JoAnn McGowanMONTHLY DONOR
JoAnn's Story

JoAnn joined Watsi on October 1st, 2015. Seven years ago, JoAnn joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. JoAnn's most recent donation supported Zephania, a 34 year old maize and potato farmer from Kenya, to fund leg surgery so he can walk and work again.

Impact

JoAnn has funded healthcare for 89 patients in 12 countries.

patients you have funded

Eliana is a friendly and talkative young girl from Tanzania. She is the firstborn child in a family of three. Her parents both work as small-scale farmers, and they depend entirely on what they harvest for their daily living. When Eliana was two years old, her parents noticed that her left leg was swelling up and that she would limp when walking. They initially thought she had fallen and hurt herself, so they took her to a local dispensary, where she was prescribed pain relieving medication. Eliana was eventually diagnosed with genu valgus, which is a malalignment of the knees. This condition is typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, which often stems from contaminated drinking water. As a result, Eliana struggles to stand and cannot walk more than four steps without either experiencing pain or falling down. This has resulted in her having to crawl most of the time in order to move from one place to another. In 2020, Eliana had corrective osteotomy surgery, which fortunately helped correct her legs to a point where she can now enjoy walking and playing with other children. However, she requires a second-stage procedure in order to remove her implant so her condition can heal entirely. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Eliana. The procedure is scheduled to take place on August 11th. Treatment will allow Eliana's legs to completely heal, fully restoring her mobility, and greatly decreasing her risk of future complications. Eliana’s grandmother says, “The first surgery my granddaughter got helped ease her walking. I believe this next surgery will make her legs even better.’’

$880raised
Fully funded

Khin is a 40-year-old woman who enjoys growing flowers and vegetables in her free time. She lives with her husband, son, and four daughters in Burma. She is a homemaker and takes care of her youngest daughter while her husband sells snacks in front of their home. Her son works in a teashop and her three oldest daughters currently attend primary school. Khin shares that she hopes to run a fruit shop to further support her family once she recovers. When Khin was 22 years old, she developed an ulcer on her right heel that made it difficult to put weight on her foot and walk. Fortunately, she received multiple skin grafts and the ulcer eventually healed. However, the ulcer returned in 2019, and despite receiving the same treatment as before, she was only able to walk with a limp after surgery. Last April, Khin began experiencing severe pain on her right heel once again. She eventually sought medical attention and was told by her doctor that she has cancer in her right lower leg. Her doctor advised that she have her leg amputated below her knee, but due to financial constraints, she could not proceed with the surgery and returned home. After three months, the pain continued to worsen and Khin visited our medical partner's care center, Mawlamyine Christian Leprosy Hospital (MCLH), to request painkillers. After examining her leg, the doctor at MCLH told her that she would have to have her lower right leg amputated to prevent the spread of the cancer. Just as before, Khin refused the amputation. The doctor then referred her to the oncology department of Mawlamyine General Hospital and recommended that she receive a biopsy to confirm her diagnosis and need for surgery. The biopsy revealed that she has skin cancer. Khin decided that she wanted to proceed with the amputation despite being unable to fund the cost. The doctor admitted her that same day and fortunately referred her to our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), for financial assistance accessing treatment. On September 1st, surgeons at MCLH's care center will perform a leg amputation. Now, BCMF is requesting $1,500 to fund Khin's life-changing procedure. Khin shares, “I just came to MCLH for painkillers, and I did not know that the doctor would help me through donors. When I heard that I could have surgery with the help of donors, I felt so happy and my stress was relieved. My family also encouraged me to have the amputation so I can live a longer life with my children. I would like to say thank you to the donors for giving me a chance to live longer with my children.”

$1,500raised
Fully funded

Sa is a 36-year-old woman who likes to sew clothes. She also enjoys doing household chores and making delicious curries. Her husband is a nightguard at a hospital. Since 2015, Sa started to experience pain in her back and her pelvic area. Since December, her pain has worsened which makes it hard for her to sleep. She shared that she is feeling increasingly worried and depressed since she first experienced the pain and realized that she was unwell. Watsi donors helped support a CT scan and doctors have now diagnosed her with bilateral ovarian cancer. To help treat her condition, her doctors advised Sa to undergo a total abdominal hysterectomy, the surgical removal of her uterus and cervix. If left untreated, Sa's symptoms will continue to worsen and put her at risk for further health complications in the future. Fortunately, Sa is scheduled to undergo her hysterectomy on February 25th. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of her procedure and care. Once recovered, she is hopeful that she'll no longer be in pain and will have a better shot at recovering from cancer. Sa said, "I was very worried when I heard that I needed surgery and that it would cost a lot of money. I was worried that if the donors stopped helping me, where would I come up with enough money to pay for my surgery. I could not sleep last night, constantly worrying about my treatment cost. When I called BCMF's staff and they told me that donors could pay for my surgery, I felt so much better. Thank you everyone for helping me."

$1,500raised
Fully funded