Isern joined Watsi on December 3rd, 2017. Four years ago, Isern joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Isern's most recent donation traveled 6,600 miles to support Nin, an active athlete from Cambodia, to fund a nerve reconstruction surgery to restore use of his arm and hand.
Isern has funded healthcare for 50 patients in 9 countries.
Isern has funded healthcare for 50 patients in 9 countries.
Nin is a 27-year-old rainy day farmer from Cambodia. He has 3 older sibling. Nin shared that he enjoys playing volleyball, football, fishing, and plays chess with his friends. In July 2021, Nin was in a motor vehicle accident that caused a mandible injury and paralysis of his shoulder. After the accident, he had his mandible fixed at a local government hospital. He was also 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. Nin still has no shoulder abduction, no elbow or wrist flexion, and has no sensation at the level of his forearm. Nin needs nerve reconstruction surgery to repair the injured nerves. Nin traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On September 6th, he will undergo a brachial plexus repair surgery. After recovery, he will be able to use his arm and hand again. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is requesting $696 to fund this procedure. Nin hopes that he can use his hand again as soon as possible.
Naw Dah is a 40-year-old woman who lives with her husband, four daughters and three sons in a refugee camp in Northern Thailand. Six of her children attend school in the camp, while Naw Dah looks after her youngest daughter at home. Due to COVID-19 travel restrictions, her husband has had difficulty finding work outside of the camp for the past few months. The family survives on money they receive through a food card each month from an organization called The Border Consortium. Since 2016, Naw Dah has suffered from frequent, painful urinary tract infections. After she received an x-ray at a local hospital in April 2020, she was referred for further treatment and diagnosed with kidney stones. She received treatment in September 2020, but at follow-up appointments, the doctor told her that she still had fragments of the kidney stone, and she returned for multiple x-rays and oral medications. During her most recent follow-up in August 2021, the doctor told her that the stones are now 6mm in size and scheduled her for another ureteroscopy. She is unable to pay for surgery and was referred our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), for assistance accessing treatment. On September 3rd, she will undergo a ureteroscopy and now, she needs help raising $1,500 to fund her procedure and care. Naw Dah shared, "I am a bit scared as I already underwent treatment twice, but I really want to get better. So I put my trust in God and I will go through this pain again so that I will be free from this pain in the future."
Dorah is a 40-year-old house helper and a single mother of two children. She has been raising the kids on her own and works several kilometers from where she lives. She and her children live with her elderly mother. Since June 2019, Dorah has been experiencing spotting and pain. She was diagnosed with cervical cancer and needs to undergo a hysterectomy, a procedure in which surgeons will remove her uterus. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is requesting $794 to fund Dorah's surgery. On July 28th, she will undergo gynecological surgery at AMH's care center. Once recovered, Dorah will be able to resume her daily activities free of pain. Dorah shared, “the news about cancer is not easy to take in. It has disoriented me and I feel confused about what will happen to my young family. I need this treatment to be able to get well and avoid death.”
Jackline is a nine-year-old student who does well in school and enjoys helping with household chores. Her favorite subject in school is Kiswahili. Jackline's mother is a housewife, while her father is a casual laborer who works at construction sites. Three years ago, Jackline was playing at home with friends when she fell and injured her left leg. She was taken to a nearby hospital where her leg was casted, but since then, she has been limping and experiences pain in her hip. She is unable to walk well or play with her friends, and the pain has affected her schooling. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Jackline to receive treatment. She visited AMH's care center for an orthopedic consultation and is scheduled to undergo an osteotomy on July 15th. The procedure will improve Jackline's mobility. Now, AMH is requesting $1,224 to fund Jackline's procedure. Jackline's mother shared, “I would like to see my daughter walking and continue with her normal life."
Dennis is a nine-year-old boy and the oldest in a family of four children. His mother shared that she works hard on people’s farms in the villages, and his father is also a farmer. Dennis fell into a fire that unfortunately burnt half of his right arm. Since the burn, his elbow and wrist have developed a contracture, which has caused him pain. He also cannot extend his arm fully. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Dennis to receive treatment. On June 1st, surgeons at AMH's care center will perform a burn contracture release surgery on his right elbow, wrist, and fingers. After surgery, he will be able to use his hand without any limitations. He will also continue his education, use his hand to write, and help out his parents at home. Now, their family needs help to fund this $840 procedure. Dennis's mother shared, "my desire is to see Dennis using his hand like other boys. Any kind of help to my son to undergo surgery will be greatly appreciated."
Amos is a three-year-old boy and the third born in a family of four children. Amos’s father works at construction sites while his mother works at home to take care of their home and family. Amos was born with a condition known as Blount's disease, or bowing of both legs. The condition has greatly affected his mobility and he cannot walk for a long distances or stand. He is almost school-aged, but unfortunately cannot attend school because of the severity of his condition. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH) is helping Amos to receive treatment. Amos is scheduled to undergo surgery on May 9th. Now, AMH is requesting $1,224 to fund Amos's procedure. After the surgery, he will be able to walk well, stand for long periods of time, and even begin school! Amos's father shared, “my desire as a parent is to see my son walking like other children. Any support will be highly appreciated."
Duncan is a 28-year-old man from Kenya. He is currently unemployed. Both of his parents are elderly and are farmers. Because of his current condition, he lives with his relatives who help him visit the hospital regularly for checkups. Duncan currently has tinnitus in his right ear, which causes him to have reduced hearing. His symptoms began in early 2010 after a road traffic accident, which also caused him a spine injury. He is currently still waiting to receive spine surgery. A few weeks after the accident, Duncan started having ear drainage, and visited a local hospital in his hometown for treatment. His ear eventually recovered, but the pain and infection reappeared two years later in 2012. Gradually, Duncan became unable to hear voices well, and currently he is not able to hear using the right ear. Doctors have recommended that he get a hearing aid to restore his hearing to its normal levels and improve his quality of life. However, Duncan cannot afford the cost of the hearing aids. His National Health Insurance Fund coverage cannot cover the cost of both his spine surgery and this treatment for his hearing loss. He currently relies on well-wishers to pay for his medical bills. Duncan appeals for financial support. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is helping Duncan receive his hearing aids on March 31st. This will cost $748, and he needs help raising money. Duncan shared, “I am losing my hearing at a tender age, my mobility is also threatened and I am unable to afford the increasing cost of medical care. I need support to get this treatment so that I may hear well again. Thank you for your support.”
Nehimia is a 1-year-old from Ethiopia. He is a sweet, playful boy and the first child to his parents. Nehimia loves listening to music, and watching animation movies. His dad is a gym trainer, but his income was affected as a result of the closure of gyms during the pandemic. His mom is a housewife and also has been unable to work during the pandemic, though she used to work in a small boutique. His family lives together in a government house and they pay a small fee for rent. Nehimia was born with hypospadias, a congenital abnormality that causes urinary dysfunction. Without treatment, he will continue to experience uncomfortable symptoms and will be at risk of infertility. Fortunately, Nehimia is scheduled to undergo corrective surgery on March 4th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,293 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. Nehimia's mother shared, “I hope my child will heal and grow and become a minister in the house of God.”
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."
Srey is a 50-year-old farmer from Cambodia with three sons, one daughter, and one grandchild. Her husband passed away two years ago from heart disease. She shared with us that she enjoys watching Khmer dramas on TV. Five years ago, Srey developed a pterygium in her left eye, causing her irritation, burning, tearing, redness, and discomfort with her appearance. Pterygiums are non-cancerous growths of the conjunctiva, a mucous layer that lubricates the eye. The growths occur when the conjunctiva is exposed to excessive sun damage and the cells grow abnormally over the pupil. She has difficulty seeing things clearly, recognizing faces, working, and going anywhere outside. When Srey learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, she traveled for two hours with her daughter seeking treatment. Srey needs a surgical procedure to remove the abnormal conjunctiva from the cornea surface and replace it with a conjunctival graft to prevent recurrence. The total cost of her procedure is $216. This covers medications, supplies, and inpatient care for two days. The procedure is scheduled for September 22nd. Srey said, "I hope the doctors can remove the pterygium so I can feel good and plant rice well again to support our needs."
U Win is a 54-year-old man who lives with his wife and youngest son in the Ayeyarwaddy Division in Burma. He has three sons and three daughters, with five of his children already married and working. His 17-year-old son left school because they were unable to pay school fees, and worked as a day laborer until COVID-19 happened. U Win used to work as a day laborer as well, but stopped working around two years ago due to his health condition. His family survives on 60,000 kyat (approx. 60 USD) each month that U Win's three other daughters and another son send them, enough to cover their basic expenses. In January 2012, U Win felt tired, had a headache, suffered from heart palpitations, and a rapid heartbeat. He went to a clinic where the doctor listened to his heart with a stethoscope and checked his blood pressure. U Win was told that he has high blood pressure and that he would need to take oral medication for a long time. He received an injection, oral medication, and another appointment for more medication. After he took the medication, he felt better and he went back to work. However, U Win continued to experience worsening symptoms over the next few years, returning to clinics and receiving the same treatment. He was told at one point to visit a cardiologist, but did not do so until later on. In August 2020, during another clinic visit in Yangon, the doctor diagnosed U Win with an atrial septal defect, and said that he would need to receive surgery to repair this hole in his heart. If not treated, the condition could weaken his heart further and cause lung problems later on. He was unable to receive surgery in November due to an upsurge in COVID-19 cases, and was also told the procedure would cost about 3,000,000 kyat (approx. 3,000 USD). Luckily, U Win’s wife remembered that there is a charity group in Yangon that might be able to help. The group told him about our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, to look for assistance with accessing the treatment he needed. U Win currently experiences chest pain and back pain, has no appetite, and cannot sleep well at night. He appeals for financial support for his cost of care. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On December 20th, U Win will undergo an atrial septal defect closure procedure. Once recovered, his quality of life will significantly improve and he will be able to return to work. Now, our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund this procedure. U Win shared, “I want to get better soon so that I can work for my family again. I am worried about my family’s future because we cannot find work in the village. My son also cannot go to Yangon to find another job because of COVID-19 travel restrictions.”
Yar is a 18-year-old girl from Thailand. She lives with her parents, three younger sisters and three younger brothers in a refugee camp on the Thai-Burma border. Yar and her parents are all too ill to work and are homemakers, while her siblings are students. Her family relies on the monthly food allowance they receive from an organization to get by. They also grow vegetables for themselves to supplement this income. Yar completed grade nine, but felt too ill to return to school this year. In her free time, she likes to weave traditional Karen bags for her siblings and help her mother with household chores. One day in early January 2020, Yar started to experience neck pain, fevers, and chills. When she went to the refugee camp’s hospital, run by the International Rescue Committee (IRC), she was diagnosed with tonsillitis and was given oral paink medication and antibiotics. During her follow-up appointment, the medic gave her more of the same medications. After her follow-up appointment, Yar felt a small growth with her tongue inside her bottom left jaw behind her front teeth. She told the medic about this at her next appointment, but it was not checked out and she received more oral medication each week until the beginning of June 2020. During this time, the mass increased in size. In June, she was referred to Umphang Hospital, which then referred her to Mae Sot Hospital (MSH) for surgery. IRC brought Yar to MSH, where she received a physical examination, a CT-scan, and a biopsy of the mass. The CT result indicated that the mass was benign. In July, when she went back to MSH for her follow-up appointment, the doctor removed the mass in her mouth as well as five of her lower front teeth during surgery. Since the surgery, Yar has experienced swelling where the mass was removed. Daily, she experiences an achy pain in her lower left jaw, her neck and her back. The mass has also returned and is increasing in size. IRC referred Yar to Watsi's Medical Partner Burma Children Medical Fund for assistance accessing treatment in Chiang Mai Hospital. After reviewing a CT scan to confirm her diagnosis, the doctor in Chiang Mai recommended she move forward with surgery to remove the tumor. Now, she is scheduled to undergo mass removal surgery on December 3rd. She is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of her procedure and care. Yar shared, "I am scared to receive surgery but I believe that I will be recovered after that so I am happy."