Kurt joined Watsi on April 7th, 2016. Two years ago, Kurt became the 3279th member to automatically support a new Watsi patient every month. Since then, 2,667 more people have become monthly donors! Kurt's most recent donation supported Kyaw, a 23-year-old fruit tree farmer from Burma, to fund cardiac surgery.
Kurt has funded healthcare for 33 patients in 8 countries.
Kyaw is a 23-year-old young man from Burma. He lives with his mother, younger brother, and sister in Mawlamyine City. He and his mother own a small plot of land where they plant different fruit trees, such as mango, rambutan, durian, lime and others. They sell the fruit at the market and in total make around 200,000 kyat (approx. 200 USD) per month. His younger sister is in her final year as a university student, while his younger brother is in grade nine. Kyaw used to work as a day laborer sometimes when he was well, but now his symptoms prevent him from working. In his free time, he loves to read newspapers and listen to music at home. Kyaw was born with a ventricular septal defect, a cardiac condition in which a hole exists between the two lower chambers of the heart. Blood leaks through this hole without first passing through his lungs to obtain oxygen, leaving him feeling sick and short of breath. Kyaw is scheduled to undergo heart surgery on June 14th to correct his condition and improve her quality of life. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of Kyaw's procedure and care. Kyaw's mother said, “My son is a good man and he always works hard for the family. When he gets sick, he hides it because he is worried that I would feel stressed about him. He does not go out much and enjoy himself. He always helps me in the garden.”
Mary is a young student from Kenya and the third born in her family of four children. She comes from a humble background, where her parents are small-scale farmers relying on subsistence farming to make ends meet. Their income is split between school fees for Mary’s elder siblings and feeding the family. Two days ago, Mary fell from a tree while attempting to harvest some fruits, landing on her hand. She sustained a closed left humerus fracture that was painful. She had first aid in a local hospital but due to the COVID-19 police curfew, they could not take her to a better-equipped facility for imaging. Mary had an x-ray the following day revealing the humerus fracture. She is in a lot of pain and cannot move or use her hand. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On May 21st, Mary will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. This procedure will help her hand heal correctly and he will no longer be in pain. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $704 to fund this procedure. Mary’s mother says, “My daughter is in pain and we are not able to raise the funds needed. Please help us.”
Robert is a casual laborer from Kenya. Robert works as a construction site worker in the capital while his wife takes up jobs such as laundry services. The father of two lives in a two-roomed house, paying $31 per month. They share bathroom amenities in a pro-poor home of the city. Robert walked to our facility in the late hours of 22 April 2020, with complaints of Achilles tendon injury. A week ago, he was bathing in their shared bathroom when he slid and his right foot got stuck by the toilet bowl sustaining the injury. Without treatment, Robert might not be able to walk with ease again and risks further wound infections. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Robert receive treatment. On April 23rd, surgeons will treat his Achillies injury and perform a debridement and skin graft procedure. Following treatment, he will be able to walk so he can return home and care for his family. Now, Robert needs help to fund this $1,129 procedure. Robert says, “Thank you for expressing a wish to support me. I did not have money for the motel lodge last night and do not have any money for the planned surgery. God bless you.”
Keith is a 12-year-old from Kenya. He is the first born child in a family of two, both of whom are students in grade three. They hail from Kaptul village which is known to be a rural area with less access to medical and social services. His parents are peasant farmers and they depend on seasonal farm products like mangoes and cassavas for commercial purpose. The money they get from those farm products is not enough to sustain the family for their daily needs. Therefore they depend on well-wishers for food and clothing when they don’t have farm products to sell. Four days ago, Keith fell from a high height and sustained trauma with injuries on right leg. A right tibia fracture was revealed by x-ray on his arrival to the hospital. Keith was looking after his grandmother’s cattle when he fell into a ditch. He is now in pain and cannot walk. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On February 20th, Keith will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. This procedure will help him heal well and be able to walk again. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $968 to fund this procedure. Keith’s mother says, “He is hardworking and he is liked by his grandmother for being honest and taking responsibility. He will be missed by his grandmother, who is wishing him quick recovery.”
Sandar is is a 48-year-old pastor from Burma. She lives with her husband, daughter, and seven children who she is sheltering. In her free time, Sandar likes to prepare for her sermons, read the Bible, and pray for others in need. Since 2017, Sandar has been experiencing high blood pressure and heavy abnormal vaginal bleeding. She has been diagnosed with pelvic mass and has been advised to undergo a total abdominal hysterectomy, the surgical removal of her uterus and cervix. If left untreated, Sandar's symptoms will continue to worsen and put her at risk for further health complications in the future. Fortunately, Sandar is scheduled to undergo her hysterectomy on February 24th. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of her procedure and care. Once recovered, she will no longer experience abnormal bleeding or discomfort. "I worry about the children I shelter," said Sandar. "Currently, I have to buy a lot of sanitary pads and my daughter borrowed 500,000 kyat (approx. 500 USD) from her boss to support me, which she will pay back in installments.”
Wilkes is a student from Haiti. He lives with his parents in a neighborhood of Port-au-Prince; he is studying business administration at a local university. Wilkes has a cardiac condition called patent ductus arteriosus. A hole exists between two of the main blood vessels that connect to the heart; blood leaks through this hole, leaving him weak and short of breath. Wilkes will fly to the United States to receive treatment. On September 20th, he will undergo cardiac surgery, during which Doctors will use a device attached to the end of catheter to plug the hole so that blood can no longer leak through it.. Another organization, Baylor Scott and White Heart Hospital, is contributing $15000 to pay for surgery. Wilkes'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 supports passport obtainment and the social workers from our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, who will accompany Wilkes's family overseas. Wilkes said, "I am looking forward to having a normal heart and a new chance for my life!"
John is a peasant farmer from central Kenya. Seven years ago, he was riding a motorcycle as a passenger when they were involved in a road accident. The other rider died while John was fortunate to survive. However, he suffered a severe right tibia fracture that was managed with an implant weeks later. His condition improved until 2017 when he fell and the same fractured area was impacted. The treatment he received developed infections last October and John was recommended to have bone transport surgery to correct the condition. He now requires second stage bone transport as part of the treatment and John is not able to provide the funds for the planned surgery. John is not able to ambulate easily and without prompt intervention, he might suffer fracture infections. John relies on his ancestral piece of land to make ends meet. Currently, his wife is the sole bread winner of the family. The father of three children lives in his ancestral land. His eldest child is educated by his brother since he is not able to fund all their needs. John says, “I am hopeful that soon I will be able to care for my children and walk with ease.”
About six months ago, Thidar started to feel very tired and could not sleep well due to difficulty breathing. After multiple tests and blood tranfusions, Thidar was diagnosed with mitral valve stenosis, mitral valve regurgitation, aortic valve stenosis, and aortic valve regurgitation. Seeing that both of her heart valves need to be replaced surgically, the doctor told her, “You have a heart problem and you must undergo surgery as soon as possible.” When Thidar told him that she cannot afford to pay for surgery, the doctor told her about a monk who lives just outside of Yangon and who might be able to help her. She was given his phone number and when she called the monk, he referred her to Watsi partner Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF) for assistance in accessing the treatment she needs. Currently, Thidar feels very tired and has no energy to walk long distances. She cannot sleep well, and she has no appetite. She said, “In the future, I will stay in my village and look out for my family. I would like to send my children to school until they graduate.”
Chan is a 36-year-old woman who lives with her husband and father-in-law in Shwepyithar Town, Yangon Division. Chan’s husband works as a day labourer on a construction site, while Chan is a seamstress who works from home. In 2010, Chan started to feel tired, had a rapid heartbeat and developed joint pain. She went to the clinic in Thaton, where she lived at that time, and received an an echocardiogram (echo) and x-ray. The doctor also told her that, if her heart became too enlarged, she would not be able to control her condition with oral medication and she would not be able to have a baby. She then received oral medication for a week which made her feel better for a while. In September 2019, when she went back for her follow-up appointment, she received another echo. Following this, the doctor explained to her that her condition could no longer be stabilized with medication. As he knew that Chan could not afford to pay for her surgery, he referred her to Pinlon Hospital. On 17th September 2019, she met the staff at Pin Long Hospital and who then referred her to Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF). Currently, Chan suffers from chest pain, has difficulty breathing, has a rapid heartbeat and has lost weight. In her free times Chan likes to sew, cook and do housework. “When I’m fully recovered, I will continue to work as a seamstress, save money and live happily with family,” said Chan. “Once I have enough money, my husband and I have decided to adopt one child. And I want to do charity work and help poor people as much as I can.”
Gracious is a baby boy from Tanzania. Gracious is a calm baby boy and the only child to his young parents. He has bilateral clubfoot which if not treated will result in permanent disability. After he was born, his parents were advised to take him to the hospital at three months of age. Upon review, surgeons advised for manipulation and casting surgery to correct the condition. Gracious's parents are casual labourers. His mother sells fruits and vegetables in the neighbourhood while his father is a casual construction site labourer. Their income is only sufficient to meet their daily needs. Gracious's relative referred them to our facility where the child was reviewed. His parents were asked for the hospital fee but are not able to raise it. If treated, Gracious will be able to walk upright and with ease. The family appeals for help. Fortunately, Gracious traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on October 15th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $890 to fund Gracious's clubfoot repair. After treatment, she will be able to walk easily. Gracious’s mother says, “The cost of the treatment is high for us to afford, kindly help our son if it’s possible.”
Tina is a 59-year-old woman from Burma. She lives with her family in a village in Myawaddy Township, Karen State. She stopped working five months ago because of her poor health and now, she looks after the household chores and takes care of her grandchildren. Both of her grandchildren go to school while her daughter works as a health worker in their village. Both Tina’s son and her son-in-law work as agricultural day labourers on different farms. In January 2019, Tina began to experience that her right eye started to hurt. These symptoms have made it increasingly difficult for she to see clearly. Tina was diagnosed with retinal detachment, a condition in which the retina pulls away from the supportive tissue in the eye, resulting in vision loss. If left untreated, she could lose vision completely. Tina is scheduled to undergo surgery to reattach her retina on September 20. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of her procedure and care. After his surgery, Tina's vision will hopefully be restored, and she will resume her daily activities comfortably. She is not able to sleep well because she worries about her condition. “When I have free time, I weave bags for my grandchildren,” said Tina. “I hope that I will feel better soon so that I can go back to work and pay back my debt.”
Bun Thong is a 48-year-old rice seller from Cambodia. He has three daughters and enjoys exercising and taking care of his children in his free time. In January 2019, he was in an accident and was thrown from his moto, causing injuries to his right shoulder and elbow. He has been diagnosed with a brachial plexus injury on his right side. The brachial plexus is a nerve network that transmits signals from the spine to the shoulder, arm, and hand. Injuries to this nerve network can result in loss of function and sensation. He is unable to extend his elbow and experiences sensory loss in his shoulder. Bun Thong traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On August 12, he will undergo a brachial plexus repair surgery. After recovery, he will regain control of his shoulder and allow him to move his arm normally again. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is requesting $637 to fund this procedure. He says, "I hope that my surgery will go well and after I will be able to use my arm and return to work."