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 Sokorn, a retired high school teacher from Cambodia, to fund a surgery to remove a tumor from his foot.
John has funded healthcare for 77 patients in 12 countries.
John has funded healthcare for 77 patients in 12 countries.
Sokorn is a retired high school teacher from Cambodia. He is from Phnom Penh, where he taught at a local high school for many years. He has eight children, five sons and three daughters. Sokorn currently lives with his youngest daughter who is also his caretaker. Altogether he has 21 grandchildren, and spends a lot of time visiting with them and bringing them small gifts. He also loves to watch boxing matches on TV. Three months ago, Sokorn developed a tumor on his right foot. His children took him to a clinic, where the tumor was found to be malignant melanoma. He experiences pain and discomfort in his foot, and it is difficult for him to walk. When Sokorn learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, he traveled there hoping to access treatment. On July 7th, surgeons at Children's Surgical Centre will perform an excision and skin flap procedure to to remove the worrisome tumor from his foot, which will help him walk easily and give him peace of mind again. Now, he needs help to fund this $657 procedure. Sokorn shared, "I am excited to get back home and recover, so I can spend more time with my family again."
Faith is a 41-year-old woman from Kenya and the mother of two children, ages 22 and 15. She used to work as a second-hand shoe seller, but unfortunately, for the last year and a half she has not been working due to her condition. Faith and her children live with her mother who is a farmer. Several weeks ago, Faith had spinal surgery. During one of her follow-up check-ups, doctors noticed that she has purulent drainage from the wound and recommended an urgent surgical revision of her thoracolumbar spinal fusion. She is currently unable to sit upright. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), can help. On June 4th, surgeons from AMH will perform revision spinal surgery. Now, Faith needs help raising $1,500 to fund the procedure. Faith shared, “I am unable to walk without support. Most of the time I lay asleep on my back. I cannot take care of my kids who depend on me. I need this surgery to have my life get back to normal, especially walking again.”
Subira is a forty-one-year-old mother of six children. Subira and the husband are small scale farmers who grow mainly food crops which they use for their food and sell the surplus to buy other basic commodities for their family. Subira was born with a small swelling on her back but her parents were never able to seek treatment of any kind for her since it didn't look like it was something serious. Over the years, the swelling has been increasing in size gradually and it’s now causing her pain and discomfort. In addition to these new challenges, the swelling is also discharging fluids, causing her to panic. Her condition is affecting her ability to walk and care for her family. Subira has spina bifida, a type of neural tube defect in which the spine does not properly close around the spinal cord. Without treatment, Subira is at risk of lower-limb paralysis, infection of the exposed nervous tissue, development of other complications. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $1,015 to cover the cost of Subira's spina bifida closure surgery. The procedure is scheduled to take place on May 10th. This procedure will hopefully spare Subira from the risks associated with her condition, instead allowing her to flourish along a healthier trajectory. Subira says, "I am really scared about the condition, I have children to look after but in my current state I am not fit enough to care for them, please help me get this surgery."
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."
Isaya is a 16-year-old teenager from Tanzania. He is the firstborn child in a family of three children. Isaya never had the chance to join school due to his parent’s financial challenges. Despite not going to school, Isaya has been a very hardworking young man who helps his father look after the cattle. Isaya was born healthy and his growth has been normal, until last year when he noticed his right leg was bending inwards. He says the bend was very slight but over time it has increased significantly. Isaya has been walking over a long distance in search of green pasture for his father's cattle. However, due to his leg, Isaya can no longer go out with the cattle. Isaya was diagnosed with right genu valgus, or bowleggedness. His leg is bowed inward so that his knees touch. This condition is typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, which often stems from contaminated drinking water. As a result, he is in pain and discomfort after walking. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Isaya. The procedure is scheduled to take place on January 22nd. Treatment will hopefully restore Isaya's mobility, allow him to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease his risk of future complications. Isaya shared, “I am unable to carry out my daily chores because of my leg. Please help me get this treatment so that I can return home and help my parents.”
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.”
James is a 14-year-old boy and the second-born in a family of five children. James is a hard-working boy who helps to look after his father’s cattle, requiring him to walk a long distance in search of green pasture. James has not had a chance to join school due to his parent’s financial challenges. His parents are small-scale farmers and livestock keepers. They work hard to make ends meet, and are living in a very difficult environment. James was diagnosed with left genu varus, also known as bowleggedness. This condition causes his left leg to bow inwards so that his knees touch when walking. This condition is typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, which often stems from contaminated drinking water. James is having difficulty walking because his left leg curves as we walks, affecting his gait. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for James. The procedure is scheduled to take place on January 5th. This treatment will hopefully restore James's mobility, allow him to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease his risk of future complications. James shared, "Please help correct my leg because I can’t walk well anymore and am even unable to go out and graze my father’s cattle. I appreciate any support you can provide.”
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.”
Yorb is a 65-year-old vegetable seller from Cambodia. Yorb was married 41 years ago. She has three daughters and ten grandchildren. Her husband died many years ago and she now lives with one of her daughters. She enjoys taking care of her grandchildren, cooking, and visiting the pagoda. In October 2020, Yorb fell and fractured her left arm. Treatment at a traditional healer did not help so a neighbor advised her to come to Children's Surgical Centre (CSC). She has been experiencing swelling, pain, and lacks mobility of her left arm. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, can help. On October 14th, Yorb will undergo a fracture repair procedure, which will cost $465. This procedure will heal the closed fracture and allow her to use her left arm again. Yorb said, "I hope I can heal and use my arm soon without pain."
Thea is a 39-year-old gendarmerie (military policeman) from Cambodia. He has been proudly married for 7 years and has 3 daughters. Thea's first two children are in school. In his free time, he likes to exercise, play football, listen to music and news, read books, and take care of his children. Five years ago, Thea had a severe fall and subsequently developed right hip pain. He was diagnosed with avascular necrosis of the hip, a painful condition that occurs when the blood supply to the head of the femur (thighbone) is disrupted. Because bone cells need a steady supply of blood to stay healthy, it can ultimately lead to destruction of the hip joint and severe arthritis. After his accident, he was given pain medication, but the medication only helped for a short time. He continues to have chronic pain and needs to have his condition treated. Fortunately, Thea learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC). At CSC, surgeons can perform a total hip replacement to relieve Thea of his pain and allow him to walk easily. Treatment is scheduled for January 6th, and Thea needs help raising $1,087 to pay for this procedure. Thea shared, "I hope that after my operation, I will be able to walk without pain and can do my job easily again."
Namara is a small-scale farmer from Uganda. She is a mother of four: her first and second-born are 26 and 28 years old, respectively. The third-born dropped out of fourth grade while the youngest has completed second grade and will continue with schooling if Namara manages to secure funds for school fees. Her husband is a casual laborer but has personal problems that limits his ability to provide for his family. During her free time, she enjoys spending time with family. Three years ago, Namara began to experience troubling symptoms around her neck, including pain and swelling. She was diagnosed with a non-toxic goiter and she needs surgery to prevent her symptoms from getting worse. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Namara receive treatment. She is scheduled to undergo a thyroidectomy on July 15th at our medical partner's care center. Surgeons will remove all or part of her thyroid gland. This procedure will cost $307, and Namara and her family need your support. Namara shared, “I am in pain and I pray that I may be considered for treatment. After treatment, I believe I will be able to comfortably continue with farming and be able to sustain and take good care of my family as before.”
Sonita is a four-year-old preschool student from Cambodia. She is the only child in her family, her parents are Khmer teachers. In her free time she enjoys playing with toys and reading books. One year ago, Sonita 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, Sonita experiences hearing loss, ear discharge, bad odor, and pain. It is difficult for her to communicate with others, and she often misses school due to the ear discharge. Sonita traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On December 9th, 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 $925 to fund this procedure. This covers medications, supplies, and inpatient care. Sonita's mother said, "I hope after surgery her ear pain will be gone, the discharge will finally stop, and her hearing will improve."