Mark joined Watsi on September 20th, 2016. Six years ago, Mark joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Mark's most recent donation traveled 1,900 miles to support Primer, a 50-year-old farmer from Haiti, to fund cardiac surgery to replace his damaged heart valve.
Mark has funded healthcare for 77 patients in 11 countries.
Mark has funded healthcare for 77 patients in 11 countries.
Primer is a father of three from Haiti. He lives in a small village in southwestern Haiti with his wife and three children; he is a farmer and sells produce in the local market. Primer has a cardiac condition called rheumatic mitral regurgitation. One of the four valves of his heart is severely damaged as the result of a rheumatic infection he suffered a number of years ago, and cannot adequately pump blood through his heart and body. The surgery that Primer needs is not available anywhere in the country so he will fly to Dominican Republic to receive treatment. On September 13th, he will undergo cardiac surgery, during which surgeons will remove the damaged valve and implant an artificial replacement. Haiti Cardiac Alliance is contributing $9000 to pay for surgery. Primer'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 covers travel expenses for the social workers from our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, who will accompany Primer's family overseas, as well as the cost of obtaining Prince's passport. Prince says: "I am very grateful to be having this surgery so I can take care of my family and see my children grow up."
Naw Ywa is a 29-year-old woman who lives with her husband, sister-in-law, and three nieces in a refugee camp in Thailand. Naw Ywa is a homemaker, and she weaves and sells traditional Karen clothing in her spare time. Her husband also works as a homemaker and cares for his sister, who has a mobility impairment. Naw Ywa's three nieces all currently attend school in the refugee camp. This past March, Naw Ywa began to experience severe pain in her left pelvic area. This pain was accompanied by fatigue, dizziness, and trouble breathing. Although she did seek medical attention at the hospital in the refugee camp, she was only given painkillers, which temporarily alleviated her symptoms. After a few months of repeatedly being readmitted to the hospital without fully treating her condition, a doctor referred Naw Ywa to our medical partner's care center, Mae Sariang Hospital (MSH). On July 6th, she was brought to MSH and received an ultrasound. Her doctor diagnosed her with adenomyosis, a condition that occurs when the tissue that typically lines the uterus grows into the muscular wall of the uterus. She was also diagnosed with a five cm large myoma, which is a tumor that develops in or around the uterus. Her doctor has advised that she undergo a hysterectomy to remove her uterus and alleviate her symptoms. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund Naw Ywa’s total abdominal hysterectomy. The procedure is scheduled to take place on August 17th. Once completed, she will hopefully be able to live more comfortably and confidently. Naw Ywa shares, “Me and my husband want to have children, but we agreed with the doctor’s plan. I do not want to experience this pain anymore, and my husband also does not want to see me in pain.”
Yeang is a 40-year-old tailor with one daughter and two sons. When she is not working as a tailor, she is busy at home doing laundry, cleaning, and sleeping. Six months ago, Yeang had an ear infection. This infection caused the tympanic membrane, or the ear drum, in both ears to perforate. For this reason, she experiences ear pain, discharge, and hearing difficulties. All of this makes it hard for her to communicate with others and focus at work. Fortunately, Yeang traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On July 7th, she will undergo a myringoplasty procedure in both ears. During this procedure, surgeons will close the perforations. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is requesting $914 to fund this procedure. This covers supplies, treatment, and inpatient care. Yeang says, "I am hopeful my hearing will improve, the pain will stop, and I can sleep well again after this surgery."
Jane is a loving mother from the Philippines. She has an adorable 8-month-old baby boy. Jane works as as a municipal administrative aide, while her husband works as a contractual college teacher. However, even with their combined salaries, they still cannot afford to cover her medical treatment. In 2019, Jane began to experience troubling symptoms, including a painful, palpable mass on her neck. She was diagnosed with a nodular goiter, which is a solid or fluid-filled lump that forms within the thyroid. However, due to financial constraints, she opted to take the doctor’s prescribed medicine to alleviate the symptoms instead of having the surgery she needs. Fortunately, our medical partner, World Surgical Foundation Philippines, is helping Jane finally undergo treatment. She is scheduled for a thyroidectomy on May 3rd at Our Lady of Peace Hospital. Surgeons will remove all or part of her thyroid gland. This procedure will cost $1323, and she and her family need help raising money for this life-changing care. “Once this surgery is done, I won’t have to endure this pain. Thank you World Surgical Foundation Philippines and Watsi for this opportunity to be treated. Now, we don't have to worry about where to get the money for my treatment,” Jane shared with relief.
Denis is a charming and friendly three-year-old boy. Denis's mother is a single mom, and she has a small business selling fruits and vegetables to support her family. Denis has a twin brother, along with another sibling. Denis has been diagnosed with bilateral genu valgus, a condition in which the knees angle inward and touch one another when his legs are straightened. This is typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, which often stems from contaminated drinking water. As a result, Denis's gait is affected. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Denis receive treatment. On April 8th, he will undergo corrective surgery at AMH's care center. Treatment will hopefully restore Denis's mobility, allowing him to participate in a variety of activities and greatly decreasing his risk of future complications. Now, his family needs help raising $880 to fund his procedure and care. Denis’s mother shared, "now that my son’s insurance is not covering the surgery, I won’t have any means to raise the money. Please assist me."
Alex is a student and is a very ambitious and active teenager from Kiambu, Kenya. He is the only child of a single mother, who is a hawker of different items. He is in high school and his mother shared that he has a passion for football and running. After schools were closed in March, Alex decided to go and visit his aunt who lives near Nazareth Hospital. Being playful as he is, he took a bicycle from his aunts’ house and decided to have a ride on last Saturday. Unfortunately, while riding, he tried to avoid a collision and he fell. He sustained an injury to his left hand. Now Alex is in pain, unable to use his hand. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On April 12th, Alex will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. Alex's fracture will heal, he will be able to use his hand and also resume school. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,049 to fund this procedure. “I am feeling for my son, and hope he could receive the sponsorship so that he can be well before the school opens,” said Alex’s mother.
Phyu is a 17-year-old who lives with her parents, husband, and two brothers on the Thai-Burma border. Her father and husband work as day labourers, while her mother looks after her two younger brothers. Phyu used to help on small jobs too, but stopped six months ago when she first felt unwell. Beginning last October, Phyu felt tired, experienced chest tightness, and oedema in both her legs. A few days later, she went to a clinic and was told that she has a problem with her heart. She received medication and a follow-up appointment for the following week. Although she took the medication regularly, she did not feel any better. When she went back to the clinic, it was closed due to an outbreak of COVID-19 in their area. While she waited for the clinic to reopen, the swelling in her legs worsened and she also had difficulty breathing. Eventually, her employer drove her to Phop Phra Hospital, where she was admitted and given oxygen. The doctor at the hospital referred her to Mae Sot Hospital (MSH) the next day where she received a number of diagnostic tests. The doctor told her that she has a heart condition and diagnosed her with aortic valve regurgitation. The medical team shared that she needed to undergo surgery and told her to travel to Chiang Mai where they can provide the care she needs. Worried about how her family would afford the surgery, once Phyu arrived at the clinic, a medic referred her to our medical partner Burma Children Medical Fund for assistance accessing the treatment she needs. Currently, Phyu feels tired if she walks far or when she has to do anything strenuous such as carrying water or cleaning her house. If she sleeps on her back, she has difficulty breathing. Although she still has oedema in her legs, the swelling has gone down since she started taking medication from MSH. “When I recover from surgery, I want to work to help increase my family’s income so that we can pay back our debt. I also want to support my brother who is attending a teacher training college in Burma. He is a second-year student now," said Phyu with new hope for her future.
K is a 46-year-old homemaker from Burma. K lives with her husband, son and two daughters in a refugee camp. K and her husband are small scale vegetable farmers. K's eldest daughter is a nurse in the refugee camp's hospital, while her other daughter and son are students. In her free time, K enjoys cleaning her house and weaving traditional Karen shirts. K has a cataract in her left eye that causes blurred vision. K's challenged vision has prevented her from weaving, and causes her to walk slowly so she does not get injured. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to help fund K's lens replacement surgery on February 16th. After recovery, K will be able to see clearly again. K shared, "After surgery, when I can see again, I hope to go back to weaving and helping with all the household chores.”
Vicheka is the eldest of two children in her family and loves her younger sister who is three years old. Their family lives in Preah Vihear near the Thai border of Cambodia. Her father is a soldier and her mother is a potato farmer. At school, she is fond of math and Khmer literature and would like to be a teacher when she is older. She likes reading books, painting, playing with her little sister, and taking walks with her parents. When Vicheka was five, she was diagnosed with scoliosis of the spine—a sideways curvature of the spine that most often is diagnosed in adolescents. She has uneven shoulders, a bump in her lower back, difficulty standing up straight, and shortness of breath. It has become difficult for her to breathe, she tires easily, and she is having difficulty walking. This can be very difficult for young girls, they are often hidden at home because other children make fun of the way they look. A neighbor told her parents about our medical partner Children's Surgical Centre, so they traveled over 10 hours for a diagnosis and surgery. Surgeons plan to put in expanding rods along her spine. The expanding rods will allow her to grow and keep her spine from curving further, which could cause her more health problems if left untreated. Their family needs $1,500 for the surgery, which will cover medications, implants, and post-operative care. Vicheka said, "I hope the doctors can fix my spine so I can play with my friends and my back will be straight. I want to continue in school but it is hard for me to keep up, and I miss school."
Ma Zin is a 22-year-old woman from Burma. She lives with her older sister, who works as a seamstress in a factory. Her parents and older brother live in Burma as well. Her father is retired, while her mother works as a day laborer and homemaker. In 2019, Ma Zin began feeling tired very often. She also began having heart palpitations and occasionally difficulty breathing. She was examined by a doctor who gave her medication and referred her to a local hospital for a chest x-ray. The doctor diagnosed her with heart disease, and prescribed medication to treat her symptoms. However, in January of 2021, Ma Zin began experiencing greater fatigue and difficulty breathing. She quit her seamstress job due to her condition and visited a local hospital where she received an echocardiogram. She was diagnosed with atrial septal defect (ASD) and surgery was recommended. Fortunately, our medical partner Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF) is helping Ma Zin receive treatment. On December 19th, she will undergo an atrial septal defect closure at BCMF's care center. Now, she needs help raising $1,500 to fund her procedure and care. In talking about her dreams for the future, Ma Zin shared, "I want to become a designer in the future. I want to recover quickly so that I can go back to work. After I recover, I will learn how to design clothes and sew them myself. I will work hard for my family. I would like to see my parents smile and be happy. I would also like to live with my family in my village."
Mary is a quiet and hardworking farmer. Mary and her husband plant maize on their one-acre farm and have four children aged between 33 and 24 years old. Their family is having a hard time financially due to the high bills needed to cater for their grandmother's hospital bills and she undergoes chemotherapy for breast cancer. Her children do not have sustainable jobs and are unable to pay for the treatment that Mary now needs. One evening, while Mary was listening to the radio , she heard about a medical camp that was organized by our medical partner's Kapsowar Mission Hospital in their area. She decided to seek medical advice from the doctors. After being seen, the doctors diagnosed her with a multinodular goiter that needed to be removed surgically. Before Mary sought medical care, she resorted to herbal medicine as she could not afford to go to a hospital. Years later, her condition did not improve and her general well-being has not been getting any better. She's become weak and cannot perform her daily duties of farming and house chores. Mary is unable to raise money for her surgery and is seeking financial assistance to get the surgery and lead a normal and painless life. Mary has had a long journey with her condition. In 2008, Mary began to experience troubling symptoms, including a mass on the neck, rapid heartbeat, increased sensitivity to heat and sweating. She visited the nearest healthcare facility where there were no diagnoses made. They advised her to go to a better facility for further investigations. But still many years later she hasn't been able to undergo the treatment she needs to heal. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is helping Mary receive treatment. She is scheduled to undergo a thyroidectomy on November 17th at our medical partner's care center. Surgeons will remove all or part of her thyroid gland. This procedure will cost $936, and she and her family need help raising money. Mary says, “I want this mass to be removed for two reasons; so that I can continue with my daily chores and also, for my community to learn from my experience that herbalists cannot cure and should seek medical care at a hospital.”
Mary is a jovial 52-year-old community health volunteer. Sadly, her husband has passed away and she cares for their five children on her own. Mary is one of the Community Health Volunteers at a local care center, which allows her to make a small living and meet her family's needs. For two years, Mary has been experiencing lower abdominal pain, a feeling of fullness and an enlargement of her abdomen. In September, the pain became more severe and she visited a local hospital for examination. She has been diagnosed with multiple fibroids and needs to undergo a hysterectomy, or a procedure in which surgeons will remove her uterus. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Mary to receive treatment. On October 8th, she will undergo gynecological surgery at AMH's care center. Once recovered, Mary will be able to resume her daily activities free of pain. Now, she needs help raising $755 to fund her procedure and care. Mary shared, "I have no one to turn to for help. I would appreciate any support for this operation so that I can overcome this problem and get back to my work and also continue to care for my children."