Katrina joined Watsi on April 22nd, 2016. Five years ago, Katrina joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Katrina's most recent donation supported Naw Kwee, a refugee and mom from Thailand, to fund kidney stone treatment.
Katrina has funded healthcare for 83 patients in 11 countries.
Katrina has funded healthcare for 83 patients in 11 countries.
Naw Kwee Moo is a 54-year-old woman from the Karen region in Burma, who lives with her husband and their family in a refugee camp. Of her children, three daughters and three sons still live in the refugee camp along with them near the Thai-Burma border. Naw Kwee is a homemaker and her husband is currently too ill to work. Five of their children go to school in the camp, four other children have moved away, and her second oldest son graduated from a post-secondary program in May 2020. He worked as an agricultural day laborer at a nearby Thai village until mid-December 2020. Due to Covid-19 travel restrictions, he was no longer allowed to leave the camp. Naw Kwe’s household receives a monthly cash card to purchase basic rations. Although they receive free education and basic health care in the camp, they shared how hard it is to make ends meet. Starting four years ago, Naw Kwee often went to the camp’s hospital run by Malteser International (MI) Thailand to receive treatment for urinary tract infections (UTI). Most of the time, she would feel better after taking medication, but she was no longer able to work as an agricultural day laborer because of her pain. Over the next few years, she was diagnosed with chronic UTI. “I think my condition was caused from consuming dirty water,” she said. “When I worked as a day laborer, we had no access to clean water.” Naw Kwee received antibiotics through an intravenous (IV) line at the camp’s hospital. When her condition did not improve, a doctor at the camp’s hospital referred her again to Mae Sariang Hospital in March 2020. There she received a urine test and an x-ray of her kidneys, ureters and bladder. She was finally diagnosed with a right kidney stone. After multiple visits, the doctor at Mae Sariang Hospital referred her to Chiang Mai Hospital (CMH) for further treatment. However, Naw Kwee could not travel to CMH for a while due to travel restrictions after the outbreak of Covid-19. Finally, last June medical staff from her camp were able to bring Naw Kwee to Chiang Mai. During her appointment, the doctor scheduled her to undergo an intravenous pyelogram on July 16th, 2020. After she received a diagnostic test, she returned to CMH for her follow-up appointment on November 19th, 2020. During her appointment, she received more tests and it was at her next appointment Naw Kwee was told she needed to undergo multiple rounds of laser treatment to break up the stone in her kidney. She received her first round of laser treatment on February 11th, 2021. Two days later, she developed a fever and could only pass a bit of urine. She also started to experience severe back pain and other troubling symptoms. MI staff took her back to the hospital where she received an ultrasound. The nurse shared with her that after her laser treatment, the stones had broken up and many of them where now stuck in her ureter, creating a blockage. She now needs emergency surgery to remove the stones. Our Medical Partner Burma Children Medical Fund is seeking $1,500 to support her surgery and finally relieve her of her painful condition.
Em is a 25-year-old Chinese language teacher with two brothers and four sisters. Em's parents are farmers in the province. One year ago, Em started a job in the city teaching Chinese at a primary school. In his free time, he enjoys watching Youtube, fishing, and visiting his parents to help on the farm. When he was 10, Em had an ear infection. This infection caused a cholesteatoma, or an abnormal skin growth, to develop in the middle ear behind the ear drum. For this reason, Em experiences hearing loss, headache, and discharge. It is difficult for him to hear and communicate with his students. Em traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On March 15th, he will undergo a mastoidectomy procedure in his right ear. During this procedure, ENT surgeons will remove the cholesteatoma. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is requesting $925 to fund this procedure. This covers medications, supplies, and inpatient care. Em said, "I hope after surgery my ear will be better so I can be free of my headaches and pain."
Alamunyak is a 16-year-old boy from Tanzania. He is the first born child to his father and mother, and they have are six children together. Alamunyak's parents are small scale farmers and livestock keepers. Because he was the firstborn, Alamunyak was never able to join school because he was the one looking after his father's cattle. He is a hard working young man who walks long distances seeking green pasture for the cattle. Currently, Alamunyak is unable to walk well because his legs bow outwards as he walks. Alamunyak was diagnosed with a condition called genu varus on his right leg, or bow-leggedness. 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 is in pain and cannot walk comfortably for a long distance. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Alamunyak. The procedure is scheduled to take place on February 9th. Treatment will hopefully restore Alamunyak's mobility, allow him to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease his risk of future complications. Alamunyak shared, “The first surgery I had helped correct my leg, and walking became a bit easier compared to before. If I am able to get this next surgery, I will be able to walk better and be able to go back home and help my parents and siblings without difficulty.”
Juliana is a farmer from Kenya and a single mother of 9 children, the youngest being 9 months old. Their family hails from Kapkoder village in Elgeyo Marakwet County. Juliana shared that her husband left the family almost two years ago and now she is the breadwinner. Seven of her children are all in school and she is unable to pay their school fees as well as putting food to the table. From her small scale farming and firewood harvesting Juliana is able to raise approximately $30 per month which is not meeting their family needs. On a sunny January evening, Juliana injured her right leg while she was going home from her daily duties. She didn’t know that she had broken her leg until when she stood up she had a sharp pain on her right leg. Now she is not able to walk on her own and is in severe pain. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On January 18th, Juliana will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. This treatment will help her heal well and walk easily again. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,016 to fund her procedure. Juliana is feeling mostly worried for her children and is hoping that she gets treated quickly for fast recovery and can go on to support her family
Periya is a baby boy from Tanzania. He is the youngest in a family of three children. Periya was born at home because the hospital is very far from where they live. His mother had no problems when giving birth, but she was caught by surprise when she saw that her baby's right foot was not normal. At first, she thought that massaging Periya's foot would bring it back to normal, but as time went by, there was still no change. Though her husband did not think it necessary, Periya's mother kept asking relatives where she could get her son treated, and she was eventually directed to Watsi's Medical Partner Care Center ALMC-The Plaster House. There, Periya was diagnosed with clubfoot of his right foot. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. However, the treatment he needs is costly for their family. Periya's father sells traditional herbal medicines, while his mother is a homemaker and mostly herds cattle. They are not able to afford the treatment and appeal for financial help. On December 15th, surgeons at our medical partner's care center will perform clubfoot repair surgery on Periya. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $935 to fund Periya's clubfoot repair. After treatment, he will be able to walk more easily and his quality of life will significantly improve. Periya’s mother shared, “I would like for my baby's foot to be straightened so that he can stand and walk properly when the time comes.”
Hasani is a young boy from Tanzania. He is six years old and the firstborn child in a family of three children. Hasani has always been a hard-working boy according to his father. He would help graze the cattle and look after his siblings when his parents were out working on their small farm where they grow maize and vegetables for their living. Hasani was burnt severely after being involved in a home fire accident that left him with very severe burns on his face. He was rushed to the hospital and stayed there for one month having his burns taken care of. Once he was stable that cetner referred him to our partner hospital for further management and treatment. Through Watsi funding earlier this year, Hassani had a skin graft surgery that helped cover up the wound that was not healing on his face. He is now completely healed, but doctors are recommended that he have another surgery to help release a burn contracture around his left eye and place a skin graft. His parents are requesting support for the cost of treatment. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Hasani receive treatment. On October 12th, surgeons at their care center will perform a burn contracture release surgery. The released skin will allow his eyes to close properly and reduce the chances of severe complications. Now, his family needs help to fund this $874 procedure. Hasani’s father says: “My son was able to have surgery which helped with the healing of his wound but he now needs another surgery which I can’t afford. Kindly help him.”
Sis has been married for 33 years and has one son and two grandchildren. His wife is a farmer and Sis is in the military. He sustained a knife wound to his left foot. The wound was healed for a time, but suddenly became worse and enlarged in the past month. His neighbor told him to come to Watsi's Medical Partner Children's Surgical Centre (CSC) for treatment. Sis presented to CSC with a wound on the anterior part of his left foot that is 4cm x 5cm large and cannot move his ankle. He has lost sensation in his left foot and experiences low blood supply and pain in the region. Surgeons at CSC have recommended an amputation that will eliminate his pain and discomfort. He is scheduled for treatment on September 9th and his family needs support to raise $446 for the procedure. Sis said, "I would like to not feel pain anymore and for my infection to be healed forever."
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."
Vin is a five-year-old child from Cambodia. She is the oldest of three children. Her mother works in a factory, and her father is a farmer. She has not yet started school but she loves to paint at home and help her mother cook. She also helps taking care of her younger siblings. Since birth, Vin has had nevus, or mole, on her cheek. It has grown larger as time has passed. As it grows bigger, it could start to cause further complications. She also experiences difficulty socializing with other children because of her condition. When Vin's family learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, they traveled for four hours seeking treatment. On July 9th, surgeons at Children's Surgical Centre will perform a skin flap procedure to to replace the skin of the nevus with healthy skin. Now, she needs help to fund this $657 procedure. Vin's mother shared, "I hope that after this surgery, she will look healthy and normal, and will not have any more problems."
Alex is a motorcycle taxi operator from Kenya. He is married and has been blessed with a three-month-old baby boy. He works as a motorcycle taxi driver to support his young family. His wife is a stay-at-home mom and they live in a two-room rental house in Kapsowar. Alex was recently involved in a road accident. He was riding his bodaboda (motorcycle taxi) when he lost control and fell into a ditch. He fractured his right hand and suffered bruises and lacerations on his face and other body parts. Since the accident, Alex has been unable to work and support his family. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On June 16th, Alex will undergo a fracture repair procedure called an open reduction and internal fixation. This treatment will help him heal well. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $848 to fund this procedure. “My hope is to get treated so that I can resume my fatherly role of supporting my family," shared Alex.
Elliud is a 12-year-old student from Kenya and the second born child in a family of three. They live in a small village called Koisungur where most of the inhabitants work in farms or other small not very stable jobs. His parents are farmers in the village, they plant maize and beans in their small farm. Like many in this region, money has always been an obstacle for families like Elliud’s to seek proper medical care. Saturday evening, on May 9th, Elliud was playing with friends in their homestead when he experienced a very painful accident on his right leg. He is now in pain and he cannot walk on his own. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On May 13th, Elliud will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. This procedure will help him walk easily again. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,065 to fund this procedure. Elliud’s father says, “We wanted to return home because of lack of means but he was crying in pain. We were assisted by a well-wisher to the hospital. My hope is to see him walk again and not to be in pain.”
Esther is a 32-year-old mother of two from central Kenya. She recently separated with her husband, who left with all the belongings they had bought together for the family. Despite coming around from time to time, he does not support the family. Esther shared that she borrowed a TV set for her children since the one they had was carried away. For the last five years, Esther has been having abdominal pains; sometimes severe. She has been to many hospitals, taken many drugs but the problem persisted. Esther’s condition is becoming worse by the fact that she is currently not able to work due to a fall she had in 2017, where she hurt her back but feels better now. A friend advised her to try visiting Nazareth hospital. Our doctor ordered an ultrasound that showed multiple gallstones. He advised a cholecystectomy but Esther is not in a position to pay for this treatment. Before, she used to run a small shop but now does not work and depends on her sisters and brother for her family's basic needs. If not treated Esther may have complications such as blocked bile duct, pancreatic duct or even gall bladder cancer. “I request for help to undergo this treatment and God will bless you. I am confident I will be well and can’t wait to see myself back to my normal life and taking care of my children,” said Esther.