Julian joined Watsi on January 7th, 2016. Two years ago, Julian became the 4399th member to automatically support a new Watsi patient every month. Since then, 2,059 more people have become monthly donors! Julian's most recent donation supported Dickens, a toddler from Kenya, to fund congenital anorectal malformation surgery.
Julian has funded healthcare for 28 patients in 10 countries.
In 2018, Dickens’ mother gave birth to him on her way to the hospital. Upon arrival at the hospital, they were reviewed then discharged home on the same day. But, the next day Dickens’ mother noticed that his stomach had started to swell. She rushed him to the nearby facility and Dickens was diagnosed with anorectal malformation. They were then referred to another facility in Kisumu where a colostomy was put. When it was time for Dickens' second surgery, his mother took him to the same facility where the first surgery was done, but nothing was done. Dickens’ mother kept on visiting the facility to seek treatment for her son, and still nothing was done. She shared that a few months down the line, a friend learnt about Dickens' condition and he advised them to come to Watsi's Medical Partner Care Center Bethany Kids Hospital. Upon arrival, Dickens was examined and emergency surgery was scheduled for the next day. Just before Dickens was born, his father passed away. Both of his parents were casual laborers and would do any work that they came across to provide for their family of five. After his birth, his mother has not been able to look for work and relies on her parents-in-law. She now has to stay at home and take care of Dickens because of his medical condition. Dickens’ grandfather is a farmer and mostly sells his produce to earn a living. With Dickens surgery planned, the family is not able to raise any money to cater for the cost and his mother is appealing for financial help. Dickens’ mother shared, “It really hurts whenever I see my son crying out because of the pain he experiences.”
Bu is a 53-year-old man who lives with his wife, two sons and two daughters in a refugee camp in northern Thailand. He and his family fled there from Karen State, Burma, due to conflict in their area. Every month, Bu's household received 1,514 baht (approx. 50 USD) as part of their camp rations. Bu's oldest son works on farms outside of the camp as a seasonal day laborer. He makes 1,100 baht (approx. 37 USD) per month. The rest of Bu's three children are students, and his wife is a homemaker. Despite receiving free primary health care services and schooling in the camp, Bu's family is struggling to make ends meet every month. Bu started to suffer from back pain and fever in 2015. He also experienced slight discomfort and a burning sensation while urinating. When he went to the camp's clinic, run by Malteser International (MI), he received oral medications. For a few months, his symptoms and pain disappeared, but later on, they returned. Whenever the pain would worsen, Bu would receive more medication from the camp's clinic. On 2 July 2020, when Bu's symptoms worsened, he went back to the clinic to received more medication. Noting that he kept returning to the clinic with severe symptoms, Bu was referred to Mae Sariang Hospital for further treatment. At the hospital, he received a blood and urine test, as well as a kidney, ureter, and bladder (KUB) x-ray. The doctor informed him that he has a stone in his left kidney. The doctor then referred him to Suandok Hospital in Chiang Mai for further treatment. On 29 July 2020, Bu saw the doctor at Chiang Mai Hospital. The doctor told him that he needed to undergo an intravenous pyelogram (IVP), a type of diagnostic test that uses an injection of contrast material to evaluate the kidneys, ureters, and bladder. Once he underwent the IVP, the doctor diagnosed him with a type of kidney stone called a staghorn stone. Bu was then scheduled to receive surgery to remove the kidney stone on 16 August 2020. Unable to pay for his treatment, MI referred Bu to Burma Children Medical Fund for assistance accessing surgery. Currently, Bu experiences back pain and a burning sensation while urinating. He sometimes experiences headaches and cannot breathe well because of the severe pain. In his free time, his favorite thing to do is to help with household chores and grow vegetables for his family. Now, Burma Children Medical Fund needs your help in funding the cost of Bu's $1,500 surgery. Bu shared, “I still experience back pain and a burning sensation while urinating. Sometimes due to the pain, I have a headache and I have difficulty breathing. But I am very excited that I will be free from this prolonged pain after surgery."
Ohmar is a 36-year-old woman from Thailand. She lives with her husband and two children in a town along the Thai-Burma border. On July 4th, Ohmar was trying to cross the highway to go to a grocery store. She was on her bike on the side of the road when a car sped past, causing her to fall off her bike and land on top of her right arm. A man who saw her fall put turmeric powder on her injured arm and wrapped it in a cloth. But Ohmar did not go to Mae Tao Clinic right away because she did not have enough money. She was only able to seek treatment two days after the accident. Now, Ohnmar's she is in pain, her right arm cannot be extended and her fingers are also swollen. With the help of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, Ohmar will undergo surgery to reset her fractured bones and ensure proper healing. The procedure is scheduled for July 16th and will cost $1,500. This procedure will help make Ohnmar's right arm become functional again and she will no longer be in pain. "I am happy that I can have surgery with the support of the Burma Children Medical Fund and Watsi donors. I have to look after my two children so I need to be strong for them," shared Ohmar.
Gilbert is a calm and polite boy. He is the second born in a family of four children and hails from Dagoretti in Nairobi county. He is in 3rd grade at a primary school in Nairobi and aspires to be a pilot. Gilbert was brought to our hospital by his mother because he was experiencing pain and could not walk long distances. He has had this condition since he was three years old and it has significantly impacted his ability to go to school. Gilbert's mother shared that, “I sometimes carry him to school as his knees knock against each other which hinders his movement. But when I have money, I will pay for a motorbike to take him and his brother to school.” His mother works part-time cleaning houses, washing clothes, and performing other household work she may be given. Gibert's father is a street pastor and works as a street vendor. The family lives in a one-bedroom rental house in Nairobi and they shared with us that they feel life is hard because they do not have the resources to buy everything they need. Gilbert was able to already have his right leg treated which is now healed. He now needs support for the surgery on his left knee. With both knees healed, Gilbert will be able to walk comfortably and continue with his studies.
Harrison is an elderly man from the Rift Valley in Kenya. For the last two years, his hearing has gradually deteriorated, making him struggle with communication. He had been to a different hospital previously and was given hearing drops. However, his hearing did not improve and he has now sought treatment at Watsi's Medical Partner Care Center Kijabe Hospital. The audiologist recommended hearing aids for him which would improve his hearing and communication ability. Harrison is a father of 12, who have all made their own families too. His eldest son supports him and his wife from time to time. Harrison used to work in his farm but no longer does due to his older age. Because of ongoing flooding in his area, Harrison and his neighbors have been evicted from their houses as a nearby lake continues to swell. They did not get any compensation and his children are now paying for his single-roomed rental space. He is not able to meet the entire cost of hearing aids and appeals for help. Harrison shared, “I will be delighted to hear with better clarity than I am currently.”
Pha is a 26-year-old rice farmer from Cambodia. He has six sisters, and enjoys playing soccer, listening to music, and helping around the house when he has time. In January 2020, Pha was in a motorcycle accident and was treated for an open fracture of his left leg at a hospital in the city. Now, his leg has healed but is approximately 1.5 inches shorter than his other leg. He still experiences chronic pain and cannot walk without support. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, can help. On February 24th, Pha will undergo a fracture repair procedure, which will cost $465. Treatment will fix Pha with internal hardware to help his injuries to heal in alignment so he will be able to walk easily again. "I am so worried abut my son's leg and I hope that he will feel better soon and will be able to return to work so he can help our family make money again." -Pha's Mother
Nyo is a 50-year-old woman from Burma who lives with her husband, her son, and her daughter in a village in Shwe Bo Township. Nyo’s husband is a subsistence farmer while she is a homemaker. Her son sells bus tickets at the bus station in Taunggyi Town, Shan State and he sends some pocket money to his parents at home. Nyo’s husband sometimes work as a construction day laborer. Nyo was diagnosed with a heart condition that involves a malformation of her 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, she is tired and cannot walk long distances. She also has chest pain and a poor appetite. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund a mitral valve replacement for Nyo. The treatment is scheduled to take place on March 16th and, once completed, will hopefully allow her to live more comfortably. Nyo said, “I am very upset that I have to suffer this kind of condition.”
Shwe Win is a 39-year-old man who lives with wife, two daughters, and two sons in Yangon, Burma. Shwe Win used to work as a civil engineer but is currently unemployed. His wife is a teacher and all of his children go to school. Their monthly household income is enough to pay for their expenses and basic health care, but they have to use their savings to pay for all the children’s school fees. In the beginning of 2018, Shwe Win developed severe pain in his waist and back. He went to a local hospital to see a doctor, who ordered an ultrasound, x-rays, a blood test and a urine test. After checking his results, the doctor told him that he has a stone in his left kidney. He was given an injection, and the doctor told him that he would need to be admitted at a hospital to have the stone broken up surgically. Afterwards, Shwe Win would be in pain anytime he lifted anything heavy or sat for longer than 30 minutes. Whenever the pain became unbearable, he would take painkillers. In June 2019, he decided to join a rehabilitation program run by Christian Youth. When he finished the program, he developed severe pain again. This time, neither the painkillers nor the injection worked. He was referred again to the hospital. There he was admitted for five days because he was in so much pain that he vomited and had difficulty breathing. While admitted, he received an ultrasound and was told that he now had stones in both of his kidneys. He would need to have treatment to break up the stones. "I feel thankful that I was able to meet Burma Children Medical Fund. If I hadn’t come here, I wouldn’t have pursued treatment because I don’t want to be a burden on my siblings nor my wife anymore,” shared Shwe Win.
Myat is a two-month-old boy who lives with his family in Hpa-An Town, Karen State, Burma. His father passed away when his mother was two months pregnant with him. Myat’s mother is a homemaker and she takes care of him at home. All of his sister and brothers are students. Myat’s grandfather drives a tricycle taxi. On 6 June 2019, Myat was born without any complications at HGH. Since he was born, his mother noticed that he has been passing white coloured stools, but she did not do anything about it because she thought it was normal. When he was just over a month old, his mother noticed that Myat’s navel was bigger than normal. His mother then took him to HGH. The doctor examined his navel and told his mother not to worry too much and he also told her come back if it becomes bigger. A few days later, Myat’s mother noticed that his navel has become bigger and his mother took him to the hospital again. The doctor again took a look at Myat’s navel and advised his mother to take him to a hospital in Yangon for treatment. However, Myat’s mother did not have money to go to Yangon. On 6 September 2019 Myat received an X-ray at Mae Sot Hospital (MSH) and was given a diagnosis of a bulging navel and biliary atresia, a childhood disease of the liver in which one or more bile ducts are abnormally narrow, blocked, or absent. Currently, Myat still passes white coloured stools. He also has a bulging navel which never goes away. His mother is very much worried for him, especially that she just learned about his liver disease. Myat’s mother said, “I would like him to be like other children. I feel bad for him but at the same time happy that an organization Burma Children Medical Fund will help him for his treatment.”
Kakada is sixteen years old and enjoys reading books, playing soccer, and listening to music. Since the age of five, Kakada started showing signs of a curve in his spine. Over time, the curve has worsened, and now the spine deformity causes difficulty breathing, sleeping, walking, and an overall uncomfortable life. Surgery will help to straighten out and realign his spine, allowing him to breath without difficulty and create a less straining posture while he walks, eliminating discomfort. Kakada's favorite subject in school is Khmer literature, and he hopes to become a doctor when he grows up. "I hope that after surgery, I will not have to worry about my son's spine getting any worse and I will be happy that he can return to his normal activities again." -Kakada's Mother
Jean is a mother of two from Haiti. She lives in a small city in southern Haiti with her husband and two young boys. Jean has a cardiac condition called rheumatic mitral regurgitation. One of the four valves in her heart has been severely damaged due to a rheumatic fever she suffered several years ago. Jean will fly to the United States to receive treatment. On September 11th, she will undergo cardiac surgery, during which surgeons will remove her damaged valve and implant an artificial replacement. Another organization, The Heart Hospital Baylor Plano, is contributing $35,000 to pay for surgery. Jean's family also needs help to fund the costs of surgery prep. The $1,500 bill covers labs, medicines, and checkup and followup appointments. It also supports passport obtainment and the social workers from our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, who will accompany Jean's family overseas. "I am looking forward to this surgery so that I can play with my children and take care of them."
Nurudini is a child from Tanzania. He has been diagnosed with windswept deformity. His lower legs are curved. This condition is typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, which often stems from contaminated drinking water. As a result, he cannot walk well. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $940 to fund corrective surgery for Nurudini. The procedure is scheduled to take place on August 16. Treatment will hopefully restore Nurudini's mobility, allow him to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease his risk of future complications. Nurudini’s mother says, “Despite using calcium medication, my son’s legs are worsening. We were advised on surgery but we couldn’t afford the cost please help my son.”