Megan joined Watsi on September 16th, 2015. Two years ago, Megan joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Megan's most recent donation traveled 8,800 miles to support Siek Meng, a 15-year-old girl with big dreams from Cambodia, to fund surgery to correct her scoliosis and regain her mobility.
Megan has funded healthcare for 49 patients in 13 countries.
Megan has funded healthcare for 49 patients in 13 countries.
Siek Meng is a 15-year-old who resides in the Prey Veng province of Cambodia with her parents and two younger brothers. Her parents make a living as rice farmers, and when Siek Meng returns home from school, she helps care for her siblings. During her free time, she enjoys learning English by watching English-language films and television shows. She aspires to pursue higher education in the capital of Phnom Penh and study medicine in the future. Around the age of 6, Siek Meng and her parents noticed something concerning about her back. However, they postponed seeking treatment until two years later due to the high cost of treatment and not considering it essential at that time. Unfortunately, the condition has since deteriorated, and she has been diagnosed with scoliosis, a deformity of the spine. In the past year, Siek Meng has experienced increased difficulty breathing as her rib cage presses on her lungs. Additionally, she occasionally feels numbness in her legs caused by her vertebrae compressing nerves. Thankfully, Siek Meng and her father undertook a challenging journey of two and a half hours to reach our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC), seeking assistance for her disability. The medical team at CSC plans to perform a spinal fusion with implants on August 2nd, which requires financial support as the operation costs $1500. This amount will cover radiology, medications, surgery, and post-operative physiotherapy care. CSC is requesting $1500 to help fund this procedure for Siek Meng. Siek Meng shared, "I am feeling embarrassed about my back and I want to not have chest pain anymore. I hope after surgery I can go back to school and be able to walk around my village more easily."
Hlaing is a 55-year-old man from Thailand who lives with his wife, two sons, mother-in-law, and grandson. He is a construction worker, but he stopped working five months ago due to his health deteriorating. In his free time, Hlaing enjoys listening to music and taking walks in the forest to gather wood for the house. In February, Hlaing noticed a mass developing in his right nostril, which has grown big enough to block the nostril completely. He experiences difficulty breathing due to his right nostril being obstructed by the mass, has persistent coughing and loss of appetite, and sometimes has hot and watery eyes. He underwent a CT scan and was diagnosed with an inverted papilloma in his right nasal cavity, meaning that he has a non-cancerous tumor in the right side of his nose. Hlaing sought treatment through our medical partner Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF) and is scheduled to undergo surgery to remove the mass from his nose on July 12th. Hlaing and his family need help to raise $1,500 to cover the cost of his procedure and care. Hlaing said, “Thank you BCMF and the donors for paying for my treatment. I can’t afford it by myself. I have wanted to receive the surgery. I am happy to get support from you.”
Dormaha is a four year old preschooler from Haiti. She lives with her parents in a neighborhood of Port-au-Prince, and likes dancing and watching cartoons. Dormaha suffers from a cardiac condition called ventricular septal defect. Blood leaks through a hole that exists between the two lower chambers of her heart, bypassing her lungs without obtaining the oxygen Dormaha requires. She needs surgery to prevent her from experiencing the weakness and shortness of breath that she currently lives with. The surgery that Dormaha needs is not currently available in Haiti, so she will be flying to the Dominican Republic to receive treatment. Fortunately, on May 18th, she will undergo cardiac surgery at Hospital CEDIMAT, during which surgeons will sew a patch over the hole to close it. Our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, is contributing $8,000 to pay for the surgery. However, Dormaha's family also needs help to fund the costs of many other aspects of Dormaha's care. They are seeking $1,500 to pay for the lab tests, medicines, checkup and follow-up appointments, that are all part of Dormaha's critical treatment. This money will also go towards obtaining passports, and for the social workers from our medical partner, who will accompany Dormaha's family overseas during her care. Dormaha's mother said: "Our family has been hoping for this surgery ever since our daughter was a small baby, and we are very glad the chance has arrived!"
Ly is a 48-year-old rice farmer living with her two sons and two daughters in Kandal province in Cambodia. Ly was widowed six years ago and, ever since their father's death, the oldest two children work as motorcycle and bicycle repairmen to help their mother provide for the family. One year ago, Ly suffered from an ear infection. This infection caused a cholesteatoma, or abnormal skin growth, to develop in the middle ear behind the ear drum. As a result, Ly experiences ear discharge, tinnitus, and hearing loss. Despite using ear drops, Ly has not seen any improvement in her condition, and now she has also developed polyps. It is difficult for her to hear or communicate with others. Ly traveled to our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, hoping to be treated. On May 9th, she will undergo a mastoidectomy on her right ear at Kien Khleang National Rehabilitation Centre. During this procedure, ENT surgeons will remove the cholesteatoma. Children's Surgical Centre is requesting $926 to fund this procedure and all of the necessary medications, supplies, and inpatient care. Ly said: "After surgery, I will be able to hear and the ear discharge will stop."
Seint, who is 34 years old, lives with her parents and her aunt in Ayeyarwaddy Division in Burma. Her parents and her aunt make and sell mats from their home. When Seint was 13-years old, she noticed she started to easily tire, experienced heart palpitations, and had barely enough energy to play with her friends. Her mother took her to a nearby clinic, where the doctor examined her and told them that she had congenital heart disease. The doctor gave Seint medication, which she used together with traditional medicine. Both helped her to feel better. In November 2022, Seint felt extremely tired and experienced heart palpitations while she was completing physical exercises with her students. She also had difficulty breathing, and her vision became blurred. Her mother took her to a clinic, where she received medications which helped her to feel better. A few days later, however, she started to experience pain in her back whenever she felt tired. She also started to have difficulty breathing again, and had heart palpitations. Her mother brought her to a hospital in Yangon, where she received an echocardiogram that allowed the doctor to diagnose her with atrial septal defect. After additional testing, the doctor scheduled her to undergo urgent heart surgery at Pun Hlaing Hospital. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is seeking $1,500 to fund Seint's surgery, which will allow her to regain her health, and to live symptom free. Seint said: "I would like to recover as soon as possible. In the future, I will continue to work as a teacher. I love teaching students and wearing our school uniform proudly."
Paul is a 44-year-old herdsman and small-scale farmer living in Kenya. His wife sells vegetables at a local market, and together, she and Paul have four children. In February 2023, Paul was walking home one evening when he was hit by a speeding motorbike. He was rushed to a nearby health center where first aid was administered and an X-ray was performed. The X-ray revealed that his left leg had been fractured. As a result, he is finding it challenging to walk and sit upright. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, can help. On February 8th, Paul will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation, at AIC Kijabe Hospital. The procedure will help him regain his mobility, and allow him to return to work, which is critical to his ability to support his family. African Mission Healthcare Foundation is requesting $1,500 to fund this procedure. Paul says: “I cannot walk because of the fracture. I need treatment to be able to use my legs.”
Maxwell is a charming, five year old boy from Kenya. He and his three older siblings live with their single mother, who works as a laundry aide and also as a small scale farmer. Maxwell was born with clubfoot, for which he has received treatment with casting and orthotics since birth. However, due to financial challenges, he was unable to undergo serial casting and other necessary procedures, which has left him with pain when walking for long distances. Fortunately, Maxwell's family now traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, AIC Cure International Hospital. There, surgeons from our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, will perform clubfoot repair surgery on January 16th. African Mission Healthcare Foundation is requesting $1,286 to fund Maxwell's clubfoot repair. After treatment, Maxwell will be able to walk comfortably, without discomfort or pain. Maxwell's mother said: "I am requesting support from the donors to help my son undergo surgery so that he can have a normal life."
Dennis is the first born in a family of four children. When he finished high school, he was reluctant to join college because of his condition. He currently is not able to work because he gets easily tired and cannot carry heavy loads. He joined college just recently but has been out of school for the past two months. Now that he is at home, he helps his mother who picks tea for a living. He does not have a health insurance coverage and cannot raise the required amount of money to cater for his hospital bill. In 2019 while he was sitting for his national school exams, Dennis experienced sharp pain in his esophagus. He took a glass of water, and the pain went away for a few weeks. The pain used to occur roughly two times in a month and a glass of water would help a lot. Late last year, the pain worsened. He was not in a position to swallow food. He went to a herbalist and was given some medication to use for some time. When the dose was over, the pain was still persistent, and he still could not swallow food normally. He was then referred to Kijabe Hospital by a friend where he was examined and given some medication to use. He didn't feel better and decided to go back to the herbalist for different medication but there was no change. Later he finally returned to Kijabe Hospital and scans and tests revealed that he has Achalasia. He is scheduled for a heller's myotomy which is a curative laparotomy surgery for his condition. Now he needs $1,074 to pay for the surgery. Dennis says, "I feel very sad. If I was healthy, I would be able to work well and be comfortable with myself.”
Aung is a six-year-old student from Thailand. He lives with his parents and brother. His mother works at a factory, his father is a homemaker, and his brother goes to school. In his free time, Aung likes to play with his toys and watch cartoon movies on the television. Aung has cataract in his right eye. As a result, he can only see light with that eye, and his eye is very sensitive and irritated. Fortunately, on November 15th, Aung will undergo lens replacement surgery, during which surgeons will remove Aung's natural lenses and replace them with an intraocular lens implant in each eye. After recovery, he will be able to see clearly. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), is requesting $1,500 to this surgery for Aung. Aung's mother shared: “We do not have money to treat him ourselves. My son is so lucky to be treated through the help of donors."
Agnes is a college student and is in her final year pursuing an architectural course. She lives with her parents and is the second born in a family of three children, all of whom are in school and rely on their parents for school fees and upkeep. Her father is a carpenter in their hometown, Kimende, and his income is inconsistent and not enough to cover the cost of the required surgery. Her mother is a small-scale farmer. Agnes was heading home in the evening last night when she remembers hearing screams and was hit by an unknown motorist from behind. She has no recollection of what happened after that. She lost consciousness and could not recognize her surroundings. She was brought to our medical partner's care center Kijabe Hospital and had an x-ray that revealed a left distal femur fracture. Doctors have recommended an urgent fracture repair surgery since the wound is open and she is in extreme pain. Today, she has regained her consciousness but cannot sit or walk due to the fracture. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner are here to help. On October 14th, Agnes will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. This procedure will help get rid of the pain and she will eventually be able to sit and walk easily again. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $1,500 to fund this procedure. Agnes says, “I am in so much pain and I cannot walk. I don’t remember what happened, I just found myself bedridden with lights all over. I am unable to go back home because of the fracture.”
Primer is a father of three from Haiti. He lives in a small village in southwestern Haiti with his wife and three children; he is a farmer and sells produce in the local market. Primer has a cardiac condition called rheumatic mitral regurgitation. One of the four valves of his heart is severely damaged as the result of a rheumatic infection he suffered a number of years ago, and cannot adequately pump blood through his heart and body. The surgery that Primer needs is not available anywhere in the country so he will fly to Dominican Republic to receive treatment. On September 13th, he will undergo cardiac surgery, during which surgeons will remove the damaged valve and implant an artificial replacement. Haiti Cardiac Alliance is contributing $9000 to pay for surgery. Primer'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 covers travel expenses for the social workers from our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, who will accompany Primer's family overseas, as well as the cost of obtaining Prince's passport. Prince says: "I am very grateful to be having this surgery so I can take care of my family and see my children grow up."
Biancha is a 4-month-old baby girl from Haiti, who is the first child born to her parents. Biancha's mother loves to sing to her and wants to see her daughter grow up healthy. Biancha has been diagnosed with hydrocephalus, a condition in which excess cerebrospinal fluid accumulates in the brain, increasing intracranial pressure. As a result of her condition, the circumference of Biancha's head has been increasing in size, and she has difficulty feeding. Without treatment, Biancha will experience severe physical and developmental delays as she grows older. Our medical partner, Project Medishare, is requesting $897 to cover the cost of surgery for Biancha at Hospital Bernard Mevs. This is the only facility in Haiti where surgery for treating hydrocephalus is performed. This procedure, which is scheduled for June 23rd, will drain the excess fluid from Biancha's brain, reducing the intracranial pressure, and greatly improving Biancha's quality of life. With proper treatment, Biancha will hopefully develop into a strong and healthy young girl. Her family is hoping for a complete recovery, and is happy she will not be suffering anymore.