Melanie joined Watsi on August 3rd, 2013. Twelve months ago, Melanie joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Melanie's most recent donation supported Hiram, a studious boy from Kenya, to fund clubfoot treatment so he can run and play.
Melanie has funded healthcare for 15 patients in 7 countries.
Melanie has funded healthcare for 15 patients in 7 countries.
Hiram is a student from Mombasa county in Kenya. He is a lastborn in a family of three and the only boy. He has no father and his mother sells fish to make a living. Hiram is in class five at school. He was born with clubfeet and has never been to any hospital for correction until his family heard about the CURE Hospital mobile clinic in Mombasa. His condition has greatly affected Hiram's mobility. He feels pain on his feet as he walks, so he cannot put on his shoes or play with his friends. This has affected his studies. Fortunately, Hiram's family traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, AIC Cure International Hospital. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on September 20th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,286 to fund Hiram's clubfoot repair. After treatment, he will be able to put on shoes, walk comfortably and improve his self-esteem. “I would like to be treated so that I can walk like my friends, play with them and continue with my studies,” Hiram told us.
Bo is a 16-year-old student. He's in eighth grade and lives in the school dormitory in the Tak Province during the school year. His parents and his siblings live on the Thai-Burma border. His brother and his mother are day labourers while his father is retired. During his free time, he likes to play the guitar, cook, and garden. In May 2021, Bo began to experience pain in the top of his left arm, close to his shoulder. In June 2021, the top of his left arm began to swell until it spread towards his shoulder. The swelling is now very large, encompassing his left shoulder and upper arm. Bo is in a lot of pain and cannot use his left arm. He cannot lift it, nor carry anything due to the pain and the swelling. Bo sought treatment through our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund. Bo is now scheduled to undergo mass removal surgery on August 18th. He is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. "I want to become a policeman one day but I do not know if this will be possible," said Bo.
Ren is a 69-year-old woman with two daughters and four sons. She spends her time at home looking after her grandchildren. Two months ago, Ren had a severe ear infection. This infection caused the tympanic membrane, or the ear drum, in her left ear to perforate. For this reason, Ren experiences ear fullness, pain, tinnitus, and hearing loss. Now, she cannot communicate clearly with others and she is in pain. Ren traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On July 14th, she will undergo a myringoplasty procedure in her left ear. During this procedure, surgeons will close the perforation. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is requesting $464 to fund this procedure. This covers medications, supplies, and inpatient care. Ren said, "I hope that my ear pain and tinnitus will stop so I can feel well again and look after my grandchildren."
Hsue is a 52-year-old man who lives with his four daughters, his son-in-law and two grandchildren in a refugee camp on the Thai-Burma border. Hsue and his son-in-law used to work as agricultural day laborers in a nearby Thai village, but stopped working after travel restrictions were put in place due to Covid-19. These restrictions made it difficult for them to leave the camp for work. Since then, only Hsue's oldest daughter works, while one of his daughters goes to school and the others look after household chores. Last month, the ophthalmologist at Mae Sot Hospital diagnosed Hsue with a cataract in his left eye. Currently, the vision in Hsue's left eye is blurry, and he can only perceive light. He develops a headache whenever he tries to focus on something. He has to rely on his right eye and he can only see things that are near him. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund lens replacement surgery for Hsue. On June 20th, doctors will perform a lens replacement, during which they will remove Hsue's natural lenses and replace them with an intraocular lens implant in each eye. After recovery, he will be able to see clearly. Now, he needs help to fund this $1,500 procedure. Hsue said,“I feel very sad. I can’t see and I can't make out people's faces when they are not near.” He is hopeful that this surgery will help him to get his vision back.
William is a hardworking motorbike taxi driver from Kenya. He earns $2.50 daily and lives in a one-room house in Naivasha, costing about $24 a month. His parents are elderly and live nearby on a quarter of an acre piece of land. William suffered femur and distal tibia fractures and is unable to walk and cannot work. Currently, the hospital has admitted him to the respiratory ward since he developed difficulties in breathing. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On May 20th, William will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. These surgeries will enable the bones to heal and he will be able to walk again normally. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $1,500 to fund this procedure. William says, “I don’t have anyone to depend on, I survive on my own through this motorbike taxi business. But with these fractures, I cannot walk or work at all. I need the surgery to normalize my life and be independent again.”
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."
Shoh is a 47-year-old man who lives with his wife, two sons, daughter-in-law and two daughters in Nu Poe Refugee Camp in Thailand. In the camp, Shoh and his oldest son are teachers who teach about the Quran for other refugees. They each earn 1,200 baht (approx. 40 USD) per month. His wife is often sick, and his eldest daughter has to look after her at home. His daughter-in-law is a homemaker while his youngest daughter and son are students. Shoh’s household receives 1,110 baht (approx. 37 USD) every month on a cash card to purchase rations in the camp. Their monthly household income is just enough to cover their daily expenses as they also receive free basic health care and education in the camp. Since February 2020, Shoh has had umbilical hearnia. Currently, Shoh’s abdomen pain is not severe but his hernia is still increasing in size. He feels uncomfortable when he walks because of his swollen abdomen. He cannot sleep well and is increasingly worried about his diagnosis. The pain in his abdomen increases when he feels cold, especially at night. Fortunately, on March 9th, he will undergo hernia repair surgery at Mae Sot General Hospital, our medical partner's care center. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund Shoh's hernia repair surgery. The procedure is scheduled to take place on March 9th and, once completed, will hopefully allow him to live more comfortably. Shoh said, “I do not want to stop being a teacher. I love teaching the Quran to young children. Also, if I do not teach, I do not earn an income and my family does not have enough income to cover our household expenses.”
Adere is a 14-year-old boy from Ethiopia. He is a grade seven student who loves to go to school and study. Adere also loves music and spends his free time listening to country music and dancing with his friends. Adere's parents are farmers of teff and maize, but they have a limited harvest each year due to the hot and dry landscape. The local community is mostly supported by government and NGOs for food and other basic need. His parents have 12 children, most of whom they are still supporting financially. As a result, Adere's parents need assistance with the upcoming medical bill for their son's surgery. Adere was born with a congenital anomaly called bladder exstrophy, and last year he received surgery to treat this condition in BethanyKids Hospital funded through Watsi donor support. Now, he is scheduled to undergo another surgery for his epispadias condition. Epispadias is an abnormal defect in a sensitive area that prevents him from using the bathroom comfortably. His condition may also cause future infertility problems. Adere will be receiving assistance from our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare. Fortunately, he is scheduled to undergo an epispadias repair procedure on February 11th. African Mission Healthcare is requesting $1,040 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. This procedure will enable him to use the bathroom comfortably and prevent risk of future complications. Adere's brother shared, “I hope he can be relieved of this condition soon. That would be a great blessing for him and for our family. I hope he will be a doctor and treat children in need.”
Saidi is a 23-year-old from Tanzania who was born with spina bifida. He was able to have his spina bifida corrected when he was younger, which saved his life and allowed him to grow up to a strong young man. Saidi was able to go to school until class seven but was not able to continue with his education due to his parents' financial challenges. Saidi’s parents are small-scale farmers and have six children, of which Saidi is the third born child. Saidi used to join his parents in farming, but he had to stop and seek treatment because his legs and feet are bowed, which makes standing and walking very challenging. In 2014, Saidi came to our medical partner's care center to seek treatment because he had limb external rotation, which was causing him difficulty with walking and carrying out daily life activities. Through funding support, he was able to have his feet and legs corrected, and was able to resume normal life once more. Since then, over the last few years Saidi’s left foot has developed a serious infection that has struggled to heal. The infection would repeatedly start to heal but would return within five to six months, which makes it difficult for him to work and make a life for himself. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On January 19th, Saidi will undergo a left leg amputation below the knee to save him from the pain and suffering he is going through as doctors noted his foot can no longer be saved. Through this surgery, Saidi will eventually be able to use a prosthetic leg which will enable him to walk with ease and return to his daily life activities. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $1,088 to fund this procedure. Saidi shared, “Please help me as this foot has taken me through so much suffering and pain. I would like to be able to work and make a living for myself, but due to this infection I haven't been able to do that. Kindly help me.”
U Win is a 54-year-old man who lives with his wife and youngest son in the Ayeyarwaddy Division in Burma. He has three sons and three daughters, with five of his children already married and working. His 17-year-old son left school because they were unable to pay school fees, and worked as a day laborer until COVID-19 happened. U Win used to work as a day laborer as well, but stopped working around two years ago due to his health condition. His family survives on 60,000 kyat (approx. 60 USD) each month that U Win's three other daughters and another son send them, enough to cover their basic expenses. In January 2012, U Win felt tired, had a headache, suffered from heart palpitations, and a rapid heartbeat. He went to a clinic where the doctor listened to his heart with a stethoscope and checked his blood pressure. U Win was told that he has high blood pressure and that he would need to take oral medication for a long time. He received an injection, oral medication, and another appointment for more medication. After he took the medication, he felt better and he went back to work. However, U Win continued to experience worsening symptoms over the next few years, returning to clinics and receiving the same treatment. He was told at one point to visit a cardiologist, but did not do so until later on. In August 2020, during another clinic visit in Yangon, the doctor diagnosed U Win with an atrial septal defect, and said that he would need to receive surgery to repair this hole in his heart. If not treated, the condition could weaken his heart further and cause lung problems later on. He was unable to receive surgery in November due to an upsurge in COVID-19 cases, and was also told the procedure would cost about 3,000,000 kyat (approx. 3,000 USD). Luckily, U Win’s wife remembered that there is a charity group in Yangon that might be able to help. The group told him about our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, to look for assistance with accessing the treatment he needed. U Win currently experiences chest pain and back pain, has no appetite, and cannot sleep well at night. He appeals for financial support for his cost of care. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On December 20th, U Win will undergo an atrial septal defect closure procedure. Once recovered, his quality of life will significantly improve and he will be able to return to work. Now, our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund this procedure. U Win shared, “I want to get better soon so that I can work for my family again. I am worried about my family’s future because we cannot find work in the village. My son also cannot go to Yangon to find another job because of COVID-19 travel restrictions.”
Leang Sim is a seven-year-old 1st grade student. She has one older brother who is 11 years old and in the 6th grade. Their father sells vegetables at the market and their mother is a vegetable farmer. When Leang Sim is not at school she likes to play with toys with her brother, read books, watch TV, and go outside with her parents. When Leang Sim was one, her mother first noticed she had a curved spine. Doctors have now diagnosed Leang Sim with thoracolumbar scoliosis. She arrived at Children's Surgical Centre (CSC) with a curved spine reporting difficulty walking, sleeping, and trouble breathing after strenuous activity. Surgeons at CSC will place an extending rod inside Leang Sim's back to help improve her condition now and as she grows, the rod will be extended to alleviate her scoliosis. Leang Sim's mother is hopeful for the surgery and said, "I hope my daughter can walk well after surgery."
Teresiah is a teenage girl from Kenya who has special needs. She was born into a family of 3 girls and hails from a very humble background. Her studies Limuru Cheshire Home were partially sponsored by a compassionate organization. Since she left school last year, the organization has helped her family settle in a small two-roomed iron-built house, which is a real milestone. Her dad has a health condition that requires surgery but it has been postponed several times due to funds. Her dad cannot do heavy manual jobs and so he mostly remains at home with Teresiah while her mother goes to search for casual work. Teresiah has clubfoot that has rendered her walking difficult. She was reviewed by specialists at Cure International Hospital and surgery is recommended. The surgery will be of great impact as she will finally be able to walk comfortably and help her parents at more home. She will be able to be more independent as she grows. Fortunately, Teresiah traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, AIC Cure International Hospital. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on October 12th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,286 to fund Teresiah's clubfoot repair. After treatment, she will be able to walk easily. “Any assistance accorded to our daughter will be highly appreciated. God bless you," Teresiah’s mom told us.