Bruce joined Watsi on May 6th, 2014. Four years ago, Bruce became the 1921st member to automatically support a new Watsi patient every month. Since then, 4,025 more people have become monthly donors! Bruce's most recent donation traveled 8,300 miles to support Daw Ei, a woman from Burma, to fund cardiac surgery.
Bruce has funded healthcare for 67 patients in 13 countries.
Daw Ei is a 48-year-old woman from Burma. She lives with her husband, mother, two daughters, son, and daughter-in-law in Yangon. Her husband is a security guard, her mother is retired, and her daughter-in-law is a homemaker. Her eldest daughter works in a factory, her other daughter is a student, and her son works as a mason. Daw Ei used to work as a shop vender herself but had to stop three years ago due to her health problem. Daw Ei 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, Daw Ei suffers from chest pains, feels tired and cannot walk long distances. Sometimes, she has no appetite. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund a mitral valve replacement for Daw Ei. The treatment is scheduled to take place on June 14th and, once completed, will hopefully allow her to live more comfortably. Daw Ei said, “I’m worried about my health problem. Also, I’ve spent all my money on [seeking] treatment and I had to borrow 300,000 kyat (approx. 300 USD) from my daughter’s friend. I want to be cured.”
Samwel is a 14-month baby boy from Tanzania, the third born in a family of three children. He was born healthy but after one week his parents started noticing that his head was growing significantly. They took him to several hospitals where he was given medication but his condition was worsening. They were referred to another hospital in another city where Samwel was diagnosed with hydrocephalus and a VP Shunt was placed for him when he was three months old. He was discharged home doing well until a week ago when he started getting regular fevers. His mother noticed that there was a wound on his stomach and they could see the tube that was placed when he was three months old. Samwel’s father heard about treatment for children with hydrocephalus at Watsi's Medical Partner Care Center ALMC from our outreach team and when his son got sick he reached out for treatment and support. Samwel’s father is a subsistence farmer and his mother is a housewife. They do not earn enough to be able to afford Samwel’s needed treatment. Samwel 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, Samwel has been experiencing increased head circumference and frequent fevers. Without treatment, Samwel will experience severe physical and developmental delays. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,362 to cover the cost of surgery for Samwel that will treat his hydrocephalus. The procedure is scheduled to take place on May 13th and will drain the excess fluid from Samwel's brain. This will reduce intracranial pressure and greatly improve his quality of life. With proper treatment, Samwel will hopefully develop into a strong, healthy young boy. Samwel's father says, "I have been to several places for my son's treatment, right now I cannot afford this other surgery he needs. Please help him get this needed treatment."
Martha is a peasant farmer from central Kenya. She relies on small-scale farming to make ends meet for her five children and herself. Her husband also tends to the farm with her. The family’s income is divided to meet the family's demands especially school fees for two of her children. Since 10 years ago, Martha began to experience troubling symptoms, including pain and discomfort. She was diagnosed with a multi-nodular goiter. She needs surgery to prevent her symptoms from getting worse. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Martha receive treatment. She is scheduled to undergo a thyroidectomy on March 10th at our medical partner's care center. Surgeons will remove all or part of her thyroid gland. This procedure will cost $653, and she and her family need help raising money. Martha says, “My prayer is to be treated to reduce the persistent pain on my right side of the neck.”
Sopheak is a 45-year-old grocery seller from Cambodia. She has three children, two sons and one daughter. She likes to listen to the radio, watch television, and look after her children. When she was young, Sopheak had an ear infection. This infection caused a cholesteatoma, or an abnormal skin growth, to develop in the middle ear behind the ear drum. For this reason, Sopheak experiences ear discharge, tinnitus, and ear pain. She finds difficulty in hearing clearly, and she has trouble communicating with her family members and her customers. Sopheak traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On March 11th, she will undergo a mastoidectomy procedure in her right ear. During this procedure, ENT surgeons will remove the cholesteatoma. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is requesting $925 to fund this procedure. This covers medications, supplies, and inpatient care.
Joseph is a young boy from Tanzania. He is the fifth born child in a family of 7 children and also comes from a polygamous family and has 10 siblings inclusive of his step-siblings. His parents are small scale farmers in Northern Tanzania. His father often traverses into Kenya to sell Masai herbal medicine to supplement income and meet the daily demands of his big family. When Joseph was two years old, he slipped by boiling tea in his mother's hut. He suffered burns on his right hand and right side of his head. He spent several months in the hospital recuperating from the burns. Unfortunately, he healed with contractures on his right hand that has limited his ability to use his right hand. Joseph had surgery in October to release his wrist and now he needs to have another surgery to have his fingers released. Joseph is struggling to write in his class one studies due to contractures on his right hand. He has to learn how to write with his left hand. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Joseph receive treatment. On January 7th, surgeons at their care center will perform a burn contracture release surgery to he will be able to use his hand and even move his fingers independently. Now, he needs help to fund this $832 procedure. Joseph says, “I like how my hand looks now, and I am able to use my hand to carry things. I hope that if I get another surgery it will look more okay.”
Roth has a two-year-old son, and enjoys reading books and taking care of his family and household in his free time. Since Roth was born, he had a curvature in his spine, making it difficult for him to walk and sleep comfortably. He was diagnosed with scoliosis and the curvature of his spine is nearly 80 degrees. Roth will undergo spinal surgery, where implants will be inserted along his spine to help correct the deformity and prevent the curve from developing in the future. He shared, "I hope that I will be able to recover from my surgery and ... I will be able to walk again without any difficulty."
Tun is a 33-year-old man from Burma. He used to work as a day laborer at a construction site until he fell sick. During his free time, he enjoys playing billiards with his friends. Tun 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, Tun is experiencing tiredness, fast heartbeats, sharp chest pains, and he is unable to sleep well. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund a mitral valve replacement for Tun. The treatment is scheduled to take place on December 16th and, once completed, will hopefully allow him to live more comfortably. Tun said, "I am very happy that I received this chance of getting treatment. It is impossible if I must fund my own treatment. Thank you very much for your support.”
Jean is a student from Haiti. He lives with his parents and brothers in a neighborhood of Port-au-Prince. He is in the eight grade, and before becoming sick he enjoyed playing soccer regularly. Jean has a cardiac condition called rheumatic mitral and aortic regurgitation. Two of the four valves of his heart were severely damaged by a rheumatic fever he suffered in childhood, and can no longer adequately pump blood through his body. Jean will fly to the Dominican Republic to receive treatment. On October 28th, he will undergo cardiac surgery, during which surgeons will attempt to repair his two damaged valves; if they are unable to do so, they will implant artificial replacements. Another organization, The Mitral Foundation, is contributing $7500 to pay for surgery. Jean'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 Jean's family overseas. Jean said, "I am very excited to have this chance to get my heart fixed!"
Mee is a 53-years-old woman who lives with her husband and two daughters who are studying in grade nine and six at a local high school. Mee’s husband is a carpenter and she is a homemaker. Their income is not enough to cover their expenses. About ten years ago, Mee had joint pain and swollen knees. She went to Mae Tao Clinic (MTC) where she received blood test and vital signs. The results showed Mee has hypertension as well as arthritis. She also found out that she has a goiter related problem. She received one month worth of medication for all three conditions. Since then, Mee went back to MTC every month for follow-up appointment and to received medication. After three years of taking medication, Mee was told that she does not need to take medication for goiter anymore. Up until now, Mee has been going back to the same clinic for regular medication for her goiter. Meanwhile, Mee feels like her goiter has grown bigger. One day, she happened to meet a health worker in her village who told her to go and seek treatment at MTC. So Mee, along with her friend, went to MTC. From there, she was told to go to Mae Sot Hospital (MSH) for further investigation. Mee then went to MSH the following day and she received blood tests and an ultrasound. With the results, the doctor confirmed Mee has a goiter. He said Mee needs to undergo surgery because oral medication or injection would not decrease the size of her goiter. Currently, Mee cannot sleep well but she can eat well. Sometimes, when she carries heavy things, she feels pain in her neck.
Enelo lives in a small town in southwestern Haiti with his mother and father; he is their first child. Shortly after birth, he was diagnosed with two holes in his heart: atrial septal defect, between the two upper chambers; and ventricular septal defect, between the two lower chambers. During surgery, doctors will use patches to close both of these holes so that his heart can pump blood normally.
Ngwe is a 47-year-old woman from Thailand. She works on a farm. Since May 2019, Ngwe has been experiencing tightness in her abdomen and other symptoms. She has been diagnosed with an ovarian tumor. She has been advised to undergo a total abdominal hysterectomy, the surgical removal of her uterus and cervix. If left untreated, Ngwe's symptoms will continue to worsen and put her at risk for further health complications in the future. Fortunately, Ngwe is scheduled to undergo her hysterectomy on August 13. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of her procedure and care. After surgery, Ngwe will be able to work again. Ngwe said, “I will continue to work after I recover.”
Gudise is a baby from Ethiopia. She loves to crawl and play with other babies. Gudise was born with an anorectal malformation, a congenital abnormality that leads to a complete or partial intestinal blockage. She needs to undergo a series of procedures to eliminate bowel dysfunction. Gudise is scheduled to undergo surgery to correct her condition on June 11. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of Gudise's procedure and care. After her recovery, Gudise will no longer experience bowel dysfunction or be at risk of developing health complications in the future.