Mackinnon joined Watsi on December 21st, 2019. Seventeen days ago, Mackinnon became the 5977th member to automatically support a new Watsi patient every month. Since then, 14 more people have become monthly donors! Mackinnon's most recent donation traveled 8,300 miles to support Thidar, a mother from Burma, to fund cardiac surgery.
Mackinnon has funded healthcare for 24 patients in 6 countries.
About six months ago, Thidar started to feel very tired and could not sleep well due to difficulty breathing. After multiple tests and blood tranfusions, Thidar was diagnosed with mitral valve stenosis, mitral valve regurgitation, aortic valve stenosis, and aortic valve regurgitation. Seeing that both of her heart valves need to be replaced surgically, the doctor told her, “You have a heart problem and you must undergo surgery as soon as possible.” When Thidar told him that she cannot afford to pay for surgery, the doctor told her about a monk who lives just outside of Yangon and who might be able to help her. She was given his phone number and when she called the monk, he referred her to Watsi partner Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF) for assistance in accessing the treatment she needs. Currently, Thidar feels very tired and has no energy to walk long distances. She cannot sleep well, and she has no appetite. She said, “In the future, I will stay in my village and look out for my family. I would like to send my children to school until they graduate.”
Ohmar is a 36-year-old woman from Thailand. She lives with her husband and two children in a town along the Thai-Burma border. On July 4th, Ohmar was trying to cross the highway to go to a grocery store. She was on her bike on the side of the road when a car sped past, causing her to fall off her bike and land on top of her right arm. A man who saw her fall put turmeric powder on her injured arm and wrapped it in a cloth. But Ohmar did not go to Mae Tao Clinic right away because she did not have enough money. She was only able to seek treatment two days after the accident. Now, Ohnmar's she is in pain, her right arm cannot be extended and her fingers are also swollen. With the help of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, Ohmar will undergo surgery to reset her fractured bones and ensure proper healing. The procedure is scheduled for July 16th and will cost $1,500. This procedure will help make Ohnmar's right arm become functional again and she will no longer be in pain. "I am happy that I can have surgery with the support of the Burma Children Medical Fund and Watsi donors. I have to look after my two children so I need to be strong for them," shared Ohmar.
Dismus is a small child from Uganda. He is the second born in a family of two children and his parents are eager to see their son get treated. His father works in a local tea farm and his mother is a casual laborer who mostly washes clothes for neighbors. Dismus was born with an anorectal malformation, a congenital abnormality that leads to a complete or partial intestinal blockage. He needs to undergo a series of procedures to eliminate bowel dysfunction. Dismus is scheduled to undergo surgery to correct his condition on July 16th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of Dismus's procedure and care. After his recovery, Dismus will no longer experience bowel dysfunction or be at risk of developing health complications in the future. Dismus’ father shared, “I will be grateful for any financial help offered.”
Tumwebaze is a 40-year-old mother to four children. She currently earns a living from small-scale farming where she grows food crops for her family to eat and sells the surplus to generate income for her family. Her husband is employed as a taxi driver. Tumwebaze is currently expecting her fifth child and her doctors shared that she will need to deliver her baby with a caesarean section to avoid complications such as a ruptured uterus or fetal distress. Fortunately, doctors at our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, can help her. They are requesting $264 to fund the cost of her surgery. Now, Tumwebaze needs your help. Tumwebaze shared, “I pray that my surgery is successful, that my baby is healthy, and that I can continue farming after recovering.”
Hnin is a mother of two from Burma. She lives with her husband and two sons, and she is always busy with housework. Since a few months after surgery to remove the cyst in her uterus in 2017, Hnin has been experiencing lower abdominal pain and abnormal bleeding. She has been diagnosed with Myoma. She has been advised to undergo a total abdominal hysterectomy, the surgical removal of her uterus and cervix. If left untreated, Hnin's symptoms will continue to worsen and put her at risk for further health complications in the future. Fortunately, Hnin is scheduled to undergo her hysterectomy and our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of her procedure and care. Once recovered, she will no longer experience pain or bleeding. Moreover, the surgery will stop the mass from reappearing later. Hnin said, “I want to continue to work purchasing clothes and other goods from Mae Sot and selling them in Yangon to earn an income for my family. Because of my condition, I am not able to work for two years now.”
Moe is a 31-year-old woman from Thailand. She lives with her husband and four-year-old son in Mae La Refugee Camp (MLRC) in Tha Song Yang District of Tak Province. She has lived there for 20 years after her parents moved from Bilin Township, Bago Division in Burma because of the civil war. Moe is a homemaker who does all the household chores while her husband is a farmer who works on rented land outside of the camp, where he plants corn and beans. To make some extra income, Moe also sells snacks from home. Their combined income is enough to cover basic family expenses. As for healthcare, they receive free basic care in the camp provided by International Rescue Committee (IRC). A few months ago, Moe started to feel a mass in her lower abdomen while she was lying down after eating dinner. She thought it was strange and told her neighbor about it the next day. Her neighbor told her that this was normal for someone gaining weight, which she suggested Moe was. Upon hearing this, she did not seek treatment, agreeing with her neighbor’s conclusion. However, she soon felt that the mass was increasing in size, which did not seem normal. On February 13th, 2020, she decided it was time to go to the clinic in the camp for further investigation. The medic at the camp examined to her and told her that she likely had a cyst in her lower abdomen, but they could not diagnose her further. The medic informed the doctor at the camp and the doctor discussed the situation with IRC staff, who then referred Moe to Mae Sot Hospital (MSH) for further investigation. She was referred to MSH on February 17th for an ultrasound. Upon going to MSH, doctors performed an ultrasound and told her that she has a mass in her uterus. Since the mass was already large, however, the ultrasound did not show a clear result whether the mass was outside or inside her uterus. For this reason, the doctor recommended a computed tomography (CT) scan on February 25th. Moe returned home and came back to MSH for the CT scan according to the appointment date. On the day of the scan, she also received a blood test and urine test before being informed that she would have to come back on February 27th to get the results. When she returned, the doctor explained to her that there is a large tumor in her right ovary and that she needs surgery to remove it, followed by a tissue biopsy to confirm whether the growth is cancerous. Currently, Moe has a burning pain in her lower right abdomen. Sometimes the pain gets worse, which makes it difficult for her sleep or eat well. For this reason, she said that she lost her appetite and weight. When she eats, she feels discomfort as her stomach becomes tight and full, even she eats very little. She feels like the mass is gradually getting bigger and she feels more comfortable lying down instead of sitting or walking. Moe sought treatment through our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund. She is now scheduled to undergo mass removal surgery on March 24th and is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of her procedure and care. Moe said, “Both my husband and I became worried when we heard that there was mass in my uterus. We worry that my whole uterus might need to be removed and we will no longer be able to have more children. Now, the doctor told me that only the tumor will be removed and that I most likely will be able to have children in the future. Me and my husband want to have one or two more children, so we were very happy when we heard that my uterus would not to be removed.”
Sarah is a student from Kenya who lives at a girls’ rescue center together with her two sisters. They escaped from forced circumcision that their parents were pushing for and the rescue center secured their child custody rights. However, the center does not have health insurance for the children living there. In 2018, Sarah suffered a snake bite but it was never treated. She healed with contractures on her left wrist and elbow, which has strained her ability to utilize her left hand. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Sarah receive treatment. On June 19th, surgeons at their care center will perform a contracture release surgery. With successful surgery, she will be able to use her hand with a lot of ease. Now, she needs help to fund this $1,176 procedure. Sarah’s guardian says, “Sarah is limited in her left-hand functions. Please assist her.”
Rena is a five-month-old baby girl from Kenya who has an inguinal hernia. From her parent’s description, the hernia seems to be quite painful for her and she has been crying a lot since Friday, March 27th. Rena was taken to their local hospital and diagnosed with a hernia. Her family was then referred to Watsi Medical Partner's Care Center Bethany Kids Hospital where hernia repair surgery was recommended by the medical team. Without the appropriate treatment, Rena will be at risk of complications such as strangulation. Rena’s parents are peasant farmers from central Kenya living on their ancestral land. They rely on seasonal farming with limited income. Rena has an elder sibling who is five years old. The family is not able to raise the funds required for her surgery. They would require several weeks of saving which might be too late for the young child. They appeal for financial assistance. Fortunately, on March 31st, Rena will undergo repair surgery. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $423 to fund Rena's surgery. Once completed, this procedure will hopefully allow her to live more comfortably. Rena’s mother says, “We came here hopeful that Rena will be treated. Thank you for your willingness to support our child.”
Esther is a 32-year-old mother of two from central Kenya. She recently separated with her husband, who left with all the belongings they had bought together for the family. Despite coming around from time to time, he does not support the family. Esther shared that she borrowed a TV set for her children since the one they had was carried away. For the last five years, Esther has been having abdominal pains; sometimes severe. She has been to many hospitals, taken many drugs but the problem persisted. Esther’s condition is becoming worse by the fact that she is currently not able to work due to a fall she had in 2017, where she hurt her back but feels better now. A friend advised her to try visiting Nazareth hospital. Our doctor ordered an ultrasound that showed multiple gallstones. He advised a cholecystectomy but Esther is not in a position to pay for this treatment. Before, she used to run a small shop but now does not work and depends on her sisters and brother for her family's basic needs. If not treated Esther may have complications such as blocked bile duct, pancreatic duct or even gall bladder cancer. “I request for help to undergo this treatment and God will bless you. I am confident I will be well and can’t wait to see myself back to my normal life and taking care of my children,” said Esther.
Tem is a 73-year-old rice farmer from Cambodia. She has one son, two daughters, and seven grandchildren. She enjoys listening to the monks pray on the radio. One year ago, Tem developed a cataract in her left eye, causing her irritation, pain, and vision loss. She has difficulty seeing things clearly, recognizing faces, and going anywhere outside. When Tem learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, she traveled for three and a half hours seeking treatment. On April 27th, doctors will perform a small incision cataract surgery and an intraocular lens implant in her left eye. After recovery, she will be able to see clearly. Now, she needs help to fund this $229 procedure. "I hope that I will be able to go out on my own again and help to take care of my grandchildren," Tem said.
Aung is a 15-year-old novice monk from Burma. He stays in the monastery in his village of Hpa-An. His parents own a piece of land where his father and oldest brother grow vegetables and fruits to sell. His family also grows vegetables for their own consumption. Two months ago, Aung developed headaches, and his head increased in size, especially the right side of his head. At that time, his father bought medication from the pharmacy to reduce his headaches. He took it for two days but did not feel better. Later on, his father took him to Hpa-An Hospital where he received a blood test and an x-ray. The doctor told his father to take him to Yangon but his father instead brought him to Mae Tao Clinic (MTC) in Mae Sot, Thailand. On February 25th, Aung arrived at MTC and he was referred to Watsi Medical Partner's Mae Sot Hospital the next day. At MSH, the doctor has recommended a CT scan and also told Aung's father that Aung needs to replace the shunt he received in his head in 2016 that has helped treat his hydrocephalus condition; unfortunately, the shunt is now blocked. The family is hopeful that Watsi supporters may be able to support a shunt procedure as well. Currently, Aung suffers from headaches and the area where he had the shunt inserted into his head is slowly increasing in size. The area of his head that has increased in size is sensitive and he is not able to sleep on his right side. Doctors want Aung 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 further diagnose his condition and formulate an appropriate treatment plan. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $414 to cover the cost of Aung's CT scan and care, scheduled for February 27th. Aung said, "When I lie down and sleep, I can sleep only on one side because the growth hurts if I lay on it." He is hoping to feel better with treatment.
Hoeun is a 77-year-old fish seller from Cambodia. She has five children, ten grandchildren, and enjoys listening to the monks pray on the radio. Six months ago, Hoeun developed a cataract in each eye, causing her blurry vision. She has difficulty seeing things clearly, recognizing faces, and going anywhere outside. When Hoeun learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, she traveled for three and a half hours seeking treatment. On January 15th, doctors will perform a small incision cataract surgery and an intraocular lens implant in each eye. After recovery, she will be able to see clearly. Now, she needs help to fund this $425 procedure. "I hope that I will be able to see better and can go outside and recognize things again," she said.