Parham joined Watsi on May 27th, 2014. Six years ago, Parham became the 200th member to automatically support a new Watsi patient every month. Since then, 5,592 more people have become monthly donors! Parham's most recent donation traveled 8,500 miles to support Ian, an 11-year-old boy from Kenya, to fund hand fracture repair.
Parham has funded healthcare for 66 patients in 13 countries.
We met with eleven-year-old Ian in the hospital ward as he was admitted for a skin traction after he fell from a tree and broke his left hand. His mother sat beside him helplessly while she watched her only son in pain. It took me time for his mother to talk as she was feeling very disturbed and stressed because of her son's condition. She was trying to help him sit up but he couldn’t because of his fractured hand. Ian was brought to the hospital accompanied by his parents. They walked for hours to get the nearest health facility where he was referred to our hospital for surgical review. On arrival, he had an x-ray done which showed that Ian had fractured his left supracondylar. Ian is the third born child in a family of five. He is the eldest son of Christine and Isaac. They are a humble family who is struggling financially and often lack food for their children. Ian's father is a farmer and his mother is a housewife. They live in a two-roomed mud house in upcountry of Kenya. Ian's father, who is a maize farmer says that his farming is not doing well due to poor rains in the area and he has not been getting good yields in recent years. Medical examination shows that Ian needs urgent surgical intervention for his hand, but his family is unable to raise money for their son’s surgery apart from $30 that they collected from friends and family. His family is requesting our prayers and financial support for Ian’s treatment enable him use his hand. Christine, Ian’s mother says, “It is painful to see my son cry in pain. I hope he will receive treatment soon. All I want is to see him happy.”
Soe is a father of three children from Thailand. He and his family relocated to a refugee camp in 2007 due to conflict between armed groups around their village. Although his family receives a small ration at the camp, it is not enough, so Soe does gardening and farming at a nearby Thai village to bring extra income for his family. Whenever Soe has free time, he loves to play cane ball or helps his wife with their household chores. On January 11th, when Soe was coming home from work with his friend on his friend's motorbike, the brakes failed when they were going downhill. The accident caused a fracture in the small bone located in front of his right knee joint. He is in pain and it is difficult for him to walk without using crutches. With the help of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, Soe will undergo surgery to reset his fractured bones and ensure proper healing. The procedure is scheduled for February 20th and will cost $1,500. After this treatment, Soe will be able walk again without any assistant devices. This will also allow him to get back to work so he can provide for his family. Soe said, “I am desperate to be able walk again and work for my children. I cannot imagine how life would turn out if I could not walk anymore.”
Zipporah is a young girl aged eight and a half years from the Kenyan capital, Nairobi. She is the last born in a family of four children. Her mother is a single mother who does casual work as a waitress in a small hotel near their home. Zipporah has been a very jolly and active child, until about one month ago when she reported to her mother that she was having abdominal pains and her abdomen was swelling. The condition was making it difficult for Zipporah to play with other children. She was even brought to our office in a wheelchair as she feels pain when standing. She came to our partner, Nazareth Hospital, and an ultrasound scan was done which showed a well-defined liver mass. The family was sent for a CT scan and it also showed a cystic liver mass. The surgeon recommends a laparotomy, but her mother was not in a position to meet the bill for this surgery. If not treated Zipporah will continue to experience pain.
Wine is a 23-year-old man from Burma. Wine’s family are subsistence farmers and they mainly grow rice and sunflowers. Since Wine’s health deteriorated, he can no longer work on the farm and now looks after two cows. In his free time, he likes to hang out with his friends. In 2016, Wine started to experience a rapid heartbeat and fatigue. As his heart rate continued to be fast, he went to see a medic in his village. The medic told him to go to the hospital instead so he visited a general hospital near his hometown. At the hospital, he received an echocardiogram and the result revealed that Wine's heart valves are not good. The doctor told him that he needs to have surgery and that it would cost six million kyat (approx. 6,000 USD). The doctor then asked his family to come back after they have enough money for the surgery and prescribed him monthly oral medication. Since then, Wine also tried to treat himself with traditional medicine. When that did not work, he relied on oral medication to stabilize his condition. However, his symptoms frequently return. At the moment, Wine cannot do strenuous work such as lift heavy things, and he has back pain. Wine said, “I am very upset that I had to stop working on the farm and that I cannot support my family anymore. I want to be healthy and recover as soon as possible. When I recover fully, I will find a good job to pay back my debt and I will help my community as much as I can.”
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."
Gracious is a baby boy from Tanzania. Gracious is a calm baby boy and the only child to his young parents. He has bilateral clubfoot which if not treated will result in permanent disability. After he was born, his parents were advised to take him to the hospital at three months of age. Upon review, surgeons advised for manipulation and casting surgery to correct the condition. Gracious's parents are casual labourers. His mother sells fruits and vegetables in the neighbourhood while his father is a casual construction site labourer. Their income is only sufficient to meet their daily needs. Gracious's relative referred them to our facility where the child was reviewed. His parents were asked for the hospital fee but are not able to raise it. If treated, Gracious will be able to walk upright and with ease. The family appeals for help. Fortunately, Gracious traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on October 15th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $890 to fund Gracious's clubfoot repair. After treatment, she will be able to walk easily. Gracious’s mother says, “The cost of the treatment is high for us to afford, kindly help our son if it’s possible.”
She lives with her parents in Karen State, Burma. She now works at Kyaw Hta Rural Clinic, 45 minutes away by motorbike from her village and earns 70,000 Kyat (approx. 70 USD) per month. Her parents are farmers and their total income is 100,000 kyat (approx. 100 USD) per month. Their income is just enough for their daily needs. Around eight years ago, Cherry developed pain in the right side of her abdomen. She went to the clinic near her village. At the clinic, the medic thought that she was suffering from normal stomachaches. Since the clinic did not have the necessary equipment to run diagnostic tests, the medic treated her for the pain. She received pain killers and when the pain was worse, a stronger does of pain killers through an injection. In May 2019, she was completing her training with Mae Tao Clinic (MTC), when the pain in her abdomen became worse. She received an ultrasound and painkillers at the clinic, before she was diagnosed with a renal stone in her right kidney. MTC then referred her to Mae Sot Hospital (MSH) for further investigation and treatment. At the hospital, she received an X-ray, ultrasound and a blood test, as well as oral medication for the pain. After checking her results, the doctor confirmed her diagnosis and told her that she needs to receive laser treatment two to three times, to break up the stone in her kidney. She received her first round of laser treatment on 7 August 2019. To pay for that, she had to borrow money from her supervisor and her neighbor. She was scheduled to undergo a second round of treatment on 18 September 2019, but she could no longer afford to pay. Luckily, MTC referred her to Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF) for assistance in accessing further treatment. Currently, Cherry still has pain in the right side of her abdomen. She is interested in the field of medicine and enjoys learning new things related to this field in her free time.
Michael is a motorcycle taxi operator from Kenya. He is a hardworking and entrepreneurial man. In July, Micheal was involved in an accident with another motorbike. He was brought to the hospital, where it was confirmed that he had sustained a fracture of the left femur. He is not able to walk and is in chronic pain. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On July 25, Michael 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 $998 to fund this procedure. “I cannot afford the cost of surgery. I will be eternally grateful if you can find a way to help,” Michael says.
Ormnai is a young student from Tanzania. He was diagnosed with genu valgus. His legs bow inward so that his knees 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 cannot for long distances without pain. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $940 to fund corrective surgery for Ormnai. The procedure is scheduled to take place on July 4. Treatment will hopefully restore Ormnai's mobility, allow him to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease his risk of future complications. Ormnai’s father says, “My son’s legs are worsening am afraid he won’t be able to walk if not treated please help my son am unable to afford the cost.”
Keshia is a girl from Haiti. She was born with a cardiac condition called Tetralogy of Fallot, which involves several related defects including a hole between two chambers of the heart and a muscular blockage of one of the valves. These defects deprive her body of oxygen, leaving her sickly and weak. She will require an open-heart surgery to repair this condition. Keshia lives with her parents and older brother in a city on the north coast of Haiti; she goes to preschool and likes watching cartoons. Keshia will fly to India to receive treatment. On August 6, she will undergo cardiac surgery. Another organization, Rotary International, is contributing $8,000 to pay for surgery. Her family also needs help to fund the costs of surgery prep. The $1,500 bill covers labs, medicines, and checkup and followup appointments. It also supports passport obtainment and the social workers from our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, who will accompany her family overseas.
Luza is a toddler from Haiti. She lives with her parents and siblings on a small farm in the mountains of central Haiti. Luza has a cardiac condition called Tetralogy of Fallot. This condition involves several related defects including a hole between two chambers of the heart, and a muscular blockage of one of the valves. Luza also has Down syndrome. Luza will fly to Canada to receive treatment. On May 30, she will undergo cardiac surgery, during which surgeons will use a patch to close the hole in her heart, and will remove the muscular blockage in one of her valves. Another organization, The Herbie Fund, is contributing $15,000 to pay for surgery. Luza's family also needs help to fund the costs of surgery prep. The $1,500 bill covers labs, medicines, and checkup and followup appointments. It also supports passport obtainment and the social workers from our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, who will accompany Luza's family overseas. Her father says, "We are so happy that Luza finally has this chance to have surgery!"
Sok Panha is a boy from Cambodia. When he was one year old, Sok Panha suffered from a burn on his left index finger. This has caused his finger to heal improperly and has resulted in the inability to extend his finger. Sok Panha was taken to the Kunthabopha Children's Hospital in Phnom Penh for an operation when he was two years old, but the outcome was unsuccessful. At the age of seven, Sok Panha will now undergo contracture release surgery to release the affected skin on his finger, which will allow him to move his finger freely without restraint. Surgery is scheduled for April 23 and will cost $417. Sok Panha currently studies in first grade, and hopes to become a police officer when he gets older.