John joined Watsi on June 21st, 2014. Eight years ago, John joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. John's most recent donation traveled 8,600 miles to support Phyo Ko, a 33-year-old construction worker from Thailand, to fund leg surgery so he can return to working.
John has funded healthcare for 54 patients in 13 countries.
John has funded healthcare for 54 patients in 13 countries.
Phyo Ko is a 33-year-old man, living in Thailand with his wife and two young children. Originally from Burma, Phyo Ko and his family moved to Thailand in 2009, in search of better job opportunities. Phy Ko's wife stays home with the children, who are too young to go to school, while Phyo Ko works as a construction day laborer, earning under $12 a day. In early 2021, Phyo Ko and his friend were at work at a construction site, when scaffolding fell onto Phyo Ko's left hand and thigh. Initially, he used oil made from traditional medicine to ease the pain. However, a month after the accident, Phyo Ko noticed that there was a mass on his left leg, so he sought medical attention. The first doctor he visited could find nothing wrong, and sent Phyo Ko back home. His mass continued to grow in size, and the pain increased, making it impossible for Phyo Ko to continue working, so once again, he went to the hospital. This time, there were no doctors available to see him because of the pandemic. Finally, in April, Phyo Ko was able to receive a CT scan, thanks to our medical partner Burma Children Medical Fund and the Watis community. The CT scan revealed a hematoma, which requires surgical intervention. On June 16th, Phyo Ko will undergo surgery at Mae Sot General Hospital, to have the mass removed from his thigh. After the procedure, Phyo Ko should be able to walk, stand and work without pain, something he is unable to do now. Burma Children Medical Fund is seeking $1,500 to cover the costs of Phyo Ko's surgery. Phyo Ko said: "I would like to receive surgery soon so that the pain will go away. Before I received the CT scan, I was told that my leg could be be amputated because the mass on my leg is very big. However, after the CT scan, the doctor told me that they could remove the mass without amputation. I was so happy to hear this. I want to work and earn an income for my family after surgery."
Loucken is a 16-year-old student from Haiti. He lives with his parents and three siblings in a neighborhood outside the capital city of Port-au-Prince. Loucken enjoys making art, listening to music, and going to school and church. Loucken has a cardiac condition called atrial septal defect, which means a hole exists between the two upper chambers of his heart. As a result, blood leaks through this hole, leaving him feeling weak and unable to be active. Fortunately, our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance (HCA), can help Loucken receive treatment. Treatment is not available in Haiti, but on May 11th, he will fly to the Dominican Republic to undergo cardiac surgery, during which surgeons will close the hole in his heart with a patch. HCA is covering the cost of Loucken's surgery, so Loucken's family is requesting assistance to help fund the $1,500 surgery preparation and travel costs. This cost includes all labs, medication, appointments, passports, and the help of a social worker from HCA who will accompany Loucken's family as they travel internationally. Loucken shared, "After the surgery, I hope that I will be able to start playing soccer with my friends."
Rehiwilzahra is a sweet toddler from Haiti. She lives in Port-au-Prince with her mother, father, and three older siblings. Rehiwilzahra likes watching cartoons and playing with her older siblings. Rehiwilzahra has a cardiac condition called Tetralogy of Fallot. This heart condition involves several related heart defects including a hole between the two lower chambers of the heart, and a muscular blockage of one of the valves. These defects prevent blood from circulating properly through the lungs leaving Rehiwilzahra weak and short of breath. The surgery Rehiwilzahra needs to heal is not available in Haiti, so she will need to fly to the Dominican Republic to undergo cardiac surgery to close the hole in her heart with a patch and remove the blockage from her valve. Our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance is helping Rehiwilzahra's family raise $1,500 to cover the cost of labs, medicines, and follow-up appointments. This amount also supports passport obtainment and the social workers to accompany Rehiwilzahra's family overseas. Rehiwilzahra's mother shared, "We have been praying for a long time for a solution to our daughter's heart problem. We are very thankful to everyone who is helping her!"
Daw lives with her two sons who work as day labourers getting work where they can. While her sons work, her daughter comes over to do their household chores. The income her sons earn is not enough to cover their daily expenses and sometimes they have to borrow money from their neighbor. Around 15 years ago, Tin was diagnosed with high blood pressure and diabetes. In early January, she noticed that she had developed ulcers on her left soles. She could not even remember injuring her left foot, but she went to a clinic twice to have her foot treated. Unfortunately, her condition worsened and by the end of February, she also developed ulcers an on her right big toe. In March, she was brought to Mawlamyine Christian Leprosy Hospital (MCLH), where she was admitted. She underwent wound debridement surgery on her left foot. A few days later, the doctor told her they would need to do an amputate her right foot so that her infection did not spread further. Our medical partner Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF) is helping Tin and her family raise the financial support for her treatment. Currently, Tin is experiencing a lot of pain in both her left foot and her right big toe. At night, she has a fever and cannot sleep. She cannot walk and needs her son to help her go to the bathroom and take a shower. “Since I learned that donors could help pay for my surgery, I feel very happy,” she said. “I want to say thank you to the donors.”
Keysha is a bright 12-year-old who lives on a small farm in northwest Haiti with her parents and four siblings. She really likes going to school and helping to take care of her family's animals. Keysha was born with a hole between the two upper chambers of her heart; blood leaks through this hole without passing through her lungs to obtain oxygen, leaving her weak and fatigued. During her upcoming surgery, doctors will use a catheter probe to plug the hole in Keysha's heart with a device so that blood can no longer leak through it. With this treatment, she can finally have a healthier life ahead. Keysha is hopeful to have more energy and feel healthy after her surgery. She shared, "I am looking forward to this surgery so that I can walk to my friends' houses to visit them without getting tired."
Biruk is a young boy from Ethiopia who loves to eat spaghetti and macaroni. He also enjoys doing arts and crafts, and loves to play hide and seek with his friends in his neighborhood. Biruk is the second child in his family, and he has one older sister. His dad is a teacher in primary school and his mom is a housewife. Biruk lives together with his parents and sister in a rented house. Biruk was born with hypospadias, a congenital abnormality that causes urinary dysfunction. Without treatment and surgery, he will continue to experience uncomfortable symptoms and will be at risk of infertility as he grows older. Fortunately, Biruk is scheduled to undergo corrective surgery on March 16th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,231 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. Biruk shared with us, “I want to heal well and go to school and become a pilot.”
Eskel is a baby from Kenya. He has two older siblings. The family lives in a one-room house in the Rift Valley region. Eskel’s father is a subsistence farmer, while his mother operates a grocery kiosk. Eskel has been diagnosed with hydrocephalus, a condition in which excess cerebrospinal fluid accumulates in the brain and increases intracranial pressure. As a result of his condition, Eskel has been experiencing an increasing head circumference and prominent scalp veins. Without treatment, Eskel will experience severe physical and developmental delays. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $685 to cover the cost of surgery for Eskel that will treat his hydrocephalus. The procedure is scheduled to take place on May 16 and will drain the excess fluid from Eskel's brain. This will reduce intracranial pressure and greatly improve his quality of life. With proper treatment, Eskel will hopefully develop into a strong, healthy young boy. “We are praying that God gives health to our son especially after the operation. I am grateful that we could get financial help,” says Eskel’s father.
Meet John, a young boy and the oldest in his family. He is eight years old and lives in Kenya. Both of his parents work as laborers. John was diagnosed with hearing loss when he was about three years old. Unfortunately, his mother could not afford treatment for him. Finally, they were referred to our medical partner's care center, where hearing aids were recommended. John will receive the hearing aids on May 2. Now, his family needs help raising $712. John’s mother says, “It is my prayer that my brilliant boy will soon be able to hear and lead a normal life."
Kaltum is a baby from Somaliland. She was born with an anorectal malformation, a congenital abnormality that leads to a complete or partial intestinal blockage. She needs to undergo a series of procedures to eliminate bowel dysfunction. Kaltum is scheduled to undergo surgery to correct her condition on April 24. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of Kaltum's procedure and care. After her recovery, Kaltum will no longer experience bowel dysfunction or be at risk of developing health complications in the future. Her mother says, “We are from a poor community. My husband is a daily laborer and I am a house wife. We raise six children at home and I came here in order to get my child the right treatment. I can’t afford the medical bill and we raised fund to transportation to come to Ethiopia and to this hospital. Once we travel all this way and get to this hospital it is my hope to get the surgery and to see my child in a healthy and good position.”
Ezekiel is a baby from Kenya. He lives with his parents and siblings in a one-room house Nairobi. Ezekiel’s mother stays at home to tend to her children, while his father is employed at a construction site. Ezekiel has been diagnosed with hydrocephalus, a condition in which excess cerebrospinal fluid accumulates in the brain and increases intracranial pressure. As a result of his condition, Ezekiel has been experiencing an increasing head circumference and irritability. Without treatment, Ezekiel will experience severe physical and developmental delays. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $685 to cover the cost of surgery for Ezekiel that will treat his hydrocephalus. The procedure is scheduled to take place on March 8 and will drain the excess fluid from Ezekiel's brain. This will reduce intracranial pressure and greatly improve his quality of life. With proper treatment, Ezekiel will hopefully develop into a strong, healthy young boy. “I had lost hope but through BethanyKids and Watsi I feel a ray of hope veering. I look forward to have Ezekiel treated now that we do not have to worry about his treatment cost,” shares Ezekiel’s mother.
Christian is a five-year-old girl from Kenya. She is very playful and is the only child in her family. Her mother works at a beauty salon, while her father works at a maize packaging company. With limited income, the family is only able to afford basic needs. Christian was born with a hearing problem and still does not speak. Her family brought her to our medical partner's care center, where she will be fitted with hearing aids on February 20. Now, her family needs help raising $712 to pay for the hearing aids. Christian’s father says, “I hope that soon my only child will be able to talk and hear.”
Ye is a 15-year-old boy from Burma. He lives with his younger sister, brother, and mother in Yangon Division. Ye 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, he experiences chest pain and fatigue. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund a mitral valve replacement for Ye. The treatment is scheduled to take place on January 17 and, once completed, will hopefully allow him to live more comfortably. “If I feel better after surgery, I will go back to school to continue my education. I want to become an educated man one day," says Ye.