Andrew joined Watsi on November 7th, 2014. Six years ago, Andrew joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Andrew's most recent donation traveled 8,300 miles to support Naing, a baker from Burma, to fund hernia repair.
Andrew has funded healthcare for 78 patients in 11 countries.
Andrew has funded healthcare for 78 patients in 11 countries.
Naing is a 46-year-old-man who lives with his mother, wife, sister, son and two daughters in Karen State in the border area of Burma. Naing used to work in a teashop as a baker but stopped four years ago when his health deteriorated. His son is also unemployed, unable to find work ever since the COVID-19 pandemic broke out in Burma more than a year ago. They all rely on Naing’s wife, who works as a vendor in the market, to get by. She earns about 150,000 kyat (approx. 150 USD) a month, which they shared is not enough to cover their household expenses. In 2014, Naing received surgery for a right inguinal hernia with the help of his employer. Then, four years ago in 2017, he noticed that he had a small lump on his left side. Over time, the small lump increased in size and shifted downwards, causing pain and discomfort that made it impossible for Naing to continue working at the teashop. Although Naing knew that he most likely is having another hernia, since he was experiencing the same symptoms as before, he did not have enough money to pay for surgery. Therefore, he tried to cope with the pain and discomfort without treatment. In June, Naing’s friend advised for him to go to Ananda Myitta Clinic, a charity clinic in his city to ask for help accessing treatment. Naing and his friend went to the clinic, where they talked to the founder. The founder then referred Naing to another organization called Health for All who help put him in touch with our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), for assistance accessing surgery for his hernia. Naing said, “I would like to receive treatment for my hernia. If I’m cured, I can work again as a baker and our [household] income will increase. Now, only my wife works and we all depend on her.”
Shupe is a 39-year-old mother of two girls, ages 16 and 17. She is very proud of her children who have both been successful in school. She separated from her husband four years ago and has a small business selling tomatoes and vegetables house-to-house. Last year, Shupe began experiencing pain in her abdomen. She shared that she has been unable to work due to the pain and had difficulty paying her rent. Now, she is staying with her sister while both of her daughters stay at a friend’s house to attend their secondary schools until they pass their exams. Shupe recently visited a surgeon who confirmed that she has an inguinal hernia and requires hernia repair surgery. If not treated, the hernia will continue to cause her pain, and in rare cases, it could lead to strangulation, cutting off the blood flow to part of her intestines. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Shupe to receive treatment. On June 3rd, she will undergo hernia repair surgery at AMH's care center. Now, AMH is requesting $575 to cover the cost of Shupe's procedure. Shupe shared, “I need to be alive to see my children go to college. This hernia and the pain are shattering my hopes, but with this surgery, I can see freedom coming. Much appreciation to Watsi for the support and funding."
Degenet is an eight-month-old baby boy from Ethiopia and the third child born to his parents. He is curious and loves juice, eggs, and playing with his mom. His father is a day worker and a student, while his mom is a homemaker. Degenet was born with an anorectal malformation, a congenital abnormality that leads to a complete or partial intestinal blockage. He needs to undergo a series of procedures to eliminate bowel dysfunction. Degenet is scheduled to undergo surgery to correct his condition on May 4th. After his recovery, he will no longer experience bowel dysfunction or be at risk of developing health complications in the future. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of Degenet's procedure and care. Degenet's mother shared, “I hope our baby gets as normal as other boys. I hope he will be educated and do good work in the future. And it is my hope he will serve God becoming a good Christian.”
Lucas is a playful four-month-old baby boy and the youngest child in a family of five children from his mother. His parents are small scale farmers of maize and vegetables for their food and they also keep livestock for a living, which allows them to get milk. Given the remoteness of their village, they shared that life is very difficult; meeting basic needs and access to health services are big challenges. Lucas has clubfoot of both feet. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Fortunately, Lucas traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, where surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on April 2nd. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $935 to fund Lucas's clubfoot repair. After treatment, he will be able to walk easily and wear shoes when he grows up. Lucas’s father shared, "we have no means of raising money to afford our son’s treatment cost. We will be very grateful if you can help correct his feet."
Antony is a 36-year-old motorbike taxi operator. He is married and has three children. Antony is the sole breadwinner of the family. In his line of work, his income depends on the availability of customers and is somewhat inconsistent. He lives with his family in a two-roomed rental house. On February 9th, Antony was riding a friend to a funeral on a motorbike, when he got into an accident along the Nairobi-Nakuru highway. His bike lost control when he tried to avoid an oncoming vehicle that was speeding on the wrong side of the road. Antony hit a ditch on the side of the road and sustained multiple injuries. He is in pain and is not able to use his left hand. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On March 5th, Antony will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. This procedure will help him heal well and he will be able to use his arm normally again. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $1,500 to fund this procedure. Anthony shared, “I am the sole breadwinner and my family is looking upon me for survival. I cannot work without the use of my hand, and my hand needs surgery to heal. I am unable to get the money to raise the amount needed for my care."
Saw Ki is a 10-year-old boy living with his parents, sister and a brother in Mae Ra Ma Luang Refugee Camp in Thailand. Saw Ki is in grade two and his siblings also attend school in the camp. At school, Saw Ki’s favorite subject is Koraen literature. In the future, he would like to become an agricultural day laborer and work hard like his father. On the morning of January 30, 2021, Saw Ki was playing with his friends when he slipped on some rocks and fell onto his left arm. Right away, his left arm became extremely painful and his left arm looked deformed. Saw Ki was brought to the refugee camp’s hospital run by Malteser International (MI) Thailand. After a medic completed a physical examination, the medic told him that they thought his left forearm was broken. Saw Ki was referred to Mae Sariang Hospital to receive an x-ray. There, the doctor confirmed that his left forearm was broken and referred him to Chiang Mai Hospital for surgery right away. Currently, Saw Ki cannot move his left hand and he is in a lot of pain. He has been receiving pain medication while waiting for surgery. This surgery is costly for Saw Ki and his family. Saw Ki's father used to work as an agricultural day laborer in nearby villages, but he can no longer work since the refugee camp went into lockdown following the outbreak of Covid-19. His mother is a homemaker. Although their household receives a cash card with 2,200 baht (approx. 74 USD) every month to purchase rations, this amount is not enough. Their family struggles to make ends meet without Saw Ki’s father’s income, and they appeal for financial support. With the help of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, Saw Ki will undergo surgery to reset his fractured bones and ensure proper healing. The procedure is scheduled for February 2nd and will cost $1,500. After surgery, Saw Ki will no longer be in pain and he will be able to return home, play with his friends and also continue his studies. Saw Ki shared, "I want to play a lot of games with both of my hands, like before. I am not scared of receiving surgery."
Marline is a 7-year-old boy from Kenya. He is a cheerful boy and a Grade 2 student at Jayden Academy. Marline wants to be an engineer when he grows up. Marline's mother says that he loves to dismantle and assemble electronics in the house, and is well on his way to his career dreams. Additionally, Marline has a condition called spina bifida. Earlier in April 2020, Marline was playing with his friends when his mother noticed a small pimple-like wound on his right foot. It was small at first, but slowly started to grow bigger in size. His mother rushed him to a nearby health centre in their hometown, where he has been undergoing dressing in the facility but they have not seen much improvement. Since Marline has been coming to Kijabe Hospital for his spina bifida clinic, he opted to seek review in the hospital and get this wound checked. He was reviewed a week ago by the plastic and pediatric surgical teams, who recommended that he undergoes debridement, excision of calcaneal ulcer, and flap cover surgery to clean and heal his infected wound. Currently, Marline is in pain and at risk for further infection. If left unattended, the wound may result in severe infection and possible amputation. Unfortunately, these procedures are costly for Marline's family. His mother is a single mother raising two kids on her own. Their family lives in a bedsitter house in Ruai, at the outskirts of Nairobi. Marline's father left the family and his responsibility. Marline's mother is the sole breadwinner of the family and she has a small grocery kiosk. The total profit from the venture is very small, and her close relatives are not able to assist with financial support. Their family appeals for help. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Marline receive treatment. On January 6th, surgeons will perform a debridement and skin graft procedure to help heal the wound and prevent possible complications. Now, Marline's family needs help to fund this $1,185 procedure. Marline's mother says, “This wound is worsening by the day. If left unattended, doctors say that he might lose his leg. This would be hurting all of us. Kindly help us as we really don’t have a way out."
Haruna is a 10-year-old student from Tanzania. Haruna is the fourth born child in a family of five children. He is currently in Class Five, and his best subjects are mathematics and social studies. Haruna is a big lover of football, which his father says he picked at an early age. Unfortunately, a few months ago, his father has had to stop him from playing football due to the level of deformity in his legs and risk of getting a fracture. Haruna was diagnosed with genu varus. His legs bow outwards at the knee so that they do not 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, he has difficulty walking for a distance and he is no longer able to play football, the sport he loves. The procedure Haruna needs is costly for his family. Haruna's parents are small-scale farmers of maize, beans and tobacco. They are able to get their food from the harvest of maize and vegetable and some little money from selling tobacco harvest. Now, they are appealing for financial support for Haruna's cost of care. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Haruna. The procedure is scheduled to take place on December 3rd. Treatment will hopefully restore Haruna's mobility, allow him to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease his risk of future complications. Haruna shared, “I would like to be able to walk well and play like my friends. Please help me get this treatment."
John is a baby boy from Tanzania. He is the fourth-born in a family of four children. John's parents are both subsistence farmers who grow maize and also farm honey. John has been diagnosed with hydrocephalus, a condition in which excess cerebrospinal fluid accumulates in the brain and increases intracranial pressure. As a result of his condition, John has been experiencing an increasing head circumference. Without treatment, John will experience severe physical and developmental delays. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $765 to cover the cost of surgery for John that will treat his hydrocephalus. The procedure is scheduled to take place on November 2nd and will drain the excess fluid from John's brain. This will reduce intracranial pressure and greatly improve his quality of life. With proper treatment, John will hopefully develop into a strong, healthy young boy. John’s mother shared, “We are really struggling financially and there is no way we are going to raise the money needed for our son to have this necessary surgery. We appreciate any help you can provide.”
Tun is a 33-year-old man from Burma. He used to work as a day laborer at a construction site until he fell sick. During his free time, he enjoys playing billiards with his friends. Tun was diagnosed with a heart condition that involves a malformation of the 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, Tun is experiencing tiredness, fast heartbeats, sharp chest pains, and he is unable to sleep well. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund a mitral valve replacement for Tun. The treatment is scheduled to take place on December 16th and, once completed, will hopefully allow him to live more comfortably. Tun said, "I am very happy that I received this chance of getting treatment. It is impossible if I must fund my own treatment. Thank you very much for your support.”
Bres is a 38-year-old rice and vegetable farmer from Cambodia. He is married with one son and two daughters. When he is finished working, he enjoys listening to music and spending time with his children. Twenty-three years ago, Bres had an ear infection. This infection caused a cholesteatoma, or an abnormal skin growth, to develop in the middle ear behind the ear drum. For this reason, Bres experiences dizziness, discharge, tinnitus, pain, and hearing loss. He is unable to hear others clearly and cannot communicate easily. Bres traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On March 9th, he will undergo a mastoidectomy procedure in his right ear. During this procedure, ENT surgeons will remove the cholesteatoma. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is requesting $925 to fund this procedure. This covers medications, supplies, and inpatient care. "I hope that the ear discharge and the ear infection stops, and my hearing improves," he shared.
Sovann is a 62-year-old rice farmer from Kampongcham province. His wife passed away many years ago, so he now lives with his oldest son and his family. He likes to take care of his grandchildren and help make improvements in their house. He also likes to make time for traveling to different pagodas. Four months ago, Sovann started to feel pain in his right hip. The pain grew until he could not walk without support or move his legs well. He traveled three hours to come to Children's Surgical Centre (CSC) for treatment, where doctors found that he had developed necrosis of the hip. Now, doctors will perform a total hip replacement. Once he has fully recovered, he will be able to walk easily again and will not feel any more pain. He will be able to return to work and caring for his family. The surgery will cost $539 and Sovann needs your support.