Travis NorthcuttUNIVERSAL FUND MEMBER
Travis' Story

Travis joined Watsi on July 6th, 2013. Three years ago, Travis joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Travis' most recent donation traveled 8,800 miles to support Srey Mey, a future nurse from Cambodia, to fund tendon surgery to restore the range of motion in her neck.

Impact

Travis has funded healthcare for 256 patients in 16 countries.

Patients funded by Travis

Sarin is a 53-year-old single woman who lives in Phnom Penh province and is the primary caregiver for her elderly parents. She has five living siblings (sadly, two of her siblings died young) who help to support her and her parents. Most of her day is taken up with caring for her parents, cooking, and cleaning. In the evenings, Sarin likes to practice dhamma - a form of Buddhist meditation - as well as listen to the village monks pray on the local radio station. For many years, Sarin had an ear infection. This infection caused a cholesteatoma, or an abnormal skin growth, to develop in the middle ear behind the ear drum. If untreated, a cholesteatoma can cause erosion of the three small bones located in the middle ear, resulting in nerve deterioration, imbalance, vertigo, and deafness. It can also affect and erode, through the enzymes it produces, the thin bone structure that isolates the top of the ear from the brain, risking further infection with serious complications. Sarin's cholesteatoma has caused her many problems. She suffers ear discharge, headaches, and a gradual loss of hearing. It is difficult for her to communicate with her family and other villagers, and she is embarrassed that she cannot hear well. She visited several hospitals seeking care but could not afford to pay for surgery. One of the hospitals suggested she visit our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC). Sarin traveled to CSC and, after examination, learned that she will be able to receive treatment. On October 17, the ENT surgeons at CSC will remove the cholesteatoma by performing a mastoidectomy procedure in her left ear. CSC is requesting $926 to fund this procedure. This covers medications, supplies, and inpatient care. Sarin said: "I hopeful that this operation will improve my hearing and prevent a brain infection."

$926raised
Fully funded

Kelita is a single mother with four children, aged 18,14,12, and 8. Kelita shared that she separated from her husband in 2017 because she would not adhere to cultural chieftaincy rules that wives are supposed to follow. Kelita refused to stop going to church; hence her family broke apart, and her husband married another woman. He does not provide support for his children so Kelita works hard to support her family on her own. Kelita sells cooked green maize in the nearest markets, earning about $37.00 per month. She and her four children live in a three-room house without water or electricity. Kelita does extra work in people’s gardens for her family's support and shared that she enjoys eating nsima (ugali) with vegetables prepared with groundnut flour. Kelita was well until 2011, when, after the delivery of her third child, she noted a fast-growing swelling on her neck. She did not seek medical care as there was no pain. As time passed, the swelling grew, but was not painful. In 2021, Kelita started experiencing neck heaviness and breathlessness, frequent coughs, and pains when carrying heavy items on her head. This affected her daily activities and business since she could no longer carry a basket of maize on her head. Kelita stopped her cooking business and relied on doing piece work in people’s gardens to support her family. However, even this is difficult now, as bending has become a challenge. In November 2021, Kelita visited her nearest hospital and was referred to Kamuzu Central Hospital, where an ultrasound scan revealed a bilateral complex mass in her thyroid. Kelita was sent for thyroid function tests but since she did not have the money required for the tests, she returned home to try traditional medicine, to no avail. In July, Kelita met a Partners in Hope (PIH) beneficiary who guided her to visit PIH for potential support from Watsi. On August 14th, Kelita met the surgeon at PIH. After the required tests were completed, a diagnosis of goiter was confirmed. Kelita was told she needed to have a surgical intervention called thyroidectomy, the removal of part or all of the thyroid gland. Due to her financial challenges, Kelita was referred to Watsi's medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, for support. Kelita could smile much bigger after hearing about the planned surgery and committed to a co-pay $27.64 from her savings. Kelita hopes to be well again after the surgical operation. Kelita looks forward to the peace of mind that will enable her to support her children as a single parent. “I need my peace of mind for me to resume my business and be able to carry items on my head again. Kindly help me,” Kelita says.

$1,015raised
Fully funded

Naw Paw is a 40 year-old woman who lives with her husband and her three daughters in a refugee camp in Mae Hong Province, Thailand. Naw Paw is originally from across the border in Karen State, Burma. Her family fled to the refugee camp in 2011 due to conflict happening between armed groups in her area. In the camp, Naw Paw’s family receives a cash card from the Border Consortium to purchase food. Naw Paw used to sell Mohhinga (a Burmese noodle) nearby school to cover for their basic needs. However, she stopped selling Mohhinga when she got this pregnant because she couldn’t handle the work well. Naw Paw’s family is struggling to make ends meet and feel lucky they receive free basic healthcare in the camp through Malteser International. Her husband is unemployed. All of her 3 children are students. During her free time, she loves to play with her children and listen to the music in her phone. Sometimes she will read books and help her daughters with their homework. Naw Paw is currently expecting her fourth child. Since Naw Paw got pregnant she is taking antenatal care regularly at the camp hospital. On January 18th, Naw Paw went back for the follow-up in the camp hospital and had an ultrasound which revealed that her baby is in the wrong position laying sideways and her doctors recommended that she deliver via a caesarean section. This way doctors can ensure the safety of both mother and child. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is helping Naw Paw undergo a C-section on January 29th. This procedure will cost $1,500, and Naw Paw's family needs your support. Naw Paw said, “After I deliver my baby and recover from surgical wound, I will sell the Mohhinga (Burmese noodle) again to cover more of the financial needs for our family.”

$1,500raised
Fully funded

Recheal is a 20-year-old from Kenya. She is studying in secondary school but has been unable to attend school for the last three months due to her condition. Recheal is the sixth born in a family of eleven children. Her parents are small-scale farmers, growing maize and beans for their family’s home use. Recheal does not have medical coverage, and her parents had to sell cattle and maize to raise Ksh 120,000.00 ($783) to cover her initial surgery costs. Recheal needs to undergo urgent surgery, and her family is requesting financial assistance. Recheal has been diagnosed with an abdominal bile leak that is causing her discomfort and pain. Her doctors have recommended surgery to ease the pain and enable her to resume her studies. She first experienced painful stomach swelling in August 2023. She visited a local health center and was treated for worms, which relieved her of pain for a while, but it recurred with time. She then visited our medical partner’s hospital for review. At the beginning of November, she received a CT scan that showed a liver cyst that required surgery. She underwent a laparotomy to remove the cyst on November 23rd. Four days later, the doctors identified a bile leakage that needed to be rectified. She is now scheduled for emergency surgery on November 28th to fix the fatal condition. African Mission Healthcare (AMH) is requesting $1,074 to fund this surgery. Recheal said, “I have missed school for three months now. This procedure will help ease stomach pain and enable me to return to school.”

$1,074raised
Fully funded