Sirkku joined Watsi on January 14th, 2015. Six years ago, Sirkku joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Sirkku's most recent donation supported Patricia, a mother from Kenya, to fund a mastectomy.
Sirkku has funded healthcare for 52 patients in 10 countries.
Sirkku has funded healthcare for 52 patients in 10 countries.
Patricia is a mother of three from Kenya. Patricia noted a breast lump 16 years ago which had been dismissed as fatty tissue. Fast forward to 2019, the lump size increased and was painful. She had a mammogram done followed by a breast lumpectomy in our facility. Pathology report indicated a malignant tumor which if not treated will result into metastasis. A mastectomy, a surgery to remove breast tissue, has been suggested to rid her body of breast cancer and to prevent the cancer from metastasizing. Patricia is a single mother of three children. Two of her children are out of school due to lack of school fees. She used to work as a house keeper but her contract ended 2 years ago. She had to close her grocery shop 2 months ago after persistent pain. Currently, her daily needs are met by her sister. She is not able to raise the funds needed for surgery and appeals for help. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $816 to cover the cost of a mastectomy for Patricia. The procedure is scheduled to take place on September 10. After treatment, Patricia will hopefully return to a cancer-free life. Patricia says, “My hope and prayer is to be treated and be able to engage in some business to sustain my children”.
Eh is a 22-year-old woman from Thailand. She was born and lives her parents and younger brother in Mae La Refugee Camp. Her younger brother studies at the bible school at the camp. Eh used to attend the same school as a third-year student, but she had to stop studying when her health deteriorated. Eh's father is a homemaker, and her mother works for the department of health at the camp. In 2017, Eh started to become more tired and began to have difficulty breathing. Her mother took her to the clinic in the camp and the doctor listened to her heart, did an electrocardiogram (ECG) and told Eh’s mother that Eh has a heart disease. She was then referred to Mae Sot Hospital (MSH) for further investigation. Eh was not told anything about her condition, and the doctor only informed her parents without telling her. Eh had an echocardiogram (echo) at MSH in December 2018. After the echo, she travelled back and forward several times from Mae La refugee camp to MSH for medical follow-up visits. Finally, the doctor at MSH informed her that she needs surgery. Currently, Eh has dizziness, headaches, tiredness and sometimes experiences difficulty breathing. She sleeps well but has lost her appetite and she sometimes suffers from chest pain. She loves reading and playing football and volleyball in her free time. Eh was born with ventricular septal defect, a cardiac condition in which a hole exists between the two lower chambers of the heart. Blood leaks through this hole without first passing through his lungs to obtain oxygen, leaving him sick and short of breath. Eh is scheduled to undergo heart surgery on October 5th to correct her condition and improve her quality of life. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of Eh's procedure and care. Eh said, “All my classmate graduated, and I want to as well, but I am tired of studying and when I think about this, I cry”.
Zin is a 37-year-old woman from Burma. She lives with her husband, son and two daughters in Myawaddy, Karen State. Her 17-year-old son and 13-year-old daughter go to school while her youngest daughter stays home as she is still very young. To make a living, Zin used to make different Burmese snacks and sell them at the nearby villages. But she recently stopped working due to her health condition. Sometimes, her husband works as a day labourer but Zin said she does not know how much he earns from that. Six months ago, Zin started to experience stomach-ache so she went to a clinic. The doctor there did not do any investigations, instead, just prescribed her oral medication. Although Zin felt better with the medications she received at the clinic, her symptom returned after two months and she went back to see the same doctor. The doctor again prescribed her medications, but they only relieved her symptoms for a short time. In early September, Zin felt like her stomach-ache has worsened. She had it more often and the medications that she received at the clinic did not help her anymore. On 12 September 2019, Zin had a severe stomach-ache and for the last time, she returned to see the same doctor. On this visit, the doctor performed an ultrasound and said that there are stones in her common bile duct (CBD), a duct that carries bile from the gallbladder and liver into the duodenum (upper part of the small intestine). Zin has been advised to undergo a biliary obstruction repair, a procedure to repair the blockage of the bile ducts, which carry bile from the liver to the gallbladder. If left untreated, Zin's symptoms will continue to worsen and put her at risk for further health complications in the future. After seeking treatment through our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), Zin is scheduled to undergo her biliary obstruction repair on October 03. BCMF is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of Zin's procedure and care. Zin said, “I cannot do anything now. I want to get well soon and start working again. If not, my family will not have enough food”.
Chit is a 30-year-old man who lives with his wife, daughter, son and father-in-law in Noh Poe Village, Myawaddy Township, Karen State, Burma. Chit’s daughter and son go to school. Chit, together with his wife and father-in-law work as farmers on land they rent. Chit’s family does not have regular income, but they sell durian and betel nut that they grow in their garden. Seven years ago, Chit started to experience pain in his lower left abdomen. He also had difficulty passing urine so he went to Myawaddy Hospital for help. He received an ultrasound and an x-ray before the doctor informed him that he has a urinary tract infection (UTI) and a kidney stone. He was treated for the UTI but he did not received treatment for the kidney stone. He was given a follow-up appointment for every month, to receive medication for the abdominal pain. He continued to return for his appointments until late-2018, but when he did not feel better he followed his neighbour’s suggestion and sought help at Mae Tao Clinic (MTC) in Thailand on 20 February 2019. When Chit arrived at MTC, he received an ultrasound as well as a urine and blood test. After the tests, the medic informed him that he has a kidney stone and he was prescribed some medication. On 29 February, MTC referred him to Mae Sot Hospital (MSH) for further investigation. At MSH, he underwent an intravenous pyelogram (IVP) and was asked to return to MSH for his follow-up appointments and he returned several times. Eventually, he was told that the kidney stone had moved into his urethra and that he would need to undergo laser treatment to break up the stone. Currently, Chit still experiences pain in his lower left abdomen and sometimes he has difficulty passing urine. He worries that his condition will get worse if he does not get treatment. Sometimes his urine has blood in it, especially when he drinks less water and he has difficulty passing urine. Sometimes, he feels like the pain of his abdominal is worse and he is not able to walk or work. He is unable to sleep, and he feels more comfortable when he lies down and rests. In his free time, Chit loves to forage for vegetables in the forest.
Ivona is a baby from Tanzania. Early last month, Ivona’s mother noticed a small swelling on her neck. Her neck mass was increasing in size and causing her pain. Ivona traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On July 29, surgeons will remove the mass. Now, Ivona's family needs help to raise $689 to fund this procedure. Ivona’s father says, “Please help us fund her treatment cost we have no means of coming up with this kind of money.”
Richardson is a baby from Haiti. He lives with his parents in a neighborhood of Port-au-Prince; his father is a security guard and his mother stays at home with him. Richardson has a cardiac condition called Tetralogy of Fallot. His diagnosis involves several related conditions, including a hole between the two lower chambers of the heart and a muscular blockage of one of the valves. On May 24, he will undergo cardiac surgery at St. Damien Hospital, our medical partner's care center. During surgery, surgeons will close the hole in his heart with a patch, and remove the muscular blockage from his valve. Another organization, Gift of Life International, is contributing $12,000 to pay for surgery. Richardson's family also needs help to fund the costs of surgery prep. The $1,500 requested by our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, covers cardiac exams and medications. His mother says, "We are hopeful that after the surgery our son will gain weight and be more active."
Thin is a nine-year-old second grader from Burma. She lives with her grandparents while her mother is working in Bangkok. Thin has a femoral hernia. She cannot play or run because the hernia causes her pain. Fortunately, on May 10, she will undergo hernia repair surgery at Mae Sot General Hospital, our medical partner's care center. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund Thin's hernia repair surgery. The procedure is scheduled to take place on May 10 and, once completed, will hopefully allow her to live more comfortably. “As a single mother, it is a difficult balancing act to get my daughter treated while trying not to lose my job. My daughter is still very young. She has a future and I want her to live healthily," says Thin's mother.
Elizabeth is a woman from Kenya. She operates a small vegetable kiosk in a small urban settlement in the Kenyan coastal city of Mombasa. She has two sons. Elizabeth has been diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma of the mandible. This is a malignant cancer which, if not treated early, has high chances of metastasis. Elizabeth is scheduled for a mandibulectomy and free flap, a long surgery that involves a fibula replacement on the excised jaw. Treatment is scheduled for April 10. Now, our medical partner is requesting $1,500 to help fund this procedure. Elizabeth says, “My prayer is to regain my health and join other cancer victors. I am hopeful that I will be okay."
Simon is a man from Kenya. He is a father of two children. He operates a small business. In September 2018, Simon was in a road accident. Since then, he has undergone four surgeries to treat injuries to his tibia bone. Now, he needs to undergo a bone transport to treat a bone infection. If not treated, Simon will be at risk of further complications, including a total bone infection that might result into amputation. Fortunately, his surgery is scheduled for March 6. Now, he needs help raising $1,500 to fund this procedure. Simon says, “I hope that soon I will continue providing for my family."
Nandar is a 25-year-old woman from Burma. She lives with her mother and 30-year-old brother in a village in Chaungzon Township of Mon State. Nandar 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. Nandar experiences tiredness and difficulty breathing. She is unable to work because of her symptoms. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund a mitral valve replacement for Nandar. The treatment is scheduled to take place on February 25 and, once completed, will hopefully allow her to live more comfortably. Nandar said, “I would like to get better so that I can go to work and help my mother. My brother is not able to work, so if I was stronger, I would take any job to help my family.”
Nat is a mechanic from Cambodia. He is married and has one son. He likes to watch TV in his free time. Three years ago, Nat 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, Nat experiences ear discharge, tinnitus, hearing loss, and itchiness. It is difficult for him to hear well. Nat traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On January 8, he will undergo a mastoidectomy procedure in his left ear. During this procedure, ENT surgeons will remove the cholesteatoma. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is requesting $842 to fund this procedure. This covers medications, supplies, and inpatient care. His wife says, "I hope that my husband's surgery goes well. I worry about his hearing loss."
Ma Hnin is a 31-year-old woman from Thailand. She lives with her son and husband in War Ka Yauk Village, Mae Sot District, Tak Province. Her son is a student who studies at a migrant school. Ma Hnin 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, Ma Hnin has bad back pain, feels fatigued, experiences heart palpitations, and has difficulty breathing. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund a mitral valve replacement for Ma Hnin. The treatment is scheduled to take place on December 4 and, once completed, will hopefully allow her to live more comfortably. “If I feel better after surgery, I want to open a small shop and I want to sell snacks to increase my family’s income,” says Ma Hnin.