UNIVERSAL FUND MEMBERI like to solve problems. And make chocolate chip cookies.
United States • joshdance.me
Joshua joined Watsi on November 6th, 2014. Eight years ago, Joshua joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Joshua's most recent donation traveled 8,300 miles to support Aung, a 25-year-old man from Burma, to fund life-saving cardiac surgery.
Joshua has funded healthcare for 104 patients in 12 countries.
Joshua has funded healthcare for 104 patients in 12 countries.
Aung, who is 25 years old, lives with his mother, brother and two sisters in Burma. His mother is retired, and his brother is a security guard. One of his sisters works at a bicycle factory, while the other one works for a local company. Aung is currently unemployed because of his poor health. In October 2022, Aung fell ill and developed a persistent cough. He went to a charity hospital, where he was told that he had a heart infection. After he was treated with injected antibiotics, the doctor told him that he needed an echocardiogram, because he might have a heart condition due to the infection. After the echo was completed, he was diagnosed with mitral valve regurgitation, and he was referred to a cardiologist in Yangon. Aung went to see the cardiologist, who told him that he would need surgery, which he could not afford. On December 25, 2022, both of Aung's legs and his arms became swollen, and he was unable to sleep. He went to a private hospital, where it was determined that he would need surgery as soon as possible. Currently, Aung feels extremely fatigued, experiences chest pains, and has difficulty breathing. Sometimes, his legs and his arms become swollen, and he cannot sleep well at night. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 for the mitral valve replacement surgery that Aung needs. The procedure is currently scheduled to take place on April 2nd, at Pun Hlaing Hospital. "In the future, I want to work as a taxi driver, because I believe that I could easily earn money doing this [in the city]," said Aung.
Daniel is a 10-year-old student from Ethiopia. He is in second grade and loves school. His favorite subject is English. He also loves playing football and games with friends, eating fruits and eggs with injera. He is the fifth child in the family with four older brothers. Both parents are daily laborers on a farm and get income by sharing the profit during harvest with the landowner. They use the income to feed the family and also sell some of the produce to buy other goods for the house. During the rainy season, they engage in other labor work such as chopping wood, gardening and delivery of different goods. Even though their family income is sufficient to support the basic needs of their family, it is a challenge to afford Daniel's surgery. Daniel was born with hypospadias, a congenital disease that causes urinary dysfunction. Without treatment, he will continue to experience uncomfortable symptoms. Earlier he had two surgeries with Bethany Kids Myungsung Christian Medical Centre (BKMCM). For the third surgery, he had to wait for four years. The wait made him drop out of school and has affected his mental wellbeing. Fortunately, Daniel is now scheduled to undergo corrective surgery on February 28th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,293 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. Daniel's dad said “I will be happy if my son completely heals and becomes free from shame. I am eager to send him back to school.”
Meet Ku, a 21-year-old from Thailand. He lives with his parents, four younger brothers, and one younger sister. Two of his brothers are in school, while his parents and other siblings practice subsistence farming. Ku works as a day laborer, providing the sole income for his household. In his free time, Ku enjoys gardening, growing vegetables, and looking after his family's two cows. In March, Ku was in a driving accident that caused his motorcycle to fall onto his left leg, fracturing his left thigh. He was brought to a clinic before being referred to the local hospital. After an x-ray confirmed his diagnosis, he was referred to our medical partner's hospital for further treatment. Currently, Ku is experiencing a lot of pain and cannot move or lift his left leg, sit up, or leave the hospital bed. With the help of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), Ku will undergo surgery on March 13th to reset his fractured bones and ensure proper healing. This procedure will help him walk again and live pain-free. He will also be able to go back to work and will no longer require a caregiver. BCMF is requesting $1,500 to fund Ku's surgery. Ku shared, "I feel so upset. I never thought I would become like this [bed-bound]. I want to get surgery soon so that I can recover and go back to work. If I'm not working, my family could have a problem. I had to borrow money from my friend [to pay for basic expenses while getting treatment]. I want to go back to work and pay back my debt."
Stravensky, who is 18 years old, and in his final year of high school, lives in Port-au-Prince in Haiti, with his parents and two sisters. He aspires to go on to university to study engineering. Stravensky was born with atrial septal defect, a cardiac condition, where a hole exists between the upper two chambers in his heart. Instead of circulating through his lungs and picking up oxygen, the blood leaks through the hole, leaving him weak and short of breath. Our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, is seeking $1,500 to fund the costs of the surgery that Stravensky needs to repair his heart. The procedure, during which the hole will be repaired, is scheduled for February 1st, at Clinica Corominas. After this life changing operation, Stravensky should be able to live a healthy and comfortable life, and to pursue his ambitions without experiencing his current symptoms. From Stravensky: "I have been hoping to have my heart fixed ever since I was a small child - I can't believe it is finally happening!"
Kalyan, a 13-year-old seventh grader, lives with her mother and brother in Kandal province in Cambodia. She enjoys studying home economics and Khmer literature and would like to be a singer when she grows up. Kalyan was born with a spinal condition called listhesis, which is an unnaturally mobile vertebra that moves, leaves its normal position, and can cause different complaints when it compresses nerves and other vertebrae. Listhesis can be caused by a bone abnormality, trauma from an accident or injury, or result from a fracture or a tumor. Pinched nerves and chronic back pain are common symptoms of this condition, as is loss of flexibility and possible paralysis. Kalyan is frequently unable to attend school due to her condition. Fortunately, our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, can help. Specialty surgeons at Kien Khleang National Rehabilitation Centre can fuse her spine to avoid any further damage to Kalyan's back, while also alleviating her pain. Kalyan and her mother need your help to raise the $1,500 cost of the surgery, implants, hospitalization, and post-op medication. After recovery from the procedure, which is scheduled for February 7th, Kalyan's spine will be more stable, and she will be able to engage in all of the normal activities of a 13-year-old. Kalyan's mother shared: "I hope my daughter will no longer have pain and she can go back to school."
Arham is a sweet 7-month-old baby from Tanzania. He has a twin sister. His father works as a mechanic, and his mother stays home to care for the children and household. They shared that their income supports their basic needs and request assistance with Arham’s surgery. Arham has clubfoot of his left foot. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape, which causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Arham’s family visited our medical partner’s care center. On November 15th, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery that will allow Arham to walk easily and wear shoes as he gets older. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $935 to fund Arham’s surgery. Arham’s mother says, “Life has been hard for us these few past months, and I can’t stop thinking about how to solve my baby’s condition. I hope my son grows to have a normal life like his twin.”
Emmanuel is a 17-year-old student from Haiti who hopes to become a doctor. He lives with his aunt and uncle in a neighborhood of Port-au-Prince so that he can more easily attend school, as his parents live in the countryside. Emmanuel has a cardiac condition called rheumatic mitral regurgitation, which means one of his heart valves was severely damaged from an infection he experienced in early childhood. In 2017, Emmanuel underwent heart surgery to repair his existing valve. This surgery stabilized his heart for several years, but the valve remains unable to pump blood adequately throughout his body. Emmanuel needs to undergo a second surgery to replace the valve with a prosthetic heart valve. Emmanuel will fly to the Dominican Republic to receive treatment, as this surgery is unavailable in Haiti. On November 10th, he will undergo cardiac surgery, during which surgeons will remove the damaged heart valve and implant a replacement valve. An organization called Mitral Foundation is contributing $8,000 to pay for help pay for surgery. Emmanuel's family also needs help to fund the costs of surgery prep. The $1,500 bill covers labs, medicines, and check-up and follow-up appointments. It also supports passport obtainment and the social workers from our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, who will accompany Emmanuel's family overseas. Emmanuel shared, "I am looking forward to growing stronger and having much more energy after my surgery!"
Chanrong is a 29-year-old rice farmer from Cambodia. He is married with two children. His wife also works as a farmer. In addition to growing their rice crop, they also grow vegetables and feed animals. During his free time, he enjoys listening to music, reading books, watching TV, and playing with his one-year-old and five-year-old children. In 2014, Chanrong was involved in a motorbike accident. This left him with a serious injury to his left shoulder and 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 a loss of function and sensation. Over time, he has lost the ability to flex or extend his elbow, wrist, and fingers due to nerve damage. He has also lost almost all sensation in his arm, leaving him with only a burning sensation. Fortunately, Chanrong traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. This is the only center in the country where the treatment he needs is available. On August 1st, he will undergo a brachial plexus repair surgery. The goal of this surgery is to improve functioning in his hand and arm. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is requesting $709 to fund this life-changing procedure. Chanrong says, "I hope after surgery my left arm is able to move and I can use it to support my family on our farm."
Kry Ya is a 26-year-old factory worker with three brothers and two sisters, all are married and live in other homes. Kry Ya's parents are vegetable sellers. In his free time, Kry Ya enjoys singing, listening to music, playing games, and playing football with friends. In July, Kry Ya was in a motor vehicle accident that caused paralysis of his left shoulder. Kry Ya 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. At this time, Kry Ya is unable to lift his left arm preventing him from working. Kry Ya traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. This is the only center in the country where this treatment is available. On September 5th, Kry Ya will undergo a brachial plexus repair surgery. After recovery, he will be able to use his hand again. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is raising $709 to fund this procedure. Kry Ya shared, "I hope I can regain function of my arm as soon as possible."
Gladys is a strong, hardworking mother from Kenya who is raising her five children on her own. Her oldest child is 14 years old, while her youngest is only three. To support her family, she works as a casual laborer plucking tea. She currently lives in a single-room rental house, which costs Ksh.1200 (~10 USD) per month. Gladys shares that her income is inconsistent and not enough to cover her needed medical treatment. She also does not have active medical coverage and currently has a large accrued bill due to her recent hospital admission. Recently, Gladys was involved in a road traffic accident that caused several fractures. One of the fractures she sustained in this accident was of her left tibia. As a result of this injury, she is currently unable to walk. In order to properly heal her fracture, she must undergo an open reduction and internal fixation (ORIF) procedure. She also has facial fractures, which will require another ORIF later the same week. However, undergoing an ORIF for her fractured tibia is the current priority. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On August 8th, Gladys will undergo fracture repair surgery so she can walk easily again. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,500 to fund this procedure. Gladys says, “I cannot walk and my face is in pain. I am the only breadwinner of the family, and I cannot work if my leg is broken. All my five children depend on me for upkeep and survival. I need this treatment to get back on my feet.”
Alice is a cheerful and talkative 63-year-old farmer from Kenya. She has seven children, with her youngest being 14 and her oldest being 40. Although she is married, Alice works to support her children alone. She and her family live on a small piece of land, half of which is reserved for a tea plantation. She grows and sells this tea in order to pay her children's school fees and provide them with their day-to-day needs. 15 years ago, Alice began experiencing troubling symptoms, including neck swelling, joint weakness, and constant fatigue. After attempting to alleviate her symptoms using herbal medication with no success, she decided to seek medical attention at a health center. The medics referred her to our medical partner's care center, AIC Kapsowar Hospital, for diagnosis and treatment. Fortunately, a friend provided her with money to pay for her transportation to the hospital. Once there, she was diagnosed with bilateral non-toxic multinodular goiter, meaning she has multiple lumps located within her thyroid glands. In order to stop her symptoms and prevent them from worsening, she must undergo surgery. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMHF), is helping Alice receive treatment. She is scheduled to undergo a thyroidectomy on August 15th at AMHF's care center. During this procedure, surgeons will remove all or part of her thyroid gland. This surgery will cost $936, and Alice and her family need help raising money. Alice says, “I would like to see my children achieve their dreams. I look forward to getting well to continue providing for and supporting them. Kindly help me.”
Elka is a 13-month-old baby who lives in Haiti with her parents. Both of her parents are hardworking vendors in their local market. Elka was born with a cardiac condition called patent ductus arteriosus, meaning blood leaks through a hole between two blood vessels located near her heart. This leaves her feeling weak and short of breath. Since the required treatment is not available in Haiti, our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance (HCA), is helping Elka travel to the Dominican Republic where she will be able to access the care she needs. On July 28th, she will undergo a procedure where doctors will use a catheter to plug the hole so blood can flow without issue through her body. Elka's family is looking to raise $1,500 to fund her necessary care, treatment, and travel. Elka also has a cleft lip and palate, so once her heart condition is treated, a team of doctors will soon be able to perform another surgery to repair this condition and help her have a healthier future and a full life ahead. Her mother says, "I am looking forward to my daughter growing up as a normal healthy child!"