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John Pena

MONTHLY DONOR

United States   •   Born on March 8

John's Story

John joined Watsi on April 8th, 2016. Five years ago, John joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. John's most recent donation traveled 8,800 miles to support Phanith, a photography assistant from Cambodia, to fund a brachial plexus surgery so he can use his arm again.

Impact

John has funded healthcare for 74 patients in 12 countries.

All patients funded by John

Phanith

Phanith is a 31-year-old photography assistant from Cambodia. He currently lives with his father and his three siblings, and he is the second child in his family. His mother passed away ten years ago. Phanith has been unable to work since his injury. On November 3rd, 2020, Phanith was in a motor vehicle accident that caused injury and paralysis of his right arm. He was taken to a provincial hospital, then transferred due to the seriousness of his injuries. Phanith was released after a month but is still unable to move his right shoulder or lift his arm. He has been diagnosed with a brachial plexus injury on his right side. The brachial plexus is a nerve network that transmits signals from the spine to the shoulder, arm, and hand. Injuries to this nerve network can result in loss of function and sensation. As a result, Phanith is unable to lift his hand or flex his elbow, and has no movement in his fingers. Although his arm has no movement, he has paresthesia (burning or prickly sensations) of the hand and forearm, which are often quite painful. Phanith traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On March 4th, he will undergo a brachial plexus repair surgery. After recovery, he will be able to use this hand again and be physically able to find work. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is requesting $696 to fund this procedure. Phanith shared, "I hope after surgery, my right shoulder will return to full function as soon as possible."

55% funded

55%funded
$387raised
$309to go
Shoh

Shoh is a 47-year-old man who lives with his wife, two sons, daughter-in-law and two daughters in Nu Poe Refugee Camp in Thailand. In the camp, Shoh and his oldest son are teachers who teach about the Quran for other refugees. They each earn 1,200 baht (approx. 40 USD) per month. His wife is often sick, and his eldest daughter has to look after her at home. His daughter-in-law is a homemaker while his youngest daughter and son are students. Shoh’s household receives 1,110 baht (approx. 37 USD) every month on a cash card to purchase rations in the camp. Their monthly household income is just enough to cover their daily expenses as they also receive free basic health care and education in the camp. Since February 2020, Shoh has had umbilical hearnia. Currently, Shoh’s abdomen pain is not severe but his hernia is still increasing in size. He feels uncomfortable when he walks because of his swollen abdomen. He cannot sleep well and is increasingly worried about his diagnosis. The pain in his abdomen increases when he feels cold, especially at night. Fortunately, on March 9th, he will undergo hernia repair surgery at Mae Sot General Hospital, our medical partner's care center. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund Shoh's hernia repair surgery. The procedure is scheduled to take place on March 9th and, once completed, will hopefully allow him to live more comfortably. Shoh said, “I do not want to stop being a teacher. I love teaching the Quran to young children. Also, if I do not teach, I do not earn an income and my family does not have enough income to cover our household expenses.”

77% funded

77%funded
$1,160raised
$340to go
Kwee

Naw Kwee Moo is a 54-year-old woman who lives with her husband, three daughters and three sons in Mae Ra Ma Luang Refugee Camp in Thailand. She and her family fled to the camp in 2006 from Burma. Today, Naw Kwe is a homemaker and her husband is too ill to work. Five of their children go to school in the camp, four other children have moved away, and she proudly shared that her second oldest son graduated from a post-secondary program in May 2020. Naw Kwe’s family receives 2,030 baht (approx. 68 USD) in a month on a cash card to purchase rations for basic food needs. Although they receive free education and primary health care in the camp, Naw Kwee’s family struggles to make ends meet each month. Four years ago, Naw Kwee started going to the camp’s hospital run by Malteser International (MI) Thailand to receive treatment for urinary tract infections (UTI). Most of the time, she would feel better after taking medication, but she was no longer able to work as an agricultural day labourer. Over the next few years, when she increasingly sought treatment for UTIs, she was diagnosed with chronic UTI. When her condition did not improve after taking antibiotics, a doctor at the camp’s hospital referred her to another hospital in March 2020, where she was diagnosed with a right kidney stone. In June 2020, after a delay due to COVID-19, Naw Kwee was able to get to Chiang Mai Hospital for further treatment. There, doctors confirmed her earlier diagnosis, in addition to hydronephrosis, a condition where the kidney swells due to a build-up of urine. Currently, Naw Kwee takes pain medication whenever she experiences pain or discomfort in the right side of her back from her kidney stone. The pain will usually only last for a day before it disappears, but she feels weak. Sometimes she also has cloudy urine and a mild fever. Her appetite has decreased, but she tries to eat as much as she can. Naw Kwee will need to undergo multiple rounds of laser treatment to break up the stone in her kidney. Her first round of shockwave lithotripsy will be on February 11th. Naw Kwee will be receiving assistance from our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, who requests $1,500 to cover the total cost of her procedure and care. Once recovered, she will be free of pain and will be able to resume weaving and sewing, which she enjoyed doing before having this condition. Naw Kwee shared, “I’m desperately trying to stop the pain in my back from returning. Because of the pain, I can’t even do household chores properly. I can’t sleep well and sometimes I have difficulty breathing. Once I recover, I’ll no longer feel stressed because of this pain. I’ll be able to enjoy my days even though I have some problems related to aging.”

100% funded

$1,500raised
Fully funded
Purity

Purity is a 57-year-old woman from Kenya. As she enters our local Watsi rep's office, Purity strains to sit and cannot hide her pains. She looks uneasy and can’t stop asking when she will be going to the operating theatre. She developed a deep spine infection (surgical site infection) after lumbar surgery that necessitates urgent debridement and removal of hardware. Her current condition is serious and the orthopaedic team has requested an urgent procedure or she risks paralysis. Purity is a mother of 3, all of whom are now adults. Her youngest son is a student at a local university and still depends on her. Her older son is a casual laborer working with Purity’s husband at construction sites locally referred to as mjengo. Her other son is a police officer and has been the one helping Purity to cover her previous medical bills. Her son took out a loan but it was barely enough to cover her earlier treatment. She is also hoping for support from the National Health Insurance coverage, but her application is pending. She is requesting emergency assistance. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Purity receive treatment. On November 4th, surgeons will perform a debridement and skin graft procedure to finally help heal her wound, reduce her pain, and enable her to ambulate with ease. Now, Purity needs help to fund this $1,185 procedure. Purity shared, “I couldn’t sleep one more night at home, the pains are unbearable. I have no source of finances to cover for the surgery that will help me get better. I risk paralysis if this procedure is not performed.”

100% funded

$1,185raised
Fully funded