George joined Watsi on July 13th, 2015. Five years ago, George joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. George's most recent donation traveled 8,000 miles to support Stephen, a 15-year-old student and future engineer from Kenya, to fund knee surgery enabling him to walk more easily.
George has funded healthcare for 20 patients in 5 countries.
George has funded healthcare for 20 patients in 5 countries.
Stephen is 15 years old and lives with his parents and eight siblings in Machakos County in Kenya. He hopes to study engineering when he is older. At the age of seven, Stephen developed severe knock knees. As a result, his knees tilt inwards, while his ankles are spaced apart. He wobbles when he walks, making it impossible for him to travel any distance on foot, or to play with his friends at school. His family learned about our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, and sought their help. Now, Stephen is scheduled to undergo his first surgery, which will repair his right leg, enabling him to walk more easily. The procedure will take place on November 14th, at AIC Cure International Hospital. Stephen and his family are seeking $1,224 to fund this surgery and his medical care. "I would like to see my legs corrected so that I can walk, run, and play football with my friends and continue with my education,” Stephen told us.
Mark is a primary school student in a special need school in Nairobi. Mark wears a broad smile and is feeling proud to take his photo and share his story. Mark is the firstborn in a family of two children. Mark's parents are both hawkers at a local market in Githurai. His father sells second-hand shoes famously known as Mitumba and his mother sells t-shirts at the same market. This work results in inconsistent income for their family. Mark has a fracture and dislocation of the shoulder joint and the upper part of the bone of the arm (humerus). As a result of his disability, Mark is unable to communicate the cause of the injury, but his mother suspects he fell a couple weeks ago and injured himself. Mark is unable to use his arm and hand as a result of the fracture. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On October 5th, Mark will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. This procedure will help him heal well and he will be able to use his arm and hand again. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Mark's family raise $1,500 to fund this procedure. Mark's mother shared, “Mark is struggling to use his hand. He is in constant pain and it is written all over his face. Normally, he is a jovial kid but the pain is making him frown constantly.”
Naing is a 27-year-old man who lives with his parents, brother and two sisters in Burma. He enjoys playing cane ball and reading. His parents are retired and grow vegetables in their garden. Naing's brother is a day laborer, but he has been unable to find regular work since the Covid-19 pandemic, so he cannot contribute towards household expenses. One of Naing's sisters works as a government officer, while the other is a shop worker. Naing used to work in his uncle’s shop selling groceries and flowers, but he was forced to stop working when his health began to decline. Naing first developed a cough and a fast heartbeat in November 2021. At a clinic in Dawei, Naing was diagnosed with high blood pressure, provided with medication, and sent home. In December 2021, because of his rapid heartbeat, Naing traveled to the hospital in Dawei, where he underwent a series of tests. Doctors at the hospital told Naing that there were problems with the valves in his heart. Once again, Naing was given medication, and sent home. Last February, Naing vomited, could not sleep, and felt tired when he stood or sat. He went to Dawei General Hospital, and showed the doctor his previous echocardiogram result. The doctor told him to continue taking his medication from Yangon, and gave him some vitamins. A few days later, Naing felt better. Then in March, Naing and his sister went to Yangon General Hospital, where he underwent more testing. This time the doctor told him that he might need to have two of his heart valves surgically replaced. Naing’s sister told the doctor that Naing had been to several hospitals over the past year, and the family had no more money left. Naing's health continues to decline, and he has lost five kilograms; he needs to have surgery. Fortunately, our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is here to help Naing access the care that he needs. They are requesting $1,500 to cover the costs of Naing's valve replacement surgery, scheduled to take place on August 9th, at Pun Hlaing Hospital. Naing said: “I am so tired of visiting several hospitals and hoping to receive surgery. My sister has had to take leave [from her work as a government officer] several times, and now she has had to take leave without pay [to accompany me as my caregiver]. I feel embarrassed that my family has used up all their money, sold all their jewelry, and made sacrifices for me. Finally, I have met your organization BCMF, and I will have the chance to receive surgery with the help of donors. I feel less stressed that I will not have to wait so long to receive surgery, and that my sister will be able to go back to work. Thank you so much.”
Walendjina is an adorable two-year-old toddler from Haiti. She lives with her parents, who are both market vendors, and her two older siblings in a small village in the mountains of northwestern Haiti. Walendjina has Tetralogy of Fallot, a rare condition caused by a combination of four congenital heart conditions. These conditions include a hole between the two lower chambers of the heart and a muscular blockage of one of the valves. On August 15th, Walendjina will fly overseas to the Cayman Islands to receive treatment. During this cardiac procedure, surgeons will close the hole in her heart with a patch and remove the muscular blockage from her valve. A portion of the cost of Walendjina's treatment is being supported by Have a Heart Cayman, and our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, is raising the remaining $1,500 to cover the cost of Walendjina's labs, medication, followup appointments, and travel fees for her and her family. Walendjina's father shares, "Our family has been very scared for our daughter's health ever since she was born. We will all be very glad to be able to stop worrying so much about her heart!"
Naw Eh is a 32-year-old woman who lives with her parents, her husband, and her children in a refugee camp. She supports her family by caring for her children and managing their home. Her husband is currently unemployed. Three of her children are enrolled in primary school, but her fourth child is too young to attend. During her free time, Naw Eh enjoys sewing clothes. Naw Eh is currently expecting a new baby and her doctors recommend that she undergoes a caesarean section to deliver her child because she is already 40 weeks pregnant and her baby is still in the wrong position, laying horizontally instead of vertically. With a C-section, doctors will be able to ensure the safety of both Naw Eh and her baby during the delivery. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is helping Naw Eh undergo a C-Section on July 7th. This procedure will cost $1,500, and Naw Eh's family needs your support to help fund her care. Naw Eh shares, “In the future, I will search for a job in the refugee camp, and I will also take good care of my children.”
Baraka is a teenager and the oldest in his family of four. He currently studies in class six. Bakara's mother practices small-scale farming of maize, sorghum, and millet to provide food for the family. Baraka and his mother both experience epilepsy, and Bakara had a seizure that led to an accident. He suffered severe burns to his right leg and is unable to straighten his leg at the knee due to the burn contractures. Bakara can only walk with the use of a walking stick. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Baraka receive treatment. On June 7th, surgeons will perform a burn contracture release surgery to help him walk easily. AMH is requesting $874 to help fund this procedure. Baraka says, “I would be so happy if I can have a chance to walk normally.”
Ko Kyaw lives with his wife and two daughters in the border region of Tak Province in Thailand. He is a homemaker while his wife works as a day laborer. He plans to send his older daughter to a Thai school in the new school year, but his younger daughter is still too young to go to school. In early 2021, Kyaw was still living in his village in Myawaddy Township in Burma but it has been a very challenging time for his community ever since the military coup. He and his wife were injured in an emergency involving the local soldiers who came to their area. Luckily other villagers came to their rescue and Kyaw was treated for fractures on both his upper and lower leg, where a metal rod was inserted to help him heal. Now the bone in his thigh is misshapen and doctors have diagnosed osteomyelitis (infected bone). His doctor told him that in order to heal, he would need to have the metal rods replaced in both his upper and lower leg. Currently, Kyaw’s left leg is in a lot of pain. He can only bend his leg slightly and needs to use crutches to get around. With his leg in pain, Ko Kyaw spends most of his time helping out with household chores he can do and teaching his oldest daughter how to read and write in Burmese. He feels frustrated that since his leg was broken, he cannot support his family. Our medical partner Burma Children Medical Fund is helping to pay the cost of his treatment and is raising $1500 to cover his surgery, which will take place on May 10th. “I feel upset that I cannot support my family as the head of the house,” he said. “We only have my wife’s income. We do not have our own house to live in. I want to say a lot of things but I cannot express what I want to say. I never thought that I would lose my house, my possessions and that my leg would be in pain.”
Naw En is a 31-year-old woman who lives with her husband, two sons and parents in a village in Karen State near the border of Burma and Thailand. Her husband and parents are subsistence farmers. Naw En is a village health worker, and her two sons are primary school students in the village. Although she earns around 100,000 kyat (approx. 100 USD) per month to support her family, she does whatever she can to only charge the villagers she treats for medications provided. Those who cannot afford to pay for the cost of medications are provided medication free of charge. Her family also raises chickens and pigs for their family to eat. The income Naw En earns is just enough to cover their daily expenses, but they have to borrow money to pay for anything else, like basic health care. Naw En learned she was pregnant last August 2021. She went to register her pregnancy at nearby Hlaingbwe Hospital, but the doctor told her to go to Hpa-An General Hospital when she told them that she had high blood pressure and previously needed a c-section delivery. When she went to Hpa-An General Hospital, a nurse told her to go to Taw Win Thu Ka Hospital because they were understaffed due to the coup and humanitarian crisis in their area. Finally, she then registered her pregnancy at Taw Win Thu Ka Hospital last November and received an ultrasound, blood test and urine test. The doctor gave her monthly follow-up appointments to check her high blood pressure and to check that her baby is in the right position. In January, Naw En learned that she will have a girl. “I was very happy to hear this as I already have two sons,” she said. Her doctor has now told her that she will need another c-section to ensure a safe delivery and unable to come up with the money needed, Naw En called her friend who works in Mae Sot to ask for help. Her friend told her about our medical partner Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF) and that she may be able to find assistance in accessing her treatment. Currently, Naw En is taking medication for high blood pressure and feels tired when she walks. She can feel her baby kicking. When her blood pressure is high, she feels dizzy. She feels stressed each time she has to travel to the hospital, as it is located four hours from her home and cost 60,000 kyat (approx. 60 USD) just for the round-trip transportation. She is also worried about the cost of her c-section and that they would have to borrow money if they cannot find donors. In the future, she will continue to work as a village health worker. In her free times, she loves to spend time with her two sons and play with them. Naw En said, “I was happy when BCMF staff told me that donors will help pay for my c-section. Thank you so much to the donors for reliving me of my worries.” She also added, “I am very happy and excited to have a baby girl!”
Thein is a 56-year-old man who lives with his family in a refugee camp. Two of his daughters and his son-in-law work as seasonal workers outside of the camp, while Thein and his wife look after their three grandchildren, send them to school, and care for the household chores. In January, Thein was diagnosed with a cataract in his right eye and an early cataract in his left eye. Currently, he cannot see with his right eye, as his vision is blurry, and the vision in his left eye is also beginning to blur. As a result, Thein cannot walk easily and relies on a bamboo staff to help stabilize him as he tries to avoid tripping on any objects in his path. He shared that he feels discomforted and like he is living in darkness. Fortunately, Thein was able to visit our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), and they can help him heal. On March 8th, doctors will perform a lens replacement. After recovery, he will be able to see clearly. BCMF is requesting $1,500 to fund this procedure. Thein shared, “When I recover from surgery, I will help my family plant and water vegetables around the house. It can save us money from buying the vegetables. I can help send my grandchildren to school and pick them up in the evening. I will also be able to visit my friend.”
Jules is a beautiful fifth-grade girl from Haiti. She lives with her parents, grandparents, cousins, and her several siblings in the capital city of Port-au-Prince. She enjoys art, listening to music, and spending time with her friends. Jules was born with a congenital circulatory malformation that entails a hole in-between two major blood vessels near her heart. As a result, blood leaks through the hole without passing through the lungs to obtain oxygen, which leaves her feeling sickly and weak. Jules needs surgery to treat her condition. To do this, doctors will use a catheter probe device to plug the hole, which will prevent blood from continuing to leak through it. Fortunately on February 15th, Jules will have surgery at our medical partner's care center, Clinica Corominas. Our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, is asking for $1,500 to help fund Jules' surgery. A non-profit organization, Gift of Life International, has generously subsidized $5,000 to also help fund her treatment costs. After surgery, Jules will be able to go to school and play with her friends without feeling sick, tired, and uncomfortable. Jules' mother says, "Our family is very excited that Jules will have her heart fixed soon!"
Florence is a loving mother of seven. She and her husband work as small-scale farmers and live in a grass-thatched home with their family. Her husband also takes on masonry work to help earn more income. Over a decade ago, Florence began to experience troubling symptoms, including a swelling on her neck. After she gave birth to her last-born child, she visited a local health center where doctors determined she was experiencing a pregnancy-related condition that would heal soon. However, Florence’s symptoms never improved, and the swelling increased over time. When Florence learned about our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), and their successful thyroid removal treatments, she visited AMH care center for review. Doctors diagnosed her condition as a multinodular goiter, which is an abnormal enlargement of the thyroid gland. Florence will need surgery to address her symptoms and ensure she can finally heal. Fortunately, Florence will undergo a thyroidectomy on January 10th at AMH’s care center. Surgeons will remove all or part of her thyroid gland. AMH is requesting $936 to fund Florence’s procedure. Florence shared, “I would like to have my strength back again. My children need my efforts as a mother.”
Cornelius is a 15-year-old student and a social and friendly boy. He's the last born in a family of four children. Cornelius's mother is a widow and does farming on her small piece of land to earn a living and provide for the family. Cornelius has a condition on his right foot that inhibits his movements, makes wearing shoes hard, and causes pain while walking. Fortunately, Cornelius traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, AIC Cure International Hospital. There, surgeons will perform surgery on December 6th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,286 to fund Cornelius's clubfoot repair. After treatment, he will be able to walk well, wear shoes and play with his friends and continue with his studies uninterrupted. However, his family is not financially able to fund the surgery and is appealing for financial assistance. Cornelius said, "I feel pain when I'm walking. I hope the surgery makes it less painful for me to be able to put on shoes and to walk well without straining anymore."