Chris joined Watsi on August 16th, 2013. One year ago, Chris joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Chris' most recent donation traveled 1,200 miles to support Ashin Mala, a 30-year-old monk from Burma, to fund eye surgery.
Chris has funded healthcare for 32 patients in 10 countries.
Chris has funded healthcare for 32 patients in 10 countries.
Ashin Mala is a 30-year-old monk from Burma. He became a monk a year ago and currently lives in a monastery in Karen State. He receives two meals a day and cash donations from worshippers. In October 2022, he visited the house of a member of the ethnic armed group in the village. At the home, a child was playing with a pistol and accidentally shot the gun, hitting a wall. Unfortunately, a part of the bullet ricocheted off the wall and hit Mala in his left eye. Immediately, Ashin Mala was brought to a hospital, where an X-ray showed that bullet shards were lodged under his left eye. The doctor removed most of the bullet shards and closed the gunshot wound. Though time has since passed, he still feels pain in his left eye and has lost vision in that eye. He has also developed itchiness and a burning sensation in that eye. Eventually, he was brought to Mae Sot Hospital in Thailand, where, with the help of Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF) and Watsi donors, he underwent a CT scan. The results showed multiple foreign bodies in his left eye, most likely shards left from the bullet, and indicated that his left eyeball was most likely ruptured. He was then referred to Chiang Mai Hospital (CMH), where an ophthalmologist told him they would have to remove his left eyeball. He was then admitted for surgery at CMH on February 22nd. Mala needs help raising $1500 to fund this procedure that will relieve him of his pain. Ashin Mala said, "I believe my pain will disappear after the operation. I want to get rid of the pain. Afterward, I will work hard to attend Dhamma University. I want to become a preacher. I will preach about Dharma [the teachings of Buddha] around my country.”
Soeun is a 72-year-old proud grandmother. She is a widow and has five sons and three grandchildren. She used to be a rice farmer but has retired due to her age and poor vision. Soeun currently lives with her youngest son who is a staff in a local real estate company. At home, she likes to play with her grandchildren and listen to monks praying on the radio. One year ago, Soeun developed a cataract in her left eye, causing her tearing, light sensitivity, and blurry vision. She spends more time inside the house due to her poor vision, which is isolating for her. She has difficulty seeing things clearly, including colors and faces, and is worried about falling when walking, so is not able to go places on her own. When Soeun learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, she traveled for two and a half hours seeking treatment. On October 7th, doctors will perform a phacoemulsification cataract surgery, and place an intraocular lens implant in her left eye. After recovery, she will be able to see clearly. Now, she needs help to fund this $253 procedure. Soeun said, "I hope I can see well enough that I can help my children with cooking and housework, and take care of my grandchildren."
Travis is a wonderful baby boy from Tanzania. He is his single mother's only child. He spends most of his time with his grandmother, as they both have a strong bond. His mother is very hard working; she works a nine-hour job throughout the week. Because of this, she has limited time with her son. Travis has clubfoot of both legs. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape, causing him to have difficulty sitting and standing. Since his father does not provide any support, Travis depends fully on his mother for his daily needs. They live near the town center, and due to inflation and the high cost of living, his mother's income only caters to their basic needs. Travis was brought to the hospital by his grandmother seeking financial support for his treatment. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner's care center, Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre, will perform clubfoot repair surgery for Travis on September 2nd. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $935 to fund Travis's clubfoot repair. After treatment, he will be able to sit and walk comfortably without support. Travis's grandmother shares, “I look at how my daughter struggles to raise my grandson on her own. It is hard and this weighs on her every day. I hope her son will get better."
Evangeline is a hardworking mother of two from the Philippines. She and her husband work as graphic artists; however, they were highly impacted by the pandemic, resulting in them being switched from full-time workers to part-time ones. This affected their ability to save up for Evangeline's needed treatment. In 2016, Evangeline began to experience troubling symptoms, including difficulty swallowing, shortness of breath, and difficulty sleeping. When she was finally able to seek medical care, an ultrasound showed a large mass located on her throat. She was diagnosed with colloid adenomatous goiter, a benign, noncancerous enlargement of thyroid tissue. She now needs surgery to prevent her symptoms from worsening. Fortunately, our medical partner, World Surgical Foundation Philippines (WSFP), is helping Evangeline receive treatment. She is scheduled to undergo a thyroidectomy on July 16th at Our Lady of Peace Hospital. Surgeons will remove all or part of her thyroid gland. A portion of the cost of her treatment is being supported by the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation, and WSFP is raising the remaining $890 to cover the cost of Evangeline's procedure and care. Evangeline shares, "Our income is just enough to provide for our basic needs. This free operation will be a big help to us. I've been praying that my pain will go away, and God answered my prayer through Watsi and World Surgical Foundation. Thank you so much for your help."
Baraka is a teenager and the oldest in his family of four. He currently studies in class six. Bakara's mother practices small-scale farming of maize, sorghum, and millet to provide food for the family. Baraka and his mother both experience epilepsy, and Bakara had a seizure that led to an accident. He suffered severe burns to his right leg and is unable to straighten his leg at the knee due to the burn contractures. Bakara can only walk with the use of a walking stick. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Baraka receive treatment. On June 7th, surgeons will perform a burn contracture release surgery to help him walk easily. AMH is requesting $874 to help fund this procedure. Baraka says, “I would be so happy if I can have a chance to walk normally.”
Ma Win is an 18-year-old girl who lives with her parents, sister and brother-in-law in Yangon, Burma. Ma Win’s sister works at a clothing factory, while her brother-in-law works as a day laborer. Her parents are homemakers. Before Ma Win's current illness, she also worked at a factory. When Ma Win was four years old, she experienced a bout of high fever, and was brought to the local clinic. She received an injection, and the doctor informed her parents that she was born with a heart problem. However, she was too young at the time for corrective surgery. Instead, she was sent home with medication, and appeared to be doing well until this past year. In April, Ma Win began experiencing chest pains, high fever and difficulty breathing. She went to a clinic, and received an x-ray and an echocardiogram. After the doctor checked her results, she was diagnosed with an opening between two major blood vessels leading from the heart. The doctor told her and her family that she would need to have surgery. When Ma Win explained to the doctor that her family could not afford to pay for the surgery, she was referred to the abbot of a local monastery, who provided the family with information about our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund. Now Ma Win is scheduled for cardiac surgery on October 23rd at Pun Hlaing Hospital. After she has recovered, she should no longer experience chest pains or difficulty breathing, and she won't have to worry any longer about her condition. She will also be able to return to work, which will help ease her family's financial burdens. Now she needs your help to raise $1,500 to cover the cost of her procedure. Ma Win said: “I am scared to receive surgery, but my mother tries to encourage me. However, I am very happy that I will be able to receive treatment with your help. I would like to say thank you so much to all the donors.”
Sakana is a 20-year-old farmer who enjoys cooking, watching Thai movies, listening to music and taking walks with her husband. She has been married to her husband for two years, and both work as potato farmers to earn a living. In November of 2019, Sakana was in a motor vehicle accident, which resulted in the fracturing of her right femur. After the accident, she underwent surgery at a local government hospital, which entailed the insertion of nails to repair the fracture. Now, nearly three years later, the bone is completely healed and Sakana needs to have the metal hardware removed from her femur. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, can help. On May 12th, Sakana will undergo a hardware removal procedure at our medical partner's care center Kien Khleang National Rehabilitation Centre. Sakana was able to contribute $100 towards her treatment. With this procedure, Sakana will be able to complete her rehabilitation and resume her normal activities without discomfort. Sakana said, "I hope the surgery will be easy and my leg will heal quickly."
Moses is a seven-year-old boy. His father shared that he is jovial and active, just as most of the kids his age, however, he is not doing well in school because he has had reduced hearing in both ears. Moses has been diagnosed with moderate to severe hearing loss. He requires bilateral amplification, and is scheduled for treatment and fittings of hearing aids in both ears to help him pick up voices and be able to study well. The income from his father's work as a tout in the transport industry is inconsistent and, therefore, not sufficient to cover the scheduled procedure. His mother recently traveled to the UAE to work as a domestic worker, but they are not able to gather the funds needed for his care. His family is requesting financial help them pay the $1,171 cost for his treatment and care. Moses' father shared, “Our kid is eager to go to school. He always accompanies his sibling to school although he is not examined yet. If he gets the hearing aids, they will help him study well."
Naisam is a 22-month-old baby girl and the youngest in a family of two children. Naisam's mother is single and sells vegetables by the roadside to provide for her children. Naisam has been diagnosed with bilateral genu varus. This condition is typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, which often stems from contaminated drinking water. Because of her condition, she experiences difficulty walking. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Naisam receive treatment. On April 8th, Naisam will undergo corrective surgery to treat her condition. Treatment will hopefully restore Naisam's mobility, allowing her to participate in a variety of activities and greatly decreasing her risk of future complications. Now, she and her mother need help raising $880 to fund her procedure and care. Naisam’s mother shared, "I was directed here by a man who saw how much my child was struggling to walk. Please help us."
Kwan is a 17-year-old boy who enjoys watching TV and learning Mandarin online during his free time. Although he is originally from Burma, he lives with his parents, two brothers, and both of his grandmothers in a village in Thailand. They moved to Thailand about five years ago in search of safer living conditions. Both of Kwan’s grandmothers are retired, and his father is unable to work due to being ill. His mother and older brother support their family by working as day laborers. Kwan and his younger brother both attend a local migrant school, where Kwan is a 10th grade student. In September of 2017, Kwan broke his left forearm while playing basketball with his friends. He was referred to Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF) for financial assistance accessing treatment, and he underwent surgery to insert a steel rod into his left forearm at their medical care center, Mae Sot Hospital (MSH). Following surgery, doctors told Kwan that the steel rod would need to be removed a year after surgery. However, he was not scheduled for an appointment to remove the rod, and he was not told why it needed to be removed. Initially, this did not seem like an issue since Kwan regained movement in his fingers, was able to move his arm more comfortably, and was able to help his mother with household chores. Since he was not in pain and his family did not have enough money to pay for the procedure, Kwan was not brought back to MSH to have the rod removed. However, he began working as an agricultural day laborer in 2020 when his studies were moved online due to the outbreak of COVID-19. He began to experience pain in the area where the rod was located when carrying anything even slightly heavy. Due to financial constraints and a fear of being arrested for traveling to the clinic without documentation because of an increase in main road checkpoints, Kwan kept his pain a secret. However, he eventually sought medical attention at MSH after the pain progressed. There, a doctor confirmed that his arm had healed well and the rod needed to be removed. Fortunately, our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund is helping Kwan receive treatment. On July 27th, doctors will perform rod removal surgery. This procedure will cost $1,500, and Kwan and his family need your support. He mentions that after he recovers from surgery, he wants to find work as a day laborer. He wants to help his family earn more money so his mother no longer has to do hard labor. His mother says, “I don’t know what to say, but in our heart, we are so thankful to the donors for helping Kwan with his first, as well as this second, surgery. We will never forget this help for the rest of our lives.”
Paul is a motivated 27-year-old supermarket attendant who holds a diploma in accounting. He is currently in his first month of employment at a local supermarket in southwestern Uganda. He is the youngest child in a family of 5, and he hopes to start a family of his own when he becomes financially stable. For the past year, Paul has been experiencing swelling in a sensitive area, which is affecting his life on a day-to-day basis. After seeking medical attention, he was told that his condition requires surgery in order for his symptoms to be eliminated. Paul, however, cannot fund the surgery alone. Fortunately, he traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On July 5th, surgeons will remove the mass. Now, Paul needs help to raise $188 to fund this procedure. Paul says, “I hope to get the surgery and continue doing my job in good health.”
Jayden is a sweet baby and the last born in a family of 5 children. His parents separated before he was born and his mother does laundry for neighbors to provide for the family. Shortly after Jayden was born, his mother noticed a large swelling on his back. She did not have the money to take him to a doctor at the time but, when he was seven months old, she took him to the hospital where Jayden was examined and was sent to another facility for a scan. Unfortunately, the scan was not done because Jayden's mother could not raise the required amount of money. She shared her plight with her boss who got in touch with one of the ambassadors from BethanyKids hospital in their village. The ambassador reached out to her the following day and helped bring Jayden to the hospital. Upon examination, he was diagnosed with spina bifida and urgent surgery was recommended. Spina bifida is a type of neural tube defect in which the spine does not properly close around the spinal cord. Without treatment, Jayden is at risk of lower-limb paralysis, infection of the exposed nervous tissue, development of tethered cord syndrome, and possible developmental delays. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $1,151 to cover the cost of Jayden's spina bifida closure surgery. The procedure is scheduled to take place on June 21. This procedure will hopefully spare Jayden from the risks associated with his condition, instead allowing him to grow and develop along a healthy trajectory. Jayden’s mother says, “I have been praying for a long time for Jayden’s healing and I now believe that he will be treated.”