Richard joined Watsi on December 4th, 2014. Five years ago, Richard became the 998th member to automatically support a new Watsi patient every month. Since then, 5,474 more people have become monthly donors! Richard's most recent donation traveled 8,800 miles to support Savet, a duck egg seller from Cambodia, to fund bilateral myringoplasty ear surgery.
Richard has funded healthcare for 65 patients in 10 countries.
Savet is a 35-year-old food seller from Cambodia. She and her husband have one daughter together and they sell duck eggs both on the street and from their home in the city. When Savet is not working, she practices making clothes for her daughter, and enjoys watching movies. Five years ago, Savet had an ear infection. This infection caused the tympanic membrane, or the ear drum, in both ears to perforate. For this reason, Savet experiences hearing loss, tinnitus and discharge. She cannot communicate clearly with others, and she has spent money on medications that have had little effect. Savet traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On September 9th, she will undergo a myringoplasty procedure in both ears. During this procedure, surgeons will close the perforations. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is requesting $913 to fund this procedure. This covers medications, supplies, and inpatient care. Savet said, "I really hope that after surgery, I will hear a little better and not have any problems with tinnitus. I hope that I can hear my daughter's voice well."
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.”
Kong is a 60-year-old tour guide from Cambodia. He and his wife have three children. Kong has to travel a lot for his work, but he can support his family. He enjoys taking care of his children, helping them with their schoolwork and taking them on trips. Last year, Kong had an ear infection. This infection caused the tympanic membrane, or the ear drum, in both ears to perforate. For this reason, Kong experiences hearing loss, ear pain, and pus discharge. He has trouble communicating in his work now, and his wife is very concerned that he will have permanent hearing loss. Kong traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On July 8th, he will undergo a myringoplasty procedure in both ears. During this procedure, surgeons will close the perforations. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is requesting $913 to fund this procedure. This covers medications, supplies, and inpatient care. Kong said, "I hope that my ear can heal well after this surgery and that I can have an easy time going back to work. I do not want my family to worry too much."
Win is a 49-year-old woman from Burma. She lives with her husband and four sons. Two of her sons are distant learners at university while her husband and two other sons work as masons. However, her husband had to stop working to look after the housework when she was no longer able to do so. Win 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, Win feels tired, has no appetite, cannot sleep well nor walk longer distances. She also has a headache, chest pains, and tingling and numbness in her extremities. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund a mitral valve replacement for Win. The treatment is scheduled to take place on March 11th and, once completed, will hopefully allow her to live more comfortably. Win said, “When I recover from my illness, I will go back to doing the housework so that my husband can also go back to work.’’
Margaret is a university student in her second year of studies. However, since 2018, she has not been to school after suffering a road accident in the capital, Nairobi. She was hit by a vehicle while crossing the road, fracturing her right femur and suffering body lacerations. She spent a lengthy stay in a national hospital and received surgery. She required physiotherapy sessions which she could not start due to financial constraints. Last July, she noted an open wound on her surgical site which was painful and septic. Since then, she had been cleaning it with salty water. Margaret was brought by her friend to Watsi's partner Kijabe Hospital and diagnosed with chronic osteomyelitis, a bone infection. Doctors recommend she have a sequestrectomy and hardware removal surgery to treat her condition. Successful surgery will allow Margaret to be able to ambulate with ease and less pain. Margaret is the firstborn child in her family. Her two siblings and parents live in a three-roomed rental house in the city’s outskirts. Her father is a construction site laborer while her mother relies on casual jobs such as laundry in the estate. The family is not able to pay the required hospital bill of $1,500. Margaret says, “My hope is to go back to school once treated so that I can help my younger siblings.”
Jonah is a jovial and high-spirited student from Kenya. He is the 7th born in a family of 8 children. He is in class 2 at Mwiteria vision academy under a sponsorship of a well-wisher. The family hails from Iteria village in Meru County. His single mother used to be a farmer, but she currently stays at home. She recently underwent an amputation on her leg after suffering from diabetes. Jonah has clubfoot of his left foot. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Fortunately, Jonah traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, AIC Cure International Hospital. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on March 16th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,224 to fund Jonah's clubfoot repair. After treatment, he will be able to walk easily. “We request your support, being the only breadwinner in the family and I am also impaired. I have two boys who need surgery. I am not able to raise the bill. Please help,” said Jonah’s mother.
Godwin is a toddler from Kenya. His single mother of two children is employed casually as a retail shop attendant. Godwin and his elder brother are both enrolled in learning institutions and doing well. Her daily average pay is $2, which can barely sustain their basic needs. Godwin 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, Godwin is scheduled to undergo corrective surgery on February 3rd. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $700 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. “I want to be an engineer in future,” says Godwin
Habibi is a sweet and very shy girl from Ethiopia. She loves to play with her best friend at home. Habibi has two brothers and five sisters, and she loves to take care of her three younger siblings. Her father is a daily laborer and he maintains his family with the little he earns. Her mom is a house wife. Habibi dropped out of school when she was in grade 1 as a result of her condition. Habibi was born with an anorectal malformation, a congenital abnormality that leads to a complete or partial intestinal blockage. She needs to undergo a series of procedures to eliminate bowel dysfunction. Habibi is scheduled to undergo surgery to correct her condition on January 9th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of Habibi's procedure and care. After her recovery, Habibi will no longer experience bowel dysfunction or be at risk of developing health complications in the future. Habibi’s father said, “It is my hope to see Habibi go to school and get educated after she gets treatment. I believe she will serve her community. She always says ‘I want to get treated go to school and be a doctor.’ That’s my prayer and hope for her. ”
Soe is a 49-year-old man from Burma. He and his wife got separated about six years ago and he has been living alone since. Soe does not have a regular job, but sometimes he drives a shared-taxi to make a living. About two weeks ago, Soe's left eye started to get irritated and the itchiness did not go away for a few days so with the advice from neighbors and friends, he soaked some betel leaves in water with salt and used the liquid as eye drops. As soon as he dropped the liquid in, he sensed a burning sensation in his left eye. In hope to get cured, he used the homemade eye drops for two days. After two days, his eye became worse and the pain even radiated to his head. He could no longer open left eye due to the pain. Soe had no money to go to the hospital, but with the help from his neighbors and friends, Soe arrived at Mae Tao Clinic (MTC) on December 3rd, 2019. The medics at MTC explained that his left eye has totally been damaged and that the only option now is to remove his eye. Soe feels sad and frustrated most of the time now and he keeps blaming himself for not being careful. He feels that his neglect now has caused him an eye.
Veronicah is a farmer from Kenya. Veronicah is a peasant farmer in her small piece of ancestral land where she lives with her parents and teenage child. Veronicah has been diagnosed with breast cancer. Without treatment, the cancer may spread to other organs. A mastectomy, a surgery to remove breast tissue, has been suggested to rid her body of breast cancer and to prevent the cancer from metastasizing. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $816 to cover the cost of a mastectomy for Veronicah. The procedure is scheduled to take place on October 2nd. After treatment, Veronicah will hopefully return to a cancer-free life. “I keep hearing the doctor’s voice over and over-“breast cancer” “breast cancer. I just do not know what to do,” says Veronicah.
She lives with her parents in Karen State, Burma. She now works at Kyaw Hta Rural Clinic, 45 minutes away by motorbike from her village and earns 70,000 Kyat (approx. 70 USD) per month. Her parents are farmers and their total income is 100,000 kyat (approx. 100 USD) per month. Their income is just enough for their daily needs. Around eight years ago, Cherry developed pain in the right side of her abdomen. She went to the clinic near her village. At the clinic, the medic thought that she was suffering from normal stomachaches. Since the clinic did not have the necessary equipment to run diagnostic tests, the medic treated her for the pain. She received pain killers and when the pain was worse, a stronger does of pain killers through an injection. In May 2019, she was completing her training with Mae Tao Clinic (MTC), when the pain in her abdomen became worse. She received an ultrasound and painkillers at the clinic, before she was diagnosed with a renal stone in her right kidney. MTC then referred her to Mae Sot Hospital (MSH) for further investigation and treatment. At the hospital, she received an X-ray, ultrasound and a blood test, as well as oral medication for the pain. After checking her results, the doctor confirmed her diagnosis and told her that she needs to receive laser treatment two to three times, to break up the stone in her kidney. She received her first round of laser treatment on 7 August 2019. To pay for that, she had to borrow money from her supervisor and her neighbor. She was scheduled to undergo a second round of treatment on 18 September 2019, but she could no longer afford to pay. Luckily, MTC referred her to Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF) for assistance in accessing further treatment. Currently, Cherry still has pain in the right side of her abdomen. She is interested in the field of medicine and enjoys learning new things related to this field in her free time.
Judith is a middle-aged woman with lower back pain problem that has persisted for over 8 years. Judith has tried managing the condition with injections, medical pills and physiotherapy sessions. The interventions have not been fruitful as she recently started using a walking stick to attain balance. Judith was referred to our facility by a neighbour and upon MRI imaging, she had spinal fusion surgery recommended. If not treated, the pain will persist which might weaken her walking gait further. Judith is a mother of three children and used to work on their farm for subsistence farming but has since stopped. Her husband is employed as a timber yard operator. The family is not able to raise the total funds needed for her surgery and they appeal for financial assistance.