Kathleen joined Watsi on November 29th, 2015. Four years ago, Kathleen became the 1645th member to automatically support a new Watsi patient every month. Since then, 4,066 more people have become monthly donors! Kathleen's most recent donation supported Khin, a river porter from Burma, to fund amputation surgery.
Kathleen has funded healthcare for 42 patients in 9 countries.
Khin lives with his wife and five children along the Thai-Burma border. Khin and his wife work as porters on the river that runs between the Thai-Burma border. They carry items to and from the boats that bring Burma people across to Thailand. However, Khin has been unable to work for the past year, and his wife stopped working in December 2019, when she accompanied Khin to Mae Tao Clinic (MTC). His eldest son works at a bicycle shop as a salesman and earns 200 baht (approx. 7 USD) per day. Khin’s other children all go to school. One day in February 2019, Khin was playing football with his friends. During the game, Khin went to hit the ball with the inside of his right foot. However, someone from the opponent team accidentally kicked him above his right ankle when they tried to take the ball away from him. Right away, Khin’s leg hurt and he was unable to continue with the game. His friend brought him back home. For the next two months, Khin sought help from a traditional masseuse and a traditional healer. When neither treatments helped, he sought help from a health worker. There, he received an injection into his right leg, close to his injury. Khin said, “As soon as I received the injection, I felt better but it did not last for a long time and the pain returned.” He returned twice more and each time he received another injection that at first helped reduce the pain. One day, Khin heard about a traditional healer from a friend. When he went to see them, the traditional healer applied a bandage with herbs to his injured leg and provided him with instructions on how to reapply the bandage at home. Afterward, whenever Khin applied the bandage with herbs, he felt better so he continued to reapply it for the next six months. Khin thought his leg would finally heal, but after using the bandage for six months, he noticed that the area around his ankle and his right foot had become swollen, and that there was pus from sores on his ankle and the sole of his foot. A friend told him about a charitable clinic called MTC right across the border in Mae Sot, Thailand. Khin decided to seek help there, so accompanied by his wife, they arrived at MTC on the 1st of December 2019. He was admitted right away and he received oral medication, injections and had his leg dressed and changed daily. Every 10 days, he also had the pus in his injured leg drained. During the first week of January 2020, MTC brought Khin to Mae Sot Hospital (MSH) for further treatment. There, he received blood tests and an X-ray before the doctor told him that he needs to receive surgery which would cost him around 30,000 baht (approx. 1,000 USD). However, Khin was unable to pay for surgery. Once Khin was brought back to MTC, the medic saw that he had been diagnosed with chronic osteomyelitis, a severe infection of his bone, and referred him to Watsi Partner Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF) for assistance in accessing further treatment. BCMF connected him to Mawlamyine Christine Leprosy Hospital (MCLH) in Burma. After the doctor reviewed his medical records, the doctor recommended an amputation of his right leg below the knee. Currently, Khin suffers from a lot of pain in his right leg at night and he is not able to sleep. During the day however, the pain lessens if he does not walk long distances. He also needs to use crutches to get around. Khin said, “I would like to feel better as soon as possible so that I can go back to work to support my family and so that we can pay back our loan.”
Ngwe is a 46-year-old from Burma. She lives with her husband and 16-year-old son in Winkabar Village, Kyain Seikgyi Township, Karen State. Her son studies in grade 6 while her husband works as a day labour tapping rubber trees. Ngwe stopped working three years ago because of her health problems. Ngwe 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, Ngwe feels tired and sometimes she has heart palpitation when she is active. She cannot walk long distances. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund a mitral valve replacement for Ngwe. The treatment is scheduled to take place on October 31st and, once completed, will hopefully allow her to live more comfortably. “When I recover fully, I want to meditate [at the temple]. I also want to help out with household chores and make merit through various activities,” said Ngwe.
U Chit is a 55-year-old man from Myawaddy Township, Karen State, Burma. He divorced his wife seven years ago and has two daughters and three sons. His youngest daughter lives with his ex-wife in Yangon and their other children live in Myawaddy Township. In March 2019, he entered into monkhood. Now, he receives alms from laypeople and from his children. In February 2019, U Chit began to experience back pain and a burning sensation when urinating. To treat his symptoms, he bought medication from a nearby pharmacy. However, after taking the medicine, he did not feel any better. He later went to a local clinic where he received more medication for his symptoms. They suggested that he go to Myawadday Hospital to receive an ultrasound scan. However, he did not go to the hospital because he did not think he would be able to pay for the cost of the scan. Instead, he continued taking the medicine that the doctor had prescribed. Unfortunately, his pain when urinating did not get better. Finally, U Chit decided to visit Mae Tao Clinic (MTC), where he got his hernia treated four years ago, to seek treatment. U Chit arrived at MTC on April 24th, 2019, where an ultrasound scan revealed that he had a bladder stone. The next day, he was sent to Mae Sot Hospital (MSH) where he received an injection and oral medication. On May 16th, 2019, he received an Intravenous Pyelogram (IVP) test for further investigation. After the IVP test, the doctor told him that he requires surgery and is scheduled for 20th November 2019. Currently, U Chit experiences back pain and he continues to feel a burning sensation when urinating. Aside from his concerns about his condition, he is worried about financial problems because he is a monk and does not have a regular income. U Chit likes reading Buddhist texts and newspapers in his free time. He said, “I want to cure my condition as soon as possible and I would like to focus on religious activities. After I am cured, I also would like to help find treatment for my daughter who has suffered from a stroke.”
Kelvin is a motorcycle (bodaboda) rider from Kenya. Kelvin was a passenger motorcycle rider (bodaboda) and was on his way to work when he hit a donkey cart. His jaw and left shoulder broke on impact. Kelvin was rushed to the nearest hospital where first care was administered and put on painkillers. The pain was intense and could not be eased by painkillers. His parents brought him to Kijabe. After the review was done, surgery to repair the mandibular fracture was advised. If not treated, Kelvin will not be able to feed on hard solid foods, and working will be difficult. Further, he will be at risk of further complications on the closed fracture. Kelvin has since been dependent on family, friends and well-wishers for well-being. He had no savings whatsoever and cannot raise the funds needed for his surgical care. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On October 17th, Kelvin will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. The surgery will allow Kelvin be able to feed well and reduce further complications. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $640 to fund this procedure. “I am not sure I still want to operate a motorbike taxi when I recover,” says Kelvin
Due is a 26-year-old man from Burma. He lives with his family in Hlaingbwe Township, Karen State. Due is a farmer while his wife looks after their four-month-old son. In 2018, Due noticed a lump by the size of the tip of a thumb on his right breast. He did not seek treatment until the lump slowly increased in size. He then went to a hospital in Hpa-An in early January 2019. At the hospital, he received an x-ray and was told that he would need surgery to remove the mass. Because he had no money to pay for the surgery, he just went home. With the help of a medic near his area, he was connected with BCMF who sent him to Mae Sot Hospital for a CT scan. The result confirmed the mass and the need to remove it. Currently, there is redness and swelling at his breast mass. It is also itchy and painful sometimes. Due sought treatment through our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund. he is now scheduled to undergo mass removal surgery on September 23. He is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. Due said, “I look ugly with my breast mass. It is itchy and painful sometimes. The symptoms of my breast mass put me in stress. I want it to go away from me as soon as possible”.
Kyaw Myat is a five-year-old boy from Burma. He lives with his family in a village in Sagaing Division. Kyaw Myat’s father is a subsistence farmer and sometimes he also works as a day laborer on other villagers’ farms. His mother is a homemaker and takes care of Kyaw Myat’s brother at home. When he was two, Kyaw Myat started to walk. But the following year, his limbs became weak and he could no longer walk properly. Kyaw Myat’s head had also gradually increased in size and he could not control his urine. He was diagnosed with hydrocephalus and received treatment for it. However, he was also diagnosed with an abnormal growth in his head. The mass is putting pressure on an artery in his head, which makes affects his ability to walk properly. Currently, Kyaw Myat cannot walk properly and sometimes, he complains that he has a headache and watery eyes. Kyaw Myat sought treatment through our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund. He is now scheduled to undergo mass removal surgery on August 23rd. He is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. Kyaw Myat's father said, "I almost give up on my son's treatment because he has a lot of medical problems. However, when I discussed his treatment with my wife, we know that we couldn't give up on him."
Sun is a 62-year-old rice farmer from Cambodia. She has four children, eight grandchildren, and enjoys listening to the monks pray on the radio in her free time. One year ago, Sun developed a cataract in each eye, causing her blurry vision and irritation. She has difficulty seeing things clearly, recognizing faces, and going anywhere outside. When Sun learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, she traveled for three and a half hours seeking treatment. On July 4, doctors will perform a phacoemulsification cataract surgery and an intraocular lens implant in each eye. After recovery, she will be able to see clearly. Now, she needs help to fund this $398 procedure. She says, "I hope that after my surgery, I will be able to join the ceremony at the pagoda, cook for my family, and take care of my grandchildren."
Hnin is a 15 year-old student from Thailand. In early June, she fell from a roof and fractured her arm. With the help of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, Hnin will undergo surgery to reset her fractured bones and ensure proper healing. The procedure is scheduled for June 26 and will cost $1,500. After surgery, Hnin will no longer be in pain, and she will be able to continue her studies. Hnin says, “I want to be a medical doctor in the future and treat sick people."
Emmanuel is a student from Haiti. He lives with his mother and younger sister in a small village in the mountains of southwest Haiti. He enjoys going to school and would like to be an engineer. Emmanuel has a cardiac condition called rheumatic mitral regurgitation. One of the four valves of his heart is damaged due to an infection he suffered earlier in childhood; as a result, it cannot circulate blood through his body effectively. Emmanuel will fly to Dominican Republic to receive treatment. On May 28, he will undergo cardiac surgery, during which surgeons will remove his damaged valve and implant an artificial replacement. Another organization, The Mitral Foundation, is contributing $8,000 to pay for surgery. Emmanuel'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 Emmanuel's family overseas. He says, "I am looking forward to this surgery so that I can start school again!"
Abigael is a young girl from Kenya. She is the sixth born of seven children. Abigael has been diagnosed with hydrocephalus, a condition in which excess cerebrospinal fluid accumulates in the brain and increases intracranial pressure. As a result of her condition, Abigael has been experiencing an increasing head circumference. Without treatment, Abigael will experience severe physical and developmental delays. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $685 to cover the cost of surgery for Abigael that will treat her hydrocephalus. The procedure is scheduled to take place on March 28 and will drain the excess fluid from Abigael's brain. This will reduce intracranial pressure and greatly improve her quality of life. With proper treatment, Abigael will hopefully develop into a strong, healthy young girl.
Ma Saung is a 13-year-old student from Burma. She lives with her grand-parents and nine-year-old brother in Thanbyuzayat, Mon State. Currently, the tightness of her hamstring tendons make her weak and prevent her from walking properly. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to cover the cost of an Achilles tendon lengthening procedure for Ma Saung, which is scheduled to take place on May 2. This procedure will elongate her Achilles tendon, allowing increased motion at the ankle joint. “I feel depressed when I see other children running and playing,” said Ma Saung. “I really want to walk on my feet.”
Hol is a rice farmer with six children from Cambodia. He likes to listen to the radio and social news. Two years ago, Hol developed a cataract in each eye, causing him tearing, itchiness, and cloudy lenses. He has difficulty seeing things clearly, recognizing faces, and going anywhere outside. When Hol learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, he traveled for five hours seeking treatment. On January 22, doctors will perform a small incision cataract surgery and an intraocular lens implant in each eye. After recovery, he will be able to see clearly. Now, he needs help to fund this $398 procedure. He says, "I hope my eye surgery is successful so that I can see everything clearly and so that I can help my family to do some work at the farm field. I want to plant some crops like melon, cucumber, and corn for selling."