hole between the two lower chambers of the heart, and a muscular blockage of one of the valves. Starlex will fly to Canada to receive treatment. On April 1st, he will undergo cardiac surgery, during which surgeons will close the hole in his heart with a patch, and remove the muscular blockage from his valve. Another organization, The Herbie Fund, is contributing $25,000 to pay for surgery. Starlex's family also needs help to fund the costs of surgery prep and transport. The $1,500 bill covers labs, medicines, and checkup and followup appointments. It also supports passport obtainment and the social workers from our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, who will accompany Starlex's family overseas. Starlex's father shared, "My family is looking forward to the day when our son can be healthy and normal!"
Now two years old, Podolsky was born with a heart condition called atrioventricular septal defect, in which a large hole exists in the middle of the four chambers of his heart. This condition allows blood to mix between all four chambers without obtaining oxygen. Podolsky's cardiac condition leaves him sick, short of breath, and malnourished. Podolsky lives with his mother on a small island off of the west coast of Haiti. He likes playing with stuffed animals and toys and listening to music. His family is seeking $1,500 to support costs for preparation and transportation for Podolsky to access heart surgery. Another organization, Chain of Hope UK, is helping to cover the cost of surgery. His mother shared, "I am looking forward to this surgery so that my son can become healthy and strong, and will stop becoming sick so often."
Jane is an elderly woman from Kenya who lives near Watsi's medical partner care center. Unfortunately, she was assaulted in November 2019 by a group of men and she suffered deep cuts on her left hand. She was brought to our facility and the wound was dressed. However, upon review and x-ray imaging, she was diagnosed with a radius fracture. She requires treatment to correct the fracture. Currently, Jane is not able to do anything in her house and she relies on her children. Jane is a widow who used to rely on her small farm to make ends meet. Her three children live away with their families and are not able to raise the full amount needed for their mother's surgery. Jane appeals for help. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On January 20th, Jane will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. The surgery will help her hand heal with ease and correct the fractured bone. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $640 to fund this procedure. Jane says, “My prayer is to have the surgery and resume my daily duties.”
Susan is a young girl from Tanzania. She is the second born child in a family of four children. She is a happy girl and always has a smile on her face. Susan has not had the chance to join school yet due to her feet being wrongly positioned making walking difficult. Her parents are concerned that she will struggle to walk to and from school every day. The school is a long distance from their home and her parents can’t afford to pay for motor bike rides to school. Both her parents depend on small scale farming for their daily life living. Fortunately, Susan traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on November 19th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $890 to fund Susan's clubfoot repair. After treatment, She will be able to walk easily. Susan’s father says, “Please help treat our daughter’s legs we can’t afford the treatment cost.”
Due is a 26-year-old man from Burma. He lives with his family in Hlaingbwe Township, Karen State. Due is a farmer while his wife looks after their four-month-old son. In 2018, Due noticed a lump by the size of the tip of a thumb on his right breast. He did not seek treatment until the lump slowly increased in size. He then went to a hospital in Hpa-An in early January 2019. At the hospital, he received an x-ray and was told that he would need surgery to remove the mass. Because he had no money to pay for the surgery, he just went home. With the help of a medic near his area, he was connected with BCMF who sent him to Mae Sot Hospital for a CT scan. The result confirmed the mass and the need to remove it. Currently, there is redness and swelling at his breast mass. It is also itchy and painful sometimes. Due sought treatment through our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund. he is now scheduled to undergo mass removal surgery on September 23. He is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. Due said, “I look ugly with my breast mass. It is itchy and painful sometimes. The symptoms of my breast mass put me in stress. I want it to go away from me as soon as possible”.
Zin is a 37-year-old woman from Burma. She lives with her husband, son and two daughters in Myawaddy, Karen State. Her 17-year-old son and 13-year-old daughter go to school while her youngest daughter stays home as she is still very young. To make a living, Zin used to make different Burmese snacks and sell them at the nearby villages. But she recently stopped working due to her health condition. Sometimes, her husband works as a day labourer but Zin said she does not know how much he earns from that. Six months ago, Zin started to experience stomach-ache so she went to a clinic. The doctor there did not do any investigations, instead, just prescribed her oral medication. Although Zin felt better with the medications she received at the clinic, her symptom returned after two months and she went back to see the same doctor. The doctor again prescribed her medications, but they only relieved her symptoms for a short time. In early September, Zin felt like her stomach-ache has worsened. She had it more often and the medications that she received at the clinic did not help her anymore. On 12 September 2019, Zin had a severe stomach-ache and for the last time, she returned to see the same doctor. On this visit, the doctor performed an ultrasound and said that there are stones in her common bile duct (CBD), a duct that carries bile from the gallbladder and liver into the duodenum (upper part of the small intestine). Zin has been advised to undergo a biliary obstruction repair, a procedure to repair the blockage of the bile ducts, which carry bile from the liver to the gallbladder. If left untreated, Zin's symptoms will continue to worsen and put her at risk for further health complications in the future. After seeking treatment through our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), Zin is scheduled to undergo her biliary obstruction repair on October 03. BCMF is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of Zin's procedure and care. Zin said, “I cannot do anything now. I want to get well soon and start working again. If not, my family will not have enough food”.
Bish is 39-year-old man from Burma. He lives in a monastery and helps out the head monk with charity work and a clinic. In July 2018, Bishu started to suffer from abdominal pain. It all happened after he carried rice packs, clothes bags and dry food packages while he helped flood victims around Hpa-An. Since then, he has been on medication for his abdominal pain. A year later, in July 2019, he was in severe abdominal pain and was admitted at a hospital. He was given medication, which made him feel better, and he was diagnosed with stones in his pancreas. The doctor did not explain to him of what he should do next so when he was discharged, he visited another hospital and the doctor there wanted to do more investigative tests. Doctors want Bish to undergo a CT scan, a procedure in which x-ray images taken from several angles are combined to produce cross-sectional images of the body. This scan will hopefully help doctors diagnose his condition and formulate an appropriate treatment plan. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $414 to cover the cost of Bish's CT scan and care, scheduled for August 28. Bish said, “After I recover from this health problem, I will continue to help the monk with his charity work. I will also help the charitable clinic as much as I can."
Obed is a child from Kenya. Two years ago, Obed accidentally dipped his hand into hot water while crawling. Obed cannot hold anything with his right hand because his fingers are folded. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Obed receive treatment. On August 5, surgeons at their care center will perform a burn contracture release surgery. Now, he needs help to fund this $1,006 procedure. His grandmother says, “Obed is joining school next year. He will need his right fingers so that he can be able to hold a pen. I wish that he can be treated this year so that he can join kindergarten with his age mates."
San is a 37-year-old man from Burma. San 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. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund a mitral valve replacement for San. The treatment is scheduled to take place on July 10 and, once completed, will hopefully allow him to live more comfortably. San said, “When I will feel better after surgery, I want to open a small shop to sell rice from my home, and I would like to have a daughter in the future.”