Karijn joined Watsi on December 13th, 2014. Eight years ago, Karijn joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Karijn's most recent donation traveled 4,100 miles to support Nicholas, a student from Kenya, to fund leg surgery so he can walk easily again and go after his dreams.
Karijn has funded healthcare for 95 patients in 14 countries.
Karijn has funded healthcare for 95 patients in 14 countries.
Nicholas is a 17-year-old high school student, who aspires to become a professional driver. He is the youngest of eight children, and lives with his family in Kenya. When he was young, Nicholas was hit by a bicycle. He was treated for his injuries, and sent home. Now, as a teenager, Nicholas finds his left knee bowing inwards, and knocking against his right leg, making it difficult for him to walk. Nicholas' parents brought him to a local, mobile clinic to be evaluated. As a result of the evaluation, and with the support of our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, Nicholas is scheduled for corrective surgery on November 14th, at AIC Cure International Hospital. After he has recovered, Nicholas should be able to walk comfortably again. Now his family needs your help to fund this procedure, which will cost $1,224. “I would be happy to see my leg straightened so that I can walk normally like my friends,” Nicholas shared with us.
Channa is a 29-year-old husband and father from Cambodia. He and his wife have an eight-year-old daughter in first grade. His wife manages a small grocery store in front of their home, where she sells snacks and drinks. In his free time, Channa enjoys reading the news, watching television, listening to music, and taking care of his daughter. When he was 12 years old, Channa's left leg was burned. Since then, he has experienced problems with the skin behind his kneecap. He has difficulty walking because he has a chronically swollen, open wound that often leaks from his skin contractures. On a recommendation from a local taxi driver, Channa and his family traveled three hours seeking treatment from our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC). Doctors at CSC diagnosed Channa with a chronic ulcerating wound behind his left knee, and a wound debridement and free flap procedure was recommended. This is a reconstructive surgery technique that involves the transfer of skin from one area of the body to another, while maintaining blood supply. After surgery, Channa's wound should heal, and he will no longer experience pain or difficulty walking. Now, Channa needs help raising $991 to fund his procedure and care. Channa shared, "I hope after the operation, I can go back to work to support my family, and I can walk again without pain."
Hla is a 43-year-old woman from Thailand. She lives with her husband, daughter and son in a village in Thailand. They fled from across the border in Burma seven months ago because of fighting in their area. She used to be an agriculture day labourer but stopped working a month ago since her condition is worsened. Her husband is also an agriculture day labourer and her son is a student. Two years ago, Hla felt a small mass in her breast. The mass was not painful so she need not seek treatment. A few months ago, the mass started to increase in size and became painful. Currently, Hla still feels pain and feels stressed about her condition and also worries if her condition can be treatable or not. Fortunately, Hla sought treatment through our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund. She is now scheduled to undergo mass removal surgery on September 11th. She needs $1,500 to cover the total cost of her procedure and care. Hla said, "I am very happy that I will be able to receive surgery soon. I hope that I will be able to work again after my surgery."
Shwe is a 24-year-old woman who lives with her family in Burma and enjoys listening to Burmese pop music! Shwe previously worked in a factory, but she had to stop working last December when her health began to deteriorate. Her brother and stepfather both work as agricultural day laborers, and her sister-in-law and mother are both homemakers. The rest of her siblings are all waiting for schools to reopen so they can return to their studies. The schools were closed in February of 2021 following the Mayanmar military coup. About a year and a half ago, Shwe began to experience pain in her chest, as well as fatigue. She initially did not think that her symptoms were serious, but this changed after she fainted at work a few months later. After receiving an echocardiogram, she was diagnosed with mitral valve, aortic valve, and tricuspid valve regurgitation, which are all cardiac conditions that occur when the specified valve does not close properly. As a result, she experiences difficulty breathing, a rapid heartbeat, a lack of appetite, and trouble sleeping. She also feels very tired when walking longer distances. Shwe now needs cardiac surgery to help alleviate her symptoms and allow her to live more comfortably and confidently. However, once the doctor told her and her family the cost of surgery, they left the hospital because they could not pay for Shwe's needed procedure. Fortunately, they happened to meet a taxi driver who kindly told them about our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF). BCMF is now helping Shwe undergo cardiac surgery on August 12th at Pun Hlaing Hospital. Shwe and her family need your support to fund this $1,500 procedure. Shwe says, “When I recover fully, I will go back to work and work hard. I will save my money and support my family.”
Sai lives with his parents and sister in a village in Karen State in the border region of Burma where there is currently a lot of violence and instability. His sister is a teacher, while both he and his parents run a shop from their home, selling various items such as snacks, drinks, dry goods, and cement. In his free time, he loves to play cane ball with his friends. In early November 2021, Sai received treatment for COVID-19. While getting treatment, doctors also discovered that he was born with a hole in his heart, and he was diagnosed with atrial septal defect. A doctor in Yangon confirmed his diagnosis and told him that he needs surgery. He recommended he go to Thailand as the only other option was to receive surgery at a military hospital in Burma, which have been impacted in the recent humanitarian crisis. Sai's aunt suggested he seek treatment at a clinic in Thailand and he was referred to our medical partner Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF) for financial support to make his care possible. Now, Sai is raising $1,500 for his Atrial Septal Defect Closure procedure, which is scheduled for July 12th. Sai said, “I would like to receive surgery as soon as possible so that I can help my parents like before. Now, my father has to do all the hard and heavy work, which is not good for him as he is getting old.”
Thu Zar is a 21-year-old woman who lives with her parents, three sisters, and three nieces in Mae Sot near the Thailand-Burma border. Her family moved from Shan State in Burma to Thailand in 2008 in search of better opportunities. She used to work at a logistics company until two weeks ago when she quit due to her condition. Her parents run a small shop from their home, and her oldest sister is a cleaner at a restaurant. One of her other sister’s is unemployed and her third sister as well as her three nieces all go to school. In 2015, Thu Zar felt a small mobile mass in her chest. She did not feel any pain at the time and forgot about the mass. In 2019, she attended a workshop about reproductive health at her school, run by Mae Tao Clinic (MTC). During the workshop she remembered the mass and later when she was alone, she checked to see if it was still there. She felt the mass and thought that it had increased in size, but she did not experience any pain. The next day, she told the workshop trainer about the mass. The trainer told her to go to MTC for treatment. However, Thu Zar decided she did not want to take time off from school to go to the clinic, since she thought the mass was not causing her any pain or discomfort. Now, Thu Zar's condition has worsened and causes her great pain. She can only sleep on her back, because if she sleeps in any other position she experiences immense pain. Thu Zar sought treatment through our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund. She is now scheduled to undergo mass removal surgery on June 9th to heal her condition. She is raising $1,500 to cover the total cost of her procedure and care. Thu Zar is very worried about her health and told us, "I feel very sad and depressed with this condition."
Loserian is a student and the youngest of six children in his family in Tanzania. For over six years, Loserian experienced pain and discomfort when he walked, because his legs bowed inwards, forcing him to use a walking stick for support. Four years ago, he received surgery through Watsi funding, that helped to correct the inward bowing of the legs. This enabled him to walk with ease and to carry out his daily activities, like going to school and playing. However, Loserian was recently diagnosed with bilateral femoral varus, which causes his legs to bend outward at the thighs. This condition typically results from contaminated drinking water. Once again, Loserian is experiencing pain and difficulty walking. His parents, who are subsistence farmers, do not earn enough to be able to afford Loserian's treatment, and therefore, they are seeking help to cover the costs of his care. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Loserian. The procedure is scheduled to take place on May 10th. Treatment will hopefully restore Loserian's mobility, allowing him to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decreasing his risk of future complications. Loserian says: "After I had my surgery, walking became easy and normal and I was not having any challenges. But for the past few months, I have been feeling pain when walking and my legs are now bowing at the thighs."
Thaung is a 31-year-old man who is married with one daughter. His wife and him work together as agricultural day laborers. Thaung's monthly income is just enough to meet their daily needs. He shared that he had to borrow money for food from his neighbor when he was out of work due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the military coup in Burma, and he is working to pay them back. In October 2021, Thaung noticed a small ulcer and went to see a retired army doctor who lives in his village. He received some medication, and his ulcer healed. However, a few months later, the growth returned. Thuang and his family were able to fundraise through their church to visit a local hospital. Upon review, he was diagnosed with cancer and the doctor informed him that he would need to undergo surgery. Currently, Thaung is in pain and has difficulty working and sleeping. Fortunately, our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), can help Thaung receive treatment. On April 11th, he is scheduled to undergo surgery. BCMF is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. Thaung shared, “When I recover from surgery, I will work hard to pay back my debt to the neighbors we borrowed money from. I want to live with my family for a long time, and I want to support my family as much as I can.”
Glory lives with her grandmother in the village to attend school, while her four younger siblings live with her parents in the city. She is currently in form four and would like to be newscaster when she completes her studies. Last December, Glory developed an infection on her right hand. This affected her studies to some extent, but she was determined to go to school to complete her final year. However, the wound has now contracted as it healed, making her unable to straighten her fingers. This injury has made it difficult to hold a pen well enough to write, but she has continued her studies as best as she can. Glory's family learned that she needs surgery to heal her condition and to be able to fully use her hand in the future. Her father could not afford the cost of the surgery out of his wages earned in his construction job. But, when he heard about the visiting plastic surgery team over the radio, he decided to seek help. Now, African Mission Healthcare is seeking support to fund her surgery, which will allow her better mobility in her hand. Glory says, “It was hard for me to accept that my finger would need to be amputated but the surgeons have assured me that it will help me use my other fingers better making carrying out daily activities easier than now. Especially in my studies.”
Ko Myo lives with his mother in a village in Burma. He used to be a motorcycle taxi driver but stopped working two months ago when his health deteriorated. His mother and wife currently care for him, washing clothes and working in a clothing factory in Yangon, earning income to support their family. With the help of Watsi donors, Ko Myo underwent his second round of laser treatment in January 2020, at Mae Sot Hospital in Thailand, to breakup stones in his left kidney. He was scheduled to undergo a third round of laser treatment however, when the Thai-Burma border closed in March 2020 due to increasing COVID-19 cases, Ko Myo was not able to go back to the hospital. He felt better until the first week of December 2021 when he started experiencing a lot of pain in his waist when he sat for a long time. With the border still closed and without enough money to go to a hospital, Ko Myo sought advice. He then went with our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, in Yangon to a clinic in January 2022 and was able to visit our partner's care center, Shin Par Ku Hospital. The doctor has told him he will need surgery on his left kidney to remove the stone and has scheduled him to have the procedure on February 6th. Currently, Ko Myo has little appetite and experiences pain in the left side of his back. He is eagerly awaiting surgery. He shared, "I pity my wife because she has to work hard and support me. Now, I am so happy that I will receive surgery soon," he said. "One day I want to open my own shop in the market and sew children's clothing."
Stuwart is a 5-year-old boy and the only child in his family. He's a playful and friendly boy who is currently having a hard time walking due to his legs bending outwards. Stuwart is still in class one and he loves counting numbers and drawing. His father works as a bodaboda driver to be able to support and care for his family. His income is not much but helps them make ends meet. Early this year, Stuwart started having pain in his knees when he woke up and tried to stand. This went on for a few weeks and when his parents saw how much he was suffering they decided to seek treatment for him at a local hospital. Stuwart was diagnosed with bilateral genu varus (knock knees). His parents were informed that Stuwart will need to have surgery to correct both of his legs and prevent them from becoming further deformed and causing Stuwart pain. At that time, he was supported by Watsi last July to undergo surgery. He has now developed a genu valgus where his legs are now bowing outwards. To help stop this, Stuwart needs another surgery to correct this condition. 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 has pain and difficulty walking. His parents are asking for help to support his secondary surgery. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Stuwart. The procedure is scheduled to take place on January 7th. Treatment will hopefully restore Stuwart's mobility, allow him to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease his risk of future complications. Stuwart’s mother says, “His legs were straight, but over the months he has been walking we have noticed his legs are now bowing outwards. We will be so grateful if our son can be supported again.”
Cornelius is a 15-year-old student and a social and friendly boy. He's the last born in a family of four children. Cornelius's mother is a widow and does farming on her small piece of land to earn a living and provide for the family. Cornelius has a condition on his right foot that inhibits his movements, makes wearing shoes hard, and causes pain while walking. Fortunately, Cornelius traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, AIC Cure International Hospital. There, surgeons will perform surgery on December 6th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,286 to fund Cornelius's clubfoot repair. After treatment, he will be able to walk well, wear shoes and play with his friends and continue with his studies uninterrupted. However, his family is not financially able to fund the surgery and is appealing for financial assistance. Cornelius said, "I feel pain when I'm walking. I hope the surgery makes it less painful for me to be able to put on shoes and to walk well without straining anymore."