Albert joined Watsi on September 21st, 2016. Three years ago, Albert became the 2409th member to automatically support a new Watsi patient every month. Since then, 3,418 more people have become monthly donors! Albert's most recent donation supported Taung, a newborn baby from Burma, to fund a CT scan for a congenital skull malformation.
Albert has funded healthcare for 42 patients in 10 countries.
Taung is a one-month-old baby girl from Burma. She lives with her parents and seven-year-old brother in a village in Hpan-An Township in Karen State. Her parents farm land owned by their relatives for free and grow rice for primarily their own consumption. Taung’s father also works as an agricultural day laborer. Taung was born at home with the assistance of a traditional birth attendant (TBA). As soon as she was born, the TBA noticed that she has a soft large sac protruding from the top of her head. Currently, the sac protruding from Taung’s head is continuously increasing in size. Sometimes, she cries so much her mother thinks that she is in pain. However, she responds to noise around her, and sleeps and breastfeeds well. Doctors want Taung 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 her condition and formulate an appropriate treatment plan. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $469 to cover the cost of Taung's CT scan and care, scheduled for March 15th. Taung’s mother said, “Over time, I have become increasingly worried about her head, whether it would become normal and if it could be treated. We do not have money to treat her, so we came to Mae Tao Clinic. I cry every time I touch her head and it is very hard for me to hold her. I feel like I am very unlucky that both of my children do not have good health. I want her to become healthy like other children.”
Michael is a baby from Tanzania, and the last born child in a family of five. He is a jovial boy and happy most of the time. Michael’s father has been away to a different city working as night guard while the mother is a stay home wife looking after their five children. His father is able to send some little money every month to help support the family. Michael has clubfoot of his left foot. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Fortunately, Michael traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on February 11th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $890 to fund Michael's clubfoot repair. After treatment, he will be able to walk without difficulty. Michael’s mother says, “Please help correct my child's foot so that he can learn how to walk like other children.”
Wel is a five-year-old boy who lives with his parents and an older sister and brother. His parents are subsistence farmers while he and his siblings are students. His mother forages for food and fishes to supplement their meals, while his father also works as a day laborer. The income he receives is just enough to cover their daily expanses but is not enough to pay for basic healthcare. On the 26th of December 2019, Wel was playing with pebbles at school with his friends. When he came back home that afternoon, he was crying but no one was home; his mother was away fishing. When she came back home and saw him still crying, she asked him what was wrong. Wel told her that while he was playing with his friends at school, one of his friends threw a pebble that hit him in his left eye. Since then, his left eye hurt a lot. His mother checked his eye, but she did not see any redness, and thought that the pain would go away after a while. Five days later, Wel complained that his left eye hurt more than before. His mother then took him to Hpa-An General Hospital, where his eye was checked. The doctor saw pus in his left eye and told his mother to take him to a hospital in Yangon as they cannot do anything for him there. The doctor provided him with eye drops and they returned home. Wel's mother did not have enough money to go to Yangon. His mother administered the eye drops for him, but his eye did not get better. His mother started to worry more about him and tried to look for a way to take him to another hospital. One of their neighbors suggested that she bring him to Mae Tao Clinic (MTC) in Mae Sot, Thailand, as she has been to the clinic before. On the 5th of January 2020, Wel's mother borrowed 100,000 kyat (approx. 100 USD) from a neighbor and took him to MTC. There, his eye was checked but the medic referred him to Mae Sot Hospital (MSH), as they could not treat Wel at the clinic. When Wel arrived at MSH, the doctor examined his eye and told Wel’s mother that he has an ulcer in the cornea of his left eye. His left eye had turned white and he also had pus due to the infection in his eye. The doctor told them that unfortunately the only option left was to remove his left eye so that his right eye would not become infected as well. Wel cried when he learned that his left eye had to be removed. Wel's mother however agreed to the procedure and he was scheduled to receive surgery on the 20th of January. Unable to pay for the surgery, the medic at MTC referred Wel to Watsi medical partner Burma Children Medical Fund for assistance in accessing treatment. Currently, Wel's left eye is itchy and has discharge coming from it. He cannot look at sunlight, as if he does his eye hurts. Before he stated taking the painkillers provided by MSH, his eye was very painful. He can no longer see anything with his left eye. "I want him to continue his studies after he receives treatment and I would like him to become either a teacher or a nurse in the future," said Wel's mother. "I don’t want him to work on the farm like us because he will have only one eye, so I want him to get a good job.”
Saroeun is a 31-year old corn bread baker from Cambodia. In her free time, she enjoys looking after her two daughters and cooking for her family. When she was 12 years old, Saroeun 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, Saroeun experiences headaches, infection, discharge, tinnitus, and itchiness. It is difficult for her to listen clearly to others and cannot communicate well. Saroeun traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On November 18th, she will undergo a mastoidectomy procedure in her right ear. During this procedure, ENT surgeons will remove the cholesteatoma. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is requesting $842 to fund this procedure. This covers medications, supplies, and inpatient care. Saroeun said, "I hope that after my surgery, the ear infection will stop and my hearing will improve."
Khin is a 39-year-old woman who lives with her family in Hpa-An Township, Karen State, Burma. Both her children are in preschool. She and her husband are subsistence farmers, growing rice during the rainy season on rented land. The rest of the year, her husband collects leaves used to make roofs, works as a daily labourer or collects branches to sell. Khin was born with a scar the size of an ant bite on her upper lip. Her parents thought that it would disappear or heal on its own but the scar developed into a growth and increased in size. Her parents passed away when she was young and after that she went to live with her brother’s family. By the time she was around 20 years old, the growth had become large and soft, covering the area between her upper lips and her nose. When the pain became unbearable in 2005, her uncle dropped her off at Mae Tao Clinic (MTC) in Thailand, a free clinic close to where her uncle used to work. At this point, the growth had become so large that dragged her upper lip down and extended into her nostrils. At MTC, she was seen by doctors and medics, before she was diagnosed with a hemangioma. At this point, the growth had worsened, and she was bleeding from her lips. In April 2006, Khin went to Chiang Mai Hospital and had the hemangioma removed surgically. The growth later has returned. Overtime, the hemangioma has increased in size and become hard. It has now expanded into Khin’s nostrils, especially her left nostril, which causes her to have difficulty breathing at times. She feels uncomfortable but is not in pain. Sometimes she also feels like she has a blood clot in her nostrils during her nosebleeds. Because the nosebleed can start at any time and can last anywhere from 10 to 20 minutes, her life revolves around managing her nosebleeds. She is unable to work or sleep properly, and if she is about to have a nosebleed, she is unable to eat. The nosebleeds have also affected her ability to earn an income for her children and continues to impact her social life. “When I socialise, I do not feel comfortable and some people think I have a disease that I can infect them with,” said Khin. “So, I hope to get better after surgery, and I hope I will no longer have nosebleeds. I don’t want to bleed, and I want to socialise with my friends and family happily. [Right now] my friends won’t even touch me.”
Gracious is a baby boy from Tanzania. Gracious is a calm baby boy and the only child to his young parents. He has bilateral clubfoot which if not treated will result in permanent disability. After he was born, his parents were advised to take him to the hospital at three months of age. Upon review, surgeons advised for manipulation and casting surgery to correct the condition. Gracious's parents are casual labourers. His mother sells fruits and vegetables in the neighbourhood while his father is a casual construction site labourer. Their income is only sufficient to meet their daily needs. Gracious's relative referred them to our facility where the child was reviewed. His parents were asked for the hospital fee but are not able to raise it. If treated, Gracious will be able to walk upright and with ease. The family appeals for help. Fortunately, Gracious traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on October 15th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $890 to fund Gracious's clubfoot repair. After treatment, she will be able to walk easily. Gracious’s mother says, “The cost of the treatment is high for us to afford, kindly help our son if it’s possible.”
Kyin is a 69-year-old retired teacher who lives with her 31-year-old son and 39-year-old daughter-in-law in Yangon, Burma. As a retired teacher since 2010, Kyin receives 140,000 kyat (approx. 140 USD) per month as part of her pension. She now volunteers as a teacher at a monastic school. Both her son and daughter-in-law work for a company. Kyin has another son who was paralysed in a workplace accident. He used to live with Kyin, but when her health deteriorated and she could no longer care for him, he was moved to a social care centre in Yangon. One day, in March 2016, Kyin was teaching at the monastic school, when suddenly she fainted. A medical emergency team then attended to her. When she felt better, a doctor told her that she might have a heart condition and advised her to see a heart specialist. One month after the incident, she went to a cardiologist at North Okkalapa General Hospital. There, she received an X-ray and an echocardiogram (echo). After checking her results, the doctor told her that she has a heart problem and that she can die if she does not receive appropriate treatment. The doctor prescribed her medication for her heart and told her that she will need to receive surgery if her health deteriorates. Six months ago, when Kyin received another echo and the doctor told her that she needs to receive surgery right away. However, her family could not afford to pay for her surgery. Therefore, the doctor said that he would help find them an organization that could help with paying for her surgery and medication. Currently, Kyin is unable to sleep well at night on her back and she needs to sleep propped up. She often feels tired and has shortness of breath.
Thyriya is a two-year-old girl from Cambodia. Thyriya is an only child from Phnom Penh, and she enjoys playing with her toys and playing games on the phone. Thyriya was born with syndactyly of her left hand. This means that her thumb and index finger, as well as her fourth and fifth fingers, are fused together. It is difficult for her to move her hand and utilize her fingers Fortunately, on August 13, surgeons will perform a syndactyly repair procedure to separate and release the fused digits. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is requesting $365 to fund this procedure. After surgery, she will be able to use her left hand and fully extend each of the fingers Her mother says, "I hope that my daughter will recover from her surgery and look better than before. I hope that she will no longer suffer from her hand condition and I won't have to worry about her."
Harrison is a baby from Tanzania. He has been diagnosed with genu varus. his legs are bowed outward. This condition is typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, which often stems from contaminated drinking water. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $940 to fund corrective surgery for Harrison. The procedure is scheduled to take place on June 21. Treatment will hopefully restore Harrison's mobility, allow him to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease his risk of future complications. Harrison’s mother says, “My son is suffering due to his legs condition but due to financial challenges we are unable to afford his treatment cost please help our son.”
Sherley is a mother of two from Haiti. She lives with her husband and two children in a neighborhood of Port-au-Prince; she is a homemaker. Sherley has a cardiac condition called rheumatic mitral stenosis and mitral regurgitation. One of the four valves of her heart does not open and close properly and is also too narrow, as a result of an infection she suffered several years ago. Sherley will fly to the United States to receive treatment. On May 6, she will undergo cardiac surgery, during which surgeons will either repair or replace her damaged valve. Another organization, The Heart Hospital Baylor Plano, is contributing $46,000 to pay for surgery. Sherley's family also needs help to fund the costs of surgery prep. 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 Sherley's family overseas. She says, "I am so happy to have this surgery so I will be in better health to play with my children."
Alice is a baby from Kenya. She was born with a slight mass on her forehead and nose. Alice has been diagnosed with encephalocoele, a type of neural tube defect in which brain tissues and overlying membranes protrude through openings in the skull. Encephalocoele usually results from a failure of the neural tube to completely close during fetal development. Without treatment, Alice is at risk of developmental delays, brain damage, or premature death. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $929 to fund encephalocoele repair surgery for Alice. The procedure is scheduled to take place on April 15. Hopefully, the repair of this condition will allow Alice to grow up healthy. “Please help my child,” says Alice’s mother.
M'bachundu is a farmer with a wife and grown children from Malawi. He does a lot of farming, growing tobacco on his farm. He enjoys sitting and relaxing in his free time. Since February, M'bachundu has been experiencing urinary issues. These symptoms are caused by an enlarged prostate, a condition called benign prostatic hyperplasia. He needs to undergo a prostate resection surgery, a procedure in which surgeons will remove part of the enlarged gland. Our medical partner, World Altering Medicine, is requesting $733 to fund M'bachundu's surgery. On March 21, he will undergo prostate surgery at Nkhoma Hospital, our medical partner's care center. The requested money pays for supplies, medications, and two weeks of hospital stay. He is ready for surgery and confident that it will help him. He says, "This program is helping me very much so that I can return to good health and stay on the frontlines of my work as a farmer."