Todd joined Watsi on December 31st, 2014. Three years ago, Todd became the 2632nd member to automatically support a new Watsi patient every month. Since then, 3,376 more people have become monthly donors! Todd's most recent donation traveled 1,900 miles to support Phebe, an accounting student from Haiti, to fund cardiac care for her pacemaker.
Todd has funded healthcare for 61 patients in 10 countries.
Phebe is a young woman from Haiti who underwent surgery in 2010 to close a hole between the two lower chambers of her heart. Although the surgery was successful in closing the hole, it left her with a condition in which her heart muscle was no longer able to properly transmit electrical pulses so that it could beat normally. To protect her heart, a pacemaker was implanted after surgery. The pacemaker has now reached the end of its life, and parts of it need to be replaced. Phebe lives in Port-au-Prince with her older brother, his wife, and their family; she is a university student studying accounting. For this treatment, she and a family member will travel to northern Haiti where a hospital has the ability to safely host the surgical procedure for Phebe, which will take place on July 23rd. Phebe shared, "I am very glad to know that my pacemaker will be able to be fixed here in Haiti, because I have been very worried about it!"
Muiruri is an elderly man from rural Kenya. He has 7 children and one who has passed away. He lives on his farm in Muranga with his family. His children do farming for subsistence, and none make earnings enough to help raise funds for their father's medical bill. Muiruri was able to raise funds for his previous surgery and also used his National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF). Unfortunately, he has exhausted his NHIF limit due to his previous treatment. In 2019 he was involved a motorcycle accident and had a femur fracture on his left leg. He underwent an ORIF surgery and he was healing well. Early this year, as he was walking home, he slid and fell. The same leg that had an earlier femur fracture was fractured again and now doctors need to carry out an ORIF surgery so he can walk again. Currently, he is not able to walk on his own and he is in a lot of pain. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On June 29th, Muiruri will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. This procedure will help him walk easily again Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,500 to fund this procedure. "I will be happy to be able to walk without struggle and also assist my wife with farm work," Muiruri told us.
Cha is a 20-year-old young man from Burma. He lives with his father, older sister, brother-in-law, and three nieces in Hpapun Township of Karen State. Cha is a student and his oldest niece goes to school while the other two are still too young to attend. His father and brother-in-law are subsistence farmers while his sister is a homemaker. In his spare time, Cha loves to play cane ball and football with his friends. He also likes to help his family with farming during school holidays. Cha goes to the nearest high school to his village, located four to five hours away by motorbike in the village of Day Bu Noh. During the school year he lives in a dormitory and he does not have to pay for school and dormitory fees. On May 6th, Cha was getting ready to move back home for the summer holidays. He borrowed his friend’s motorbike and started the trip back to his village. Not long after he left Day Bu Noh Village, his motorcycle slipped on the uneven dirt road and he fell from the motorcycle. The next thing Cha remembered was waking up at a clinic in Day Bu Noh Village with his friend beside him. When he asked his friend what had happened, his friend told him that some of the villagers had found him unconscious on the side of the road and brought him to the clinic. The medic at the clinic examined Cha and told him that his lower jaw was fractured but they could not treat him at the clinic. The medic gave him injections and oral medications to help control the pain. Cha’s friend, who works for the district’s office in the Day Bu Noh village, told his superiors about Cha’s situation and that Cha did not know how he could receive treatment at another clinic in Mae Sot, Thailand where another friend works. However, due to the COVID-19 outbreak, Thailand had shut its borders to neighboring countries. His friend’s superiors were able to arrange for Cha to be brought to Mae Tao Clinic (MTC), accompanied by Cha’s friend. Cha was discharged from the clinic in Day Bu Noh Village on May 15th and started to make their way to MTC. After they crossed over into Thailand on a boat, Chan and his friend arrived at MTC on May 16th. At the clinic, the medic examined Cha before telling him that he will have to go to Mae Sot Hospital (MSH) for an x-ray. He also received some oral pain medication from the medic and, on May 20th, Cha received an x-ray at MSH. The x-ray showed that Cha had fractured his lower jaw in two locations, the left side and in the middle, as well as that the fracture was now infected. He was told that he will need to receive injections to treat the infection and that he will need surgery to help his jaw heal properly. Currently, Cha’s jaw is swollen and painful. He cannot eat solid food and is only able to eat boiled rice and drink liquid food. One of his teeth hurts and he cannot open his mouth wide. He is not able to speak properly, and his lower jaw is extremely painful, especially on the left side. With the help of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, Cha will undergo surgery to reset his fractured bones and ensure proper healing. The procedure is scheduled for May 29th and will cost $1,500. The surgery will help Cha to be free from the pain and he will be able to talk properly again. “I feel sad that I cannot help my family during this summer holiday,” Cha said. In the future, Cha said that he plans to continue his studies next year at Mu Traw Junior College in Day Bu Noh Village. He is also interested in working with his friend at the district office in the branch that looks after the environment, forest, and wild animals.
Suliman is an 11-month baby who needs surgery in Ethiopia. His family came from the Gambia in August 2019 in need of medical care. His mom gave birth to Suliman when she was 20 years old. She dropped out of school when she was in Grade 8 because her mom couldn’t afford to send her to school anymore. Suliman has multiple birth defects including cleft lip, club foot, tongue-tie, fused finger, and bilateral undescended testicles. His mom tried to get her baby treated in the Gambia but the hospitals referred them to another country that can better provide the surgery. Since the family could not afford to get the child the surgery they communicated to different organizations and were able to come to Ethiopia. Suliman has now finished all his surgeries except undescended testicles and fused fingers. Suliman was diagnosed with cryptorchidism, a condition in which one or both of the testicles remains undescended. If left untreated, Suliman has an increased risk of developing hernias, testicular cancer, and fertility problems in the future. Suliman will be receiving assistance from our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMHF). Fortunately, he is scheduled to undergo corrective surgery on May 5th. AMHF is requesting $1,021 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. "I see good hope for him once he finishes his last operation. Because he will be free of all the potential deformities and disabilities and he can live like a normal person. He can live as healthy as others free from the risk of other future complications. And I believe he will go to school and help himself well," Suliman's mom says.
Rosemary is a housewife from Kenya. She is married with nine children. Her husband does not currently work, while she is a housewife and only sells vegetables to the neighbors. Their children could not get the needed education and so some are casual employees while others are struggling at home with the parents. Twenty years ago, Rosemary began to experience troubling symptoms, including persistent headaches and pain. She was diagnosed with a goiter, an abnormal enlargement of the thyroid gland. She needs surgery to prevent her symptoms from getting worse. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Rosemary receive treatment. She is scheduled to undergo a thyroidectomy on February 10th at our medical partner's care center. Surgeons will remove all or part of her thyroid gland. This procedure will cost $625, and she and her family need help raising money. “I was having pain but didn’t know what to do because of lack of money. I thank my neighbor who guided me here and hope you can help me to get surgery, so that I can continue to care for my family,” said Rosemary.
Sar is a four-year-old girl from Thailand who lives with her parents and three sisters. Her mother is a homemaker, looking after household chores, while her father works as an agriculture day laborer. In her spare time, Sar likes to play with toys with her friends. Seven months ago, when Sar was on the way to buy snacks, a hen suddenly flew over to her and poked her right eye, protecting her baby chickens. Although Sar's eye turned red, her parents did not take her to any hospitals. They bought eye drops for her, but the medicine did not make her feel any better. Sar underwent a CT scan at Mae Sot Hospital but the doctor was not able to help her. She was referred to Chiang Mai and there she underwent an MRI. After the MRI, the doctor recommended surgery to remove her right eye. She received enucleation of her eye on July 25th, 2019. After enucleation, the doctor recommended an MRI to see if there is any problem post operation. She is now admitting in the hospital and will undergo the MRI on 25th February, 2020. Doctors want Sar to have an MRI, an imaging procedure that uses magnetic fields and radio waves to produce images of bodily organs, to help them continue to follow an appropriate treatment plan. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $968 to cover the cost of Sar's MRI and care, scheduled for February 25th. Sar's father said, "My daughter is healthy and playing happily with friends after we came back from treatment in Chiang Mai. The doctor told me that they will do MRI for my daughter to check if there is any abnormal growth or problem after surgery and if there is no problem after the MRI result, the doctor will implant an artificial eye in the next eight month for my daughter."
Colar is a 53-year-old woman who lives with her husband in Karen State in Burma. She has two sons who are students across the border in Mae Sot, Thailand. Both Colar and her husband are subsistence farmers but are no longer able to work on the farm due to their poor health. Their limited income comes from breeding and selling pigs and goats. In June 2018, Colar began to suffer from significant lower abdominal and back pain, constipation, headaches, frequent urination, blood in her urine and nausea. Her neighbor advised her to treat the pain with traditional medicine, initially believing this was caused by the fruit she was eating in the forest. However, after a week of severe pain, Colar lost consciousness and her neighbor called her brother who works as a medic at Mae Tao Clinic (MTC). Her brother advised them to bring Colar to MTC for treatment. At MTC, Colar underwent a blood test, urine test and ultrasound afterwards, the doctor at MTC diagnosed her with a renal stone in her left kidney and advised her she would need surgery. Colar still suffers from constant pain and discomfort, she is very worried about the upcoming surgery, her health, and how she is going to support her husband and two sons who are still students. Colar said the constant worry for her health and her husband's is causing them significant anxiety and depression. When she feels well enough, she likes to forage in the forest for fruits and vegetables and tend to her garden. When Colar recovers from surgery and her health improves, she hopes to grow enough fruit and vegetables to feed her family and to sell.
Lors is a 26-year-old rubber plantation worker from Cambodia. He has two daughters and enjoys playing soccer, listening to music, and helping around the house when he is not working. In July 2019, Lors was in a motorcycle accident and collided with a truck, injuring his left arm. He has been diagnosed with a brachial plexus injury on his left 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. He experiences pain and has lost sensation in his shoulder and is unable to move his arm. Lors traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On December 11th, he will undergo a brachial plexus repair surgery. After recovery, he will be able to regain sensation and move his arm again. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is requesting $637 to fund this procedure. "I hope that my hand will be back to full function just like before, and then I can return to work again," Lors shared.
Paw is a 62-year-old widow from Thailand. She lives with her older brother in Thaw Lae Hta Village, Mae Sariang Town, Mae Hong Son Province. Paw has works as a homemaker taking care of her brother who cannot work due to congenital mental and physical disabilities. Paw has a younger sister in the same town who supports her financially and is her main source of income. Since 2014, Paw has been experiencing some abnormal pain in her right lower abdomen. She has been diagnosed with a myoma. She has been advised to undergo a total abdominal hysterectomy, the surgical removal of her uterus and cervix. If left untreated, Paw's symptoms will continue to worsen and put her at risk for further health complications in the future. Fortunately, Paw is scheduled to undergo her hysterectomy on November 19th. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of her procedure and care. Once recovered, Paw will no longer abdominal pain and she will be able to take care of her brother. Paw said, "Since 2019, I have been experiencing increased levels of pain in my right lower abdomen, increased back pain, and difficulty sleeping. Riding a motorbike aggravates the pain even more. I also experience dysuria and sometimes it takes me longer to use the bathroom. My appetite is good, but I cannot eat as much as I want because I experiences abdominal tightness, difficulty breathing, and fullness in my stomach when I eat too much."
Emmanuel is a young boy from Tanzania. He is the only child to his mother and they receive little support from his father, making their daily needs hard to meet. Emmanuel's mother noted his legs bulging outwards and got worried. Efforts to seek health care were hard since she had no income and Emmanuel's father ignored the concern. His mother saved some income and took him to the hospital where he was advised on calcium diet to strengthen the bones and return to the hospital after three months. He did not improve, rather his walking became difficult. Emmanual was seen by an employee from our hospital and referred them to our facility. He was diagnosed with genu varus, a condition that limits a child's ability to walk. He had surgery recommended to correct the condition. Once treated, Emmanuel will be able to walk with ease. His mother sells vegetables to earn a living. she is worried that her son's surgery might not be possible due to limited income. She hopes that with kind support, he will be able to walk. She appeals for financial assistance. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $940 to fund corrective surgery for Emmanuel. The procedure is scheduled to take place on October 18th. Treatment will hopefully restore Emmanuel's mobility, allow him to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease his risk of future complications. Emmanuel’s mother says, “I am only concerned about our Emmanuel’s legs as I am unable to afford the treatment cost and his father is not supportive, please help him get his legs corrected.”
Mary walks into my office with the top of her cardigan covering her chin. She sits on the chair opposite me with one hand clasping the top of her black cardigan to veil the swell running from her jawline to her neck. The lower lip protrudes with a peeping swelling attached in so that her upper lip cannot touch the lower one. This has been Mary’s life for over 6 months. Late last year, Mary developed a small swelling on her jaw. It was not painful and therefore she did not think of it as serious. As time passed, the swell grew in size. Mary who could eat just about anything now has restrictions on what she can eat. There is pain when she bends and this has also obstructed her working. Mary is married with two children. She was a subsistence farmer before the condition restricted her activities. Mary and her husband depend on one of their daughter who sells second-hand clothes. Besides helping her parents, she has four children under her care. Mary says, “Please help me because I can barely eat."
Kyaw Myat is a five-year-old boy from Burma. He lives with his family in a village in Sagaing Division. Kyaw Myat’s father is a subsistence farmer and sometimes he also works as a day laborer on other villagers’ farms. His mother is a homemaker and takes care of Kyaw Myat’s brother at home. When he was two, Kyaw Myat started to walk. But the following year, his limbs became weak and he could no longer walk properly. Kyaw Myat’s head had also gradually increased in size and he could not control his urine. He was diagnosed with hydrocephalus and received treatment for it. However, he was also diagnosed with an abnormal growth in his head. The mass is putting pressure on an artery in his head, which makes affects his ability to walk properly. Currently, Kyaw Myat cannot walk properly and sometimes, he complains that he has a headache and watery eyes. Kyaw Myat sought treatment through our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund. He is now scheduled to undergo mass removal surgery on August 23rd. He is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. Kyaw Myat's father said, "I almost give up on my son's treatment because he has a lot of medical problems. However, when I discussed his treatment with my wife, we know that we couldn't give up on him."