James joined Watsi on July 13th, 2015. Seven years ago, James joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. James' most recent donation traveled 8,600 miles to support Thu Zar, a 21-year-old woman from Thailand, to fund surgery to remove a large tumor.
James has funded healthcare for 82 patients in 12 countries.
James has funded healthcare for 82 patients in 12 countries.
Thu Zar is a 21-year-old woman who lives with her parents, three sisters, and three nieces in Mae Sot near the Thailand-Burma border. Her family moved from Shan State in Burma to Thailand in 2008 in search of better opportunities. She used to work at a logistics company until two weeks ago when she quit due to her condition. Her parents run a small shop from their home, and her oldest sister is a cleaner at a restaurant. One of her other sister’s is unemployed and her third sister as well as her three nieces all go to school. In 2015, Thu Zar felt a small mobile mass in her chest. She did not feel any pain at the time and forgot about the mass. In 2019, she attended a workshop about reproductive health at her school, run by Mae Tao Clinic (MTC). During the workshop she remembered the mass and later when she was alone, she checked to see if it was still there. She felt the mass and thought that it had increased in size, but she did not experience any pain. The next day, she told the workshop trainer about the mass. The trainer told her to go to MTC for treatment. However, Thu Zar decided she did not want to take time off from school to go to the clinic, since she thought the mass was not causing her any pain or discomfort. Now, Thu Zar's condition has worsened and causes her great pain. She can only sleep on her back, because if she sleeps in any other position she experiences immense pain. Thu Zar sought treatment through our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund. She is now scheduled to undergo mass removal surgery on June 9th to heal her condition. She is raising $1,500 to cover the total cost of her procedure and care. Thu Zar is very worried about her health and told us, "I feel very sad and depressed with this condition."
Dorcas is a 3-year-old girl and the last-born in a family of four children. Her father is a casual laborer getting jobs whenever he can while her mother is a housewife. They work hard, but are having a difficult time making ends meet. Dorcas was diagnosed with genu valgus. Her legs bow inward so that her knees touch. This condition is typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, which often stems from contaminated drinking water. As a result, she has pain and difficulty in walking. Through Watsi funding, Dorcas had her first stage surgery which helped to correct her legs, but given how severely they were impacted, she has now been scheduled for a final surgery. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Dorcas. The procedure is scheduled to take place on May 10th. Treatment will hopefully restore Dorcas's full mobility, allow her to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease her risk of future complications. Dorcas’s father says: “Thank you for helping my daughter have her first surgery, it helped correct her legs and now she needs one more surgery."
La is a 36-year-old mother of three children. She is married and her husband works as a construction worker. To help support her family, she sells soft drinks and coffee from her home. The couple has one son and two daughters, who are all in public school. In her free time, La enjoys walking her children to and from school, cooking, and, after a long day, watching television. Five years ago, La injured her left knee and she has experienced intermittent pain since the injury. Unfortunately, in December 2021, she was involved in a motorbike accident where she re-injured the same knee. After an x-ray, she was diagnosed with an aneurysmal bone cyst, or a benign, blood-filled lesion in the bone that often expands or grows. She experiences severe pain and now has difficulty walking. To treat her condition, surgeons plan to remove the cyst from her left knee and help to heal the joint. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC), is helping La receive treatment. On April 9th, surgeons will perform a procedure to relieve La of her pain and allow her to walk easily. Now, she needs help raising $273 to fund her procedure and care. La shared, "I am thankful that I will be able to return to work and care for my children after this surgery."
Shisena is a fun-loving 8-year-old girl from Haiti. She lives with her parents and four older brothers and sisters in a neighborhood of Port-au-Prince. Shisena likes playing with her older siblings and listening to music. She goes to a special school program that she enjoys very much. Shisena was born with Down Syndrome and a condition called patent ductus arteriosus, in which a hole exists between two major blood vessels near the heart; blood leaks through this hole without passing through the lungs to obtain oxygen, leaving her weak and short of breath. Our medical partner Haiti Cardiac Alliance (HCA) is helping Shisena undergo the cardiac surgery she needs for a healthy life ahead. During the procedure, doctors will use a catheter to plug the hole with a small device. HCA is contributing $5,000 to make her treatment possible and needs to raise $1,500 to fully cover her medical care. Shisena's mom told us, "We are very thankful to everyone who is making this miracle possible for our daughter!"
Emmanuel is a jovial boy who lives with his mother who is a housewife, and his stepfather who works as is a taxi motorbike rider. Emmanuel was brought to the our Medical Partner's Care Center Cure International Outreach Clinic by a social worker who found him under a tree, where he had been left after his step-father mistreated him. The social worker who helped Emmanuel works with a USAID-supported program that promotes better health by rescuing children who are physically impaired and mistreated by their parents, mostly in the Maasai area of Kenya and northern Tanzania. Emmanuel was born with clubfoot on both feet. Clubfoot is a congenital musculoskeletal malformation in which the foot is twisted out of shape. As a result, Emmanuel has difficulty walking and wearing shoes. Fortunately, Emmanuel has now come to AIC Cure International Hospital for treatment. On February 28th, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $1,286 to fund Emmanuel's clubfoot repair. After treatment, Emmanuel will be able to walk, put on shoes, and hopefully live a happier life. Emmanuel's social worker says, “Our desire is to see Emmanuel lively and happy, walking on his feet and joining school like other children.”
Votey is a 30-year-old woman who has worked in a factory in her local province of Cambodia until recently. Votey shared that she has experienced difficult tragedy in her family over the past year. She was married with a son and daughter, but her husband and daughter passed away in a road accident in 2020. Then in October 2021, Votey was in a motorbike accident and fractured her left humerus (upper arm). As a result, she has pain and nerve damage in her left hand and wrist and now cannot work or dress on her own. Votey shared that she is trying to care for her 10-year-old son but it has been hard to keep him well fed and in school. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC), can help Votey receive the treatment she needs. On January 5th, she will undergo a fracture repair procedure that will heal her fracture so she can use her arm again. CSC is requesting $465 to fund her procedure. Votey said, "After surgery, I hope I can use my arm again. It is very hard to care for my son, and I feel very sad about my life."
Sharlyn is a 6-year-old girl. She's the fifth and last born in her family. Her mother is a single parent who does farming to earn a living and provide for them. Together their family of 6 lives in a 3-roomed mud house in a village in rural Kenya. Sherlyn was born with a clubfoot on her right foot. She limps as she walks, feels pain because of straining, and cannot play with her friends while at school because of her condition. Fortunately, Sharlyn and mother traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, AIC Cure International Hospital. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on December 6th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,286 to fund Sharlyn's clubfoot repair. After treatment, she will be able to walk well, wear shoes and play with her friends. However, the family is appealing for financial assistance as they cannot manage to raise the funds needed for the surgery. Sharlyn's mother says, “I'd love to see my daughter walking like other girls. Any help meant to help her walk well will be very much appreciated."
Bonface is a commercial motorcycle driver. He lives in one of the biggest informal settlements of Nairobi Kenya with a relatively inconsistent income. He earns a daily commission depending on the availability of customers. Bonface lives in a single-room rental house that costs Ksh. 3000.00 ($30) per month. He is also hosting and taking care of his younger sister, who lives with him. His parents are elderly and stay in their ancestral home. They also depend on him for upkeep. He relies on national insurance medical coverage but has depleted his surgery allocation and, therefore, is in financial distress. Bonface was involved in a road traffic accident in early July 2021 and sustained a fracture tibia fibula. Although he underwent a surgery at a government facility in Nairobi, the wound developed an infection. This has delayed the healing of his wound and Bonface is experiencing pain in his right lower leg. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is helping Bonface receive treatment. On November 8th, surgeons will perform a debridement and skin graft procedure. The surgery will help to manage the infection and avoid risk of imputation which would affect his work. Now, Bonface needs help to fund this $1,185 procedure. Bonface says, “This leg is so painful and I am scared if not treated it can be cut. But doctors have given me hope of healing if I undergo this surgery.”
Naw Day is a 31-year-old pregnant woman who lives with her husband and three-year-old son in a refugee camp in Northern Thailand. Naw Day works as a high school teacher, however since August 2021, schools have been closed in the refugee camp due to an increase in COVID-19 cases. She currently only works one day a week, where she helps clean the school. Naw Day and her husband are expecting their second child. Her doctor has recommended that she give birth through a scheduled Caesarean section to ensure a safe arrival for her baby. Fortunately, our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF) is helping Naw Day to receive labor and delivery care. On October 8th, she will deliver her baby via C-Section. Now, their family needs help raising $1,500 to fund a healthy and safe delivery for her and her baby. Naw Day shared, "Thank you for helping me."
Jade is an 18-month old baby girl from Haiti. She lives with her mother and father in a small city in Southwestern Haiti where her mother is a nurse at the local hospital and her father is a teacher. Jade was born with a condition called patent ductus arteriosus (PDA), in which blood leaks between the major artery and vein connected to the heart. This has led to heart failure, which has left Jade sick and short of breath. Fortunately, our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, is helping Jade to receive treatment. On September 9th, doctors will use a catheter to plug the hole between the artery and the vein so that blood can flow normally. Now, Jade's family needs help to raise $1,500 towards the cost of Jade's procedure and care. Jade's mother shared, "thank you to everyone who is helping to heal our daughter's heart!"
Noemi is a cheerful three-year-old girl from Venezuela. Her family moved to Colombia two years ago, and she will start school soon. Noemi loves playing with dolls and painting. Noemi has clubfoot of both feet, a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Fortunately, Noemi's family traveled to visit our medical partner, Clínica Noel. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on September 28th. Now, Clínica Noel, is requesting $1,500 to fund Noemi's bilateral clubfoot repair. After treatment, she will be able to walk more easily and wear shoes. Her mother shared, "it breaks my heart when she tells me she wants to walk and I see that she is not able to... she is starting school soon and I would love to see her walk and play with her new friends."
James is former motorbike taxi driver from Kenya. He's married and is the father of two children 13 and 6 years old. James' wife is works part-time on a rice farm in their hometown. The family currently lives in a rental house paid for by their local church pastor. In November 2017, James was in a motorbike accident. Due to the accident, he lost his job, and he shared that his life became one revolving around experiencing pain and constant hospital visits. He underwent surgery on his broken leg in a nearby health facility in his hometown. Following the procedure he had a challenging recovery due to infections, causing him sleepless nights and visits to different healthcare facilities. James was finally referred to our medical partner's care center Kijabe Hospital where he underwent several treatments in May. James returned home but later came back to the hospital with a wounded leg that was in bad shape with an exposed bone. The doctors originally admitted James for repair surgery, but determined he needed a below-knee amputation which took place in mid-June. James still experiences a lot of pain, so the surgeon recommend he undergo another round of intense debridement in the amputated area to remove his damaged tissue and help him to finally heal. James has national health insurance, which supported his two major surgeries, but his coverage has been depleted and will not support the care he needs now. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is helping James receive treatment. On June 25th, surgeons will perform a debridement and skin graft procedure to prevent the spread of infection and speed up his recovery. Now, James needs help to fund this $1,185 procedure. James wishes to be free from pain, “I, unfortunately, lost my leg due to a sudden amputation, and I am still in shock. I will never be able to use both legs again. I am still in a lot of pain and the wound needs another procedure for me to be well. I need to get out of the hospital and figure out how to take care of my family with my current condition.”