Kevin joined Watsi on February 24th, 2015. Eight years ago, Kevin joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Kevin's most recent donation traveled 8,300 miles to support Ko Thaw, a 27-year-old factory worker from Burma, to fund mitral valve replacement surgery.
Kevin has funded healthcare for 95 patients in 14 countries.
Kevin has funded healthcare for 95 patients in 14 countries.
Ko Thaw, who is 27 years old, lives with his extended family in Burma. In early June 2022, Ko Thaw- who was working in a factory in Malaysia- developed a headache. Later that day, he also experienced chest pain, a racing heart, and an episode of vomiting. His employer brought him to the hospital, and after some testing, Ko Thaw was informed there was a problem with his aortic valve. He was given medications and a follow-up appointment. In January 2023, Ko Thaw's health deteriorated, and he was brought back to the hospital. An echocardiogram showed aortic valve regurgitation, and Ko Thaw was told that he would need surgery. His employer wouldn't pay for the surgery, and as Ko Thaw couldn't afford to pay for this on his own, he tried to manage his condition with medication. But when the medications stopped working, Ko Thaw decided to move back to Burma. Ko Thaw was referred to our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund. With their help, he is now scheduled to undergo mitral valve replacement surgery on May 14th at Pun Hlaing Hospital. For Ko Thaw, who currently experiences chest pain, insomnia, muscle stiffness, and headaches with fever, this surgery can't happen soon enough. Now he is seeking your help to raise $1,500 to cover the cost of his treatment. "I hope I can find suitable work soon after my surgery. I would like to say thank you so much. You all do incredible work for poor people who need assistance," said Ko Thaw.
Aaron is a 16-month-old baby boy from Haiti. He lives in Port-au-Prince with his two loving parents and three older sisters. His parents describe him as a happy and outgoing baby. Aaron was born with a congenital heart defect called Aortic coarctation, where a major blood vessel leading from the heart is too narrow. It forces the heart to pump harder to move blood through the aorta. Often, this condition can go undiagnosed and result in fatality later in life. Fortunately, Aaron was diagnosed by our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance (HCA), and a treatment plan has been created. On April 17th, doctors will perform the surgery and use a balloon attached to a catheter to stretch the aorta to a more appropriate size. HCA is requesting $1500 to fund the procedure. After the surgery, Aaron should live more comfortably and his parents with less worry. His mother says, "We are very excited to know that this surgery will finally be possible for our son!"
Sai Laung, who is 18 years old, lives with her parents and her younger sister in Shan State in Burma. Sai Laung used to be an agriculture day laborer, but she stopped working in July 2022 due to her illness. In her free time, Sai Laung likes to read Buddhist books and study English online. During the first week of July 2022, Sai Laung began to feel very tired and she developed a fever. At first, she thought it was because she was working a lot, but when she had difficulty breathing a few days later, her mother brought her to the hospital. She was told she might have a congenital heart condition, and the doctor recommended that she have an echocardiogram to confirm the diagnosis. Sai Laung had an echocardiogram at another hospital, confirming that she has a ventricular septal defect, or a hole in her heart. The doctor advised her to go to the Pun Hlaing Hospital in Yangon to see a cardiologist, which Sai Laung did towards the end of November 2022. During that visit, the doctor also diagnosed her with aortic valve regurgitation, and told her that she needs surgery. Currently, Sai Laung has difficulty breathing and is only able to walk short distances before experiencing fatigue. Performing ordinary household chores like cooking or cleaning is exhausting for her. Her lips turn blue, and she has sharp chest pain, fever, and difficulty sleeping. Fortunately, our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, has stepped in to assist Sai Laung access the care that she needs. On March 7th, she will undergo surgery to repair her heart at Pun Hlaing Hospital. Now Sai Laung and her family need your help to raise the $1,500 to fund this life-saving procedure. “I have felt so sad since I was diagnosed with this [heart disease]. I need surgery and we have no money. I look at my parents and I pity them because they work so hard to help me get treatment. I want to recover quickly and go back to work so I can help my parents with the extra income. When I learned that there are donors who will help pay for my treatment cost, I felt so happy," said Sai Luang.
Ju is a 27-year-old woman from Thailand where she lives with her friend. She used to work as an assistant cook with her friend until her accident. In her free time, she enjoys exercising and watching movies. On January 2nd, her friend was driving Ju home from work on her motorcycle when they were in an accident. When Ju regained consciousness three days later, she found herself in a hospital and learned that she had fractured her left pelvis. She cannot walk, and cannot sit up due to the pain. She has to stay in a reclining position. She experiences pain in her left pelvis, especially at night when it is cooler. With the help of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, Ju will undergo surgery to reset her fractured bones and ensure proper healing. The procedure is scheduled for February 18th and will cost $1,500. This procedure will help her walk again and regain her independence. She will no longer be in pain and she will be able to work again. "I planned to earn money, but instead I brought a problem home. Now my mom has had to come here to help look after me. I feel stressed because now I am in debt. I will need to go back to work to earn money and pay back my debt", Ju said.
Luz is a sweet baby from Bolivia, where she lives with her parents and two older brothers in a small mountain village. Her parents work as farmers to support their family. Luz, in addition to being diagnosed with Down Syndrome, was born with a ventricular septal defect, a heart condition where a hole exists between the two lower chambers of her heart. As a result, blood leaks through the hole without passing through her lungs to obtain oxygen, leaving her weak and short of breath. Fortunately, our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance who is expanding their work in Bolivia, is helping Luz receive treatment. On January 19th, Luz will undergo surgery where doctors will sew a patch over the hole, allowing for blood to flow completely through her heart and reach her lungs, obtaining oxygen and, ultimately, allowing her to grow as a healthy baby girl. Luz's family needs help raising $1,500 to fund her procedure and care. From Luz's mother: "Our family is all praying that after the surgery our daughter will be stronger and healthier."
Meet Kyar, a 4-year-old boy who lives with his parents, two brothers, and one sister in Tak Province. Kyar and his siblings are students at a Thai school, while their parents raise pigs and ducks and grow some vegetables for their own consumption. Kyar's mother is a homemaker, and his father makes charcoal to earn a living. He will also work as a day laborer to supplement his income, and goes fishing to put additional food on the table. The family income is just enough for their basic needs. In early December 2022, Kyar was playing with rubber bands with his friends, when one accidentally hit his left eye, which turned red and became painful. Kyar’s mother brought him to a nearby hospital, where he was admitted right away. After two days, Kyar's mother was told that he needed to be transferred to another hospital, but after eight days there, Kyar was referred to a hospital in Chiang Mai, because of the nature of the injury. Currently, Kyar experiences severe pain, swelling, and tearing from irritation in his left eye. He cannot open his eye because it is too painful. With the assistance of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, Kyar is now scheduled to undergo a surgical procedure on December 20th at Maharaj Nakorn Chiang Mai Hospital, that will resolve his injury, enabling him to see clearly again. Kyar and his family need your help to fund the $1,500 needed for the surgery. "I honestly feel sad to see my son's condition and also worried about financial difficulty, but after learning this organization BCMF and donors will support my son's treatment, I am relieved and happy," said Kyar's mother.
Aung is a six-year-old student from Thailand. He lives with his parents and brother. His mother works at a factory, his father is a homemaker, and his brother goes to school. In his free time, Aung likes to play with his toys and watch cartoon movies on the television. Aung has cataract in his right eye. As a result, he can only see light with that eye, and his eye is very sensitive and irritated. Fortunately, on November 15th, Aung will undergo lens replacement surgery, during which surgeons will remove Aung's natural lenses and replace them with an intraocular lens implant in each eye. After recovery, he will be able to see clearly. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), is requesting $1,500 to this surgery for Aung. Aung's mother shared: “We do not have money to treat him ourselves. My son is so lucky to be treated through the help of donors."
Meet Loveness, a two year old girl, living with her parents in Tanzania. Loveness' father is a small scale farmer, while her mother relies on day to day jobs to supplement their income. Earlier this year, Loveness' mother went out to fetch water and Loveness stayed to play with one of her friends at the home of a neighbor. During lunch, Loveness' left hand was burned by hot oil. The neighbor helped with immediate first aid while waiting for Loveness' mother to return. Loveness and her mother went to the hospital, where Loveness was treated successfully and sent home. A few months later her mother realized that there was something wrong with her daughter’s finger on her left hand, when she noticed that Loveness couldn't straighten her finger. Loveness and her mother returned to the hospital, but the family couldn't afford to pay for the necessary treatment to heal her hand. Instead, the staff at the hospital referred the family to our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation. Now Loveness is scheduled to undergo contracture release surgery on October 17th, at Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre. African Mission Healthcare Foundation is seeking $639 to fund this procedure for Loveness so she can grow up active and with full use of her hand. Loveness' mother says: “Please help my daughter and our family put this trauma behind us.”
Steevenson is a 21-year-old, living in a small farming village in southwest Haiti, with his parents and three younger siblings. Steevenson helps his parents tend to their farm, although he is hoping to be able to complete high school, once his health has improved. As a child, Steevenson suffered from a case of rheumatic fever, which left his heart severely damaged. As a result, one of his four heart valves cannot pump sufficient blood through his body, which leaves Steevenson weak and short of breath. Our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, is helping Steevenson to finally receive the treatment that he needs. Steevenson will fly to the Dominican Republic, where on September 26th, surgeons at Hospital CEDIMAT will attempt to repair his damaged valve. If this isn't possible, an artificial valve will be implanted. Haiti Cardiac Alliance is contributing $8,000 to pay for Steevenson's surgery. But Steevenson's family also needs your help to secure $1,500 to fund the cost of labs, medicines and follow up appointments, as well as for the passports and the social workers who will accompany the family to the Dominican Republic. Steevenson shared, "I have been praying for this surgery since I was a child, and I hope that when it is over I can be fully healthy and will have more energy."
Josephine is a 70-year-old mother of eight children who lives with her husband in Kenya. Although she and her husband both do some small-scale farming in her community, they depend on their children to support them. However, Josephine has recently been unable farm due to her current medical condition. Since January, Josephine has been experiencing troubling symptoms, including uncontrolled bleeding. She visited a nearby health facility in her hometown to be evaluated and was referred to a hospital for additional tests. There, she received a CT scan and a biopsy, which revealed that she has uterine cancer. Her doctor recommends that she undergo a total abdominal hysterectomy, a surgical procedure to remove the uterus, to help remove the cancer from her body and hopefully stop its spread. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMHF), is requesting $1,260 to fund Josephine's surgery. Josephine has gathered funds to help with a copay, but the full cost of the specialist procedure is out of reach. On August 25th, she will undergo gynecological surgery at AMHF's care center, AIC Kijabe Hospital. After this procedure, she should be able to resume her life free from discomfort and bleeding. Josephine says, “Struggling with cancer at my age is scary. I can’t believe it! I hope the surgery will help to get rid of the disease.”
Nancy is a bright and social 12-year-old student from Tanzania. She is the youngest in a family of three children. Her and her siblings are being raised by their grandparents with the help of amazing well-wishers, since their grandparents are older and appreciate the extra help. Nancy currently attends primary school, and her favorite subjects include Swahili, mathematics, and social studies! She is very friendly and loves to play netball with her schoolmates. However, playing is becoming increasingly difficult due to her condition. Nancy has clubfoot of the left foot. Clubfoot is a condition where the foot is twisted out of shape, which causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Fortunately, Nancy and her family traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on July 15th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $935 to fund Nancy's clubfoot repair. After treatment, she will be able to walk easily. Her grandmother says, "Nancy and her siblings have been in my care since they were babies. We struggle to raise them. That's why well-wishers help. Unfortunately, they can’t help her with her treatment. Please help us."
Misgana is a 15-month-old girl from Ethiopia. She is a happy and friendly baby. She has one older sister she loves to play with, and she also loves playing with her dolls. Her mom makes injera (a traditional Ethiopian food) for a living. She brings her two daughters along with her to work because she has no one to look after them while she is away. Misgana's dad is a farmer and they live in a rented house. Misgana was born with an anorectal malformation, a congenital abnormality that leads to a complete or partial intestinal blockage. She needs to undergo a series of procedures to eliminate bowel dysfunction. Misgana underwent emergency colostomy surgery at BethanyKids Myungsung Christian Medical Centre (BKMCM) and now needs to have her next stage of treatment to fully heal. Her mom shared how difficult this has been on their family psychologically and that they cannot afford Misgana's medical bill. Fortunately, Misgana is now scheduled to undergo surgery to correct her condition on July 7th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of Misgana's procedure and care. After her recovery, Misgana will no longer experience bowel dysfunction or be at risk of developing related health complications in the future. Her mom says “I hope my child will heal and grow. I want her to learn about God. And I wish she will get a good education and become a teacher.”