Ross joined Watsi on April 13th, 2017. Six years ago, Ross joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Ross' most recent donation supported Besufikad, a 4-year-old boy from Ethiopia, to fund hypospadias corrective surgery.
Ross has funded healthcare for 73 patients in 10 countries.
Ross has funded healthcare for 73 patients in 10 countries.
Besufikad is an energetic 4-year-old boy from Ethiopia. He loves playing football with other children. He enjoys eating Shiro with injera, meat, and vegetables and loves drinking milk. He has one older sister; she is in grade three at a community school. Besufikad's mother used to work at a government office, but she had to stop working in order to care for him. People around her support her with food and house rent. They live with her sister, who is paralyzed. She and her family are dependent on unreliable support, thus they are unable to afford the recommended treatment for Besufikad. Besufikad was born with hypospadias, a congenital abnormality that causes urinary dysfunction. Without treatment, he will continue to experience uncomfortable symptoms and will be at risk of infertility. Fortunately, Besufikad is scheduled to undergo corrective surgery on May 2nd. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,293 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. Besufikad's mother said, “If he gets the treatment and becomes well, I may be able to start working again. I will educate him. I hope he will become a doctor.”
Aung, who is 25 years old, lives with his mother, brother and two sisters in Burma. His mother is retired, and his brother is a security guard. One of his sisters works at a bicycle factory, while the other one works for a local company. Aung is currently unemployed because of his poor health. In October 2022, Aung fell ill and developed a persistent cough. He went to a charity hospital, where he was told that he had a heart infection. After he was treated with injected antibiotics, the doctor told him that he needed an echocardiogram, because he might have a heart condition due to the infection. After the echo was completed, he was diagnosed with mitral valve regurgitation, and he was referred to a cardiologist in Yangon. Aung went to see the cardiologist, who told him that he would need surgery, which he could not afford. On December 25, 2022, both of Aung's legs and his arms became swollen, and he was unable to sleep. He went to a private hospital, where it was determined that he would need surgery as soon as possible. Currently, Aung feels extremely fatigued, experiences chest pains, and has difficulty breathing. Sometimes, his legs and his arms become swollen, and he cannot sleep well at night. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 for the mitral valve replacement surgery that Aung needs. The procedure is currently scheduled to take place on April 2nd, at Pun Hlaing Hospital. "In the future, I want to work as a taxi driver, because I believe that I could easily earn money doing this [in the city]," said Aung.
Meet Ku, a 21-year-old from Thailand. He lives with his parents, four younger brothers, and one younger sister. Two of his brothers are in school, while his parents and other siblings practice subsistence farming. Ku works as a day laborer, providing the sole income for his household. In his free time, Ku enjoys gardening, growing vegetables, and looking after his family's two cows. In March, Ku was in a driving accident that caused his motorcycle to fall onto his left leg, fracturing his left thigh. He was brought to a clinic before being referred to the local hospital. After an x-ray confirmed his diagnosis, he was referred to our medical partner's hospital for further treatment. Currently, Ku is experiencing a lot of pain and cannot move or lift his left leg, sit up, or leave the hospital bed. With the help of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), Ku will undergo surgery on March 13th to reset his fractured bones and ensure proper healing. This procedure will help him walk again and live pain-free. He will also be able to go back to work and will no longer require a caregiver. BCMF is requesting $1,500 to fund Ku's surgery. Ku shared, "I feel so upset. I never thought I would become like this [bed-bound]. I want to get surgery soon so that I can recover and go back to work. If I'm not working, my family could have a problem. I had to borrow money from my friend [to pay for basic expenses while getting treatment]. I want to go back to work and pay back my debt."
Paul is a 44-year-old herdsman and small-scale farmer living in Kenya. His wife sells vegetables at a local market, and together, she and Paul have four children. In February 2023, Paul was walking home one evening when he was hit by a speeding motorbike. He was rushed to a nearby health center where first aid was administered and an X-ray was performed. The X-ray revealed that his left leg had been fractured. As a result, he is finding it challenging to walk and sit upright. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, can help. On February 8th, Paul will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation, at AIC Kijabe Hospital. The procedure will help him regain his mobility, and allow him to return to work, which is critical to his ability to support his family. African Mission Healthcare Foundation is requesting $1,500 to fund this procedure. Paul says: “I cannot walk because of the fracture. I need treatment to be able to use my legs.”
Nashon is a farmer, a husband, and a father of one. He grows potatoes while his wife is a hair salonist. Nashon dropped out of school in grade 8 because of lack of funds at home. The young family is hardworking but since Nashon fractured his leg, he hasn’t been able to work in his farm and he is relied on as the breadwinner of his family. His wife says “It has not been easy for me since he broke his leg. I have to work extra hard to feed my family since he is the pillar of our family.” Their family lives in a single room house with grass as its roof. One month ago, Nashon experienced a severe road traffic accident that costed him a right tibia fracture. Nashon was a passenger in a motorbike which lost control and clenched into a ditch. He sustained an open fracture in his right leg. He was rushed to Kapsowar Hospital where he needed emergency surgery to clean his wounds. He was discharged with a cast to recover at home. Three weeks later, Nashon returned to hospital for a normal checkup. During the visit, It was recognized that his fracture had not healed and he needs a surgery to heal and stabilize a broken bone. Nashon is unable to use his leg, work, and provide for his family. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. If Nashon undergoes a fracture repair procedure called an open reduction and internal fixation, Nashon will be able to use his leg, work and provide for his family. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1145 to fund this procedure. Nashon says, "It has been hard to carry out my normal duties especially going to my farm. I look forward to getting well so that I can support my family.”
Myo is a 14-year-old boy from Burma. He lives with his parents in a village in Karen State. His mother is a homemaker who is currently eight months pregnant. His father is a subsistence farmer, but he also works as a day laborer to earn money. Myo is in grade six and he enjoys playing football in his free time. Two years ago, Myo developed a pain in his arm which he noticed while playing football with his friends. Right away he was in a lot of pain, but his arm did not look broken. At first, the pain lessened, but gradually the pain worsened and his upper left forearm became swollen. Myo could also feel a mass under the swollen area of his left forearm. Myo and his father went to Chiang Mai Hospital, where he received a MRI and other tests, as well as a biopsy which confirmed that the tumor in his forearm was cancer. Now he needs surgery to remove the tumor, and he will need a chemo after surgery. The enlarged mass in Myo's left forearm has not increased in size, and only causes him pain when he lifts something heavy or when he does any physical activity with that arm such as washing his clothes or cleaning. Although he can take a shower by himself, using only his right arm makes it challenging. When he plays with his friends, he needs to protect his left forearm to prevent getting hurt. Myo's family sought treatment through our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund. He is now scheduled to undergo mass removal surgery on December 8th, and his family needs help funding the $1,500 cost to cover his procedure and care. He said, “I feel sorry for my mother and I pity her that she has to stay alone with the new baby. I also feel sad that I cannot go to school this year. I want to recover quickly and go back to see my brother and mother.”
Cleophas is a 23-year-old farmer and student from a Kenyan family of eleven. He is studying at a technical training institute, and grows potatoes to help him pay his school fees. His wife is also a student taking an information technology course at the same institute, and they have a 2-year-old son. When schools are in session, they live in a rental house near their school, but during the holiday they stay at home and focus on farming as it is their main source of income. Cleophas was preparing timber for repair of their maize store, when one of the timbers fell on his leg and injured him. The heavy timber broke his leg, and when he was examined, he had a large wound on his left leg with tendons and proximal tibia exposed. He was rushed to theatre for incision and drainage and his fracture was stabilized with a long leg posterior splint. Now Cleophas is unable to use his swollen and painful leg. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On November 8th, Cleophas will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. Cleophas will no longer be in pain, he will be able to use his leg and work to provide for family. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,145 to fund this medical procedure. Cleophas says, "I am the sole bread winner in the family. Sometimes I give a helping hand to my parents so that my siblings can study. I feel so sorry for myself now that I cannot use my limb. Please help me so that my family may not suffer.”
Meet Sokhorn, a recently married 27 year old man, living with his wife in Cambodia. Sokhorn works at a factory that produces automobile and motorcycle plates, and when he has free time, he enjoys swimming, running, and keeping up with current events. In August 2022, when he was on his motorcycle delivering food, Sokhorn was in a collision with a car. He fractured his left tibia, and was operated on at a local hospital. An external fixation device to keep the bones in place was used, and Sokhorn was sent home to heal. Because he lacked the money to do so, Sokhorn never followed up with the doctors who treated him. He now finds that he has no range of motion in his ankle; has lost all sensation in the area where the surgery was performed, and he is unable to walk. He feels so unwell overall, that he no longer goes to work, leaving his wife as their sole support. Fortunately, a neighbor introduced Sokhorn to our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, where he was diagnosed with a chronic infection of his wound, and osteomyelitis, an infection of the bone. Sokhorn needs debridement of the wound and reconstructive surgery, in order to save his leg and to heal completely. Thanks to Children's Surgical Centre, Sokhorn is scheduled for this life changing procedure on October 6th, at Kien Khleang National Rehabilitation Centre. Now he needs your help to fund the $991 required to cover the costs of his surgery and care. Sokhorn said: "I hope the doctors will fix my leg so I have no more infections. I want to find work so I can support my wife and have a good life with her."
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.”
Hiram, an eleven year old boy, lives in Mombasa county in Kenya. He is the lastborn in a family of three and has two sisters. He is raised by a single mother who sells fish for their daily living. Hiram is in grade five and was born with club feet, which he lived with until this year. He had never been to any hospital for help until they heard about CURE hospital's mobile clinic in Mombasa. Fortunately, Hiram was able to undergo treatment for his right foot last September and the surgery was successful. Hiram is so happy to have undergone the first surgery on his right foot and is optimistic that even his left foot will be corrected well now too. Hiram is scheduled to undergo surgery for his left foot at our medical partner's care center, AIC Cure International Hospital on July 20th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $1,286 to fund Hiram's clubfoot repair. The treatment will be of great impact to him because he will finally be able to put on both shoes, walk confidently, play football (which he is very excited for) and continue with his studies uninterrupted. “I am grateful to the donors for providing support to pay for my right foot which has healed well. I am looking forward to walking, playing with my friends, and continuing with school,” Hiram told us.
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."