Ross joined Watsi on April 13th, 2017. Three years ago, Ross became the 2781st member to automatically support a new Watsi patient every month. Since then, 3,184 more people have become monthly donors! Ross' most recent donation supported Vin, a 5-year-old artist from Cambodia, to fund surgery to remove a mole from her cheek.
Ross has funded healthcare for 39 patients in 9 countries.
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."
Kyaw is a 23-year-old young man from Burma. He lives with his mother, younger brother, and sister in Mawlamyine City. He and his mother own a small plot of land where they plant different fruit trees, such as mango, rambutan, durian, lime and others. They sell the fruit at the market and in total make around 200,000 kyat (approx. 200 USD) per month. His younger sister is in her final year as a university student, while his younger brother is in grade nine. Kyaw used to work as a day laborer sometimes when he was well, but now his symptoms prevent him from working. In his free time, he loves to read newspapers and listen to music at home. Kyaw was born with a ventricular septal defect, a cardiac condition in which a hole exists between the two lower chambers of the heart. Blood leaks through this hole without first passing through his lungs to obtain oxygen, leaving him feeling sick and short of breath. Kyaw is scheduled to undergo heart surgery on June 14th to correct his condition and improve her quality of life. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of Kyaw's procedure and care. Kyaw's mother said, “My son is a good man and he always works hard for the family. When he gets sick, he hides it because he is worried that I would feel stressed about him. He does not go out much and enjoy himself. He always helps me in the garden.”
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.”
Bernard is a bodaboda (motorcycle) operator from Kenya. Bernard and his brother were riding home on the night of March 21st when they were involved in a head-on collision with a lorry truck near his home. He sustained several fractures of his ribs and femur. He also sustained facial abrasions and they were rushed to Watsi's partner medical facility. His brother was admitted in the ICU in critical condition. Bernard requires tractions and an ORIF fracture repair in the coming days. Without the right treatment, he risks complications and being unable to move. Bernard is a father of two. He operates a motorcycle taxi commonly referred to as bodaboda to make a living. His wife is not employed and takes up casual labour like washing people’s clothes to complement her husband’s income. The family is financially strained and with two brothers in the hospital, the burden gets heavier. Bernard’s mother appeals for financial assistance. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On March 30th, Bernard will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. The surgery will allow Bernard walk easily again. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,451 to fund this procedure. Bernard says, “Please help me be treated so I can continue providing for my family.”
Poe is a five-year old boy who lives with his family in Shwe Koke Ko village of Karen State in Burma. In his free time, Poe likes to play with his friends and toys. He also likes to eat sweets. Poe does not go to school because of his condition. Poe's mother and father are divorced, and both are remarried. His father lives and works in Bangkok, Thailand and he contributes to Poe’s financial wellbeing by giving the household 5000 baht (approx. $167 USD) per month. His mother does not provide the family with any extra income. Poe stays with his grandmother and great grandmother from his father's side. His grandmother works as a cleaner. The rest of the family does not currently have work. When Poe was eight months old, he got a severe fever and his family took him to the Wang Pha clinic near Mae Sot, Thailand, which is the same place where he was born. He was admitted at the clinic for three days, but his condition did not improve. Doctors at the clinic told his family to take him to Mae Sot Hospital (MSH) for further investigation. The family immediately took him to MSH and he was admitted for one week. At MSH, he received a blood test and was diagnosed with Thalassemia, a blood disorder. He received a blood transfusion and after the transfusion, Poe felt better, but only temporarily. His family went back for three follow-up appointments to MSH, where he had blood transfusions each time. When he was one year and five months old, the family could not afford going to MSH any longer, so they took Poe to Myawaddy Hospital. He received another blood transfusion and an IV line. He was admitted for three days at the hospital. Although he felt better after getting discharged in Myawaddy, since his condition is chronic, he needs regular blood transfusions to stay healthy. It became increasingly difficult for the family to pay for Poe’s care, however, they decided to come to Mae Tao Clinic (MTC) for further help in 2016. Since then, he has received many blood transfusions at MTC, sometimes monthly and sometimes bi-monthly. With these treatments, he is able to survive. However, his condition also affects his spleen, the organ that filters blood. To prevent further problems, medics at MTC told his family that doctors need to remove Poe's spleen. Since it cannot be done at MTC, he needs to go back to MSH to undergo the operation. Currently, Poe has frequent bloody noses, coughs up blood, and has blood in his stool. He feels better after having a transfusion, but it wears off in the weeks following the procedure. When its nearing time for another transfusion, he feels weak and tired. When asked what he wants to do when he grows up, Poe was adamant that he wanted to be a medic. “I want to help people,” he said. “When he sees people that are sick, he always tells me he feels sorry for them,” added his great grandmother.
Sandra is an 11-year-old student from Haiti. She lives with her parents in a city in northwest Haiti. She is in the fifth grade and especially likes reading and art. Sandra has a cardiac condition called ventricular septal defect and pulmonary hypertension. A hole exists between the two lower chambers of her heart; she also has blood flowing through her lungs at much higher pressures than normal. Sandra will fly to Cayman Islands to receive treatment. On February 24th, she will undergo cardiac surgery, during which doctors will first perform a catheterization to make sure the high pressures in her lungs can be reversed. If the results of this procedure are positive, she will go on to have open-heart surgery in which doctors will close the hole in her heart with a patch. Sandra's family needs help to fund the costs of surgery prep. The $1,500 bill covers labs, medicines, and check-up and follow-up appointments. It also supports passport obtainment and the social workers from our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, who will accompany Sandra's family overseas. Another organization, Have a Heart Cayman, is contributing $17,000 to pay for her surgery. Sandra shared, "I am looking forward to being able to walk to and from school without stopping to rest!"
Mary is a smart fifth grade girl from Kenya who aspires to be a pilot. She was diagnosed with adenoids at age one. Her mother would take her daughter to the local hospital and would be given medicine which did not improve her condition. Around July this year, a friend advised that they visit Kijabe Hospital where Mary was diagnosed with adenoids and tonsils and surgery recommended. The surgery, however, was a cost Mary’s parents could not bear. They resigned to fate but hoped someday they would get help. Mary’s parents are both casual cleaners at a company close to where they live with a monthly pay of Kes. 7000 each. The income is barely enough to cater for their family's basic needs. The family of two children lives in a one-room rental house in Nairobi. They hope that their daughter will get the treatment she so needs to improve on her breathing and clogging of her nasal airway. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $779 to fund an adenotonsillectomy for Mary, which is scheduled to take place on December 13th. Surgeons will remove her tonsils and adenoids, hopefully relieving Mary of her symptoms and helping her live more comfortably. “I want to be a pilot in future,” shared Mary.
Mary Wambui, a widow, is a 79-year-old retired primary school teacher who depends on her pension to earn a living. She is suffering from hearing loss and requires bilateral hearing aids to improve her hearing. Her hearing challenges began two years ago when her hearing ability dwindled and she could no longer attend church or gatherings as she could barely hear. Mary lives on her own since her husband passed on six years ago. She has no children, thus has no one to depend on. Mary can barely afford the hearing aids with just her pension as she needs funding for the fitting to be completed as well. Mary gets an average of Kes. 5,000 per month but that can barely cater for her basic needs leave alone pay for the hearing aids she so badly needs. She appeals for financial assistance.
Dachena is a student from Haiti. She lives with her parents, grandparents, and siblings in a neighborhood of Port-au-Prince. She likes going to school and singing in her church choir. Dachena has a cardiac condition called rheumatic mitral regurgitation. One of the four valves of her heart was severely damaged by a rheumatic fever she suffered in childhood, and can no longer adequately pump blood through her body. Dachena will fly to the Dominican Republic to receive treatment. On October 29th, she will undergo cardiac surgery, during which surgeons will attempt to repair her valve; if they are unable to do so, they will implant an artificial replacement. Another organization, The Mitral Foundation, is contributing $7500 to pay for surgery. Dachena'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 Dachena's family overseas. Dachena said, "I hope that after surgery I will have more energy to do the things I enjoy!"
Since birth, Sim has had a malformation of her spine, which she worries is slowly getting worse with time. Her scoliosis causes her pain in her legs, difficulty sleeping, and she is unable to sit for long periods of time. With surgery, Sim will be able to walk again with ease and will be able to sit and sleep comfortably. She will not have to worry that her condition will worsen, and she can return to her work. Sim enjoys watching television, listening to the news, and helping with the housework in her spare time.
Thu is a 27-year-old man who lives in Dala Town, Yangon Division, Burma. He lives with his 25-year-old wife, who take care of their five-year-old daughter who goes to kindergarten. Thu works as a security guard in a tower in Yangon. His total income is just enough to cover all their general expenses, such as food and clothing, as well as pay for his daughter’s school fees. Five years ago, Thu started to experience chest pains while he ate lunch. He continued to suffer from chest pains but he worked through the pain until June 1, 2019, when he suddenly developed severe back pain. He was brought to Yangon General Hospital (YGH) and was admitted for 13 days. While he was admitted, he received a blood test, chest X-ray and an injection to help alleviate the pain. When doctor listened to his chest with a stethoscope, Thu was advised to receive an echocardiogram (echo). After he received the echo on June 16th, the result showed that he has aortic regurgitation, a heart condition caused by problems with the aortic valve. Currently, Thu is suffering from chest pains. He has had to temporarily stop working. Thu is looking forward to receiving surgery soon and getting back to work so that he can continue to support his family.
Ly is a soybean and corn farmer from Cambodia. He has six children, and in his free time he enjoys having a glass of wine with friends and helping to take care of his children and the housework. In May 2019, Ly was in a traffic accident in Thailand, injuring his right foot and ankle. Ly received treatment at a hospital in Thailand, but since his return to Cambodia, his foot has not healed properly. His foot causes him swelling and pain, and he cannot walk easily without support. When Ly learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, he traveled for eight hours seeking treatment. On August 5, surgeons at CSC will perform a skin graft procedure to allow his foot to heal properly and walk without support.. Now, Ly needs help to fund this $440 procedure. He says, "I hope that my wound will heal and that there will no longer be any pain and I will be able to walk easily again."