Karen joined Watsi on September 25th, 2016. Five years ago, Karen joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Karen's most recent donation supported Yoon, a beautiful 12-year-old girl from Burma, to fund an Achilles tendon lengthening procedure so that she can walk again.
Karen has funded healthcare for 70 patients in 11 countries.
Karen has funded healthcare for 70 patients in 11 countries.
Yoon is a bright and loving 12-year-old girl. She lives with her mother and uncle in Karen State of Burma near the border with Thailand. She was a student in grade three but stopped studying in August 2020 when she was no longer able to walk. Yoon enjoys painting pictures and reading books. In the future, she wants to go back to school and continue her studies. She helps out her mother with household chores. Her uncle is unemployed whereas her mother is an agricultural day labourer. One day at home, Yoon fell down when she tried to stand up to go to the bathroom. Her feet felt painful and were pointing downwards. After that, she did not try to stand up again and would move around her house on her knees. Her mother would have to carry her to the bathroom. Due to their financial situation, her mother was not able to seek treatment despite being very worried for her daughter. Over time, Yoon noticed that her feet were increasingly pointing downwards and were stiff. Her legs would feel painful and were also stiff. Sometimes, she could not stretch out her legs due to feelings of tightness and pain. Her mom shared that she would cry whenever her legs pained, and she would have to wait until the pain lessened by itself. Additionally, her hands began to weaken until she could not hold food with her hands. At the same time, her speech became slurred and her voice became hoarse. On June 17, Yoon arrived at our medical partner's care center, Mawlamyine Christian Leprosy Hospital (MCLH), and was admitted that same day. She received a physical examination and was diagnosed with cerebral palsy and tightness of Achilles tendon in both of her legs. The doctor recommended she receive surgery on both of her feet, which would help her walk again, and scheduled the procedure for June 21st. When Yoon’s mother told the doctor that they cannot afford to pay for surgery, the doctor referred Yoon to Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF) for assistance accessing further treatment. Our medical partner, BCMF, is requesting $1,500 to cover the cost of an Achilles tendon lengthening procedure for Yoon. This procedure will elongate her Achilles tendon, allowing increased motion at the ankle joint. Without treatment, Yoon's condition will continue to cause her discomfort and will further limit her movement. Her mother said, “I cried almost every night when I saw my daughter in this condition. She always cried and complained about her feet. She always asked me to bring her to the hospital to get treatment. Whenever she asked me, I felt very sad and I would cry in secret. I want her to get treatment, but I cannot afford to pay for it. Due to COVID-19 and the current fighting in Burma, I cannot make enough money or save it. Often, I would only eat fishpaste and rice, but give her meat so that she can have something nutritious. When I heard that she has donors who will help her receive treatment, I felt very happy and thankful to BCMF for this kindness. I never thought she would receive such an opportunity. It makes me so happy that I do not know how to express it in words.”
Woldegibreal is a 10-year-old boy, living with his parents and two younger siblings in Ethiopia. He is an intelligent and loving boy, who helps his parents around the house, and with looking after his two siblings. He also loves music and playing football. Woldegibreal was born with a congenital abnormality, which leaves his bladder exposed to the open air, and leaking urine directly into his abdomen. Because of this, Woldegibreal is prone to infections and injury to his bladder, and suffers from constant pain and discomfort. There is a surgical procedure which can correct Woldegibreal's condition. However, even though his parents work hard on the land that they have, they are unable to sustain their family, due to the poor harvests which result from the hot and dry area where they live. They survive with support from others and are unable to cover the costs of Woldegibreal's surgery. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is seeking $1,500 to cover the cost of the life-changing procedure for Woldegibreal, scheduled to take place at BethanyKids Myungsung Christian Medical Centre on May 24th. This procedure will enable Woldegibreal to heal, and to enjoy a full and healthy life. His father shared: “If he gets the surgery we will faint in happiness. We will bless all who helped him. We will send him to school. And we will lead our life with thanksgiving and gratitude.”
Joy is a curious, active, and happy six-year-old girl. Joy's father works at a construction site, and her mother is unwell and unable to work. She also has a twin sister, and both girls attend school. The family lives in their ancestral home. Joy has been diagnosed with severe to profound bilateral hearing loss and needs to be fitted for a hearing aid so that she can hear well. She is currently unable to speak and while she is able to attend school, she is unable to sit for exams due to her hearing loss. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Joy to get treatment and fitted for hearing aids. On April 8th, she will undergo the fitting and afterwards, her hearing should improve. Now, she and her family need help raising $1,171 to fund her care. Joy's mother shared, "our baby is so curious and anxious to go to school. Although she is unable to hear, she insists on accompanying her twin to school."
Navann is an adventurous 15-month-old girl. She is the youngest child in her family, with one three-year-old sister, and lives with her parents who make a living working as garment workers in a clothing factory. She likes to play with her older sister, and enjoys drinking milk, and eating any soup her mother makes. When Navann started learning to walk, at around 12 months, her mother noted that her left hip seemed shorter than her right hip. Navann was brought to the hospital, where she was diagnosed with developmental dysplasia of her left hip, a condition where the "ball and socket" joint of the hip does not properly form in babies and young children. As a result, her gait is uneven and she has difficulty walking, which causes her to sometimes cry when trying to keep up with her sister. Navann needs surgery to repair her hip, and a SPICA cast to maintain proper hip position. If not treated, it can cause painful long term problems for her. Fortunately, Navann's family learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC). There surgeons can perform a total hip replacement to relieve Navann of her pain and allow her to walk easily. Her treatment is scheduled for March 22nd. Navann and her family need help raising $1,087 to pay for this procedure. Her mother said: "I hope that Navann will have a good result after surgery, and she will walk like other children."
Paul is 51-year-old, outgoing farmer from a small village in the highlands of Kenya. Paul survives on daily work in his neighbors' farms to gather for the needs of his family. He is married with two children, and together they live in a semi-permanent house. His family relies on him for their daily needs as Paul is the only family bread winner. Paul arrived to the hospital with a fracture on his left knee after a fall at his home. He now has a lot of pain, swelling, and inability to flex his left knee. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On February 22nd, Paul will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. Once he heals, he'll be able to walk well with no difficulties and pain. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $1,145 to fund his procedure. Paul says, "I am really uncomfortable when my children need me and I cannot be there for them. Please help me so that I can heal and be able to raise them well."
Shellden is a sweet two-year-old and the youngest-born child in her family. Her family lives in an informal settlement in Kenya's capital city of Nairobi. Shellden's mother is a homemaker, while her father is a laborer working in construction sites. Last year, Shellden's mother noticed a sudden bowing of her legs when she started to stand and take her first steps to walk. Her mother took her to a local hospital, where she has continued with follow-up visits over the past year. However, since there has been no improvement so far, her mother was referred to the care center at our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), for the treatment Shellden needs to heal. On February 28th, Shellden will undergo corrective surgery that will allow her to walk without difficulty and be able to easily attend school once she is old enough. AMH is requesting $1,224 to fund Shellden's procedure. Shellden's mother shared, "At the moment, we don’t have work and are unable to pay for national insurance because of our current economic status. Any support will be highly appreciated."
Maureen is a cheerful 10-year-old student. She's the third born child in a family of four children. Both of her parents work on farms around their home. Earlier this year, Maureen fractured her right femur. She underwent surgery to treat the fracture and the injury healed well. However, on December 5th, Maureen fell and unfortunately fractured the same leg. She was admitted to the hospital where another surgery was recommended to help her heal fully. The fracture causes Maureen pain and she is unable to walk. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), can help. On December 23rd, Maureen will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. This procedure will help heal her fracture so that she can walk well again. Now, Maureen and her family need help raising $1,049 to fund her procedure and care. Maureen shared, "I hope to get better and go back to school. Please help me."
Visa is a 24-year-old soldier from Cambodia. She is also married to a soldier and they have a 3-year-old daughter. When she is not at work, she likes to watch movies on TV. Visa had an earlier ear infection that caused a cholesteatoma, or an abnormal skin growth, to develop in the middle ear behind the ear drum. For this reason, Visa experiences frequent pain and ear discharge. For the past 3 months, she has had ear discharge, pain, and occasional bleeding. It is difficult for her to hear at work; which she shared makes her feel embarrassed, frustrated and upset. Visa traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On November 24th, she will undergo a mastoidectomy procedure in her 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. She told us, "I hope after surgery I will be able to hear clearly, the discharge will stop, and I will no longer have this pain."
Veronica is a 50-year-old small-scale farmer. She has a contagious smile and an optimism for life despite the challenges she has encountered. She is a mother of six children and lives with her husband who is a boda boda (motorcycle taxi) driver. She grows maize for home consumption and sells the surplus for additional income. 10 years ago, Veronica began experiencing troubling symptoms, including a small mass on her neck. She visited several hospitals for lab tests and medication, but nothing seemed to help and the mass has grown. She has also gained weight and experiences shortness of breath and a fast heart. A friend told her about our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH) and she visited AMH's care center hoping for a clear diagnosis and treatment. She was diagnosed with an enlarged thyroid and surgery is recommended to prevent her symptoms from worsening. On October 19th, she will undergo a thyroidectomy at AMH's care center, where surgeons will remove all or part of her thyroid gland. This procedure will cost $936, and she and her family need help raising money. Veronica shared, "this condition is making me weak and I can’t work like before. I want to be strong for my children so that they can receive education and get their daily needs."
Thidar is a 43-year-old woman who lives with her husband and two daughters in Burma. She is a homemaker while her two daughters are students. However, the school in their village is closed due to the teachers being on strike following the country's coup earlier this year. Thidar was diagnosed with diabetes 13 years ago, and recently noticed that her toe on her left foot was becoming black. After visiting a local clinic, Thidar was diagnosed with having an ulcer and was prescribed medication as treatment. Unfortunately, the ulcer was not responding to medication and various treatments. Thidar then was advised to visit an hospital where the doctor's further noticed more of her toes were swollen and black as well. Thidar was diagnosed with gangrene, a rare infection where blood flow does not reach your extremities. Our medical partner, the Burma Children Medical Fund is requesting $694 for surgery on Thidar's foot to treat the gangrene. Currently, Thidar is in pain especially at night. She is unable to sleep well and is worried about her foot and her family's financial situation. She told us, "In the future I want to open a shop in my home,” she said. “Thank you so much to all the donors and supporters.”
Saroh is a 17-year-old girl who lives with her parents, two younger brothers and a younger sister in a village in Burma. Her sister and brothers attend school while Saroh has never gone to school due to her health. Saroh’s parents are farmers and they grow rice. Saroh was around five or six months old, when her mother noticed that when Saroh tried to roll over, her lips, toes and fingers would turn blue. Saroh's mother was unable to take Saroh to a clinic or hospital because they did not have enough money to do so. When Saroh was 5 years old she would often become tired when playing with her friends. Her lips, toes and fingers were also still blue. On a recommendation from a family friend, Saroh’s mother brought Saroh to a free clinic where she was referred to a hospital for further investigation. Following diagnostics exams, Saroh’s mother was told that Saroh was born with a heart condition. In order to get treatment Saroh would have to be transferred to a hospital that was very far. Without enough information or money to travel and pay for treatments, Saroh and her mother traveled back to their village. Saroh was then treated with traditional medicine which according to Saroh’s mother seemed to stabilize her condition. In the middle of 2019, Saroh started to experience back pain. She also felt more tired and had difficulty breathing. Her mother did not know what to do as they had no money to bring her to a hospital or a clinic. Saroh’s mother asked their friends if they knew of a way that Saroh could receive treatment. In May 2020, Saroh’s uncle told his friend about Saroh’s condition. That friend happened to be a former staff member of our medical partner Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF) and told Saroh’s uncle about how BCMF could help. BCMF agreed to help Saroh access the treatment she needs, and is requesting $1500 to fund her cardiac surgery. Now staying at the patient house in Chiang Mai, Saroh is learning how to read and write with the help of BCMF staff who teaches here during her free time while waiting for her treatment. Saroh said, “If I feel better, I want to help my mother with household chores. In the future, I think I want to go to Bible school and become a missionary. I am very thankful to all the donors who are willing to help pay for the cost of my treatment.”
Gift is curious, charming, and social two-year-old boy. He's the second born child in a family of three children. Both of his parents are small scale farmers who grow maize, beans, and vegetables for their food. They also go out to seek other work, such as helping on other farms, to earn an income. Gift has clubfoot of his right foot. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Gift receive treatment. On July 13th, surgeons at AMH's care center will perform clubfoot repair surgery. Now, AMH is requesting $935 to fund Gift's procedure. After treatment, Gift will be able to walk and wear shoes. Gift’s mother shared, "I know my son will be very happy to be able to wear shoes and walk in a normal way. Please help him have this treatment."