"The way to be happy is to make others so." Robert Ingersoll
Helping joined Watsi on March 7th, 2016. 22 other people also joined Watsi on that day! Helping's most recent donation traveled 8,600 miles to support Kwan, a sweet and charming one-year-old from Thailand, to fund a CT scan so doctors can formulate an appropriate treatment plan.
Helping has funded healthcare for 100 patients in 11 countries.
Helping has funded healthcare for 100 patients in 11 countries.
Kwan is a sweet and charming one-year-old girl who loves to dance whenever she hears music! She also likes to play with coconut leaves and pretend she is cooking with them. She lives with her parents and four brothers in Thailand. Kwan’s family fled from Karen State, Burma in 2016 due to armed conflict in their area. Her two oldest brothers and her father all work as agricultural day laborers, her other two brothers currently attend school, and her mother works as a homemaker. Her parents share that their monthly income is enough for their basic day-to-day needs, and when they feel sick, they typically use traditional medicine to manage their symptoms. One year ago on March 1st, Kwan was born at Tha Song Yang Hospital. Immediately after birth, her mother noticed that she had a small lump between her eyes. The doctor diagnosed her with encephalocele, a condition that occurs when the neural tube does not close and causes a sac-like bulge with brain tissue and spinal fluid to poke through the skull. The mass is currently increasing in size and pressing on her nostrils. Doctors want Kwan to undergo a CT scan, a procedure in which X-ray images taken from several angles are combined to produce cross-sectional images of the body. This scan will hopefully help doctors formulate an appropriate treatment plan. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $693 to cover the cost of Kwan's CT scan and care, which is scheduled for August 8th. Kwan's mother says, “I was so happy when I heard my daughter has donors who will help support her treatment. Every night I have prayed to God to help my daughter. I want to thank the organization and the donors so much for their kindness. I want my daughter to grow up the same as other people and go to school. I want her to become an educated person. I also want her to help poor communities.”
Meet Lydia, a 25-year-old mother of three, living with her husband and children in rural Kenya. Lydia and her husband both work as farmers, and live with her husband's parents. Lydia, who has epilepsy, fainted while she was preparing food for her children. She sustained severe burns on her left hand, extending to the left forearm. Lydia was admitted to the hospital, where she was treated, but her wounds became infected, and she lost her fingers. After three weeks of medication and surgeries, Lydia’s medical costs rose to a level that her family could not sustain, so the decision was made to discharge her from the hospital, even though her condition had not improved. Lydia is worried about being able to care for her children now that she can no longer work as a farmer. Her mother-in-law is also concerned about her future, and the difficulties she may face: will she be able to do laundry and cook, will she face social problems or financial challenges? Lydia requires skin grafting to heal her burn wounds and treat her infection. Her family, who sold everything at home to raise funds for Lydia's initial treatment, cannot afford the cost of her procedure. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $1,089 to fund her surgery, which is scheduled to take place on May 25th, at AIC Kapsowar Hospital. Lydia shared: “It is difficult to look at my hand; I want to get better than this. Please help me improve the quality of my life.”
Harriet is a smallscale farmer and a mother of four. She was able to complete school up to the 6th grade, then could not proceed with education due to limited financial support from her family. Her husband is a casual laborer finding work where he can around their village. They own a two-room mud house for shelter. Their family's eldest is 13 years old and in primary school class three while the last born is 5 years old and in baby junior class. Harriet shared that sustaining her family has been hard for her and her husband. During her free time, she enjoys working on her farm whenever she is not doing her household chores. About four months ago, Harriet began to experience troubling symptoms, including severe lower abdominal pains and immediately went to seek medical attention at Rushoroza hospital. She was diagnosed with a ruptured appendicular abscess. This is a complication of acute appendicitis which results from the invasion of the appendix by bacteria following an obstruction. It was managed and the doctors advised her to return after a while for appendicectomy but she has not been able to afford the surgery cost. Currently, Harriet has completely stopped farming due to severe pain. If her surgery is not done, Harriet is at risk of suffering a recurring appendicular abscess and could live a very poor quality of life. Her family however cannot afford the surgery charges. She needs surgery to prevent her symptoms from getting worse. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is helping Harriet receive treatment. She is scheduled to undergo a curative laporotomy on November 11th at our medical partner's care center. This procedure will cost $284 and Harriet and her family need your support. Harriet says, “I hope to live a better life after the surgery because I have been in so much pain. I will resume farming as soon as I get better.”
Zaw is a 40-year-old man from Thailand. He lives by himself in a hut on his employer's land on the Thai-Burma border and he harvests sugarcane for a living. He is paid 45 baht (approx. $1.50 USD) per bundle of harvested sugarcane, with each bundle containing 200 canes. He shared that the income he earns in a month is not enough to cover his basic needs, and has recently had to borrow funds to purchase food. Last Wednesday, Zaw decided to go home on his bicycle during his lunch break. While riding his bicycle, a dog started to chase him. He put his feet up on the handlebar so that the dog would not bite his legs. But while his feet were still on the handlebar, three cars drove towards him on the narrow road. Zaw swerved to avoid the cars and lost his balance, falling into the drainage ditch on the side of the road. The villagers who had seen him fall ran to the side of the ditch to check on him. When Zaw tried to stand up, he had difficulty breathing and had to sit down due to the pain in his abdomen. Since the accident, Zaw feels worse. He still has difficulty breathing, and he suffers from abdominal pain. He cannot stand up, has difficulty sitting up, and has difficulty eating or drinking water. Doctors want Zaw to undergo a CT scan, a procedure in which x-ray images taken from several angles are combined to produce cross-sectional images of the body. This scan will hopefully help doctors diagnose his condition and formulate an appropriate treatment plan. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $414 to cover the cost of Zaw's CT scan and care, scheduled for March 26th. “When I get better I will continue working,” he said. “I also have to pay back my debt.”
Tibanururwa is a 70-year-old man who practices farming of bananas and coffee together with his wife. He has a hearing and talking impairment and this was his first visit to a hospital. He is a father of three children who are now grown and also working in the informal sector without steady income. For the past two years, Tibanururwa has had an inguinal swelling that is painful especially when he lifts things, coughs, or does anything causing a strain. His wife brought him to Nyakibale Hospital where he was reviewed and doctors have diagnosed him with an inguinal hernia. If not treated, Tibanururwa risks having a strangulated hernia and the pain will persist. Their family's income is inadequate to meet the cost of surgery and they appeal for help. Fortunately, on February 23rd, he will undergo hernia repair surgery at our medical partner's care center. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $230 to fund Tibanururwa's surgery. Once completed, this procedure will hopefully allow him to live more comfortably and confidently. Tibanururwa's wife shared with us: “My only prayer is to see my husband in good health once again and that is the joy we can have as a family."
Dominick is a 4-year-old child from Tanzania. He is the firstborn child in a family of three children. Because he has difficulty walking, his mother has been unable to enroll him in school yet. Dominick was diagnosed with bilateral genu varus, or bowleggedness. His legs bow outward when he walks. This condition is typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, which often stems from contaminated drinking water. As a result, he physically struggles to walk and cannot walk for a long time. However, Dominick's parents cannot afford the cost of the treatment he needs to cure his condition. They are subsistence farmers who make a humble income to support the family, and they appeal for financial help. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Dominick. The procedure is scheduled to take place on January 22nd. Treatment will hopefully restore Dominick's mobility, allow him to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease his risk of future complications. Dominick's mother shared, "I believe our prayers were answered when we met one of Watsi's colleagues who directed us here. We are not able to afford Dominic's treatment and we had lost hope, but we just thought of taking Dominick for prayers that week and God led us here."
Naw Mar is a 35-year-old woman from Thailand. She lives with her husband, two daughters and two sons in a refugee camp on the Thai-Burma border. Four years ago, Naw Mar started to suffer from pain in the right side of her abdomen. At first, she thought the pain would disappear after she rested. When it did not, she went to the hospital in the camp run by Malteser International Thailand (MI). She received medications which helped for a bit. Two years later, the pain became severe and the right side of her abdomen also became swollen. After more medication and follow-up appointments, she was eventually admitted to Mae Sariang Hospital and received an ultrasound. The ultrasound showed that she had multiple gallstones, and she was given more medication. However, the medication did not help her much. In early June 2020, the pain in Naw Mar’s right abdomen increased. After she went to the camp’s hospital, the doctor referred her to Mae Sariang Hospital again, where the doctor told her that she would need to have surgery to remove the gallstones. Since Mae Sariang Hospital doctors could not perform this surgery, she was again referred her to Chiang Mai Hospital. However, the high cost of surgery proved difficult, so she was referred to our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), for assistance with accessing treatment. Currently, Naw Mar has constant pain in her right abdomen that is only manageable through pain medication. Her right abdomen is also swollen, and she suffers from back pain as well. When the pain in her abdomen is excruciating, she develops a headache and high blood pressure. Naw Mar is a homemaker, while her two daughters and her youngest son go to school. Her oldest son helps her with household chores. Her husband works as an agricultural day laborer, but has been unable to find work for the past month. While their family does receive a cash card each month for food support, it is not enough to cover their daily expenses and they struggle to make ends meet despite receiving free health care and education in the refugee camp. Their family is appealing for financial support. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund Naw Mar's surgery. On October 25th, she will undergo a cholecystectomy at our medical partner’s care center. Once recovered, Naw Mar will be able to resume her daily activities free of pain and her quality of life will improve. Naw Mar shared, "After I receive treatment, I want to work for an organisation [NGO] in the camp so that we [my family] can have an income. Right now, I have no pocket money and I cannot borrow money from any one because we have no way of paying them back. I appreciate any support you can provide.”
Mukirirehe is a small scale farmer from Uganda. She is a widow and a mother to four children; three daughters and one son. All of her children are married and are now farmers as well. She lost her husband in 1999 and has been able to raise and support all of her children through her farming. Mukirirehe normally grows food crops like maize, cassava, and beans for home consumption, selling off any extra to generate an income. Fifteen years ago, Mukirirehe began to experience troubling symptoms, including difficulty in breathing, shortness of breath whenever it’s cold, and persistent headaches. Doctors have diagnosed her with a goiter, an abnormal enlargement of the thyroid gland. Mukirirehe needs surgery to prevent her symptoms from getting worse. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Mukirirehe receive treatment. She is scheduled to undergo a thyroidectomy on December 8th at our medical partner's care center. Surgeons will remove all or part of her thyroid gland. This procedure will cost $252, and she and her family need help raising money. Mukirirehe shared, “I really have faith and feel that once my surgery goes on well, I will be able to continue with farming and have a new life again.”
Julia is a widow and practices small-scale farming. Julia's four children are all casual laborers and don’t have stable jobs. She has been using the little income from farm produce to raise her children and pay for her needs. In early February, Julia started complaining of abdominal pains and chronic back pain. A series of CT-scans revealed a malignant mass in her colon. Doctors then advised for an urgent hemicolectomy surgery to treat her colon carcinoma. Fortunately our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, can help. Now, they need your help to fund this $616 surgery. This surgery will hopefully stop the spread of her cancer. Julia shared, “I am now old and weak and my children are unable to pay for the surgery. I need help to fund this procedure so that I can enjoy my old age in peace."
Owoyesiga is a farmer from Uganda. She is a married mother to five children who are all in school, both in primary and secondary levels. She earns a living through small-scale farming were she mostly grows food crops like beans, maize, cassava, and potatoes for home consumption and at times sells off the supplies to earn an income. When Owoyesiga is in need of an urgent income like when her children are sent home for lacking school fees and when her family is in need of essential needs like paraffin, soap, and salt, she works as a casual laborer in other people’s farms to get money more quickly. She operates their small farm together with her husband. Almost five years ago, Owoyesiga began to experience troubling symptoms, including difficulty breathing and pain when swallowing. She was diagnosed with an abnormal enlargement of her thyroid gland and needs surgery to prevent her symptoms from getting worse. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Owoyesiga receive treatment. She is scheduled to undergo a thyroidectomy on May 14th at our medical partner's care center. Surgeons will remove all or part of her thyroid gland. This procedure will cost $264, and she and her family need help raising money. Owoyesiga says, “I hope that once I undergo surgery, I will be healed from my condition. I will live a healthy life and continue with cultivation to support my family.”
Havireak is a 31-year-old man from Cambodia with one older brother. Havireak has developmental disabilities and has never worked outside of the family home. Due to his needs, his mother looks after him. Havireak's father passed away many years ago from liver cancer. His mom is retired so she has time to care for him but she is getting older making things more difficult. Havireak's brother supports them both. Two years ago a skin ulceration on Havireak's buttocks developed. The skin became infected and there is a large wound of the sacral region. This limits his ability to sit and sleep in a comfortable position. As it has grown it has become more painful and infected. When Havireak learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, he traveled to the hospital seeking treatment. On June 1st, surgeons at CSC will perform a debridement and skin flap procedure to clear out infected skin and close the wound. He will be able to feel comfortable again and not require so much special care from his family. Now, he needs help to fund this $657 procedure. His mom says, "his condition worries me so much and I am worried that if it gets any worse I can not continue helping him each day."
Kyaw is a 37-year-old man who lives with his wife in a village in Tak Province, Thailand. He has two daughters that they support and who live with their maternal aunt in Burma. His wife is an agricultural day laborer while Kyaw has been a homemaker for the past two years. Unfortunately, his wife has been unable to find work for the past two months, due to COVID-19 restrictions. Even when she was working, the income she earned was not enough to cover their basic necessities and sometimes they would have to purchase items from the shop on credit. In 2013, Kyawa was injured in a car accident that took his brother's life. His doctors implanted a steel rod to repair his fractured left leg. He was told that he would need to have the steel removed in three to six years. Recently, Kyaw started experiencing pain in his left leg again. He traveled to Mae Sot Hospital to have the steel removed so that his leg could finish healing properly. Our medical parter, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to cover the cost of his surgery. A surgery that will alleviate his pain and enable him to walk again. Now, we are asking for your help in funding Kyaw's life-changing treatment. Kyaw shared, “I am very upset about my leg. I want to work like other people but because of my condition no one will offer me a job. I'm also worried about my wife and daughters' future. As a father I want to fulfill their needs which I can’t at present. Instead I rely on my wife's income. If the surgery doesn't help to improve my condition, I'm worried that my leg will be amputated. My wife is also worried that my condition will worsen, but she urges me to be strong and accept our fate.”