Garry joined Watsi on January 25th, 2014. Seven years ago, Garry joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Garry's most recent donation traveled 8,300 miles to support Zaw, a 45-year-old from Burma, to fund surgery on his infected foot so he can return to working.
Garry has funded healthcare for 86 patients in 11 countries.
Garry has funded healthcare for 86 patients in 11 countries.
Zaw lives with his mother, two sisters, two nephews, and two nieces in Mon State in Burma. His mother is retired, and his youngest niece and nephew go to school. His niece works as a betel nut cutter with his two sisters, while his nephew works as a day laborer. Zaw cannot work right now due to the pain in his foot. In his free time, he enjoys praying to Buddha and watching movies, which also helps him feel better. Around the end of September, Zaw developed pain in his left foot. A few weeks later, three of his toes turned black. Eventually, all of his toes, and his forefoot turned black too. When he went to Mawlamyine Christian Leprosy Hospital (MCLH) a couple weeks ago, he was diagnosed with gangrene and was admitted to the hospital straight away. At first the doctor tried to treat him with oral medication, injections and physiotherapy exercises to increase the blood supply in his left foot. When this did not work, Zaw was told that the best option is to amputate his foot. Unable to pay for surgery, the doctor referred him to our partner Burma Children Medical Fund for assistance accessing further treatment. Currently, Zaw is in a lot of pain. His left forefoot is black and swollen. As the pain is worse at night, he cannot sleep properly. He also has difficulty sleeping because he is worried about his foot and their financial situation. "Once I have recovered from surgery and I have received a prosthetic foot, I want to support my family and become a taxi driver," he said. "Thank you so much to the donors for supporting me. Every day I pray for them."
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."
Winnie is a dedicated and bright student. She goes to the local university in Kenya and studying advertisement and public relations. Winnie aspires to be a renowned media personality in the future. She stays with her parents in Ruiru and relies on them for school fees and upkeep while she is in school. Last month, Winnie was a passenger on a motorbike heading to get the Covid vaccine at a nearby center in their home in Ruiru. Unfortunately, she was hit by another vehicle, thus sending her flying into the air and she landed hard causing serious injuries. She was rushed to a nearby facility with a serious injuries. Her wound is so dire that it requires several debridements under the general surgery team and later grafting with the plastic surgery team. She has so far undergone 8 surgeries (1 colon - colostomy and 7 debridements). She is in pain and cannot sit yet. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is helping Winnie receive treatment. On October 26th, surgeons will perform a debridement and skin graft procedure so that she will be able to sit again and the risk of infection would be reduced. Now, Winnie needs help to fund this $1,185 procedure. Winnie says, "I just joined college to pursue my dream career. I am missing classes because of the injuries and I am afraid it will affect my future. I cannot even sleep well since I only sleep on my belly. I really hope to get well soon.”
Joffrey is three years old and the only child of his young parents. He's a playful and curious boy who wants to know and understand everything around him. He is a big lover of football just like his father despite his legs being curved. His mother said she thinks he's too cheeky for his age. Joffrey has not started school yet but he keeps asking his mother to take him to school. Both Joffrey's parents are small-scale farmers who grow maize, groundnuts, rice, and vegetables. They get most of their food from what they grow on their farm. Joffrey was recently diagnosed with bilateral genu varus. His legs bow outward so that his knees do not 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 feels pain even after a short walk. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Joffrey. The procedure is scheduled to take place on October 7th. Treatment will hopefully restore Joffrey's mobility, allow him to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease his risk of future complications. Joffrey’s father says: “My son’s legs are worsening as days go by and from how I see it he might not be able to walk or enjoy his play, especially football, if he does not have this needed surgery.”
Kidus is a cute baby boy who loves to walk. His dad enjoys walking with him and holding his hand, and Kidus loves it when his mom carries him on her back. He also loves to watch cartoons. Kidus's dad and mom love each other so much and have a happy life together. Kidus's father is a tailor. His income is very limited and barely enough to sustain the family through the month, but love fills their home, and their lives, with happiness. When Kidus was born his parents learned that he had bladder exstrophy, a rare condition where children are born with an open bladder. His parents faced a challenge that they did not expect in their life, but they are facing it with courage. Kidus needs surgery to perform a procedure to divert his urination to the anal opening & make a pouch bladder from the bowel. He will undergo this surgery on September 28th with our medical partner African Mission Healthcare (AMH) and his family needs $1,500 for the procedure. Kidus's dad said, “For thirteen days after his birth we worked hard to get him treatment but no one in the health centres could help us. Some health workers gave us hope and some health workers did not give us any hope." He is hopeful for after surgery, “After he gets his surgery and recovers I want to tell him the truth about his condition and what we went through as a result of it when he grows up. Also, I want to tell him how he got the treatment, about the people who helped him, how God helped him and gave him this healthy life. I will tell him this so he grows up grateful and he lives to support and help others. I want him to be good and caring and God-fearing. I want him to be there for others. I believe kindness is contagious.”
Heang is a 57-year-old vegetable seller. She has three sons, six daughters, and 12 grandchildren. Heang lives with her grandchildren and her husband, who is a farmer. She likes to listen to the news, listen to monks pray on the radio, and play with her grandchildren. Three years ago, Heang developed a cataract in her right eye, causing her photophobia, blurry vision, and tearing. She has difficulty seeing things clearly, recognizing faces, and going anywhere outside. When Heang learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC), she traveled for two and a half hours seeking treatment. On July 21st, doctors will perform a cataract surgery and lens implant in her right eye. After recovery, Heang will be able to see clearly. Now, CSC is requesting $229 to fund this procedure. Heang shares, "I hope I can see clearly after surgery so I can go to the market and sell vegetables again to support my family."
Naing is a 46-year-old-man who lives with his mother, wife, sister, son and two daughters in Karen State in the border area of Burma. Naing used to work in a teashop as a baker but stopped four years ago when his health deteriorated. His son is also unemployed, unable to find work ever since the COVID-19 pandemic broke out in Burma more than a year ago. They all rely on Naing’s wife, who works as a vendor in the market, to get by. She earns about 150,000 kyat (approx. 150 USD) a month, which they shared is not enough to cover their household expenses. In 2014, Naing received surgery for a right inguinal hernia with the help of his employer. Then, four years ago in 2017, he noticed that he had a small lump on his left side. Over time, the small lump increased in size and shifted downwards, causing pain and discomfort that made it impossible for Naing to continue working at the teashop. Although Naing knew that he most likely is having another hernia, since he was experiencing the same symptoms as before, he did not have enough money to pay for surgery. Therefore, he tried to cope with the pain and discomfort without treatment. In June, Naing’s friend advised for him to go to Ananda Myitta Clinic, a charity clinic in his city to ask for help accessing treatment. Naing and his friend went to the clinic, where they talked to the founder. The founder then referred Naing to another organization called Health for All who help put him in touch with our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), for assistance accessing surgery for his hernia. Naing said, “I would like to receive treatment for my hernia. If I’m cured, I can work again as a baker and our [household] income will increase. Now, only my wife works and we all depend on her.”
Francis is a 48-year-old hawker and a married father of two children, ages 12 and 14. Francis sells a variety of items like pencils and books in Nairobi. His wife is a cook at a nearby school, but unfortunately, due to COVID-19 she has been staying home with no salary. On the evening of Thursday, May 27, Francis was a passenger on a motorbike that was hit by a speeding car as they entered an intersection. He sustained injuries to his head and mouth and fractured his right leg. He was brought to our medical partner's care center where he received stitches in his head and an x-ray showed that he has a fractured tibia and fibula. The surgeon recommended that Francis undergo a fracture repair procedure. If not treated, he will continue to experience pain, and the bones could heal in a suboptimal position. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), can help. On June 3rd, Francis will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. Francis will be free from the pain, the fracture will heal and he will be able to resume work. Now, AMH is requesting $1,049 to fund this procedure. Francis shared, “I will appreciate very much any help because I have no way to raise the money needed for the surgery. I hope to get well and assist my wife in taking care of our family."
Francis is a nine-year-old boy and the youngest of four children in his family. Francis is developmentally delayed, and his mother shared that at he has not yet developed speech and recently learned how to walk. Francis' father is intellectually disabled and does not work. Francis' mother does a variety of jobs, including feeding neighbors' cattle to provide for their family. Francis was diagnosed with cryptorchidism, a condition in which one or both of the testicles remains undescended. If left untreated, Francis has an increased risk of developing hernias, testicular cancer, and fertility problems in the future. Fortunately, Francis will be receiving assistance from our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH). He is scheduled to undergo corrective surgery on May 8th. Now, AMH is requesting $569 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. Francis’ mother shared, “as the breadwinner in the family, I cannot raise the funds for his surgery. We are requesting financial help.”
Weyneshet is a 15-month-old baby girl from Ethiopia who is active and playful. She loves to play with her mom and other children, and she loves eating and breastfeeding. Her mom is a single parent, and they live with the support of family members. Weyneshet was born with an anorectal malformation, a condition that leads to a complete or partial intestinal blockage. She needs to undergo a series of procedures to eliminate bowel dysfunction. Weyneshet is scheduled to undergo her first surgery to correct her condition on April 8th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of her procedure and care. After her recovery, Weyneshet will no longer experience bowel dysfunction or be at risk of developing health complications in the future. Weyneshet's mother shared, “after receiving treatment, I will educate her by working hard in any job I get.”
Elizabeth is 8 years old and the last born in a family of eight children. Elizabeth is a friendly girl and currently in elementary school. She loves coloring and singing at school. Her parents are small scale farmers and livestock keepers. Elizabeth was involved in a fire accident in late 2017. She and her siblings had been left at home by their mother as she went out to go fetch water. With no grown-up at home, they took a matchbox and went out to start a fire so that they could play cooking games. In the process, Elizabeth's clothing caught on fire, and neighbors rescued her. She sustained severe burns that have since healed, so she has large skin contractures around her groin, elbow and axilla. She is not able to move her arm freely. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is helping Elizabeth receive treatment. On March 4th, surgeons at their care center will perform a burn contracture release surgery so she will able to use her hand and move it freely. Now, she needs help to fund this $639 procedure. Elizabeth’s father shared, “My daughter needs surgery to help correct her hand, but the cost is not something we can afford. Kindly help our daughter.”
Sos is a 76-year-old vegetable farmer who, together with his wife, has three daughters and three sons. Sos and his wife enjoy tending the vegetables on their farm, and like to play with their grandson. For the past year, Sos has had an ear infection. This infection caused the tympanic membrane, or the ear drum, in his right ear ear to perforate. For this reason, Sos experiences hearing loss, pain and ear discharge. He cannot communicate clearly with others and is in chronic pain. Sos traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On January 20th, he will undergo a myringoplasty procedure in his right ear. During this procedure, surgeons will close the perforation. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is requesting $464 to fund this procedure. This covers medications, supplies, and inpatient care. Sos shared, "I hope that after surgery I will be better, with no more ear infection and discharge, and improved hearing."