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, 4,505 more people have become monthly donors! Bruce's most recent donation traveled 8,600 miles to support Naw Dah, a refugee from Thailand, to fund kidney stone treatment.
Bruce has funded healthcare for 70 patients in 13 countries.
Naw Dah lives with her four daughters and three sons in a refugee camp in northern Thailand. Five of her children attend school in the camp while Naw Dah looks after her two youngest children at home. Her husband, who lives most of the year at his worksite, is a gardener and farmer in a nearby Thai village. He earns 1,000 baht (approx. $33.50 USD) in a month. Every month, Naw Dah’s family receives 1,538 baht (approx. $51.30 USD) as part of their camp food support from an organisation called The Border Consortium. Despite receiving basic health care services and not having to pay for her children’s education, Naw Dah is struggling to make ends meet to feed her large family. In 2016, Naw Dah started experiencing pain and difficulty passing urine. She frequently sought treatment at the camp’s hospital, run by Malteser International Thailand (MI). From time to time, Naw Dah would be admitted to receive treatment for a reoccurring urinary tract infection (UTI). On March 27th, 2020, Naw Dah gave birth to her youngest daughter. While still admitted, on April 1st, she came down with another UTI. She was in extreme pain and had a high fever. That same day, the camp doctor referred her to Mae Sariang Hospital for additional review and treatment. Naw Dah arrived at that hospital later that day and received x-rays and an ultrasound of her abdomen. When her results came in, they indicated that she has an oval shaped opaque stone in the area where her right ureter connects to her urinary bladder. The doctor then referred her to the bigger local hospital for further treatment. Knowing she could not afford to pay for treatment, she was referred to Watsi's Medical Partner BCMF for financial assistance accessing treatment. After she was seen by the doctor at Chiang Mai Hospital, she was given antibiotics to treat her infection. On August 8th, 2020, she was admitted at CMH. Two days later she underwent a procedure called percutaneous nephrostomy to drain the urine in her kidney through the insertion of a catheter into her right kidney. Before she was discharged on August 11th, 2020, she received another appointment to be readmitted on September 14th, 2020. During that admission, the doctor scheduled her to undergo a surgical procedure to remove the stone from her ureter and she needs support raising funds for this critical treatment. In the future, Naw Dah would like to go back to work. “I want to work in the [camp’s] hospital because I used to be a nurse there in the past,” said Naw Dah.
Susana is a 62-year-old farmer from Kenya. She is a talkative and happy grandmother who lives in along the Kerio Valley. Susana is a mother of four and is a subsistence farmer in the upcountry. She plants millet and sorghum in her small farm along the valley to meet her daily needs. She lives in a mud house with her husband. She shared that her four children did not finish school due to lack of money and are in the village doing casual jobs like working in hotels, while her two daughters are married. Susana was well until the Sunday, August 9th when she accidentally fell and injured her left hip. She is currently in pain and unable to walk. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On August 13th, Susana will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. This procedure will help her walk again. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,016 to fund this procedure. Susana shared, “I want to get back on my feet and resume my normal duties of farming and taking care of my husband."
Ohmar is a 36-year-old woman from Thailand. She lives with her husband and two children in a town along the Thai-Burma border. On July 4th, Ohmar was trying to cross the highway to go to a grocery store. She was on her bike on the side of the road when a car sped past, causing her to fall off her bike and land on top of her right arm. A man who saw her fall put turmeric powder on her injured arm and wrapped it in a cloth. But Ohmar did not go to Mae Tao Clinic right away because she did not have enough money. She was only able to seek treatment two days after the accident. Now, Ohnmar's she is in pain, her right arm cannot be extended and her fingers are also swollen. With the help of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, Ohmar will undergo surgery to reset her fractured bones and ensure proper healing. The procedure is scheduled for July 16th and will cost $1,500. This procedure will help make Ohnmar's right arm become functional again and she will no longer be in pain. "I am happy that I can have surgery with the support of the Burma Children Medical Fund and Watsi donors. I have to look after my two children so I need to be strong for them," shared Ohmar.
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.