Joseph BarrowMONTHLY DONOR
Joseph's Story

Joseph joined Watsi on December 9th, 2014. Seven years ago, Joseph joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Joseph's most recent donation traveled 9,000 miles to support Velonica, a loving mother from Malawi, to fund thyroid surgery.

Impact

Joseph has funded healthcare for 93 patients in 13 countries.

All patients funded by Joseph

Velonica is a 43-year-old woman and a mother of three living children. She shared that she lost a set of twins just a few days after birth some 15 years ago but still holds fond memories of her lovely tiny twins. Her children are aged between 25 and 8 years old and they are all in school. The oldest daughter is at a teachers' training college and the youngest in 4th grade in primary school. Velonica lives with her children and husband in Dowa about 40 kilometers away from the city of Lilongwe in Malawi. She and her husband are subsistent farmers, although they usually don’t have enough food for the year and they seek support from her husband’s relatives that live in the same village. In 2013, Velonica developed a swelling on her neck. She visited different hospitals and finally was referred to Kamuzu Central Hospital (KCH) where a diagnosis of goiter was made. A partial thyroidectomy was done at the facility in 2014. However, in 2019 her neck swelling resurfaced again. She started feeling pain, having sleepless nights, difficulties in swallowing, feeling neck tightness, and headaches. She reported again to Kamuzu Central Hospital and a rescan was recommended but unfortunately, it was not done at the time. While seeking alternatives, Velonica came to Partners in Hope Medical Center. She was seen by a surgeon who, after laboratory tests and a scan, concluded that her goiter has recurred. He recommended surgery to remove the enlarged thyroid gland in a procedure called a total thyroidectomy. Velonica is currently unable to help her husband on the farm and has challenges in performing daily duties. She is unable to lift water on her head or to carry other heavy loads. Velonica feels the condition is interfering with her life and is looking forward to living her normal life again soon. Velonica said, “I live at my husband’s village among my in-laws and it has been about 2 years now of failing to do the things that every woman does, this is threatening my marriage and makes me feel bad. I hope this operation will bring an end to all this and I will be able to do my household chores again.”

69%funded
$707raised
$308to go

Cho is a 50-year-old woman who lives with her husband and their three children in Burma. Cho is a homemaker, and her three children are students. However, their school is currently closed due to the ongoing political and humanitarian crisis in the country. Her husband used to work as a day labourer in Mawlamyine City but stopped working a few months ago because he was afraid of the military arresting him. To support his family, he goes fishing everyday near their village. From selling any surplus fish, he is able to earn about 100,000 kyat (approx. 100 USD) per month. This income is not enough to cover their daily needs or pay for basic health care, but they are working hard to get by. A few months ago, Cho noticed that she had a blister on her left heel. A few days later it burst and became an ulcer. Although she wanted to see a doctor, most of the public clinics and hospitals were closed, and she also could not afford to pay for treatment at them. In early September 2021, she went to a pharmacy nearby to buy medication for her diabetes but they could only provide her with painkillers and cleaning solution for the wound. At home, Cho cleaned the ulcer, but it continued to worsen. One day, her neighbour told her to go to Mawlamyine Christian Leprosy Hospital (MCLH), where she could receive affordable and good services. Cho borrowed money and went to MCLH. She was admitted on September 28th 2021, and the doctor examined her left heel and saw that her heel was swollen and that the ulcer had pus in it. The doctor then scheduled her to undergo surgery on September 30th 2021 to clean the ulcer and remove any necrotic tissue so she can heal. Our care center is requesting $694 to fund of Cho's wound debridement surgery, including her hospital stay and all other medical costs. Currently, Cho is in a lot of pain. When the temperature is cooler, especially at night, the pain worsens. If she does not take pain medication, she cannot sleep at night. Cho said, "When I heard donors may support my surgery, I felt very happy. Even though we have not met you in person, I want to thank you so much for helping me. I just want to live a healthy and happy life with my family.”

$694raised
Fully funded

Sut is a 30-year-old who lives with his family in a refugee camp. His mother is a shop vendor who sells snacks in front of their home. Sut and his brother-in-law used to work as agriculture day laborers, but can no longer leave the camp to find work since the camp is on lockdown after the outbreak of COVID-19. Since then, Sut has been helping out with household chores and looks after his nephew. The income they receive from selling snacks in addition to the food card they receive from a support organization is just enough to cover their daily needs. He and his family receive free basic health care in the camp. Since April 2020, Sut has had an inguinal hernia. This hernia causes him pain in the right side of his groin and he feels a burning sensation when he urinates. If he walks for a longer period of time, he will experience pain in the right side of his groin. Occasionally, when the pain worsens, he is not able to help out with household chores. Fortunately, on April 29th, Sut 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 Sut's hernia repair surgery. The procedure is scheduled to take place on April 29th and, once completed, will hopefully allow him to live more comfortably. Sut shared, "Sometimes I experience such severe pain that I cannot bear it anymore. I cannot do anything and I cannot help my family with anything due to my condition. My wife left me because of my condition and I do not have anyone that can help me. When I learned that a donor could help pay for my surgery, I felt like they had saved me from death."

$1,500raised
Fully funded