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JoAnn McGowan

MONTHLY DONOR

JoAnn's Story

JoAnn joined Watsi on October 1st, 2015. Five years ago, JoAnn joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. JoAnn's most recent donation supported Isack, a 34-year-old man from Tanzania, to fund a skin graft procedure.

Impact

JoAnn has funded healthcare for 68 patients in 12 countries.

All patients funded by JoAnn

Scholastica

Scholastica is a 6-month-old baby girl from Tanzania. She is the last born in a family of six children. Scholastica was born a healthy child but, at four months of age, her mother noticed her head was growing very fast and she was not able to support it. They could not afford the cost of seeking care at the regional hospital at the time. Scholastica's parents are small scale farmers and work hard to make ends meet with their income. Eventually, they were able to get some money from relatives and took her back to the regional hospital. There, Scholastica was diagnosed with hydrocephalus, a condition in which excess cerebrospinal fluid accumulates in the brain and increases intracranial pressure. Without treatment, Scholastica will experience severe physical and developmental delays. Unfortunately, she was not able to get an appointment at the regional hospital for a long time. As time went on, Scholastica's condition grew worse. Her head increased in size and her eyes began rolling down. Though they were concerned, her parents could not raise money to seek an alternative hospital for care. Eventually, their friend referred them to our medical partner's care center, ALMC Plaster House. Their friends and neighbours supported them with bus fare for the two-day journey to the hospital. Now, she is scheduled for an ETV surgery to treat her condition, and the family appeals for financial support for this procedure. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,300 to cover the cost of ETV surgery for Scholastica that will treat her hydrocephalus. The procedure is scheduled to take place on January 25th and will drain the excess fluid from Scholastica's brain. This will reduce intracranial pressure and greatly improve her quality of life. It will also reduce the likelihood of severe fevers, vomiting, and potential brain damage. With proper treatment, Scholastica will hopefully develop into a strong, healthy young girl. Scholastica’s mother shared, "We travelled for two days because we were told there is hope for my daughter to get help. Please help save her.”

100% funded

$1,300raised
Fully funded
Naw Mar

Naw Mar is a 35-year-old woman from Thailand. She lives with her husband, two daughters and two sons in a refugee camp on the Thai-Burma border. Four years ago, Naw Mar started to suffer from pain in the right side of her abdomen. At first, she thought the pain would disappear after she rested. When it did not, she went to the hospital in the camp run by Malteser International Thailand (MI). She received medications which helped for a bit. Two years later, the pain became severe and the right side of her abdomen also became swollen. After more medication and follow-up appointments, she was eventually admitted to Mae Sariang Hospital and received an ultrasound. The ultrasound showed that she had multiple gallstones, and she was given more medication. However, the medication did not help her much. In early June 2020, the pain in Naw Mar’s right abdomen increased. After she went to the camp’s hospital, the doctor referred her to Mae Sariang Hospital again, where the doctor told her that she would need to have surgery to remove the gallstones. Since Mae Sariang Hospital doctors could not perform this surgery, she was again referred her to Chiang Mai Hospital. However, the high cost of surgery proved difficult, so she was referred to our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), for assistance with accessing treatment. Currently, Naw Mar has constant pain in her right abdomen that is only manageable through pain medication. Her right abdomen is also swollen, and she suffers from back pain as well. When the pain in her abdomen is excruciating, she develops a headache and high blood pressure. Naw Mar is a homemaker, while her two daughters and her youngest son go to school. Her oldest son helps her with household chores. Her husband works as an agricultural day laborer, but has been unable to find work for the past month. While their family does receive a cash card each month for food support, it is not enough to cover their daily expenses and they struggle to make ends meet despite receiving free health care and education in the refugee camp. Their family is appealing for financial support. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund Naw Mar's surgery. On October 25th, she will undergo a cholecystectomy at our medical partner’s care center. Once recovered, Naw Mar will be able to resume her daily activities free of pain and her quality of life will improve. Naw Mar shared, "After I receive treatment, I want to work for an organisation [NGO] in the camp so that we [my family] can have an income. Right now, I have no pocket money and I cannot borrow money from any one because we have no way of paying them back. I appreciate any support you can provide.”

100% funded

$1,500raised
Fully funded
Paw

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."

100% funded

$1,500raised
Fully funded
Char

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].”

100% funded

$1,500raised
Fully funded