Chien joined Watsi on September 19th, 2016. Four years ago, Chien became the 2340th member to automatically support a new Watsi patient every month. Since then, 4,132 more people have become monthly donors! Chien's most recent donation supported Benjamin, a man from Kenya, to fund a fracture repair so he can support his family.
Chien has funded healthcare for 54 patients in 11 countries.
Benjamin is a 63-year-old man from Kenya. He is a quiet man who works hard and normally keeps to himself. Two weeks ago, Benjamin sustained an injury on his left hand while coming from his farm. It had rained heavily and Benjamin was rushing home. On his way, he fell on a hard surface and when he stood up, he realized that he could not lift his hand and was feeling pain on his left hand. Benjamin could not access treatment the same day because there’s no health facility near his home. The following morning, Benjamin was accompanied by his wife to a health centre. Because they were not confident of treating him, they just placed a sling on his arm and referred him to a district hospital for further care. Due to lack of finances, Benjamin and his wife returned home to look for money and after three days they were able to go to the hospital. Due to the ongoing medical practitioners strike, no one was there to help them and they finally decided to come to Watsi's Medical Partner Care Center called AIC Kapsowar Hospital. The first returned home to look for money to gather for their travel and other expenses. Because of their socioeconomic status, it took them another ten days to raise USD130 through the help of their neighbors. On arrival to our partner hospital, an x-ray was done which confirmed his left humerus fracture. Treatment requires surgery and an implant to fix his fracture. Benjamin was born and raised in a small village called Kamok where most people work in farms or other small unsteady jobs. He has a family and has been blessed with eight children, five girls and three boys. Benjamin never was able to have a formal education so he doesn’t speak Kiswahili, but his local language Marakwet. His family lives in a small mud hut with grass as a roof and they get their food from their small farm, consisting mostly of millet, beans, and vegetables. Benjamin likes spending his days on his farm. He is the breadwinner of the family and now feels distressed because he can’t provide for them due to his condition. He is worried about the obstacles his family would face if his hand will not be treated and also learning that he has arthritis. Their family doesn’t have money to pay for his surgery and his wife shared that this would be "almost impossible" for them. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On September 18th, Benjamin will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. The surgery will help him regain utility of his hand and be free from pain and any other complications arising from untreated fractures. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,016 to fund this procedure. Benjamin shared with us, “I just want not to be in pain anymore and be healthy and happy and have a good life because my family needs me the most.”
Ye lives with his wife and daughter on the Thai-Burma border. He used to work as a carpenter but had to stop working two years ago when his health deteriorated. His wife is a homemaker and his daughter works as a vendor selling mobile phones. Her monthly income of 10,000 baht (approx. 335 USD) is just enough to cover their family's daily needs. In the beginning of 2018, Ye started to experience swelling in his hands and feet, pain in his lower back, and difficulty passing urine. At first he thought that it was caused by overworking and would disappear over time. Six months later, when he still felt unwell, Ye finally decided to go see a doctor. He went to Mae Sot Hospital (MSH) where the doctor conducted tests and concluded that he had high blood pressure. The doctor also sent him to another hospital for an ultrasound because at that time the ultrasound machine was broken at MSH. When Ye returned to MSH with his ultrasound results, the doctor diagnosed him with stones in both of his kidneys. He was told to drink lots of water and was provided with oral medication. When Ye returned for his follow-up appointment, he received another ultrasound and more oral medication. As his condition went on, he received a catheter in both of his kidneys while admitted at the hospital. Ye kept returning regularly for his follow-up appointments. Up until 2020, he had the catheter replaced a number of times and also asked the doctor twice if he could receive surgery. However, both times the doctor told him that he would have to wait because there were too many patients on the waiting list. Eventually in the beginning of 2020, Ye was scheduled to receive surgery. When he was admitted in the middle of March 2020, he first received treatment for a urinary tract infection before he received surgery to remove the stone from his right kidney. After surgery, Ye had difficulty breathing and was placed in the intensive care unit for four days. By the time he was discharged, he was left with a 127,000 baht (approx. 4,233 USD) hospital bill. Ye paid what he could by selling all their jewelry and using up their saving. However, most of his bill was paid by borrowing money from his relatives in Burma. Before he was discharged, the doctor told him that he will need to receive laser treatment to breakup the stone in his left kidney. However, if the procedure was not successful he would need surgery to remove the stone. His daughter was no longer able to pay for his laser treatment so a nurse at MSH told him to ask for help at Mae Tao Clinic (MTC). When Ye went to the clinic and told the medic that they cannot afford to pay for his laser treatment, the medic referred him to Watsi's Medical Partner Burma Children Medical Fund for assistance accessing further treatment and we now are raising $1500 to support his care. “I am very depressed, and I feel stressed about my health condition. I have used up all my savings for my treatment. Now I have to rely on my daughter’s income and I feel really feel bad as she works hard," said Ye.
Joseph is a two-month-old baby boy from Tanzania. He is the last born of his mother who has eight children. His father is polygamous with two wives, Joseph's mother being the first wife. The second wife has five children making a family of fourteen children. Four children in the family have been able to join school but the rest have not had a chance to attend yet. Joseph's older siblings who do not go to school help their parents to look after their cattle of five cows and five goats. Both parents depend on small-scale farming of maize, beans, and vegetable for their food and they are able to sell a goat once in a while to be able to get money to buy other commodities. Joseph was born with spina bifida, a type of neural tube defect in which the spine does not properly close around the spinal cord. Without treatment, Joseph is at risk of lower-limb paralysis, infection of the exposed nervous tissue, development of tethered cord syndrome, and possible developmental delays. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $1,015 to cover the cost of Joseph's spina bifida closure surgery. The procedure is scheduled to take place on August 10th and will hopefully spare Joseph from the risks associated with his condition, instead allowing him to grow and develop along a healthy trajectory. Joseph’s mother shared, “The money needed to pay our son’s surgery cost is too high for us to afford, kindly help us.”
Ohmar is a 36-year-old woman from Thailand. She lives with her husband and two children in a town along the Thai-Burma border. On July 4th, Ohmar was trying to cross the highway to go to a grocery store. She was on her bike on the side of the road when a car sped past, causing her to fall off her bike and land on top of her right arm. A man who saw her fall put turmeric powder on her injured arm and wrapped it in a cloth. But Ohmar did not go to Mae Tao Clinic right away because she did not have enough money. She was only able to seek treatment two days after the accident. Now, Ohnmar's she is in pain, her right arm cannot be extended and her fingers are also swollen. With the help of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, Ohmar will undergo surgery to reset her fractured bones and ensure proper healing. The procedure is scheduled for July 16th and will cost $1,500. This procedure will help make Ohnmar's right arm become functional again and she will no longer be in pain. "I am happy that I can have surgery with the support of the Burma Children Medical Fund and Watsi donors. I have to look after my two children so I need to be strong for them," shared Ohmar.
Suzana is a kindergartener from Tanzania. She is five years old and the only child to her single mother. She was born a healthy child and has been developing well until earlier this year in March. Her mother started noting her dragging her right leg when walking and lacking strength mostly on the right side of her body. Previously she could run and play freely. She would walk to her kindergarten school with her friends with ease. However, she started having difficulties in all these activities, which made her mom worried. Suzana’s mother is a single mother working as a cleaner at a local university to make a living. Her husband left them when Suzana was just two years old. Her mom shared that it has not been easy for her to support Suzana on her own and things are now even harder given Suzana’s condition. It took Suzana’s mother a few months to be able to save some money and take Suzana to Arusha district hospital where she was referred to Watsi's Medical Partner ALMC hospital for a diagnosis. At ALMC hospital, Suzana was diagnosed with hydrocephalus which has caused a tumor in her head. She needs to have surgery to help drain the fluids accumulating and thereafter have the tumor excised if possible. Her mother is unable to afford the treatment cost and she is asking for help and support. Suzana has been diagnosed with hydrocephalus, a condition in which excess cerebrospinal fluid accumulates in the brain and increases intracranial pressure. As a result of her condition, Suzana has been experiencing general weakness on her right side of the body and dragging her legs. Without treatment, Suzana will experience severe physical and developmental delays. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $802 to cover the cost of surgery for Suzana that will treat her hydrocephalus. The procedure is scheduled to take place on June 17th and will drain the excess fluid from Suzana's brain. This will reduce intracranial pressure and greatly improve her quality of life. With proper treatment, Suzana will hopefully develop into a strong, healthy young girl. Suzana's mother shared, “I would love to see my daughter walk well again, resume school and be able to get back to normal. The cost of the surgery is something I can’t afford. Please find a place in your hearts and help my daughter."
Salome is a small business operator from Kenya. Salome is 46 years old and hails from Nairobi. She is married and they have three children who are all in school. Salome does a small business of selling clothes to neighbors (hawking), while her husband used to work with a non-governmental organization but resigned about four years ago after developing diabetes. Since one month ago, Salome has been experiencing lower abdominal pains and heavy bleeding with clots. She has been diagnosed with endometrial hyperplasia and a left ovarian cyst. She needs to undergo a hysterectomy, a procedure in which surgeons will remove her uterus. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $791 to fund Salome's surgery. On May 13th, she will undergo gynecological surgery at our medical partner's care center. Once recovered, Salome will be able to resume her daily activities free of pain. “If my husband was still working, I would have no problems but now our little income is not sufficient. I humbly request for support so that I can be well to go back and take care of my family,” said Salome.
Sary is a 35-year-old waiter from Cambodia. He has one son and one daughter. In his spare time, he enjoys playing soccer, cooking, and taking care of his children. In 2018, Sary was in a motorcycle collision, suffering injuries to his left foot. He initially received treatment at a local hospital, where he underwent a series of four operations to treat his injuries. However, he still experiences pain in his ankle, has pain after walking only 10 meters, and his shoes are unable to fit his foot properly. When Sary learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, he traveled there seeking treatment. On January 8th, surgeons at CSC will perform a joint arthrodesis procedure to fuse his left ankle and to help his walk easily again. Now, Sary needs help to fund this $518 procedure. "I hope that I will get better after my operation, and I will be able to walk without pain and return to work," he said.
Christine is a single, 35-year-old who lives in Kiambu County with her 12-year-old child. She trades in second-hand clothes to make a living for her small family. Since September 2019, Christine started experiencing pain on the right side of her abdomen. She has visited many clinics without much change. She then came to Watsi's Medical Partner Care Center Nazareth Hospital and had a scan that showed she has gallstones. Treatment was given to try to dissolve them without success. On 1st March, she experienced severe pain. A repeat ultrasound scan showed the stones are still there and surgery is advised. Unfortunately due to her limited income, Christine is not in a position to meet the cost and she requests support. If not treated Christine will continue to have severe pain and may suffer complications like pancreatitis, blockage of the gallbladder, or may even become cancerous. Christine shared, "I have gone through a lot of pain and yet am unable to raise the money for this surgery. I kindly request for help so that I can go on with my normal life and take care of my daughter.”
Htay is a 54-year-old single woman from Burma. She lives with her sister, three nephews and a niece in Mudon Township, Mon State, Burma. Her nephew and her sister work on a rubber farm while her two other nephews go to school. Her oldest nephew also works in a phone shop. Htay is a homemaker and she does not have income. She lives and eats with her nephews and niece. Htay 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. When Htay was 30 years old, she started to feel tired, and experienced shortness of breath and difficulty breathing at night. She went to the Yangon General Hospital for treatment. At the hospital, she was diagnosed with mitral valve stenosis and she underwent a procedure called a balloon valvotomy to widen the too narrow valve in her heart. She was fine after her treatment. Four years later, she started to experience shortness of breath, difficulty breathing and could no longer do household chores. However, she did not go to the hospital as she could not afford to pay for further treatment. On the 5th of July 2019, her niece’s husband suggested she seek treatment at Pinlon Hospital, where he had also received surgery in the past. She followed her niece’s husband’s advice and went to Pinlon Hospital. At the hospital she received another screening and the doctor told her she needs to replace one of the valves in her heart. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund a mitral valve replacement for Htay. The treatment is scheduled to take place on February 19th and, once completed, will hopefully allow her to live more comfortably. Htay said, “After I went to Yangon Hospital several times and the doctor said that I had to have surgery as soon as possible, I felt so sad, but I tried to keep up my courage to stay strong. I secretly sold three acres of my farmland which my parents gave me. [However, I did not receive surgery] because if I would have died after surgery, my sister would have had difficulty paying for my funeral, so I was waiting and praying to meet with donors for a long time. Now, I feel less stressed since I talked to Burma Children Medical Fund staff. Thank you everyone for helping me!”
Hnin is a mother of two from Burma. She lives with her husband and two sons, and she is always busy with housework. Since a few months after surgery to remove the cyst in her uterus in 2017, Hnin has been experiencing lower abdominal pain and abnormal bleeding. She has been diagnosed with Myoma. She has been advised to undergo a total abdominal hysterectomy, the surgical removal of her uterus and cervix. If left untreated, Hnin's symptoms will continue to worsen and put her at risk for further health complications in the future. Fortunately, Hnin is scheduled to undergo her hysterectomy and our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of her procedure and care. Once recovered, she will no longer experience pain or bleeding. Moreover, the surgery will stop the mass from reappearing later. Hnin said, “I want to continue to work purchasing clothes and other goods from Mae Sot and selling them in Yangon to earn an income for my family. Because of my condition, I am not able to work for two years now.”
Meet Nicodemus a 14 year-old boy. He is social and likes inventing new things. Nicodemus is the 4th born in a family of 5 children. He is class 8 candidate at Daystar Primary School in Athi River. The family hails from Athi River in Machakos County. His mother is a vendor and widowed. She sells porridge and chapatis in the construction sites. His mother noticed a sudden change in his walking style last year. Nicodemus also complained of his knees knocking each other a situation which was giving him a rough time to walk and play with her friends at school. He currently feels pain as he walks as the left knee knock the right. He is currently using crutches to walk and his condition is worsening. “I would love to walk like other people, I am not comfortable with walking using crutches and I would like to achieve my passion of becoming an engineer. Any kind of support will be highly appreciated.” Nicodemus informed us.
Dennis is a very shy and quiet boy from Kenya. Dennis was born with anal rectal malformation, where he lacked an anal opening. This caused trouble to his parents as he could not pass stool for an entire week when he was born. He had a colostomy created and was required to proceed with subsequent surgeries of the anal opening and colostomy closure. However, for the last 17 years, he has survived with the colostomy. His parents were not able to raise the funds needed for his surgeries. His area chief recently forced Dennis's parents to bring him to Bethany Kids Kijabe after much suffering. At Bethany Kids Kijabe, he was diagnosed and surgery recommended. He needs to undergo a series of procedures to eliminate bowel dysfunction. However, the family is still struggling financially. Dennis is the firstborn child in his family. Due to his condition, he has never been to school, being passed by all his 6 siblings who are schooling. Dennis is quite shy and prefers to be alone due to his condition. Successful surgery will allow Dennis to resume a relatively normal life like any other child and perhaps start schooling. His father is a security guard while his mother sells vegetables in their village.The family appeals for help. Dennis is scheduled to undergo surgery to correct his condition on October 22nd. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,327 to cover the total cost of Dennis's procedure and care. “If only I knew, I would have come here early. I feel like I have wasted his life,” says Dennis's father with regret.