Brian joined Watsi on October 28th, 2014. Seven years ago, Brian joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Brian's most recent donation traveled 8,500 miles to support Martha, a farmer and mother from Kenya, to fund breast cancer treatment.
Brian has funded healthcare for 80 patients in 10 countries.
Brian has funded healthcare for 80 patients in 10 countries.
Martha, a passionate mother of 7 and a widow, is farmer in Kenya. She is hardworking and enjoys doing her house chores. Martha cultivates crops on her two-acre ancestral property. She has no other source of income and relies upon her friends and relatives to support her livelihood. Martha has just been diagnosed with breast cancer. Without treatment, the cancer may spread to other organs. A mastectomy, a surgery to remove breast tissue, has been suggested to rid her body of cancer and to prevent the cancer from metastasizing. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMH), is requesting $1110 to cover the cost of a mastectomy for Martha. The procedure is scheduled to take place on September 7th, 2021. After treatment, Martha will hopefully return to a cancer-free life. Martha says, “I thought I would age peacefully and raise my children. They need me since they do not have their father. I hope this surgery helps me to get rid of the cancer and live a normal life.”
Grace is a beautiful, charming, and smiley 15-month-old baby. Grace's parents are small scale farmers and have one other child. They grow and sell maize and vegetables. Grace's mother sells fresh vegetables to her surrounding neighbors to make a living while, her father works at a carwash to support their family. Grace has been diagnosed with hydrocephalus, a condition in which excess cerebrospinal fluid accumulates in the brain and increases intracranial pressure. As a result of her condition, Grace has been experiencing vomiting and high fevers. Without treatment, Grace will experience severe physical and developmental delays. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is requesting $1,300 to cover the cost of surgery for Grace that will treat her hydrocephalus. The procedure is scheduled to take place on August 9th and will drain the excess fluid from Grace's brain. This will reduce intracranial pressure and greatly improve her quality of life. With proper treatment, Grace should grow and develop into a strong, healthy young girl. Grace’s mother says, "Our baby is usually very active and playful but as days go by, her condition worsens, causing her weakness, vomiting and high fevers. Please help us."
Victor is an energetic, bright boy from Kenya. He is the first born in a family of two children. Currently, Victor is in grade 8 and is looking forward to sit for his national examination this year. His father, who was the breadwinner of the family, passed away in 2019. His mother has been doing temporary laundry work and house chores for her neighbors to earn a living. Ever since his father passed away, life has been very hard for the family. Victor was diagnosed with cryptorchidism, a condition in which one or both of the testicles remains undescended. If left untreated, Victor has an increased risk of developing hernias, testicular cancer, and fertility problems in the future. Victor will be receiving assistance from our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH). Fortunately, he is scheduled to undergo corrective surgery on July 6th. AMH is requesting $561 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. Victor’s mother says, "I have been fearing for the worst but it seems like the worst was inevitable. Now I cannot raise any money to cater for my son’s surgery but I’m hopeful that God will work his way out for us.”
Yin is a 62-year-old woman who lives with her husband, daughter, son in-law, and granddaughter in a refugee camp on the Thai-Burma border. She is a homemaker, and she loves cooking and cleaning around her house. In her free time, Yin loves to play with her granddaughter. Her husband is retried, and her son in-law is unemployed. Yin’s family receives 800 baht (approx. 27 USD) on a cash card every month to purchase rations. This income is just enough for their daily needs, but they cannot afford to pay other costs like healthcare. Currently, Yin has limited vision and can only make out if it is dark or light outside with her right eye. The vision in Yin’s left eye is starting to blur, and she cannot see far with her left eye. She is worried that she will lose vision in both of her eyes. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund lens replacement surgery for Yin. On June 8th, doctors will perform a lens replacement, during which they will remove Yin's natural lenses and replace them with an intraocular lens implant in each eye. After recovery, she will be able to see clearly. Now, she needs help to fund this $1,500 procedure. Yin shared, "Before my vision started to blur, I used to make and sell mohinga [a type of Burmese noodles]. With the money that I earned from selling mohinga, I was able to buy vegetables for my family. However, when the vision in my right eye vision became blurred, I could no longer make mohinga anymore. I hope that my vision will be restored after I complete my treatment.”
Brandon is a one-week-old baby and has one older sibling. Brandon's parents are small scale farmers of maize and vegetables, and his father also has a motorbike that he uses to carry passengers to make a living to be able to support his family. Brandon was born with spina bifida, a type of neural tube defect in which the spine does not properly close around the spinal cord. Without treatment, Brandon is at risk of lower-limb paralysis, infection of the exposed nervous tissue, development of tethered cord syndrome, and possible developmental delays. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $1,015 to cover the cost of Brandon's spina bifida closure surgery. The procedure is scheduled to take place on May 10th. This procedure will hopefully spare Brandon from the risks associated with his condition, instead allowing him to grow and develop along a healthy trajectory. Brandon’s mother says, "Please help treat our baby, we don’t have anywhere to ask for help and we cannot afford the cost."
Zaw is a 40-year-old man from Thailand. He lives by himself in a hut on his employer's land on the Thai-Burma border and he harvests sugarcane for a living. He is paid 45 baht (approx. $1.50 USD) per bundle of harvested sugarcane, with each bundle containing 200 canes. He shared that the income he earns in a month is not enough to cover his basic needs, and has recently had to borrow funds to purchase food. Last Wednesday, Zaw decided to go home on his bicycle during his lunch break. While riding his bicycle, a dog started to chase him. He put his feet up on the handlebar so that the dog would not bite his legs. But while his feet were still on the handlebar, three cars drove towards him on the narrow road. Zaw swerved to avoid the cars and lost his balance, falling into the drainage ditch on the side of the road. The villagers who had seen him fall ran to the side of the ditch to check on him. When Zaw tried to stand up, he had difficulty breathing and had to sit down due to the pain in his abdomen. Since the accident, Zaw feels worse. He still has difficulty breathing, and he suffers from abdominal pain. He cannot stand up, has difficulty sitting up, and has difficulty eating or drinking water. Doctors want Zaw to undergo a CT scan, a procedure in which x-ray images taken from several angles are combined to produce cross-sectional images of the body. This scan will hopefully help doctors diagnose his condition and formulate an appropriate treatment plan. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $414 to cover the cost of Zaw's CT scan and care, scheduled for March 26th. “When I get better I will continue working,” he said. “I also have to pay back my debt.”
Ku is an 11-year-old student from Thailand. Ku lives with his mother, four brothers and a sister in a refugee camp. All of his siblings also go to school, except for his oldest brother, who used to work with their mother as agricultural day labourers. However, since the outbreak of Covid-19 in 2020, they have not been able to leave the camp easily to find work. Ku's father works as a day labourer outside of the camp, but has also been unable to find consistent work due to the pandemic. Ku's family receives some financial support from an external organisation, but it is not enough to cover their expenses, and they shared that they often borrow rice or money from their neighbors. In March 2021, Ku and his friends were playing tag that led him to have a bad fall. Ku had taken off his sandals and left them at the top of a hill. When he ran up the rocky hill to fetch his sandals, he slipped and stuck out his left hand to break his fall, breaking his wrist. Currently, Ku’s left hand and forearm are very painful. He cannot bend his wrist and can only move his fingers slightly. Before his accident, Ku was able to prepare his own meals and set up his mosquito net at night. But now, he needs someone to help him do these tasks. With the help of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, Ku will undergo surgery to reset his fractured bones and ensure proper healing. The procedure is scheduled for March 10th and will cost $1,500. This procedure will help Ku use his left hand again and live pain-free. He will be able to cook his own meals again and set up his mosquito net by himself. Now, he and his family need help raising money for this procedure. Ku's mother shared, "After he receives treatment, I want Ku to continue his studies until he graduates and becomes a medic."
Naw Kwee Moo is a 54-year-old woman who lives with her husband, three daughters and three sons in Mae Ra Ma Luang Refugee Camp in Thailand. She and her family fled to the camp in 2006 from Burma. Today, Naw Kwe is a homemaker and her husband is too ill to work. Five of their children go to school in the camp, four other children have moved away, and she proudly shared that her second oldest son graduated from a post-secondary program in May 2020. Naw Kwe’s family receives 2,030 baht (approx. 68 USD) in a month on a cash card to purchase rations for basic food needs. Although they receive free education and primary health care in the camp, Naw Kwee’s family struggles to make ends meet each month. Four years ago, Naw Kwee started going 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 labourer. Over the next few years, when she increasingly sought treatment for UTIs, she was diagnosed with chronic UTI. When her condition did not improve after taking antibiotics, a doctor at the camp’s hospital referred her to another hospital in March 2020, where she was diagnosed with a right kidney stone. In June 2020, after a delay due to COVID-19, Naw Kwee was able to get to Chiang Mai Hospital for further treatment. There, doctors confirmed her earlier diagnosis, in addition to hydronephrosis, a condition where the kidney swells due to a build-up of urine. Currently, Naw Kwee takes pain medication whenever she experiences pain or discomfort in the right side of her back from her kidney stone. The pain will usually only last for a day before it disappears, but she feels weak. Sometimes she also has cloudy urine and a mild fever. Her appetite has decreased, but she tries to eat as much as she can. Naw Kwee will need to undergo multiple rounds of laser treatment to break up the stone in her kidney. Her first round of shockwave lithotripsy will be on February 11th. Naw Kwee will be receiving assistance from our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, who requests $1,500 to cover the total cost of her procedure and care. Once recovered, she will be free of pain and will be able to resume weaving and sewing, which she enjoyed doing before having this condition. Naw Kwee shared, “I’m desperately trying to stop the pain in my back from returning. Because of the pain, I can’t even do household chores properly. I can’t sleep well and sometimes I have difficulty breathing. Once I recover, I’ll no longer feel stressed because of this pain. I’ll be able to enjoy my days even though I have some problems related to aging.”
Anitha is a beautiful six-year-old child from Tanzania. She is the only child to her mother, who is a single parent. Her mother shared that Anitha's father left their family when Anitha was a baby and Anitha herself has never met him. Her mother helps her aunt in a small vegetable garden, where they grow tomatoes and sell them an open market. Whatever they can earn is what they use for their basic needs. Anitha has clubfoot of both her feet. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes difficulty with walking and even wearing shoes. Fortunately, Anitha traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on January 5th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $935 to fund Anitha's clubfoot repair. After treatment, she will be able to walk more easily and play with her friends. Anitha’s mother shared, “All I wish for my daughter is to see her walk normally so that she can pursue her studies and have a better life.”
Sonita is a four-year-old preschool student from Cambodia. She is the only child in her family, her parents are Khmer teachers. In her free time she enjoys playing with toys and reading books. One year ago, Sonita had an ear infection. This infection caused a cholesteatoma, or an abnormal skin growth, to develop in the middle ear behind the ear drum. For this reason, Sonita experiences hearing loss, ear discharge, bad odor, and pain. It is difficult for her to communicate with others, and she often misses school due to the ear discharge. Sonita traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On December 9th, she will undergo a mastoidectomy procedure in her right 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. Sonita's mother said, "I hope after surgery her ear pain will be gone, the discharge will finally stop, and her hearing will improve."
Saroeun is a mother of three from Cambodia. She's married and has one daughter, two sons, and three grandchildren. She lives with her husband who a farmer, while Saroeun is a server at a restaurant. In her free time she enjoys watching Khmer shows and movies. Saroeun developed a pterygium in her left eye about five years ago, causing her itching, irritation, pain, and tearing. Pterygiums are non-cancerous growths of the conjunctiva, a mucous layer that lubricates the eye. The growths occur when the conjunctiva is exposed to excessive sun damage and the cells grow abnormally over the pupil. She has difficulty seeing things clearly, recognizing faces, working, and going anywhere outside. When Saroeun learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, she traveled for one hour by tuk tuk with her son seeking treatment. Saroeun needs a surgical procedure to remove the abnormal conjunctiva from the cornea surface and replace it with a conjunctival graft to prevent recurrence. The total cost of her procedure is $216. This covers medications, supplies, and inpatient care for two days. The procedure is scheduled for November 19th. Saroeun said, "I hope my eye gets well soon so I can earn some money to support my family."
Ezra is a 28-year-old man from Kabomo Village, Kenya. He works as a labourer in his village. Ezra is a very talkative and energetic person. Earlier in October, Ezra fell into a ditch and sustained a severe fracture on his right lower leg. He could not lift his leg and was in great pain. Ezra was taken to the nearest health centre, where a cast was placed and he was referred to our medical partner's facility for orthopedic review. On arrival at Kapsowar Hospital, Ezra was reviewed and sent for an x-ray which revealed a right tibia plateau fracture that required surgery. However, he did not have money to pay the necessary deposit to have the surgery. Because he was in pain and his leg was swelling abnormally, Ezra was admitted to elevate his limb and avoid any complications that may arise due to his fracture. Twelve days later, Ezra has been deemed fit for surgery, but the family has not raised the required amount to proceed for surgery. Due to his injury, Ezra is not able to continue working to raise money for his procedure. He dropped out of school in 8th grade due to his family's financial struggles, and as such works many causal jobs to meet his daily needs. Ezra is a young, hardworking man and is very optimistic of a better future. So far, he has raised 20,000 Kenyan shillings, and is appealing for financial support for his surgery so that he can have a good outcome. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On October 23rd, Ezra will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. The surgery will allow Ezra to ambulate with ease and reduce chances of future complications. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,016 to fund his procedure. Ezra shared, “It hasn't been easy for me since I fractured my leg. This situation has weighed heavily on me because there’s no one to help me out. My hope is to receive treatment, get out of the hospital bed and walk again.”