Caitlin joined Watsi on February 4th, 2021. Nine months ago, Caitlin joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Caitlin's most recent donation supported San, a sesame and sunflower farmer from Burma, to fund cardiac surgery to replace her heart valve.
Caitlin has funded healthcare for 9 patients in 6 countries.
Caitlin has funded healthcare for 9 patients in 6 countries.
San is a 41-year-old woman who lives with her husband, daughter, and son in Burma. Her children are students, but the schools are closed due to a COVID-19 outbreak and teachers' strike against the military coup earlier this year. San and her husband rent land and grow sesame and sunflowers. They shared that their income last year from selling their harvest was about 1,500,000 kyat (approx. $1,500 USD) for the year, which is only enough to cover their daily expenses and basic health care. Unfortunately, the rainy season was late this year, and they could not grow any sesame as a result. San's family is worried about the impact this will have on their income and their family. Starting in May, San felt tired and developed a fever, so she visited the local clinic and received medication for her symptoms. While her fever reduced, she still felt tired, and her heartbeat increased. Three days later, her son developed a fever and also went to the local clinic. While there, San was able to share more about her condition with the clinicians. The doctor listened to her heart, gave her an injection and medication, and told her to come back if she continued to feel unwell. That night, San experienced heart palpitations and could not sit or lie down for long periods. On May 29th, she visited the Magway General Hospital, where she received oxygen, an injection, a blood test, and an electrocardiogram (ECG). Doctors also recommended an echocardiogram and a chest x-ray, which she received in follow-up care on May 31st. After reviewing the results of her tests, the doctors shared that San's heart valve does not work well and suggested meeting with a cardiologist for further testing. While the military coup made it challenging to find a cardiologist, San visited her brother's town for treatment. After further testing, a cardiologist diagnosed San with mitral valve stenosis and told her that she needed surgery to replace a damaged heart valve. Currently, San feels tired and suffers from heart palpitations when she walks short distances and cannot lie down for long periods. Fortunately, San was referred to our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), to help afford her surgery. On October 3rd, San will receive treatment, and BCMF is requesting $1,500 to help directly fund her procedure. San said, “I would like to get better soon because my family had to try hard to borrow enough money for my treatment. This year, we will not be able to earn a profit from our farm. This year is very difficult for everyone. I would like my daughter and son to finish their studies. I would like to work hard for my family’s future. After I recover from my operation, I want to open a shop in my village to earn more money. I will try to send my daughter and son to school until they graduate. Thank you so much for supporting the cost of my surgery.”
Fredrick is a hardworking student and the third born in a family of four siblings. His family comes from a town called Maua in Kenya. Fredrick is deaf and attends a special school named Ntoruba. He comes from a humble background: sadly, his mother passed away in July 2017 due to prolonged illness. His father also suffers from an illness and is currently under treatment. A neighbor expressed, “The family depends on well-wishers for their daily living.” Fredrick has clubfoot on his left foot. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Fortunately, Fredrick traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, AIC Cure International Hospital. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on September 16th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,286 to fund Fredrick's clubfoot repair. After treatment, he will be able to walk easily again. Fredrick signed that he will be happy if his leg will be corrected and able to walk normally. His brother Dennis told us, "Any help to make him happy and walk normally will be highly appreciated.”
Ma Htun is a 60-year-old woman from Thailand who lives with her son. She and her family moved to Thailand from Burma about 17 years ago in search of better job opportunities. Since early 2020, Ma Htun has been retired. She is now a homemaker and takes care of the household chores. In her free time, she forages for vegetables in the forest. She has a daughter who is married and a son who works as a day laborer. On July 27, Ma Htun was walking home in the rain after visiting a shop to buy food. She slipped and fell and experienced a sharp pain in her right leg. Her son and her neighbor took her to the hospital where an x-ray confirmed that Ma Htun had fractured a bone in her thigh. Currently, she is unable to move her right leg or walk due to pain, and she has difficulty sleeping. With the help of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), Ma Htun will undergo surgery to reset her fractured bones and ensure proper healing. The procedure is scheduled for July 30th and will cost $1,500. This procedure will help Ma Htun to be free from pain and to walk again. Ma Htun's son shared, “I want my mother to receive surgery and get well soon. I feel bad that I cannot afford to pay for her surgery.”
Rady is an 11-year-old, sixth grade student. He is the only child in his family. Rady's father works in construction, and in the future Rady wants to become a policeman. One year ago, Rady had an ear infection that caused cholesteatoma, or an abnormal skin growth, to develop in the middle ear behind the ear drum. The growth made Rady experience hearing loss, tinnitus, and ear discharge. It is difficult for him to hear at school and communicate with his friends Rady traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On July 1st, he will undergo a mastoidectomy procedure in his left 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. Rady would like his life to return to normal, "I hope my ear will improve soon so I can return to school and see and hear my friends."
Julieta is a five-month-old baby girl from Colombia with an infectious smile and laugh. When she was born, she was diagnosed with amniotic band syndrome, which has limited functionality in her hands and feet. Fortunately, our medical partner, Clínica Noel, is helping Julieta to receive treatment. On June 28th, she'll undergo corrective surgery at Clínica Noel's care center. After surgery, the functionality of Julieta's hands and feet will improve, and the procedure will prevent vascular congestion in her fingers. Now, Clínica Noel is requesting $1,500 to fund her procedure. Julieta's mother shared, "as a mother, you wish your kids never suffer from any problems, but knowing they need treatment and you can't pay for it just kills you. When I visited Clínica Noel and they told me that Watsi could help us get the money to pay for her surgery, I felt my prayers were heard."
Phuon is a 27-year-old tuk tuk driver. He's married and has three sons. In his free time, Phuon shared that he enjoys listening to romantic music and pop songs, playing volleyball, and relaxing at home. On March 14th, Phuon was shocked on both hands in an accident with electrical wires. This badly damaged the tissue and after three days in a government hospital he ran out of money to cover treatment. He is in pain and cannot use his hands to hold anything. When Phuon learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, he traveled for two and a half hours seeking treatment. On April 22nd, surgeons at Children's Surgical Centre will perform a debridement procedure to remove the dead tissue to preserve and return the function of his hands. Now, he needs help to fund this $787 procedure. Phuon shared, "I hope after surgery I can use my hands again and get back to work to support my family."
Naw Kwee Moo is a 54-year-old woman from the Karen region in Burma, who lives with her husband and their family in a refugee camp. Of her children, three daughters and three sons still live in the refugee camp along with them near the Thai-Burma border. Naw Kwee is a homemaker and her husband is currently too ill to work. Five of their children go to school in the camp, four other children have moved away, and her second oldest son graduated from a post-secondary program in May 2020. He worked as an agricultural day laborer at a nearby Thai village until mid-December 2020. Due to Covid-19 travel restrictions, he was no longer allowed to leave the camp. Naw Kwe’s household receives a monthly cash card to purchase basic rations. Although they receive free education and basic health care in the camp, they shared how hard it is to make ends meet. Starting four years ago, Naw Kwee often went 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 laborer because of her pain. Over the next few years, she was diagnosed with chronic UTI. “I think my condition was caused from consuming dirty water,” she said. “When I worked as a day laborer, we had no access to clean water.” Naw Kwee received antibiotics through an intravenous (IV) line at the camp’s hospital. When her condition did not improve, a doctor at the camp’s hospital referred her again to Mae Sariang Hospital in March 2020. There she received a urine test and an x-ray of her kidneys, ureters and bladder. She was finally diagnosed with a right kidney stone. After multiple visits, the doctor at Mae Sariang Hospital referred her to Chiang Mai Hospital (CMH) for further treatment. However, Naw Kwee could not travel to CMH for a while due to travel restrictions after the outbreak of Covid-19. Finally, last June medical staff from her camp were able to bring Naw Kwee to Chiang Mai. During her appointment, the doctor scheduled her to undergo an intravenous pyelogram on July 16th, 2020. After she received a diagnostic test, she returned to CMH for her follow-up appointment on November 19th, 2020. During her appointment, she received more tests and it was at her next appointment Naw Kwee was told she needed to undergo multiple rounds of laser treatment to break up the stone in her kidney. She received her first round of laser treatment on February 11th, 2021. Two days later, she developed a fever and could only pass a bit of urine. She also started to experience severe back pain and other troubling symptoms. MI staff took her back to the hospital where she received an ultrasound. The nurse shared with her that after her laser treatment, the stones had broken up and many of them where now stuck in her ureter, creating a blockage. She now needs emergency surgery to remove the stones. Our Medical Partner Burma Children Medical Fund is seeking $1,500 to support her surgery and finally relieve her of her painful condition.
Kay is a 34-year-old woman who lives with her husband and two sons in a village on the Thai-Burma border. Her husband is a day labourer at a construction site, while both of her children are students. Kay used to work in a factory but stopped last year when her health deteriorated. Kay remembers first feeling the pain she has in her abdomen in April of 2014, a month after she gave birth to her second son. Five years later, the pain in the left side of her abdomen returned. Kay also could not eat or drink anything, and vomited every time she tried to eat. At the hospital, she was given medication and was instructed to take it regularly. Though Kay felt better at a follow-up appointment, some of her symptoms were still persistent, so the medic referred her to Mae Sot Hospital (MSH) for further investigation. At that hospital, Kay received an ultrasound, blood test and urine test, and the results revealed that she had stones in her left ureter. The doctor recommended that she undergo laser treatment to breakup these stones and treat the pain she has been experiencing. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is helping Kay receive treatment. On March 2nd, she is scheduled to undergo a shockwave lithotripsy treatment at our medical partner's care center. This procedure will cost $1,500, and she and her family need help raising money. Kay shared, “I really want to recover. I cannot work at the factory [because of my condition] but I want to earn money. In the future, if I recover, I want to open a small shop to sell dry goods.”
Komugisha is a 47-year-old businesswoman from Uganda. She is a single mother to two children who are both still in school - one is in senior three, while the other is in senior six. She separated with her husband due to domestic violence problems. Komugisha currently earns a living from selling secondhand clothes, but also does farming sometimes to help support her children with school fees. For the last month, Komugisha has had a growing mass on the inside of her lower lip. It causes her pain and discomfort with daily activities like eating and talking. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Komugisha receive treatment. She is scheduled to undergo a mass excision procedure on January 12th at our medical partner's care center. Surgeons will remove the mass from her lip. This procedure will cost $196, and she needs help raising money. Komugisha shared, “I have faith and believe that my surgery will be a success."