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.
Joseph has funded healthcare for 93 patients in 13 countries.
Joseph has funded healthcare for 93 patients in 13 countries.
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.”
Desiree is a three-year-old girl from Venezuela. Seven months ago, her family left Venezuela for Colombia seeking better opportunities. After tragically experiencing the loss of Desiree's siblings, Desiree fills her parents' life with joy and happiness. She loves playing with dolls and dancing. One day, her parents hope she will become a ballerina. Desiree was born with amniotic band syndrome. Her condition has affected one of her right toes, which frequently bleeds. Fortunately, our medical partner, Clínica Noel, is helping Desiree receive treatment. On December 7th, she will undergo surgery to stop the bleeding and help her live a healthy and active life ahead. After surgery, she will be able to walk, run, and dance without pain. Now, her family needs help raising $1,500 to fund Desiree's procedure and care. Desiree's mother shared, "first of all I would like to thank you all for making this all possible. Thanks to you and the donors my daughter will stop her pain. I would love to invite people to continue making their donations in order to help families that unfortunately can't pay for their kids' treatment."
Emmanuel is young boy from Kenya. He is shy, but a very active boy. Emmanuel's father ploughs at his neighbor's homes and sometimes does construction work to earn a living for their family. His mother does laundry and house chores to help provide for their family too. They do not earn a lot of money, and haven't been able to raise money to afford Emmanuel’s surgery. Emmanuel has been diagnosed with a condition called cryptorchidism. If left untreated, Emmanuel has an increased risk of developing hernias, testicular cancer, and fertility problems in the future. Emmanuel will be receiving assistance from our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH). Fortunately, he is scheduled to undergo corrective surgery on October 14th. AMH is requesting $646 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. Emmanuel’s father says, “As a family, it will be a great joy for us when Emmanuel is treated.”
Mark Andrei is a five-year-old boy from the Philippines. Mark Andrei loves to draw and dreams of becoming a policeman someday. His father is a farmer—earning lower than the minimum wage that is approved by the Department of Labor in the Philippines; while his mother is a stay-at-home mom. Mark Andrei was born with an anorectal malformation, a congenital abnormality that leads to a complete or partial intestinal blockage. He needs to undergo a series of procedures to eliminate bowel dysfunction. Mark Andrei is scheduled to undergo surgery to correct his condition on November 10th. Our medical partner, World Surgical Foundation Philippines, is requesting $1,279 to cover the total cost of Mark Andrei's procedure and care. After his recovery, Mark Andrei will no longer experience bowel dysfunction or be at risk of developing health complications in the future. “We are thankful that there are organizations like WSFP and WATSI who are providing surgeries like this. This surgery will help increase Mark Andrei's confidence to interact with his classmates without being afraid of getting bullied,” shared Donnalyn, Mark Andrei's mother.
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.”
Felix is a grade four student who lives with his grandmother. His elderly grandmother, who is a small scale farmer, takes care of him and his younger sibling, because their mother was not able to. On July 24th, when Felix was playing, he fell and caused a fracture on his right hand, so that he is now unable to move it. Felix was brought to our medical partner's care center by his grandmother. Fortunately, the surgeons there can help. On August 2nd, Felix will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,049 to fund this procedure. Felix's grandmother said, "I love my grandchildren even if their mother left them. I want to see them happy and growing like other children. I kindly ask for help and hope his surgery will go well.”
Dorah is a 40-year-old house helper and a single mother of two children. She has been raising the kids on her own and works several kilometers from where she lives. She and her children live with her elderly mother. Since June 2019, Dorah has been experiencing spotting and pain. She was diagnosed with cervical cancer and needs to undergo a hysterectomy, a procedure in which surgeons will remove her uterus. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is requesting $794 to fund Dorah's surgery. On July 28th, she will undergo gynecological surgery at AMH's care center. Once recovered, Dorah will be able to resume her daily activities free of pain. Dorah shared, “the news about cancer is not easy to take in. It has disoriented me and I feel confused about what will happen to my young family. I need this treatment to be able to get well and avoid death.”
Glory is a charming four-year-old girl and the firstborn child in a family of two children. Glory’s mother is house mother, while her father provides for the family through his work at construction sites. Glory was diagnosed with bilateral genu valgus, which means that her legs bow inwards and her knees touch. This condition is typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, which often comes from contaminated drinking water. As a result, Glory has difficulty walking and experiences pain after playing all day. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Glory. The procedure is scheduled to take place on June 4th and treatment will hopefully restore Glory's mobility, allowing her to participate in a variety of activities and greatly decreasing her risk of future complications. Glory’s mother shared, "we have tried medication, but it has not helped. Our daughter now needs surgery but the cost of treatment is too high for us to afford. Please help."
Yat is an 68-year-old farmer from Cambodia. She has one daughter, four sons, and 10 grandchildren. Yat lives with her husband and their second daughter who is a vegetable seller. Yat enjoys looking after her grandchildren and listening to the monks pray on the radio. Six years ago, Yat developed a cataract in her right eye, causing her to experience blurry vision and photophobia, a sensitivity to light. She has difficulty seeing things clearly, recognizing faces, and going anywhere outside. When Yat learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, she traveled for two hours with her daughter seeking treatment. On March 24th, doctors will perform a small incision cataract surgery and an intraocular lens implant in her right eye. After recovery, she will be able to see clearly. Now, she needs help to fund this $229 procedure. Yat said, "I want to be able to help my daughter sell vegetables and visit the pagoda by myself."
Dylan is a bright 12-year-old student who enjoys reading and playing football. He is the only child in his family and his mother is a single mom who works for the county government part-time. In 2015, Dylan's left foot began to bend slightly. As Dylan has grown, the leg has worsened, affecting his mobility. When playing with friends and running around during football, he often falls. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), can help. On June 6th, Dylan is scheduled to undergo angular deformity correction surgery. After the surgery, he will be able to walk well and play again without any difficulty. Now, AMH is requesting $1,224 to fund Dylan's surgery. Dylan's mother shared,“ I am appealing for support to help my son undergo surgery, thank you so much."
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."
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.”