Richard joined Watsi on March 12th, 2013. Five years ago, Richard became the 1206th member to automatically support a new Watsi patient every month. Since then, 5,244 more people have become monthly donors! Richard's most recent donation traveled 8,500 miles to support Rhoda, a girl from Kenya, to fund mobility-restoring leg surgery.
Richard has funded healthcare for 86 patients in 12 countries.
Rhoda was born at her home in 2012 and the next day she was taken to the clinic for vaccinations. The doctor examined her, and she was found to be healthy. She had all her required vaccines at the right time until she was five years. Rhoda has been healthy, and her family shares that she rarely got sick, only the common cold which did not require her to see the doctor. Rhoda started her schooling when she turned five and really enjoys being at school. Equally, she likes the company of her teachers and her agemates during class time and playtime. At the age of six her parents realized that Rhoda was always left behind to and from school. Her friends reported to the parents that Rhoda often falls and that’s why they usually leave her behind. The parents observed Rhoda and realized that one of her legs was not okay. Rhoda twists her leg when she moves. Her ankle continued to worsen until Rhoda couldn’t move far before she fell. She is an active and restless girl, but her twisting ankle keeps bringing her down. The problem has stressed her and affected her socialization with other children and friends. Often, she cries when she falls especially when she notices that people are observing and talking about her shorter leg. It is even saddening to hear other children give her bad names because of her limping. Her parents took her to various hospitals without success. Some health officers thought it was polio and thus there was nothing they could do. The family had difficulties accessing specialists due to their income. Rhoda's father is unemployed and her mother who is the only breadwinner who just got a teaching job. After hert mother got the job and got a National Health Insurance (NHIF) card they took Rhoda to Kikuyu Hospital. However, the NHIF card could not cover the cost for treating her there. It was after the unsuccessful attempt to seek medical care at other facilities that they heard about Watsi's Medical Partner Care Center Cure International Hospital. They visited, as they said, trusting God that their lovely daughter will receive treatment and grow up happily just as other children. Rhoda's family shared, “Any help to enable Rhoda to receive treatment will be greatly appreciated.”
Min lives with his wife, son, and daughter in a village in Tak Province, Thailand. He moved from Burma to Thailand nine months ago in search of better job opportunities. His daughter is still too young to go to school and his wife and son work as day laborers on a farm, each earning 150 baht (approx. 5 USD) per day. Min had to stop working with his wife and son three months ago because of his condition. Their monthly household income of 3,000 baht (approx. 100 USD) is not enough to cover their daily expenses. Sometimes, they have to borrow money from their relatives to meet their basic needs. Four years ago, Min used to work as a construction worker in Bangkok. One day, he started to experience pain in the left side of his abdomen. He went to a clinic twice and was diagnosed with a kidney stone in his left kidney after receiving an ultrasound. The doctor told him that he would need to undergo laser treatment at a hospital to break up the stone. The next day, Min went to a hospital in Bangkok. He received another ultrasound and underwent laser treatment which he did not have to pay for because he had health insurance at that time. When he returned for his follow-up appointment, he underwent another round of laser treatment, followed by more oral medications to take home. Min was not able to return to the hospital because his father passed away before his next appointment and he had to go back to Burma for the funeral. Before he had a chance to return to Bangkok, his mother also passed away. After spending money on the two funerals, Min did not have enough money to return to Bangkok. He moved back in with his wife and children and started working as a day laborer on a farm with his wife in their village. In May 2019, Min started experiencing pain again in his left lower abdomen. He would also pass small stones about twice a month while urinating. He went to a clinic where he received oral medication as well as an ultrasound. The doctor told him that he has a stone in his left kidney as well as small stones in his urethra. Min went back to the same clinic several times for his follow-up appointments, where he received oral medication each time for his abdominal pain. By September 2019, he was feeling much better and was no longer in pain. He was also no longer passing stones when urinating. Min then stopped going back to the clinic and stopped taking medication. Later in December 2019, Min and his family moved to their current home in Thailand and in May 2020, the pain in Min’s lower abdomen returned. He has pain when urinating and has started to pass small stones again about every two weeks. He went to a local hospital in the beginning of May with his wife, and he received an ultrasound. The ultrasound showed that he now has stones in both of his kidneys in addition to a bladder stone. The doctor referred him to Mae Sot Hospital (MSH) for treatment, but his family was not able to afford the estimated cost so he returned home. At home, Min told his friend about his condition and his lack of funds to pay for it. His friend told him to seek help at Mae Tao Clinic (MTC) and with Watsi's Medical Parter Burma Children Medical Fund. Surgery is now scheduled for August 14th. Min shared, “I had to sell my phone to pay for my treatment [the ultrasounds and oral medications] and my transportation when I sought treatment. For the past few days, we don’t have enough rice and we also don’t have any money to buy more food. So we have to eat rice porridge. I feel so sad for my family.”
Ha is a nineteen-year-old worker in a rubber factory. His lives with his parents and four siblings. His parents are farmers. When he is not working, he meets with a big group of friends who play regular soccer matches, or helps his parents with their farm. In May 2020, Ha was accidentally injured by a machine while working at the factory. He suffered fractures in both his legs resulting in nerve damage. His family took him to a local hospital where they used hardware to repair his fractures, but caused nerve damage in the process. Now, he cannot feel his feet or move either of his legs and must use a wheelchair. Luckily, surgeons at Children's Surgical Centre will be able to perform a repair procedure in order to restore normal nerve function and help him heal his legs. Now, they are asking for your help to fund the $541 procedure. His father shared, "I am worried that my son will not be able to walk again, so I pray that the doctors can find the best way to help him walk and be strong like before."
Esther is a small-scale farmer from Kenya. She used to work in her small village farm for subsistence and her husband worked as a chef in a city restaurant. However, with the closure of businesses currently due to COVID, they have limited finances. Two years ago, Esther has been experiencing lower abdominal pain, back pain and fatigue. She has been diagnosed with a swollen abdominopelvic mass. She needs to undergo a hysterectomy, a procedure in which surgeons will remove her uterus. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $832 to fund Esther's surgery. On June 12th, she will undergo gynecological surgery at our medical partner's care center. Once recovered, Esther will be able to resume her daily activities free of pain. Esther shared hopefully, “My desire is to be treated and regain back my strength.”
George is a 35-year-old truck driver from central Kenya. A week ago, he fell from the second floor of his rented flat while trying to fix an antenna. He fractured his mandible, right humerus and neck of the right femur. He had first aid in a nearby general hospital but beyond that, he was not given any other assistance. His family opted to bring him to Watsi's Medical Partner Care Center Kijabe Hospital where he had x-ray imaging done and surgery recommended. He is in pain and unable to eat anything but hopes to get well soon. George is a father of two children, with his last born 4 months old. He used to work as a truck driver but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, has been out of work. His wife is not in any employment making George the sole breadwinner of the family. He does not have any medical insurance yet he would be required to pay a deposit for his surgery. George appeals for financial assistance. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On May 15th, George will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. The surgery will allow him to walk again easily, reduce the chances of further complications, and be free from pain. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,500 to fund this procedure. George says, “My hope is to be able to walk again and with less pain.”
Michael is a young boy from Kenya, and the last born of three children. He lives with his parents and siblings in a two-room house in the Eastern region of Kenya. Michael’s siblings are enrolled in school and doing fine. His mother is a stay-at-home mom while his father is employed as a night watchman in someone’s homestead. With a monthly income of $70, Michael’s parents are barely able to meet the family’s daily needs. Michael was born with hypospadias, a congenital abnormality that causes urinary dysfunction. Without treatment, he will continue to experience uncomfortable symptoms and will be at risk of infertility. Fortunately, Michael is scheduled to undergo corrective surgery on February 25th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $700 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. “My husband’s income is so little. Please help us,” says Michael’s mother.
Oliva is a baby from Tanzania and is the first born child in her small family. Since Olivia’s mother is a stay-at-home mother and her father is a subsistence farmer, they are not able to afford Oliva’s needed treatment. Oliva 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, Oliva has been experiencing vomiting and irritability. Without treatment, Oliva will experience severe physical and developmental delays. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,238 to cover the cost of surgery for Oliva that will treat her hydrocephalus. The procedure is scheduled to take place on March 11th and will drain the excess fluid from Oliva's brain. This will reduce intracranial pressure and greatly improve her quality of life. With proper treatment, Oliva will hopefully develop into a strong, healthy young girl. Oliva’s mother says, “After my daughter had her VPS shunt placed earlier she got better but due to her shunt having failed her head is increasing and she is having fevers and vomiting a lot. Please help my daughter."
Soe is a 49-year-old man from Burma. He and his wife got separated about six years ago and he has been living alone since. Soe does not have a regular job, but sometimes he drives a shared-taxi to make a living. About two weeks ago, Soe's left eye started to get irritated and the itchiness did not go away for a few days so with the advice from neighbors and friends, he soaked some betel leaves in water with salt and used the liquid as eye drops. As soon as he dropped the liquid in, he sensed a burning sensation in his left eye. In hope to get cured, he used the homemade eye drops for two days. After two days, his eye became worse and the pain even radiated to his head. He could no longer open left eye due to the pain. Soe had no money to go to the hospital, but with the help from his neighbors and friends, Soe arrived at Mae Tao Clinic (MTC) on December 3rd, 2019. The medics at MTC explained that his left eye has totally been damaged and that the only option now is to remove his eye. Soe feels sad and frustrated most of the time now and he keeps blaming himself for not being careful. He feels that his neglect now has caused him an eye.
Tun is a 33-year-old man from Burma. He used to work as a day laborer at a construction site until he fell sick. During his free time, he enjoys playing billiards with his friends. Tun was diagnosed with a heart condition that involves a malformation of the mitral valve, the valve between the left atrium and left ventricle. This valve controls the flow of blood, but certain conditions may cause blood to flow backward or the valve to narrow. Currently, Tun is experiencing tiredness, fast heartbeats, sharp chest pains, and he is unable to sleep well. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund a mitral valve replacement for Tun. The treatment is scheduled to take place on December 16th and, once completed, will hopefully allow him to live more comfortably. Tun said, "I am very happy that I received this chance of getting treatment. It is impossible if I must fund my own treatment. Thank you very much for your support.”
Colette is a young mother from Haiti. She lives with her husband and baby son in a neighborhood of Port-au-Prince. Colette has a cardiac condition called rheumatic mitral regurgitation. One of the four valves of her heart was severely damaged due to a rheumatic fever she suffered a number of years ago, and it cannot adequately pump blood through her body. Colette will fly to the United States to receive treatment. On December 11th, she will undergo cardiac surgery, during which surgeons will remove her damaged valve and implant an artificial replacement. Another organization, Baylor Scott and White Heart Hospital, is contributing funds to pay for surgery. Colette'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 Colette's family overseas. "I am very relieved I can have this surgery so that I know I will be alive to take care of my son," Colette shared.
Jean is a student from Haiti. He lives with his parents and brothers in a neighborhood of Port-au-Prince. He is in the eight grade, and before becoming sick he enjoyed playing soccer regularly. Jean has a cardiac condition called rheumatic mitral and aortic regurgitation. Two of the four valves of his heart were severely damaged by a rheumatic fever he suffered in childhood, and can no longer adequately pump blood through his body. Jean will fly to the Dominican Republic to receive treatment. On October 28th, he will undergo cardiac surgery, during which surgeons will attempt to repair his two damaged valves; if they are unable to do so, they will implant artificial replacements. Another organization, The Mitral Foundation, is contributing $7500 to pay for surgery. Jean'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 Jean's family overseas. Jean said, "I am very excited to have this chance to get my heart fixed!"
Wim is a 48-year-old monk from Burma. He lives in a monastery in Taungoo, Bago Division. He became a monk three years ago, after he got divorced. Wim was diagnosed with a heart condition that involves a malformation of the mitral valve, the valve between the left atrium and left ventricle. This valve controls the flow of blood, but certain conditions may cause blood to flow backward or the valve to narrow. Currently, Wim feels tired and cannot walk long distance. Sometimes, he has back pain and he feels like he cannot breathe well. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund a mitral valve replacement for Wim. The treatment is scheduled to take place on October 06 and, once completed, will hopefully allow him to live more comfortably. Wim said, “I would to remain a monk and study Buddhism. I would really like to thank the donors, BCMF and the doctors for helping me receive surgery [in the future]. I am very happy right now.”