Laura joined Watsi on September 19th, 2018. Four years ago, Laura joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Laura's most recent donation supported Anna, a 66-year-old woman from Malawi, to fund a thyroidectomy.
Laura has funded healthcare for 56 patients in 10 countries.
Laura has funded healthcare for 56 patients in 10 countries.
66-year-old Anna is a widow from Malawi where she lives with her two daughters, one of whom runs a saloon while the other sells second-hand clothing. Anna is in the business of renting houses. Last year, Anna noticed an asymptomatic swelling on the left side of her neck. She visited the nearest clinic where she was referred to Kamuzu Central Hospital for tests on her thyroid. Anna was diagnosed with a goiter and was informed she would need surgery. Surgeons at Partners in Hope Hospital are scheduled to perform a thyroidectomy on May 3rd, during which all or part of Anna's thyroid will be removed. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is seeking $1,015 to cover the costs of Anna's procedure and care. Anna is hoping to get better after surgery so that she can continue supporting her family as a caring mother. Anna believes that her two daughters are the greatest priority in her life and that she has to be in good health for their sake as their only remaining parent. Full of smiles, Anna said: “Thank you, sponsors. I did not know this day would come in my life; I can smile again.”
Christian is a two year old toddler, living with his parents in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. He is a happy and playful child, who particularly enjoys listening to music. Christian has a cardiac condition called severe coarctation of the aorta. As a result of this condition, there is a narrowing in the major blood vessel leading from his heart, which causes his heart to strain too hard to push blood through it. The care he needs is not available anywhere in the country, so Christian needs to travel to the Cayman Islands to receive treatment. On April 4th, he will undergo open heart surgery, during which doctors will rebuild his aorta, restoring it to a more normal size. Another organization, Have a Heart Cayman, is contributing $16,000 to pay for this procedure. However, Christian's family also needs help to fund the $1,500 to cover the costs of pre-surgery prep, lab tests, medicines, and follow up appointments. This money will also pay for passport obtainment, and the social workers from our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, who will accompany Christian's family overseas. Christian's mother said: "Our family is hopeful that everything will go well with our son's surgery, and that he will have a safe and smooth recovery."
Kanha is a 21-year-old woman from Cambodia who lives with her family. She has three brothers and two sisters who also still live at home with their parents. Because of an unknown birth condition, she does not speak, so she has never attended school. She occasionally helps out her family by harvesting fruit from local orchards to earn extra income. On March 4th, Kanha fell from a mango tree while collecting fruit and injured her back. She experiences severe pain in her neck and back and is unable to walk. Her family took her to a local provincial hospital, but they could not pay for her care. Instead, the doctors recommended that the family drive four hours to the capital city of Phnom Penh for treatment. She has been diagnosed with a fractured spin and requires surgery. Fortunately, our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC), is helping Kanha receive treatment. On March 10th, doctors at CSC will perform a spinal laminectomy with metal implants to stabilize her spinal column. A laminectomy enlarges the spinal canal to relieve pressure on the spinal cord. Now, Kanha and her family need help raising $1,500 to fund her procedure and care. The cost includes hospitalization, surgery, implants, physical therapy, and medications. After recovery, Kanha's pain should improve significantly, and she should have full mobility after four to eight weeks. Kanha's mother shared, "we hope after surgery, my daughter will no longer be in pain and will be able to walk."
Nine-year-old Thiri is a first-grader, living with her mother and two brothers in Burma. Her mother sells vegetables in a local shop, while Thiri and her brothers attend school. While playing with her friends in front of her house in early January 2023, Thiri tripped, and fell into a pile of rice sacks, injuring her left eye in the process. Immediately, she realized that she could not see out of her left eye. Over time, her eye injury became more painful, red, and sensitive to light. Eventually, when her eye did not heal, her mother brought her to Mae Sot Hospital, where she was diagnosed with traumatic glaucoma. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund lens replacement surgery for Thiri. On February 1st, doctors at Mae Sot General Hospital will remove the natural lenses from both of her eyes, and replace them with intraocular lens implants. Once she has recovered. Thiri will regain her ability to see clearly. Now she needs your help to fund this critical procedure. Thiri's mother said: "I want her to receive surgery and recover soon so that she [Thiri] can go back to school and I can go back to work. I want her to be rich in the future, not like me, and own her own shop, because she likes to cook."
Maxwell is a charming, five year old boy from Kenya. He and his three older siblings live with their single mother, who works as a laundry aide and also as a small scale farmer. Maxwell was born with clubfoot, for which he has received treatment with casting and orthotics since birth. However, due to financial challenges, he was unable to undergo serial casting and other necessary procedures, which has left him with pain when walking for long distances. Fortunately, Maxwell's family now traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, AIC Cure International Hospital. There, surgeons from our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, will perform clubfoot repair surgery on January 16th. African Mission Healthcare Foundation is requesting $1,286 to fund Maxwell's clubfoot repair. After treatment, Maxwell will be able to walk comfortably, without discomfort or pain. Maxwell's mother said: "I am requesting support from the donors to help my son undergo surgery so that he can have a normal life."
James is a 63yr old man from Elgeyo Marakwet County in Kenya. He is married and has eight children - some of still in high school while others are married. Formerly, James worked in the forestry department for twenty years and he managed to educate his children as he used to earn a salary. Currently he is a farmer who plants maize, millet and sorghum in his small piece of land for consumption and sale. He has been able to get his basic needs and that of his family through the sale of farm produce. He has no medical coverage or insurance at the moment. Recently, James fell down and rolled down a hill when he was attempting to move his cow. He is in a lot of pain, unable to use both legs. The timing of his injury is unfortunate, because he needs to tend to his farm. He has nothing that can enable him get funds at the moment. Two of his sons managed to get ksh 10,000 which is not even a quarter of the required amount for his procedure. James has suffered fractures around both his knee joints, and they require special attention so that they may not damage the articular cartilage. He needs an urgent procedure on one of his limbs, which will also enable him undergo the surgery he needs on his other leg more quickly as well. The finance issue is barring him from getting his surgery. He is now appealing to all well-wishers for help in order to get his surgery done. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On December 7th, James will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. He will no longer be in pain, and will be able to walk, work and provide for his family. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,145 to fund this procedure. James says, “I am in so much pain. I cannot imagine that I am not able to walk and do things on my own. I don’t regret anything, I just thank God who protected my life. Kindly help me so that I may not become a burden to my children.”
Aung is a six-year-old student from Thailand. He lives with his parents and brother. His mother works at a factory, his father is a homemaker, and his brother goes to school. In his free time, Aung likes to play with his toys and watch cartoon movies on the television. Aung has cataract in his right eye. As a result, he can only see light with that eye, and his eye is very sensitive and irritated. Fortunately, on November 15th, Aung will undergo lens replacement surgery, during which surgeons will remove Aung's natural lenses and replace them with an intraocular lens implant in each eye. After recovery, he will be able to see clearly. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), is requesting $1,500 to this surgery for Aung. Aung's mother shared: “We do not have money to treat him ourselves. My son is so lucky to be treated through the help of donors."
Thet is a 35 year old husband and father, who lives with his wife, son and in-laws in Mon State in Burma. Both Thet and his wife work in his uncle's grocery store, while his in laws are farmers. When he isn't working, Thet enjoys spending time with his son and reading. In November 2018, Thet started to experience tiredness when working, and frequent headaches. He also had a rapid heartbeat, and he couldn't sleep well. He went to a hospital in Mawlamyine, where he was referred to a different hospital in Yangon for further treatment. At the hospital in Yangon, Thet was diagnosed with mitral valve regurgitation and stenosis, which would require surgery to correct. Thet was sent home with medications to manage his condition. In March 2022, Thet went back to the hospital in Yangon, because of continuing fatigue, headaches, coughing and fever. The doctor told him they would contact him to schedule his surgery in May, but Thet never heard back from the hospital. When Thet told his neighbor about this, his neighbor gave him the phone number of a heart patient who had been helped by our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF). Thet followed up, and thanks to the assistance of Burma Children Medical Fund, he is finally scheduled for surgery to replace the valve in his heart on October 13th, at Pun Hlaing Hospital. Now Thet needs your help to fund the $1,500 to cover the cost of this surgery. "I have sold all my jewelry to pay for the cost of traveling to the hospital. I feel less stressed since I met the BCMF staff,” said Thet.
Naing is a 27-year-old man who lives with his parents, brother and two sisters in Burma. He enjoys playing cane ball and reading. His parents are retired and grow vegetables in their garden. Naing's brother is a day laborer, but he has been unable to find regular work since the Covid-19 pandemic, so he cannot contribute towards household expenses. One of Naing's sisters works as a government officer, while the other is a shop worker. Naing used to work in his uncle’s shop selling groceries and flowers, but he was forced to stop working when his health began to decline. Naing first developed a cough and a fast heartbeat in November 2021. At a clinic in Dawei, Naing was diagnosed with high blood pressure, provided with medication, and sent home. In December 2021, because of his rapid heartbeat, Naing traveled to the hospital in Dawei, where he underwent a series of tests. Doctors at the hospital told Naing that there were problems with the valves in his heart. Once again, Naing was given medication, and sent home. Last February, Naing vomited, could not sleep, and felt tired when he stood or sat. He went to Dawei General Hospital, and showed the doctor his previous echocardiogram result. The doctor told him to continue taking his medication from Yangon, and gave him some vitamins. A few days later, Naing felt better. Then in March, Naing and his sister went to Yangon General Hospital, where he underwent more testing. This time the doctor told him that he might need to have two of his heart valves surgically replaced. Naing’s sister told the doctor that Naing had been to several hospitals over the past year, and the family had no more money left. Naing's health continues to decline, and he has lost five kilograms; he needs to have surgery. Fortunately, our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is here to help Naing access the care that he needs. They are requesting $1,500 to cover the costs of Naing's valve replacement surgery, scheduled to take place on August 9th, at Pun Hlaing Hospital. Naing said: “I am so tired of visiting several hospitals and hoping to receive surgery. My sister has had to take leave [from her work as a government officer] several times, and now she has had to take leave without pay [to accompany me as my caregiver]. I feel embarrassed that my family has used up all their money, sold all their jewelry, and made sacrifices for me. Finally, I have met your organization BCMF, and I will have the chance to receive surgery with the help of donors. I feel less stressed that I will not have to wait so long to receive surgery, and that my sister will be able to go back to work. Thank you so much.”
Hai is a 34-year-old who is married with one daughter in the 8th grade. Hai's wife works in a garment factory. In his free time, Hai enjoys watching TV and spending time with his family. Five months ago Hai noticed a mass on his right ankle. It has grown and caused pain since then. He traveled two and a half hours to reach our medical partner Children's Surgical Centre (CSC). A biopsy of the mass showed pleomorphic sarcoma, a rare type of cancer. Surgeons plan perform a below knee amputation to prevent the cancer from spreading and Hai's family needs help raising $446 to fund the urgent treatment.
Biniayam is a musically-inclined 17-year-old from Ethiopia. Some of his favorite activities include playing football, the piano, and the keyboard, as well as eating his favorite dish: meat! He comes from a family of seven children. To support their family, his father works as a farmer, and his mother manages their home and cares for her children. Two of his siblings are currently working, and the rest attend school. Biniayam himself finalized his national grade eight examination last summer and passed well! Biniayam was born with hypospadias, a congenital condition that causes urinary dysfunction. Without treatment, he will continue to experience uncomfortable symptoms and be at risk of infertility. His parents sought medical care for him after he was born, but due to financial constraints, he was not able to receive any treatment. They have since visited other hospitals but have still been unable to receive any help. Biniayam shares that he is worried and concerned about his condition. He mentioned that it not only affects him physically, but also psychologically, causing him to experience stress in many situations. Fortunately, Biniayam is now scheduled to undergo corrective surgery on July 19th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,293 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. Biniayam shares, “After the surgery, I hope this will be corrected and I will be confident to bathe in front of other members of the family without any fear. I also hope I won’t fear going to the restroom in public toilets. I hope I will be happy and have children in the future.”
Seak Long is a 26-year-old construction worker. He lives in the far northwest of the country in Battambang province with his parents. In his free time, Seak Long enjoys playing football and listening to music. Two years ago, Seak Long developed an ear infection that caused a cholesteatoma, or abnormal skin growth, to develop in his middle ear behind the ear drum. For this reason, Seak Long experiences ear discharge, hearing loss, and ear pain accompanied by headaches. Consequently, it is difficult for him to communicate clearly with others. Fortunately, Seak Long could travel to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On June 14th, 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 $926 to fund this procedure, which covers medications, supplies, and inpatient care. Seak Long shared, "I hope my ear pain stops and my hearing improves."