Howard joined Watsi on November 29th, 2017. Two years ago, Howard became the 4191st member to automatically support a new Watsi patient every month. Since then, 2,267 more people have become monthly donors! Howard's most recent donation supported Simon, a newborn baby from Tanzania, to fund hydrocephalus treatment.
Howard has funded healthcare for 28 patients in 6 countries.
Simon is a 3-month old baby boy from Tanzania and the only child to his parents. He was born healthy but when he was two months old he started having fevers and vomiting. His parents tried to seek treatment for him but the medication he was using only helped reduce the fevers. Soon his parents noticed his head was increasing in size and his general health became very poor due to the regular vomiting. His parents depend on small-scale farming for a living and their income is not always enough to get them by. Due to financial challenges, Simon's parents could not afford to take him to a referral hospital in time, hence his condition worsened. Through ALMC Hospital's outreach program, they learned about Simon's condition and the need for him to get treatment. Simon has been diagnosed with hydrocephalus which is putting him in danger of brain damage due to the pressure building up in his head, causing him not to be able to feed well and regular fevers. His parents cannot afford the treatment cost and are asking for help. Simon 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, Simon has been experiencing increasing head circumference, fevers and vomiting. Without treatment, Simon will experience severe physical and developmental delays. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,300 to cover the cost of surgery for Simon that will treat his hydrocephalus. The procedure is scheduled to take place on September 7th and will drain the excess fluid from Simon's brain. This will reduce intracranial pressure and greatly improve his quality of life. With proper treatment, Simon will hopefully develop into a strong, healthy young boy. Simon’s mother says, “My son’s head keeps increasing in size and his general health deteriorates as days go by, we are unable to afford the treatment cost. Please help us.”
Min lives with his wife, son, and daughter in a village in Tak Province, Thailand. He moved from Burma to Thailand nine months ago in search of better job opportunities. His daughter is still too young to go to school and his wife and son work as day laborers on a farm, each earning 150 baht (approx. 5 USD) per day. Min had to stop working with his wife and son three months ago because of his condition. Their monthly household income of 3,000 baht (approx. 100 USD) is not enough to cover their daily expenses. Sometimes, they have to borrow money from their relatives to meet their basic needs. Four years ago, Min used to work as a construction worker in Bangkok. One day, he started to experience pain in the left side of his abdomen. He went to a clinic twice and was diagnosed with a kidney stone in his left kidney after receiving an ultrasound. The doctor told him that he would need to undergo laser treatment at a hospital to break up the stone. The next day, Min went to a hospital in Bangkok. He received another ultrasound and underwent laser treatment which he did not have to pay for because he had health insurance at that time. When he returned for his follow-up appointment, he underwent another round of laser treatment, followed by more oral medications to take home. Min was not able to return to the hospital because his father passed away before his next appointment and he had to go back to Burma for the funeral. Before he had a chance to return to Bangkok, his mother also passed away. After spending money on the two funerals, Min did not have enough money to return to Bangkok. He moved back in with his wife and children and started working as a day laborer on a farm with his wife in their village. In May 2019, Min started experiencing pain again in his left lower abdomen. He would also pass small stones about twice a month while urinating. He went to a clinic where he received oral medication as well as an ultrasound. The doctor told him that he has a stone in his left kidney as well as small stones in his urethra. Min went back to the same clinic several times for his follow-up appointments, where he received oral medication each time for his abdominal pain. By September 2019, he was feeling much better and was no longer in pain. He was also no longer passing stones when urinating. Min then stopped going back to the clinic and stopped taking medication. Later in December 2019, Min and his family moved to their current home in Thailand and in May 2020, the pain in Min’s lower abdomen returned. He has pain when urinating and has started to pass small stones again about every two weeks. He went to a local hospital in the beginning of May with his wife, and he received an ultrasound. The ultrasound showed that he now has stones in both of his kidneys in addition to a bladder stone. The doctor referred him to Mae Sot Hospital (MSH) for treatment, but his family was not able to afford the estimated cost so he returned home. At home, Min told his friend about his condition and his lack of funds to pay for it. His friend told him to seek help at Mae Tao Clinic (MTC) and with Watsi's Medical Parter Burma Children Medical Fund. Surgery is now scheduled for August 14th. Min shared, “I had to sell my phone to pay for my treatment [the ultrasounds and oral medications] and my transportation when I sought treatment. For the past few days, we don’t have enough rice and we also don’t have any money to buy more food. So we have to eat rice porridge. I feel so sad for my family.”
Susan is married and blessed with five children, they all live together on their small-scale farm. She is entirely reliant on her farm produce for income. In her previous hospital admission, the family exhausted all of their savings and had to hold a funding drive to help pay for the bill. Early in June, as Suzan was walking down a staircase she fell and injured her right ankle. She was rushed to a dispensary where first aid was administered and she was referred to their district hospital where an x-ray was done and a cast was placed. She was admitted for two weeks without any review by the doctor. So, she requested a discharge and came to our facility because she is not able to walk and is still in pain. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On July 3rd, Susan will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. This is procedure will help her walk easily again and no longer be in pain. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,500 to fund this procedure. "I will be happy to be able to help my husband with farm work," Susan shared.
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.”
Florence is a Form Three student from Kenya. Florence is the oldest child in a family of five girls. She lives with her mother and siblings in a two-roomed house, relying only on their mother for daily upkeep after her father neglected them. Three years ago, Florence was involved in a road accident. While going to school, she was hit from behind by a passenger van, fracturing her right femur. Since then, she has had multiple surgeries to correct the fractures. She suffers severe pain and persistent infection. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Florence receive treatment. On May 15th, surgeons will perform a debridement and skin graft procedure so she will no longer be in pain and her risk of infection will be reduced. Now, Florence needs help to fund this $1,242 procedure. Florence says, “My greatest wish is to go back to finish school and at least help my mother.”
In is a 66-year-old rice farmer from Cambodia. She has one son, three daughters, and seven grandchildren. She enjoys looking after her family and cooking for them. Two months ago, In fell off of her bicycle and fractured her hip on the right side. She finds it difficult to walk, and painful to sit and sleep. Fortunately, In learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre. At CSC, surgeons can perform a total hip replacement to relieve In of her pain and allow her to walk easily. Treatment is scheduled for February 20th, and In needs help raising $1,087 to pay for this procedure. "I hope that my mother will feel better and she will be able to go places and do things independently again. I am so glad that she is getting surgery and we will not have to worry about spending anymore money for her treatment. We are so grateful." -Chanthea, In's Daughter
Ei is a 31-year-old woman from Burma. She lives with her mother and two younger sisters in Dawei Township, Tanintharyi Division. Her mother and her youngest sister, who dropped out of university to work, are vendors who sell vegetables in the street market. Ei’s other sister is in her final year of university. Ei used to help her mother sell vegetables but stopped five years ago because of her health condition. 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, Ei feels tired and she cannot walk long distances and has difficulty climbing stairs. In addition to feeling tired, she has difficulty breathing and experiences heart palpitations. Due to the lack blood flow, her lips, toes and fingers are blue especially when she cannot breathe well. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund a mitral valve replacement for Ei. The treatment is scheduled to take place on November 7th and, once completed, will hopefully allow her to live more comfortably. Ei said, “I want to have surgery soon so that I can work, and so that our family will have enough money. Now, my mother cannot work while she accompanies me to the hospital. Only my youngest sister works, and we are in debt now”.
Collins is a young child from Kenya, who is the first born in a family of two children. His family hails from Mpuri village in Meru County. His mother is a housewife while his father is a mason. Collins has clubfoot of both feet. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Fortunately, Collins traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, AIC Cure International Hospital. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on January 13th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,224 to fund Collins's clubfoot repair. After treatment, he will be able to walk easily. “I am pleading for help for my son to undergo surgery so that he can walk and play like other children. I don’t want to see him struggling to walk. I will be happy to if you consider my son. God bless you,” Collin’s mother said.
Meet Belinda, a quiet lady in her mid-30’s from Kenya who has been blessed with two kids. Belinda runs a small grocery business in the market to make ends meet. Her husband takes up casual jobs such as clearing bushes to compliment his wife's income. The family lives in a single rental house and their daily income is not sufficient to meet all the expenses including surgery fees. On 30th November 2019, Belinda fell and fractured her right proximal radius. She had a cast applied and went home awaiting funds for surgery. She was not able to raise funds required yet she desperately needs the surgery. Belinda is not able to cook for her family nor operate her grocery business. With successful surgery, Belinda will be able to use her hand with ease and reduce chances of further complications on the fracture. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On December 10th, Belinda will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $771 to fund this procedure. Belinda says, “Life has never been the same since I broke my hand. I am worried about my children who need care every day. My hope is to get treated so that I can continue supporting my family.”
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!"
Sokni is a 19-year-old factory worker from Cambodia. He has seven other brothers and sisters, and enjoys playing soccer and going for walks with his friends around the village. In July 2019, Sokni was in a motorcycle accident where he injured his left shoulder. He has been diagnosed with a brachial plexus injury on his left side. The brachial plexus is a nerve network that transmits signals from the spine to the shoulder, arm, and hand. Injuries to this nerve network can result in loss of function and sensation. He has lost sensation in his elbow, has pain every day, and cannot move his arm without difficulty. Sokni traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On October 04, he will undergo a brachial plexus repair surgery. After recovery, Surgery will allow Sokni to be able to use his arm again and no longer have any pain.. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is requesting $637 to fund this procedure. Sokni said, "I hope that after surgery, I will not have any more pain or difficulty moving my arm and I can return to my work at the tire factory."
Thu is a 27-year-old man who lives in Dala Town, Yangon Division, Burma. He lives with his 25-year-old wife, who take care of their five-year-old daughter who goes to kindergarten. Thu works as a security guard in a tower in Yangon. His total income is just enough to cover all their general expenses, such as food and clothing, as well as pay for his daughter’s school fees. Five years ago, Thu started to experience chest pains while he ate lunch. He continued to suffer from chest pains but he worked through the pain until June 1, 2019, when he suddenly developed severe back pain. He was brought to Yangon General Hospital (YGH) and was admitted for 13 days. While he was admitted, he received a blood test, chest X-ray and an injection to help alleviate the pain. When doctor listened to his chest with a stethoscope, Thu was advised to receive an echocardiogram (echo). After he received the echo on June 16th, the result showed that he has aortic regurgitation, a heart condition caused by problems with the aortic valve. Currently, Thu is suffering from chest pains. He has had to temporarily stop working. Thu is looking forward to receiving surgery soon and getting back to work so that he can continue to support his family.