Keith joined Watsi on August 8th, 2013. One year ago, Keith joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Keith's most recent donation traveled 8,600 miles to support Kyaw, a 50-year-old man from Thailand, to fund an eye surgery to restore his vision.
Keith has funded healthcare for 64 patients in 12 countries.
Keith has funded healthcare for 64 patients in 12 countries.
Kyaw is a 50-year-old man who lives alone in a refugee camp on the Thai-Burma border. He used to work as a day laborer for a grocery shop, loading and unloading items from cars. However, he stopped working one month ago, when the vision in his right eye worsened. In his free time, he enjoys reading books and cleaning in his house. Kyaw has a cataract in his right eye and can't see more than light in that eye. Because of his vision, he will often not recognize his friends while he walks past them. Though he likes to read, it now gives him headaches. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), can help. They are requesting $1,500 to fund lens replacement surgery for Kyaw. On February 23rd, doctors will perform a lens replacement, during which they will remove Kyaw's natural lenses and replace them with an intraocular lens implant. After recovery, he will be able to see clearly. Now, he needs help to fund this procedure. Kyaw shared, “I am so happy that you will support the cost of my surgery. I hope your organisation will continue to help patients in the future. Thank you so much for helping me."
Phoeun is a 66-year-old retired construction worker. She has two sons, five daughters, and 20 grandchildren. Phoeun lives with her eldest daughter and her son-in-law who both work in construction. In her free time, Phoeun likes to watch movies. Two years ago, Phoeun developed a cataract in her right eye, causing her blurry vision, sensitivity to light, and tearing. She has difficulty seeing things clearly, including colors and faces. She is also worried about falling when walking, so she is not able to go places on her own. When Phoeun learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, she traveled for three and a half hours seeking treatment. On February 8th, doctors will perform a phacoemulsification cataract surgery and an intraocular lens implant in her right eye. After recovery, she will be able to see clearly. Now, she needs help to fund this $229 procedure. Phoeun shared, "I hope after surgery my eye can see well. I want to travel on my own and be able to help take care of my grandchildren well."
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.”
Nan Hla is a 65-year-old nun. She lives alone, as she is the only nun in her monastery of monks in Karen State in Burma. Nan Hla shared that she meditates daily, and the community supports her with meals. Her son, who also lives in Burma, can sometimes provide Nan Hla with extra money to buy additional snacks. On February 20th, Nan Hla began to experience severe stomach pains. She visited a local hospital the next day, where she received an ultrasound and x-ray, but her test results were not clear. As a result, she was referred to another hospital for a CT scan a few days later. The CT scan indicated she has common bile duct stones. Currently, Nan Hla is experiencing heartburn, jaundice, and a poor appetite, as she feels nauseous after she eats any solid food. Doctors have advised her to undergo a cholecystectomy, which is the surgical removal of the gallbladder. If left untreated, Nan Hla's symptoms will continue to worsen and put her at risk for further health complications in the future. Fortunately, our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), can help Nan Hla receive treatment. On March 1st, she will undergo a cholecystectomy. BCMF is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of Nan Hla's procedure and care. Nan Hla shared, "I have never experienced these kinds of symptoms before. This is a very bad experience to go through. I pray that all the donors will be healthy. May all your work be successful."
Marimar is from Samar, an island approximately 530 km away from the capital city of Manila. She's been diagnosed with cholelithiasis, also known as gallstone disease. She saw several doctors in her province after experiencing shooting pains in her stomach whenever she walked. Eventually, her condition has gotten severe to the point that she had to stop working due to her worsening symptoms. Due to the lack of equipment and specialists in their province, she has needed to travel to Manila to get the surgery she needs to heal. If left untreated, her condition may lead to tissue damage, tears in the gallbladder, and infection that can spread to other parts of her body. Luckily, her brother who works in construction in Manila is able to host her to stay with him until she undergoes surgery and afterward as she heals. Her surgery is scheduled for February 1st and our medical partner World Surgical Foundation Philippines is raising $1,253 to fund her procedure and care. After recovering, Marimar will be able to work again to support her family in Samar. Looking forward to a better future, Marimar shared, "after the surgery, I hope to be able to live and work again without the excruciating pain."
Zin is a 15-year-old boy who lives with his parents and two younger sisters in Tak Province in Thailand. He and his sisters are all students. His father is an agriculture day laborer and his mother is a homemaker. In his free time, Zin likes to play football with his friends. He also helps his father with his work when he has time to earn pocket money. Early morning on December 28th, Zin and his friend rode out on his friend's motorcycle to the field to help Zin's father. While driving on the dirt road, Zin's friend suddenly lost control and their motorcycle slide off the road. Zin, who was sitting behind his friend, hit his leg against a metal post beside the road andthey both fell off the motorcycle. Currently, Zin is experiencing a lot of pain in his left thigh and hip. He cannot move his leg, walk, nor go to the bathroom by himself. With the help of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, Zin will undergo surgery to reset his fractured bones and ensure proper healing. The emergency procedure is scheduled for December 28th and will cost $1,500. This treatment will help Zin heal, regain mobility in his left leg, and live pain free. He will be able to take care of himself again without requiring help from others. Zin's mother said, "I was very worried when I learned that I would need to deposit a large amount of money so that my son could receive surgery. We do not even have enough money to buy enough food to last us until the end of the month. I really needed your help and I was extremely happy when I saw your staff and was told that donors could help pay for my son's treatment! Thank you in advance to all the donors and the organization for helping my son!"
Taw is a 16-year-old boy who lives with his family in a village in Tak Province, Thailand. Everyone in his family works as a farmer and he's a student in the eighth grade. In September 2021, there was an outbreak of COVID-19 cases around his area and his school was closed. Since then, he helps out his family on the farm. Occasionally, he also helps out in their village to earn pocket money. On November 21st, Taw was riding a motorbike on a small dirt road to his family's fields. He was driving quickly, when suddenly another motorbike appeared driving straight towards him. He tried to move to the side of the road to let the other driver pass, but his motorbike slipped and his left ankle hit a stone beside the road, breaking his ankle in the process. At first he was in a lot of pain, but now the pain has lessened thanks to medication he is taking. However, the area around his left ankle hurts if he tries to move his left foot. Currently, Taw cannot put pressure on his left ankle and has to use crutches to do anything. With the help of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, Taw will undergo surgery to reset his fractured bones and ensure proper healing. The procedure is scheduled for November 26th and will cost $1,500. After surgery, Taw will be able to walk again and he will no longer be in pain. Taw said, "I want to get better. My teacher told me that my school will reopen soon. Thank you so much to the donors and the organization who are willing to help me. Without your help, my family could never come up with enough money to pay for my treatment."
Ashleyn is the third and last-born child in their family. Her parents are maize farmers in Transzoia County in Kenya. Three weeks ago, Ashleyn was playing with her elder brother at their home while her mum was cooking. Her mum left and Ashleyn fell over a pot of boiling oil, causing her to badly burn her hand and chest. Her mother immediately took her to the nearby government hospital where she was admitted for 10 days. She was being dressed daily but her condition kept worsening. She was then referred to our medical partner's care center and they had to travel for several hours to get from her hometown to the hospital where she was seen by the doctors. Ashleyn needed urgent medical attention whereby she was transfused and treated for pneumonia as she continued being dressed. She recovered well and now she has been deemed fit for surgery where she will need skin grafting to heal her chronic non-healing wounds where she was burned. The wounds are very painful and this has caused so much worry for her parents. They are concerned about their daughter’s future. While admitted at the other hospital, Ashleyn’s medical costs rose to $600 forcing her parents to borrow money from a local money lender with very high-interest rates to pay the bills. They are still paying off the debt to date. Now their family has no money available and her mother explained that paying for this surgery would be impossible for them. Ashleyn is urgently in need of care and the skin grafting will help her heal faster. The family is requesting for help so that Ashleyn can undergo the surgery and be well again. Ashleyn's father says, “My daughter was in a bad condition when she was referred to Kapsowar Hospital. We now have new hope after we were told that she is progressing well and that her surgery will make her heal fast. I have found the strength to see the positive in her situation.”
Marher is an adorable and smart 22-month-old boy from Ethiopia. He loves to run and play outdoor games. Marher is the only child in his family, and he loves talking with others. His dad is a construction worker but is currently not working since the termination of the project due to Covid-19 and hyperinflation of construction materials. His mom is a cook and the breadwinner of the family as of now. Her income is limited to sustain their family needs. They live in a rented house which makes their living conditions expensive, and so they often depend on support from friends and family. Marher was born with hypospadias, a congenital abnormality that causes urinary dysfunction. Without treatment, he will continue to experience uncomfortable symptoms and will be at risk of infertility. Fortunately, Marher is scheduled to undergo corrective surgery on October 14th, 2021. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMH), is requesting $1,293 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. His dad said, “Marher will be happy if he receives the surgery and recovers to live like any other boy. He will not be psychologically affected by his condition as he grows up. I hope he will be educated and lead a quality life.”
James is a hardworking man coming from the outskirts of Nairobi and is a father of two daughters, one in college and the other having completed high school recently. He is separated from his wife and takes up casual labour to make ends meet. He is a jovial man. In August, James was involved in an accident when a motorcycle hit him as he walked on a footpath. The motorcycle driver escaped leaving him in pain. He was taken to a local hospital for first aid and then to a district hospital. He had an x-ray done but was only given pain medication and advised to wait for the bone to heal on its own. However, James' mother decided to bring him to Nazareth hospital. His leg is painful and swollen and he is not able to walk at all. James was recommended to undergo an ORIF surgery to repair the fracture. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On August 30th, James will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. The surgery will allow the fractured bone to heal with ease allowing him to walk easily again. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,049 to fund this procedure. James says, “I am glad there is hope for my leg to be treated so that I can go back to my normal life.”
Caleb is a young, four-year-old boy with one older sibling. His family currently lives in a one-roomed rental house made of iron sheeting in Nairobi County in Kenya. Caleb's mother is the sole breadwinner of the family, cleaning clothes in the neighborhood. Caleb has clubfoot on both feet, which doctors informed his mother after delivery immediately, but Caleb did not receive care due to a lack of referrals. Now, four years later, his mother heard about our medical partner's care center, CURE hospital, through a friend whose son had been treated at CURE. She was convinced to visit the hospital for possible treatment. Fortunately, Caleb's family traveled to visit CURE International Hospital. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on August 2nd. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $1,286 to fund Caleb's clubfoot repair. After treatment, Caleb will be free from pain when walking and able to wear shoes comfortably. “I am appealing for help for my son to undergo surgery. I will be grateful to see him walking without struggle like others," Caleb's mother said.
Jesca is a hardworking, friendly, and sociable girl who loves music and singing in the choir at church. She's an 18-year-old teenager, born as the third child in a family of nine. Jesca was only able to study until seventh grade because she was experiencing mobility issues due to clubfoot, making going to school particularly challenging. Jesca's father tried to encourage his daughter to continue with school by discussing with her the the importance of education. However, Jesca was too concerned about going to secondary school, which is located even further away and thereby posing an even bigger challenge for her. Jesca has clubfoot on her left foot. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape, causing difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Fortunately, Jesca has now traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre. There, surgeons will perform a clubfoot repair surgery on June 29th, and requests support of $935 for her treatment costs. After treatment, Jesca will be able to walk normally and is hopeful for a better life ahead. Jesca describes her previous decisions about school with regret but turns an optimistic outlook for her future: "If it wasn’t for my foot I would have probably continued with school and maybe today I would be in a better position. I am now working but my foot is still limiting my work. Please help me have my foot corrected."