JoAnn joined Watsi on October 1st, 2015. Five years ago, JoAnn became the 1523rd member to automatically support a new Watsi patient every month. Since then, 4,485 more people have become monthly donors! JoAnn's most recent donation supported Paw, a woman from Thailand, to fund a hysterectomy.
JoAnn has funded healthcare for 58 patients in 11 countries.
Paw is a 62-year-old widow from Thailand. She lives with her older brother in Thaw Lae Hta Village, Mae Sariang Town, Mae Hong Son Province. Paw has works as a homemaker taking care of her brother who cannot work due to congenital mental and physical disabilities. Paw has a younger sister in the same town who supports her financially and is her main source of income. Since 2014, Paw has been experiencing some abnormal pain in her right lower abdomen. She has been diagnosed with a myoma. She has been advised to undergo a total abdominal hysterectomy, the surgical removal of her uterus and cervix. If left untreated, Paw's symptoms will continue to worsen and put her at risk for further health complications in the future. Fortunately, Paw is scheduled to undergo her hysterectomy on November 19th. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of her procedure and care. Once recovered, Paw will no longer abdominal pain and she will be able to take care of her brother. Paw said, "Since 2019, I have been experiencing increased levels of pain in my right lower abdomen, increased back pain, and difficulty sleeping. Riding a motorbike aggravates the pain even more. I also experience dysuria and sometimes it takes me longer to use the bathroom. My appetite is good, but I cannot eat as much as I want because I experiences abdominal tightness, difficulty breathing, and fullness in my stomach when I eat too much."
Char is a 28-year-old man who lives with his grandmother, wife, and daughter in a town in Tak Province, Thailand. Char moved to Thailand with this grandparents when he was eight years old, after his mother passed away. Char’s grandfather passed away eight years ago and now his grandmother is retired. Char used to sell fruits in the market but stopped working last year because of his condition. Char’s wife works as domestic worker and earns 4,500 baht (approx. $150) per month. His daughter is a student. Their monthly income is just enough to cover their daily expenses but they cannot save money or pay for basic health care. In April of 2019 Char was driving his motorcycle to work when suddenly a car driving on the wrong side of the road hit his motorcycle head on. He was flung from his motorcycle and knocked unconscious. The crowed who witnessed his accident called an ambulance, that brought him to Mae Sot Hospital (MSH). Soon after Char was brought to MSH, he received surgery to insert a metal rod into his right lower leg, as the doctor found that both his bones in that leg were fractured. During his follow-up appointment, he received an x-ray and was told that he would need to receive a bone graft. However, since Char has been unable to work since his accident, he had used up his savings to pay for his initial treatment and hospitalization. Unable to afford the surgery, Char refused treatment and returned home. Unfortunately, he recently fell through the wooden stairs in his home, causing the rod in his leg to bend. His doctors have shared that he needs surgery to replace the rod in his leg. Fortunately, our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), can help. The surgery costs $1,500 and now, they are asking for your help to fund this life-changing surgery. Char shared, "I feel too uncomfortable to sleep [at night] and sometimes, I cry because of the pain. I want to get better soon so that I can help my family [financially].”
Joseph is a 19-year-old joyful boy who hails from the Mount Elgon area in Kenya. He shared that he is known around the village as the guy with the large mass due to his protruding hernia on his abdomen. In February 2019, Joseph was involved in a road traffic accident when he was headed home from his daily labor. He sustained injuries in his stomach where he was rushed to a hospital and an exploratory laparotomy was done. A few days later, Joseph was discharged from hospital and as his wounds were healing he started developing a mass on his stomach. Joseph feared to go to the hospital again because he didn’t want to be in pain. As the mass grew bigger, Joseph started worrying about his life. He went to his church pastor where the church raised money to send him to the capital city to get it removed but they were told he needed a specialist who demanded a lot of money which they could not afford. Joseph had given up on the possibility of getting treated. It was not until a friend asked his pastor to bring him to our hospital, where he was diagnosed with an incisional hernia that he was happy to be told that his condition can be treated. Joseph's father died of illness while he was young. He dropped out of school in Grade 4 because his mother re-married and she didn't have money to send him to school, so he began to work in farms to help get money for his daily needs like food. Joseph works in the farms and gardens and enjoys planting and farming. He wants to be able to have a big farm and grow lots of vegetables, corn, and millet. Joseph has gone to other doctors to help with his mass but everyone said it wasn’t operable. He is most disturbed by the way people who stare at him. Joseph is a very practical man and looks forward to going back to his farm and working hard to have a good crop and harvest and have a good life. Joseph is worried that he might not get a wife due to his condition. He is also facing stigma by people talking about his condition and has been denied work. If he is not treated, his condition will continue to worsen and his future plans feel bleak to him if he does not get treatment. Joseph told us, “I just want to be able to find a girl to marry and have a family.”
Charles is 65-year-old farmer from Kapsaret Village in rural Kenya. He is a widower with ten children, all adults with their own rural families. Charles was brought to our hospital by his brother. He had sustained motorbike accident in early March when going home and fracture his right elbow. He was taken to hospital and given pain medications. The brother decided to bring him here for better treatment. An x-ray showed he had a closed fracture on the right elbow. If not operated Charles will continue to experience pain and the fracture may complicate further leading to malunion. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On May 5th, Charles will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. The procedure will help him to regain normal function of his arm. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $998 to fund this procedure. “My family is not able to meet this cost and so I kindly request for support, so that my hand can be well and I can continue with my farming to sustain myself and support my children,” shared Charles.
Joseph is a bodaboda taxi operator from Kenya. Joseph relies on his motorcycle to make a living. To supplement their limited income, his wife sells charcoal in a small makeshift kiosk. As a father of one, he is worried of not being able to meet his family’s needs. Joseph was involved in a road accident on 31st January 2020 in his hometown, few kilometers from Watsi Medical Partner Kijabe Hospital. The accident left him with multiple fractures on his face and lacerations. He cannot eat and is in constant pain. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On February 6th, Joseph will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. He will be able to chew his food again and no longer suffer pain. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,451 to fund this procedure. Joseph says, “My hope is to recover quickly and resume my fatherly duties of provision.”
Charles is a farmer from Kenya. He is married and a father of 7 children, with three of them in school. The cost of their education strains his income and leaves very little to meet daily cost of living. Together with his wife, they tend to their small ancestral land. In December 2019, he was assaulted by unknown individuals and suffered a fractured mandible. Charles is in pain and cannot chew his food or speak well. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On March 3rd, Charles will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. This procedure will help Paul heal well and no longer be in pain. He will also be able to chew his food and eat normally. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $640 to fund this procedure. Charles says, “Previous interventions have not been successful. I am hopeful that in Kijabe, I will have my fracture fixed.”
Zeth is 3 year old boy who likes playing games like kick the can with his friends. Wednesday, the 22nd of Jan, in the evening Zeth was playing with his friends when he was knocked down by one of his friends injuring his hand. Zeth was brought to our hospital crying and on his arrival, he was injected pain meds before he was sent for an x-ray which confirmed that Zeth had fractured his left elbow. Zeth was unable to lift or fold his left hand, all he could do is cry for help. He was then admitted for surgery to fix his fractured elbow. Zeth is the firstborn child in a family of two and he has just joined kindergarten. His father is a student in a teachers’ college and his mother is a housewife. They are a young family raised from a humble background. Currently, Zeth's mother has a nursing child so she can’t work. On the other hand, his father is in school continuing with his studies with the hope of improving his employment prospects. The young family mostly depends on Zeth's grandparents for basic and other family needs. They also still stay with them because they can’t afford to buy a land or build a home of their own. The family has nothing to pay for his surgery. They are requesting anyone to support them so that Zeth can receive treatment. Sharon, Zeth’s aunt says, “He has so much pain, I hope he gets treated and feels relieved.”
U Chit is a 55-year-old man from Myawaddy Township, Karen State, Burma. He divorced his wife seven years ago and has two daughters and three sons. His youngest daughter lives with his ex-wife in Yangon and their other children live in Myawaddy Township. In March 2019, he entered into monkhood. Now, he receives alms from laypeople and from his children. In February 2019, U Chit began to experience back pain and a burning sensation when urinating. To treat his symptoms, he bought medication from a nearby pharmacy. However, after taking the medicine, he did not feel any better. He later went to a local clinic where he received more medication for his symptoms. They suggested that he go to Myawadday Hospital to receive an ultrasound scan. However, he did not go to the hospital because he did not think he would be able to pay for the cost of the scan. Instead, he continued taking the medicine that the doctor had prescribed. Unfortunately, his pain when urinating did not get better. Finally, U Chit decided to visit Mae Tao Clinic (MTC), where he got his hernia treated four years ago, to seek treatment. U Chit arrived at MTC on April 24th, 2019, where an ultrasound scan revealed that he had a bladder stone. The next day, he was sent to Mae Sot Hospital (MSH) where he received an injection and oral medication. On May 16th, 2019, he received an Intravenous Pyelogram (IVP) test for further investigation. After the IVP test, the doctor told him that he requires surgery and is scheduled for 20th November 2019. Currently, U Chit experiences back pain and he continues to feel a burning sensation when urinating. Aside from his concerns about his condition, he is worried about financial problems because he is a monk and does not have a regular income. U Chit likes reading Buddhist texts and newspapers in his free time. He said, “I want to cure my condition as soon as possible and I would like to focus on religious activities. After I am cured, I also would like to help find treatment for my daughter who has suffered from a stroke.”
Brian is 16 years old and the second born in a family of four children in Kenya. His mother used to look after the cerebral palsy children at the cerebral palsy society of Kenya but is currently at home while his father is a hawker in Nairobi. Brian was born without any complications but at the age of one he suffered from malaria and while on treatment the doctors confirmed he had cerebral palsy. He can neither walk nor sit upright. His mother often takes him to a therapy session 3 times a week to avoid stiffness of his hand and leg. “Last week Brian started crying uncontrollably. I noticed a swelling on his hip and we immediately took him to Mama Lucy Kibaki hospitals. An x-ray was taken and showed a fracture on his femur, so we were referred to CURE hospital for specialized care,” Brian’s mother told us. Currently Brian is in pain and discomfort as he cannot stretch his foot further. Fortunately, he is scheduled to undergo hip repair surgery. This treatment will be good as it will stabilize and heal the broken bone as well as re-align the bone. It will enhance his mobility once he heals and reduce his pain. Brian's father shared, “I am kindly requesting for support; my joy would be to see my son without pain and walking like other children. God bless you."
Benard is a small scale farmer from Kenya. He is known to friends and villagers alike as the tall and slim guy. Benard is a hardworking young man. Born and bred in the valleys of Resim village (Kenya), Benard is one of the five children of Mr. Paul, a security guard at a private homestead within their home area. Benard schooled at Kaptura primary school a few meters away from home. He dropped out of school in grade seven due to insufficient funds at home. Benard is employed by a neighbor to operate his motorcycle as a taxi. Benard was well until Friday 20th of September evening when he was involved in a road traffic accident while he was heading home from work. He sustained severe injury to his right leg. Benard was brought to our hospital and after doctors’ assessment and X-ray done, he was diagnosed with proximal tibia fracture. he can not stand nor walk without support and is in chronic pain Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On September 26th, Benard will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. Bernard will be able to walk once he has healed and he will be able to resume working. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $968 to fund this procedure. Benard says, “I want to be able to walk again. I can’t withstand the pain in my leg."
Rochel is a school principal from Haiti. He lives with his wife and six children on an island off the coast of Haiti; he is the principal of a local elementary school, and also a church pastor. Rochel has a cardiac condition called degenerative mitral valve disease. One of the four valves of his heart has gradually become weaker and less able to perform his function as he gets older; as a result, his heart cannot adequately pump blood through his body. Rochel will fly to the United States to receive treatment. On September 16th, he will undergo cardiac surgery, during which surgeons will repair the valve so that it functions more normally. Another organization, The Heart Hospital Baylor Plano, is contributing $40000 to pay for surgery. Rochel'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 Rochel's family overseas. Rochel says, "I am thankful to God and to everyone who is helping to make this surgery possible for me!"
Mary is a child from Tanzania. She is the third born child in a family of five children. She is a friendly girl and very playful. Mary’s parents depend on small scale farming which they solely depend. His father says what they are able to harvest at the end of farming season is usually not enough to take them through to the next harvest season forcing him to seek day job to be able to supplement their income. Mary was diagnosed with genu valgus. Her legs bow inward so that her knees touch. This condition is typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, which often stems from contaminated drinking water. As a result, she is not able to walk comfortably. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $940 to fund corrective surgery for Mary. The procedure is scheduled to take place on August 27. Treatment will hopefully restore Mary's mobility, allow her to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease her risk of future complications. Mary’s father says “You are the my only hope of my daughter getting her leg correct, I have no means of affording her treatment cost please help my daughter.”