Jan has funded healthcare for 68 patients in 13 countries.
Naikulo is a smiley seven-year-old boy from Tanzania and one of almost 40 children in his family. They shared with us that his father is polygamous and has eight wives. Naikulo's father is an older man who depends on livestock keeping to be able to care for and support his family. Naikulo 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, Naikulo has been experiencing an increasing head circumference. Naikulo acquired hydrocephalus in 2012 and was able to have treatment through funding that helped relieve him of the pressure build-up which was putting him in danger of brain damage. However, Naikulo's shunt has failed and he needs another surgery to help relieve him from the pain he is going through because of the pressure build-up that has resulted due to the malfunctioning of the shunt. Without treatment, Naikulo will experience severe physical and developmental delays. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $765 to cover the cost of surgery for Naikulo that will treat his hydrocephalus. The procedure is scheduled to take place on September 28th and will drain the excess fluid from Naikulo's brain. This will reduce intracranial pressure and greatly improve his quality of life. With proper treatment, Naikulo will hopefully develop into a strong, healthy young boy. Naikulo’s older brother says, “My parents are not able to come up with the money needed to treat my young brother, please help him he is suffering.”
John is a 46-year-old disabled father of three who needs to undergo a second-stage bone transport surgery. John shared his story with us: In early December 2015, he was attacked by an unknown assailant who robbed him and dragged him along the road causing a serious femur fracture on his left leg. Unconscious, he was rushed to Kenyatta National Hospital where he was admitted and underwent surgery receiving an implant. This marked the beginning of a series of surgeries associated with his fracture and he was later referred to Watsi's Medical Partner Care Center Kijabe Hospital for treatment and management of his condition. Although he has applied for funding through the national insurance scheme, it was not approved due to his previous treatments and he now needs financial support for a bone transport surgery. Previously, John was a matatu driver but quit after a serious accident. He lives in a single room house that a local church offered because of his condition and his children are currently living with his sister. John is ambulating on crutches and if not treated, he might be at risk of not being able to walk freely again. John said, “With my disability, I am unable to cater for my family and live normally. If I get the required treatment, I will be able to raise my 3 kids and live normally again.”
Phannith is fourteen years old. He is a student in the ninth grade. He has one younger sister in fifth grade. His parents are factory workers and work long hours, so he takes care of his sister everyday. His favorite subject at school is math and he wants to be a computer programmer when he grows up. Since he was born, Phannith has had torticollis. The muscles on the left side of his neck are involuntarily contracted, causing his head to tilt to that side, and he has difficulty moving his head or looking around. It can also cause recurrent neck pain and make it difficult to sleep. Fortunately, surgeons at Children's Surgical Centre (CSC) can perform a tenotomy to release the tension in those muscles and allow Phannith to gain normal movement of his head once he has recovered and completed physiotherapy. Now, Phannith needs your help to fund this $541 surgery. Phannith shared, "I hope that soon my neck will feel better and look better. I hope I can play sports with all my friends and not have to worry about neck pain."
Phylis is a 34 year old housewife from Kenya. She is married, has four children aged between 14 years and 18 months, and her husband works as a mechanic. Three months ago, Phylis began to experience troubling symptoms, including shortness of breath and heart palpitations. She was diagnosed with a goiter, an abnormal enlargement of the thyroid gland. She needs surgery to prevent her symptoms from getting worse. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Phylis receive treatment. She is scheduled to undergo a thyroidectomy on December 19th at our medical partner's care center. Surgeons will remove all or part of her thyroid gland. This procedure will cost $625, and she and her family need help raising money. “I look forward to raising my children and especially my baby without my family having to worry about my health,” says Phylis.
Htet is a 24-year-old woman from Burma. She lives with her grandparents, her uncle, her uncle’s wife, her niece, her aunt, and her aunt’s husband in Yangon, Burma. Her parents passed away when she was 19 years old. Htet's uncle is still searching for work and is currently unemployed, while his wife is a homemaker. Her niece is still too young to enroll in school. Htet works as shop vender at a construction store. Htet’s aunt is a homemaker while her husband is a day laborer. Htet’s grandparents are retired. Their family's combined incomes are is just enough for their daily expense and for basic healthcare needs. Htet 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, Htet feels very tired and cannot walk long distances. Sometimes, she has chest pains. She often has a headache and shared that she feels stressed and unhappy all the time. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund a mitral valve replacement for Htet. The treatment is scheduled to take place on May 31st and, once completed, will hopefully allow her to live more comfortably. Htet said, “In the future if I recover, I would like to become a makeup artist. In my free time, I try to make my own makeup.”
Titus, a happy 7-year old boy, was born and raised in Kapsabaa Village in Kenya. He is in first grade. He was well until the 8th of April, when he was pushed by a friend when they were playing together and hit the hard ground, injuring his left hand. Accompanied by his mother, Titus had to travel for several hours to get from their home to Watsi's partner hospital to be seen by doctors. His family was referred from a government hospital because they were unable to treat him due to lack of financial means. Very quickly after arriving at our partner hospital, an X-ray was done and confirmed a left supracondylar fracture. Due to pain and discomfort, Titus was admitted and scheduled for surgery. Titus is the second born in a family of four children. His mother is a grocer while his father is a mason. They both work hard to better their young family despite the fact that his father does not have a stable job as he only can wait for construction, which is rare in the village. The family has not been saving any money because they earn a little, which is enough to feed their family and gather for a few basic needs for their children. The young family lives in a rental house in the village centre. The injury has caused Titus’s parents a lot of worry about their son’s future because the fracture has made it difficult for Titus to use his hand. The young family is requesting for financial support to help their son undergo surgery to fix his broken hand and reduce chances of complications of healing badly and persistent pain. Gladys, Titus's Mother, says: “We were lacking means but we were given hope of finding treatment for our son when we came here. I am looking forward to seeing him not in pain again.”
We met with eleven-year-old Ian in the hospital ward as he was admitted for a skin traction after he fell from a tree and broke his left hand. His mother sat beside him helplessly while she watched her only son in pain. It took me time for his mother to talk as she was feeling very disturbed and stressed because of her son's condition. She was trying to help him sit up but he couldn’t because of his fractured hand. Ian was brought to the hospital accompanied by his parents. They walked for hours to get the nearest health facility where he was referred to our hospital for surgical review. On arrival, he had an x-ray done which showed that Ian had fractured his left supracondylar. Ian is the third born child in a family of five. He is the eldest son of Christine and Isaac. They are a humble family who is struggling financially and often lack food for their children. Ian's father is a farmer and his mother is a housewife. They live in a two-roomed mud house in upcountry of Kenya. Ian's father, who is a maize farmer says that his farming is not doing well due to poor rains in the area and he has not been getting good yields in recent years. Medical examination shows that Ian needs urgent surgical intervention for his hand, but his family is unable to raise money for their son’s surgery apart from $30 that they collected from friends and family. His family is requesting our prayers and financial support for Ian’s treatment enable him use his hand. Christine, Ian’s mother says, “It is painful to see my son cry in pain. I hope he will receive treatment soon. All I want is to see him happy.”
Aung is a 15-year-old novice monk from Hpa-An. He lives with other monks in the monastery. His parents own a piece of land where his father and oldest brother grow vegetables and fruits for sale. The family also grows vegetables for their own consumption. He was born with encephalocele and it was the size of a fingerprint. It grew bigger over the years and was the same size for the last three years before receiving surgery in 2015. He also suffers from hydrocephalus and he received ventriculoperitoneal shunt (VP) in 2016. Two months ago, Aung developed headaches and his head has grown bigger on the right side. At that time, his father bought medicine from the pharmacy to reduce his headaches. He took it for two days, but he did not feel better. Later on, his father took him to Hpa-An hospital where he received a blood test and x-ray. The doctor suggested his father to take him to Yangon but his father returned to Mae Tao Clinic (MTC) in Mae Sot instead of going to Yangon. On February 25th, he arrived at MTC and he was referred to Watsi Medical Partner's Care Center Mae Sot Hospital to be seen the next day. At MSH, the doctor recommended a CT scan, which Watsi donors have also generously supported, and with these results Aung's father was told that doctors need to replace Aung's VP shunt as the previous shunt from 2016 is blocked. Aung’s father said, “I am very worried for him as he is my son and I hope that he will be healthy as soon as possible. In the future, I want him to be a monk for the rest of his life. Because I know my other older sons will not take good care of him as he is not a healthy boy. If he stays at the temple, he can be able to sleep and eat regularly."
Colar is a 53-year-old woman who lives with her husband in Karen State in Burma. She has two sons who are students across the border in Mae Sot, Thailand. Both Colar and her husband are subsistence farmers but are no longer able to work on the farm due to their poor health. Their limited income comes from breeding and selling pigs and goats. In June 2018, Colar began to suffer from significant lower abdominal and back pain, constipation, headaches, frequent urination, blood in her urine and nausea. Her neighbor advised her to treat the pain with traditional medicine, initially believing this was caused by the fruit she was eating in the forest. However, after a week of severe pain, Colar lost consciousness and her neighbor called her brother who works as a medic at Mae Tao Clinic (MTC). Her brother advised them to bring Colar to MTC for treatment. At MTC, Colar underwent a blood test, urine test and ultrasound afterwards, the doctor at MTC diagnosed her with a renal stone in her left kidney and advised her she would need surgery. Colar still suffers from constant pain and discomfort, she is very worried about the upcoming surgery, her health, and how she is going to support her husband and two sons who are still students. Colar said the constant worry for her health and her husband's is causing them significant anxiety and depression. When she feels well enough, she likes to forage in the forest for fruits and vegetables and tend to her garden. When Colar recovers from surgery and her health improves, she hopes to grow enough fruit and vegetables to feed her family and to sell.
U Chit is a 55-year-old man from Myawaddy Township, Karen State, Burma. He divorced his wife seven years ago and has two daughters and three sons. His youngest daughter lives with his ex-wife in Yangon and their other children live in Myawaddy Township. In March 2019, he entered into monkhood. Now, he receives alms from laypeople and from his children. In February 2019, U Chit began to experience back pain and a burning sensation when urinating. To treat his symptoms, he bought medication from a nearby pharmacy. However, after taking the medicine, he did not feel any better. He later went to a local clinic where he received more medication for his symptoms. They suggested that he go to Myawadday Hospital to receive an ultrasound scan. However, he did not go to the hospital because he did not think he would be able to pay for the cost of the scan. Instead, he continued taking the medicine that the doctor had prescribed. Unfortunately, his pain when urinating did not get better. Finally, U Chit decided to visit Mae Tao Clinic (MTC), where he got his hernia treated four years ago, to seek treatment. U Chit arrived at MTC on April 24th, 2019, where an ultrasound scan revealed that he had a bladder stone. The next day, he was sent to Mae Sot Hospital (MSH) where he received an injection and oral medication. On May 16th, 2019, he received an Intravenous Pyelogram (IVP) test for further investigation. After the IVP test, the doctor told him that he requires surgery and is scheduled for 20th November 2019. Currently, U Chit experiences back pain and he continues to feel a burning sensation when urinating. Aside from his concerns about his condition, he is worried about financial problems because he is a monk and does not have a regular income. U Chit likes reading Buddhist texts and newspapers in his free time. He said, “I want to cure my condition as soon as possible and I would like to focus on religious activities. After I am cured, I also would like to help find treatment for my daughter who has suffered from a stroke.”
Paw is a 62-year-old widow from Thailand. She lives with her older brother in Thaw Lae Hta Village, Mae Sariang Town, Mae Hong Son Province. Paw has works as a homemaker taking care of her brother who cannot work due to congenital mental and physical disabilities. Paw has a younger sister in the same town who supports her financially and is her main source of income. Since 2014, Paw has been experiencing some abnormal pain in her right lower abdomen. She has been diagnosed with a myoma. She has been advised to undergo a total abdominal hysterectomy, the surgical removal of her uterus and cervix. If left untreated, Paw's symptoms will continue to worsen and put her at risk for further health complications in the future. Fortunately, Paw is scheduled to undergo her hysterectomy on November 19th. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of her procedure and care. Once recovered, Paw will no longer abdominal pain and she will be able to take care of her brother. Paw said, "Since 2019, I have been experiencing increased levels of pain in my right lower abdomen, increased back pain, and difficulty sleeping. Riding a motorbike aggravates the pain even more. I also experience dysuria and sometimes it takes me longer to use the bathroom. My appetite is good, but I cannot eat as much as I want because I experiences abdominal tightness, difficulty breathing, and fullness in my stomach when I eat too much."
Kaung is a three-year-old boy from Thailand. He lives with his parents and grandmother. His mother works in a sewing factory and his father as a day labourer while his grandmother taking care of him at home. On October 16th, around 10 in the morning, Kaung was playing with a stick after breakfast. While his grandmother went to wash the dishes, after feeding him, Kaung tried to climb up onto the fence but fell off onto the ground and broke his right humerus bone. Currently, Kaung is in pain and he cannot lift up his right hand. He cries a lot and his grandmother has to carry him around in her arms. With the help of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, Kaung will undergo surgery to reset his fractured bones and ensure proper healing. The procedure is scheduled for October 16th and will cost $1,500. This surgery will help Kaung to be able to use his hand again without pain. His grandmother said, "I am very worried for my grandson when I see that his hand is broken. I don't know what to do to help him. I just know that I am worried as we do not have money to seek treatment for him."