Charles joined Watsi on September 9th, 2014. Seven years ago, Charles joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Charles' most recent donation traveled 8,800 miles to support Dom, a traditional pottery maker from Cambodia, to fund hip replacement surgery so she can walk again.
Charles has funded healthcare for 88 patients in 13 countries.
Charles has funded healthcare for 88 patients in 13 countries.
Dom is a 43-year-old woman who married with three daughters and one grandchild. Dom used to be a pottery maker but has been unable to work due to the pain she is experiencing. Dom makes pottery in her province of Cambodai, called Kampong Chhnang, which is known for its beautiful ceramics that are sold all over the country. Dom has been experiencing acute pain in her right hip for several weeks. The cause is unknown but, as a result of the pain, she is unable to walk and must use a wheelchair. Dom shared that she feels unwell, cannot sleep, and has lost her appetite. She visited her local hospital, where doctors diagnosed her condition as a fracture of the femoral neck and referred her to our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC), for treatment. Fortunately, on January 5th, surgeons as CSC will perform a total hip replacement to relieve Dom of her pain and allow her to walk easily. CSC is requesting $1,087 to pay for Dom's procedure. Dom shared, "I hope the doctors will discover why I cannot walk and fix it. I want to be able to walk again, have no pain, and take care of my family."
Poe is a 45-year-old man who lives with his wife in a hut in a village in Myawaddy Township in Burma. Poe and his wife are agricultural day labourers, but he had to stop working two to three months ago, when his condition worsened. The income she earns is usually just enough to cover their daily expenses, but if she cannot find work, they have to borrow money to make ends meet. Around seven years ago, Poe got bamboo splinters in his left foot while working on a farm. He was able to pick out the splinters and applied traditional medicine to his foot, which healed. A little while later, he developed pain where he had the splinters before and went to a nearby clinic. A nurse checked his foot but told him that she could not find anything wrong with his foot. The nurse gave him pain medication and Poe went back home. After he took the medication, he felt better. Six or seven months later, his pain returned, and he also developed an infection. When he went back to the clinic, the nurse checked his foot and told him to go to a hospital since he signs of a severe infection. The nurse also gave him medication. He then went to Myawaddy General Hospital, where he had the ulcer cleaned with an antiseptic solution and was given medication. When he went home, he felt better. Two years ago, the pain and ulcer returned but in a larger area then previously. He went back to Myawaddy General Hospital, where he received an x-ray. He was told that his foot was infected due to his previous injury. His foot was cleaned again with an antiseptic solution, and he was given antibiotics. After he took the medication, he felt better again. Just a few months ago, Poe’s foot started to hurt again. However, he was not worried about his foot because the last time his foot had hurt, he had had the ulcers drained. When the pain and swelling increased in his foot, he was no longer able to work. Although he wanted to go to the hospital, he did not have enough money to go this time since he was not working. His brother then told him to go to Mawlamyine Christian Leprosy Hospital (MCLH) in nearby Mon State since it is more affordable. When Poe arrived at MCLH at the end of November, he was admitted after the doctor examined his foot. He received another x-ray and was told that the ulcers and an infection had spread to multiple areas. He was also told that because of how advanced his condition is, his foot could never heal fully, and the only option at this point was to amputate his foot. “I’ve been to many hospitals and clinics already,” said Poe. “The doctor told me that if I amputate my foot my condition will no longer return. So I am happy to go ahead with the procedure.” Currently, Poe’s left ankle and feet is swollen and painful. The pain is worse at night and when the temperature drops. He has multiple ulcers in his foot with discharge and he feels extremely uncomfortable. Some areas of his foot are itchy and painful while he has lost sensation in the top of his foot and areas around his ankle. Cannot put any weight on his left foot due to the pain and has to be pushed in a wheelchair since he arrived at MCLH. He's hopeful about feeling better soon and getting back to working. Poe shared, “In the future I want to buy one or two cows to breed and rear them to earn an income. I also want to grow and sell vegetables."
Jhonatan Mercado is a creative four-year-old from Venezuela. A year ago his family moved to Medellin in Colombia seeking for a better future for their kids. Jhonatan is an older brother in a family of two children, his little brother is one year old. Jhonatan he loves to play with his mom with Legos. He already loves soccer too. Jhonatan Mercado has clubfoot of both feet. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Fortunately, Jhonatan Mercado's family traveled to visit our Medical Partner Clínica Noel. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on December 20th. Our medical partner, Clínica Noel, is requesting $1500 to fund Jhonatan Mercado's bilateral clubfoot repair. After treatment, he will be able to walk without pain or further complications. His mother said "We are really glad that finally we found help, we have been in different treatments since he was 6 months old but now we have a lot of faith in this procedure and in Doctor Miguel."
Soy is a 66-year-old rice farmer. She and her husband have three sons, six daughters, and many grandchildren. They live with their oldest daughter who is also a farmer. Due to her age and poor vision, she no longer works in the rice field. At home, she likes to listen to the monks pray on the radio. Two years ago, Soy developed a cataract in her right eye causing her sensitivity to light and blurry vision. She has difficulty seeing things clearly, recognizing faces, and going anywhere outside. When Soy learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, she traveled for two and a half hours seeking treatment. On September 15th, doctors will perform phacoemulsification cataract surgery and an intraocular lens implant in her right eye. After recovery, she will be able to see clearly. Now, she needs help to fund this $229 procedure. Soy shared, "after surgery I hope my eye can see clearly again. I want to go to the rice field to help my husband. And I want to plant vegetables around my house for sale to earn money to support my family."
Ivan is a three-year-old boy and the only child of his single mother, though his father has three other children with his wife. Ivan and his mother live at his grandparent’s home. Ivan’s grandparents are small scale farmers growing mainly maize, vegetables, and green bananas. Ivan’s mother helps her parents in farming to be able to also provide and care for her son. Ivan was born with a congenital deformity of his toes where they are webbed together. This year, it has been hard for Ivan to play and do all the things his friends like to do. Fortunately, our medical partner African Mission Healthcare Foundation is helping Ivan receive treatment. On September 2nd, surgeons at their care center will perform a surgery so he will no longer be in pain. Now, his family needs help to fund this $639 procedure. Ivan’s mother says,"I am not able to afford my son’s treatment cost please help him have his toes corrected. He is complaining of pain more as days go by.”
Robert is a 37-year-old matatu taxi driver with two children. Recently, Robert was involved in a traffic accident where he sustained multiple fractures in his legs. He has difficulty walking and can no longer work as a driver. Fortunately, with the support of Watsi donors he was able to have his first surgery and now surgeons at our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), are able to help with his final repair. On August 5th, Robert will undergo a second fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. This procedure will allow Robert to walk with more ease. AMH is requesting $1,500 to fund this procedure. "I am hopeful I will be able to walk again. I am halfway there. I know with this surgery, I will be able to use my legs and get back to working again,” shared Robert.
Nurat is a three-week old baby from Tanzania. She is the first child of her young parents at a local hospital in Manyara. Nurat’s mother still lives at her parents’ home while her father lives at a rented house. Before Nurat's birth, her mother sold flowers and cooking pots to earn a living and her father has a small kiosk selling domestic items such as sugar, salt, bread. Nurat was born with spina bifida that puts her at risk of lower-limb paralysis, infection, and possible developmental delays. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,015 to cover the cost of Nurat's spina bifida closure surgery. The procedure is scheduled to take place on June 23rd. This procedure will hopefully spare Nurat from the risks associated with his condition, instead allowing her to grow and develop into a healthy girl . Nuru’s mother hopes the best for her child, "Am still in shock and unsettled due to my daughter’s conditions. I was informed that both conditions could be corrected but we are not in a position to afford any of the treatment costs. Please help save my daughter I don’t know what to do."
Glory is a charming four-year-old girl and the firstborn child in a family of two children. Glory’s mother is house mother, while her father provides for the family through his work at construction sites. Glory was diagnosed with bilateral genu valgus, which means that her legs bow inwards and her knees touch. This condition is typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, which often comes from contaminated drinking water. As a result, Glory has difficulty walking and experiences pain after playing all day. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Glory. The procedure is scheduled to take place on June 4th and treatment will hopefully restore Glory's mobility, allowing her to participate in a variety of activities and greatly decreasing her risk of future complications. Glory’s mother shared, "we have tried medication, but it has not helped. Our daughter now needs surgery but the cost of treatment is too high for us to afford. Please help."
Degenet is an eight-month-old baby boy from Ethiopia and the third child born to his parents. He is curious and loves juice, eggs, and playing with his mom. His father is a day worker and a student, while his mom is a homemaker. Degenet was born with an anorectal malformation, a congenital abnormality that leads to a complete or partial intestinal blockage. He needs to undergo a series of procedures to eliminate bowel dysfunction. Degenet is scheduled to undergo surgery to correct his condition on May 4th. After his recovery, he will no longer experience bowel dysfunction or be at risk of developing health complications in the future. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of Degenet's procedure and care. Degenet's mother shared, “I hope our baby gets as normal as other boys. I hope he will be educated and do good work in the future. And it is my hope he will serve God becoming a good Christian.”
Mary is a 46-year-old mother with two children aged 28 and 25 years old. Mary takes care of her family, while her husband is a casual laborer at construction sites. Mary was generally in good health until a few years ago, when she started having upper abdominal pain. To treat her condition, Mary visited many hospitals that provided her with pain medication. She also underwent a scan that showed she had gallstones, but was told treatment would not remove them. Fortunately, Mary's pastor and other friends advised her to come to Nazareth Hospital for another opinion, where a surgeon confirmed she had gallstones and advised that she undergo a cholecystectomy procedure for treatment. If not treated, Mary will continue to experience pain, and her condition could develop into bladder inflammation and bile duct inflammation. Mary will be receiving assistance from our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare. She is scheduled to undergo a laparotomy to start treatment for her gallstones on April 1st, and the procedure will cost $788. Once recovered, she will hopefully be free of pain and able to return to her daily life activities. Mary shared, “I have had a lot of pain and have gone to very many places seeking treatment for the last four years. I kindly hope and plead for help so that I can be well and regain my normal life."
Alamunyaki is an 11-year-old boy and the fourth born in a family of five children. Alamunyaki is a very social and hard-working boy. He has not had the chance to join school due to his parent’s financial challenges. There is hope for Alamunyaki joining school because one of his uncles has offered to take him and support him in school next year. It is also Alamunyaki’s uncle who decided to seek treatment for his nephew who has burn contracture on his right hand from the elbow all the way down to the wrist and fingers, making it impossible for him to hold things with the hand. Alamunyaki’s parents are small scale farmers of maize and vegetables, which they mostly use for their own consumption and sell what they can of the harvest in order to get money to buy other commodities. They also have a few goats which Alamunyaki and his siblings help their parents in grazing. Alamunyaki was involved in a fire accident when he was two years old. He was at the fireplace with his siblings warming themselves while their mother was preparing dinner. Alamunyaki was dressed in his traditional maasai clothing which caught fire by accident. Alamunyaki sustained a severe burn and needed to be taken to the hospital but due to his parent’s financial constraints they couldn’t take him and treated him at home using herbal and traditional medicines. The skin around the burns has contracted making it impossible for him to use his right hand. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is helping Alamunyaki receive treatment. On March 3rd, surgeons at their care center will perform a burn contracture release surgery to he will be able to use his. Now, their family needs help to fund this $639 procedure. Alamunyaki’s uncle says: “I would like my nephew to go to school next year but I understand it’s not going to be easy if he does not have his right hand correct. Kindly help him because his parents cannot afford the cost.”
Myo is a 16-year-old boy from Burma. He lives with his parents and four brothers in northern Rakhine State. Myo is a student in grade nine and his four brothers also go to school. However, they have been unable to study since the Covid-19 pandemic shut all schools. Myo’s parents are day laborers, and their family's combined income is just enough to cover their daily expenses since Myo and his brothers’ schooling is free. To survive with limited income, they forage for vegetables and fish. If they fall ill, they use traditional medicine, which is more affordable then going to a clinic or a hospital. Myo was diagnosed with a heart condition that involves a malformation of the mitral valve, which is 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, Myo cannot walk long distances or climb stairs because of his tiredness. Sometimes, he cannot breathe very well. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund a mitral valve replacement for Myo. The treatment is scheduled to take place on February 7th and, once completed, will hopefully allow him to live more comfortably. Myo shared, “I am worried about my health and I feel sorry for my parents. Because of my health problems, my father had to work more days to earn more money. Also, my mother cannot work because she accompanies me and has to take care of me. I hope my school will reopen soon so that I can go back to school. One day I hope that I can become a teacher. I want to teach because there are not enough teachers in my village.”