Ashley joined Watsi on May 23rd, 2014. Seven years ago, Ashley joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Ashley's most recent donation traveled 8,600 miles to support Thu Zar, a 21-year-old woman from Thailand, to fund surgery to remove a large tumor.
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."
Moses is a seven-year-old boy. His father shared that he is jovial and active, just as most of the kids his age, however, he is not doing well in school because he has had reduced hearing in both ears. Moses has been diagnosed with moderate to severe hearing loss. He requires bilateral amplification, and is scheduled for treatment and fittings of hearing aids in both ears to help him pick up voices and be able to study well. The income from his father's work as a tout in the transport industry is inconsistent and, therefore, not sufficient to cover the scheduled procedure. His mother recently traveled to the UAE to work as a domestic worker, but they are not able to gather the funds needed for his care. His family is requesting financial help them pay the $1,171 cost for his treatment and care. Moses' father shared, “Our kid is eager to go to school. He always accompanies his sibling to school although he is not examined yet. If he gets the hearing aids, they will help him study well."
Joan is a 36-year-old woman and a mother of three teenage children. Joan used to help tend a farm, but the work availability was inconsistent and could not support her family's needs. Her fracture makes it impossible for her to work at this time, and she is currently staying with her mother. Joan's husband works on a construction site. In January, Joan slipped while doing chores outside her home and broke her hand. She was rushed to a local hospital, where she was given a cast for six weeks, followed by an arm sling. Since her pain never subsided, she visited Kijabe Hospital for further review. The doctors noticed a deformity at the fracture site and conducted an X-ray, which revealed a fracture in her upper arm. They determined that Joan will need to undergo surgery to heal. Currently, Joan cannot use her left arm, and it's affecting her family's livelihood. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), can help Joan receive treatment. On April 13th, she will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation, that will allow her to use her arm again. AMH is requesting $1,500 to help fund this procedure. Joan shared, "I have been in prolonged pain for a lengthy period of time. My hand is broken, and I can no longer use my hand to work. This surgery will help me get back to my work and raise my family."
Angelica is a hard-working young mom with a three-year-old son. She and her partner work in construction, earning just enough to support their daily needs. Angelica was diagnosed with external hemorrhoids. Because of her financial situation, even though she experiences pain, she is not able to get the medical care she needs to heal. Fortunately, Angelica is scheduled to undergo surgery to treat her condition on March 5th. Our medical partner, World Surgical Foundation Philippines, is requesting $1,163 to cover the total cost of Angelica's procedure and care. After her recovery, Angelica will no longer experience severe pain and other complications in the future. "I want to be able to take care of my child without worrying about my condition," Angelica explained. "I am fortunate to have been referred for surgery with World Surgical Foundation Philippines and Watsi; without them, I'm not sure where we would be able to get help for my treatment."
Meet Jonah, a 31-year-old quiet man. Jonah is the 2nd eldest in a family of three. His siblings and him were raised by a single mother who makes a modest living as a farmer. Earlier, Jonah left secondary school studies to find work to help support his family. Jonah has a history of a growing cheek mass that has recently increased in size. Jonah's condition is uncomfortable and often causes people to stare, which Jonah finds upsetting and is impacting his self esteem. Jonah received a scan of his cheek at AIC Kapsowar Hospital and was subsequently diagnosed with a submandibular tumor. Doctors recommended that the mass be removed and the procedure is scheduled for February 14th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare is helping Jonah raise the $1,196 he needs to undergo this life altering surgery. Jonah shared, “I have waited for this moment in my life for so long. My mother has tried to take me to so many hospitals but we lacked means because they requested too much from us.”
Navin is a sweet 22-month-old boy. His family shared that he is very charming and also has a twin brother. Navin's father works as a phone repair person while the mother is a housewife. Over the December holidays, Navin's mother visited her parents in Arusha and when his grandparents saw how impacted his legs were, they advised Navin's parents to seek treatment for the twins. Navin has been diagnosed with bilateral genu varus, meaning both of his legs bow outward. This condition is typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, which often stems from contaminated drinking water. As a result, Navin has a challenging time walking. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Navin. The procedure is scheduled to take place on January 11th. Treatment will hopefully restore Navin's mobility, allow him to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease his risk of future complications. Navin’s mother says: “Please help my children they are struggling to walk and their legs keep worsening.”
Eldriyan is a 10-month-old baby boy from the Philippines. His father works as a coconut farmer, and his mother is a housewife. Eldriyan was born with an anorectal malformation, a congenital abnormality that leads to a complete or partial intestinal blockage. He needs to undergo a series of procedures to eliminate bowel dysfunction. When Eldriyan's family learned about our medical partner, World Surgical Foundation Philippines, they traveled for nine hours to receive treatment. On December 10th, Eldriyan will undergo surgery to correct his condition. After his recovery, he will no longer experience bowel dysfunction or be at risk of developing health complications in the future. Now, our medical partner, World Surgical Foundation Philippines, is requesting $1,279 to cover the total cost of Eldriyan's procedure and care. Eldriyan's mother shared, "thank you for the chance towards a better life for Eldriyan."
Bonface is a commercial motorcycle driver. He lives in one of the biggest informal settlements of Nairobi Kenya with a relatively inconsistent income. He earns a daily commission depending on the availability of customers. Bonface lives in a single-room rental house that costs Ksh. 3000.00 ($30) per month. He is also hosting and taking care of his younger sister, who lives with him. His parents are elderly and stay in their ancestral home. They also depend on him for upkeep. He relies on national insurance medical coverage but has depleted his surgery allocation and, therefore, is in financial distress. Bonface was involved in a road traffic accident in early July 2021 and sustained a fracture tibia fibula. Although he underwent a surgery at a government facility in Nairobi, the wound developed an infection. This has delayed the healing of his wound and Bonface is experiencing pain in his right lower leg. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is helping Bonface receive treatment. On November 8th, surgeons will perform a debridement and skin graft procedure. The surgery will help to manage the infection and avoid risk of imputation which would affect his work. Now, Bonface needs help to fund this $1,185 procedure. Bonface says, “This leg is so painful and I am scared if not treated it can be cut. But doctors have given me hope of healing if I undergo this surgery.”
Yee is a 48-year-old woman from Thailand. She lives with her husband, her daughter and a granddaughter in northern Tak Province. Yee's husband works in a rose farm and she is a homemaker as well as a caretaker of her granddaughter at home. Their family income is enough for their daily expenses and they are able to pay for basic healthcare but not for major treatment like Yee now needs. Currently, Yee feels that the right side of her head is achy and she experiences on-and-off pain around her right eye. When Yee feels the pain, she takes a pain medication, but she is worried because she cannot see anything with her right eye. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund lens replacement surgery for Yee. On October 12th, doctors will perform a lens replacement surgery, during which they will remove Yee's natural lenses and replace them with intraocular lens implants. After recovery, Yee will be able to see clearly. Now, she needs help to fund this $1,500 procedure. “When I recover from surgery, I want to raise chickens and pigs for my family to eat and sell some too. I will also be able to plant vegetables for my family to eat and sell some of those,” said Yee.
Beatrice is a quiet lady in her early 50’s who has been blessed with six children, now ages 14-27. She runs a small grocery at the marketplace to provide for her family. Beatrice's husband doesn’t have a stable job. He does casual jobs across the village such as clearing bushes to meet the needs of his family. Beatrice and her family live in a two-bedroom house constructed with mud. They depend mostly on their daily jobs for food and save a little to pay school fees for their children and bills at the end of the month. A week ago, Beatrice sustained a left arm injury after fainting. Beatrice was brought to Kapsowar Hospital and an X-Ray was done which confirmed a fracture to her left humerus. Beatrice shared that she has a history of fainting and subsequently falling. Beatrice is in pain and she is unable to attend to her normal day-to-day things now. Beatrice is concerned that she can’t cook for her family or run her grocery business due to her injury. Beatrice had a cast applied about a week ago and was discharged to go home to look for funds for her surgery. A week later, Beatrice returned to the hospital with no hope of raising funds for her surgery. Their family is unable to raise the required amount with their low wages only able to afford daily needs like meals and clothing. Fortunately, our medical partner can help. On September 7th, Beatrice will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation procedure. Beatrice will no longer be in pain, she will be able to attend to her grocery business and take care of her family. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $941 to fund this procedure. Beatrice says, “Life has never been the same since I broke my hand. I am worried about my children who need care every day. My hope is to get treated so that I can continue supporting my family.”
Noemi is a cheerful three-year-old girl from Venezuela. Her family moved to Colombia two years ago, and she will start school soon. Noemi loves playing with dolls and painting. Noemi has clubfoot of both feet, a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Fortunately, Noemi's family traveled to visit our medical partner, Clínica Noel. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on September 28th. Now, Clínica Noel, is requesting $1,500 to fund Noemi's bilateral clubfoot repair. After treatment, she will be able to walk more easily and wear shoes. Her mother shared, "it breaks my heart when she tells me she wants to walk and I see that she is not able to... she is starting school soon and I would love to see her walk and play with her new friends."
Tarik is four-month-old baby boy and the youngest in a family of four children. Tarik’s parents are small scale farmers and grow food mainly for their own family's consumption. Tarik was born with congenital clubfoot of both feet. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes as he grows up. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Tarik receive treatment. His family visited AMH's care center where surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on July 13th and now, they need help to fund the $935 procedure. After treatment, Tarik will be able to grow up with a full life ahead! Tarik’s mother shared, "it is through God’s blessings and people’s support that my baby has made it this far. He needs to start treatment for his legs. Please help correct by baby’s disability so that he can grow up like other children.”