Byron joined Watsi on September 2nd, 2015. Four years ago, Byron became the 1449th member to automatically support a new Watsi patient every month. Since then, 4,380 more people have become monthly donors! Byron's most recent donation traveled 8,200 miles to support Ali, a newborn baby from Ethiopia, to fund congenital anorectal malformation treatment.
Byron has funded healthcare for 69 patients in 12 countries.
Ali is a 1-month-old infant from Ethiopia and is a beautiful baby boy. He has six siblings. He loves to play with his mom and siblings and is exclusively fed breast milk. His father is a day laborer and earns limited income which is sufficient for their family's daily needs, but not more than that. His mom is a house wife and she raises her children full-time. Ali was born with an anorectal malformation, a congenital abnormality that leads to a complete or partial intestinal blockage. He needs to undergo a series of procedures to eliminate bowel dysfunction. Ali is scheduled to undergo surgery to correct his condition on April 2nd. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of Ali's procedure and care. After his recovery, Ali will no longer experience bowel dysfunction or be at risk of developing health complications in the future. His parents shared, “We hope the operation will bring him good health. We were very troubled because of our financial constraint.”
Mya Mya is a 40-year-old-woman who lives and work with her elder sister for a herbal medicine production workshop in Sanchaung Township, Yangon Division in Burma. They are originally from Bago Division and moved a few years ago. Since Mya Mya was 18 years old she has felt bronchial asthma and suffered from difficulty breathing. Sometimes she feels severely tired. She went to a health worker at her village and the health worker told her to go and see heart specialist in Yangon. However, at that time she did not have money to go to Yangon, so she did not go. She has only used herbal medicine for treating difficulty breathing since she was 18-year-old, which did help her feel better. For the last four months at night she has severe difficulty breathing, so she woke her sister up and asked her sister to send her to a private clinic called Yaung Chi Oo in Yangon. After the doctor's examination, she was told her that she needs to go and see heart specialist doctor. Then the doctor gave her an injection and some oral medication. Then, she went to Thiri Sandar Private Hospital on January 31, 2020 where she received an echocardiogram. The doctor told her that she has heart disease and she needs surgery. On February 5, Mya Mya went to Kan Thar Yar Hospital (KTYH) as suggested by the doctor at Thiri Sandar Hospital. The doctor at KTYH performed another echo before diagnosing her with large ventricular septal defect (VSD). The doctor at KTYH also told her that she needs surgery. Unfortunately, Mya Mya and her family cannot afford to pay for the surgery. After talking to the nurses and doctor about her problem, the nurses who know Watsi Partner Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF) refered her to BCMF. Mya May needs to stop working because of her tiredness. She is worried about her parents because if she cannot work. She shared, "If I recover from my disease, I need to work for my parents, to support them.”
Sandra is an 11-year-old student from Haiti. She lives with her parents in a city in northwest Haiti. She is in the fifth grade and especially likes reading and art. Sandra has a cardiac condition called ventricular septal defect and pulmonary hypertension. A hole exists between the two lower chambers of her heart; she also has blood flowing through her lungs at much higher pressures than normal. Sandra will fly to Cayman Islands to receive treatment. On February 24th, she will undergo cardiac surgery, during which doctors will first perform a catheterization to make sure the high pressures in her lungs can be reversed. If the results of this procedure are positive, she will go on to have open-heart surgery in which doctors will close the hole in her heart with a patch. Sandra's family needs help to fund the costs of surgery prep. The $1,500 bill covers labs, medicines, and check-up and follow-up appointments. It also supports passport obtainment and the social workers from our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, who will accompany Sandra's family overseas. Another organization, Have a Heart Cayman, is contributing $17,000 to pay for her surgery. Sandra shared, "I am looking forward to being able to walk to and from school without stopping to rest!"
Laban is a 16-year-old boy from Tanzania who enjoys studying history, math, and social studies. He is third born in a family of six and suffers from a congenital clubfoot on the right leg, making his movement difficult and painful. When he was born, his mother used herbs and warm water to correct the defect but ended up developing sores. When Laban was reviewed by our outreach program, he had manipulation and casting surgery recommended. However, the family is not able to raise the money needed as Laban's parents are peasant farmers with limited income. They struggle meeting daily needs and medical care for their children. Laban struggles to walk but remain hopeful that soon he will be able to walk with less pain and difficulties. Fortunately, Laban's family traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery and our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $890 to fund Laban's treatment. Laban's sister also suffers from clubfoot. Laban’s father says, “I have always felt hurt and that I failed my children every time I see them walking with difficulty due to their leg condition that I couldn’t afford the treatment. Please help.”
Arobo is a student from Ethiopia with three siblings who are also students. He is a nice boy who is outgoing and playful. Arobo loves to play football with his friends and loves to read books. Arobo’s mother is a widower and their family lives in a remote area. Her income is very limited even to sustain the basic need of the family. Arobo was born with hypospadias, a congenital abnormality that causes urinary dysfunction. Without treatment, he will continue to experience uncomfortable symptoms and will be at risk of infertility. Fortunately, Arobo is scheduled to undergo corrective surgery on December 12. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,231 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. Arobo's brother said “We hope he will be healed from his condition after this surgery. And if he heals our mother, I and our sisters will be relived from worry. And he will also be well psychologically.”
Samnang is a ninth grade student from Cambodia. She has nine other siblings, and her favorite subject in school is biology and she hopes to become a teacher in the future. Since she was one year old, Samnang had an ear infection. This infection caused the tympanic membrane, or the ear drum, in her left ear to perforate. For this reason, Samnang experiences ear discharge, headache, itchiness, and hearing loss. She cannot hear others clearly and is unable to communicate well with others and has trouble focusing at school. Samnang traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On October 09, she will undergo a myringoplasty procedure in her left ear. During this procedure, surgeons will close the perforation. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is requesting $423 to fund this procedure. This covers medications, supplies, and inpatient care. Samnang's mother said, "I hope that my daughter's surgery goes well so that she will not suffer from any more hearing loss."
Mary walks into my office with the top of her cardigan covering her chin. She sits on the chair opposite me with one hand clasping the top of her black cardigan to veil the swell running from her jawline to her neck. The lower lip protrudes with a peeping swelling attached in so that her upper lip cannot touch the lower one. This has been Mary’s life for over 6 months. Late last year, Mary developed a small swelling on her jaw. It was not painful and therefore she did not think of it as serious. As time passed, the swell grew in size. Mary who could eat just about anything now has restrictions on what she can eat. There is pain when she bends and this has also obstructed her working. Mary is married with two children. She was a subsistence farmer before the condition restricted her activities. Mary and her husband depend on one of their daughter who sells second-hand clothes. Besides helping her parents, she has four children under her care. Mary says, “Please help me because I can barely eat."
Isabella is a child from Kenya. She hails from Kaloleni village in Machakos county. She together with her sister are twins. They are both in nursery school. She likes playing with her sister and as well associating with other people. Her mother is housewife while the father is a conductor. The family live in a one roomed rental house and as the mother informed us, they have to work hard in order to provide for the basic needs to the family. Isabella 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, Isabella traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, AIC Cure International Hospital. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on August 29. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,224 to fund Isabella's clubfoot repair. After treatment, she will be able to walk easily. “My joy is to see my daughter walking on her feet like her twin sister. I will appreciate any kind of support rendered to help my daughter rise and walk. God bless you.” Isabella’s mother informed us.
Syndie is a student from Haiti. She lives with her parents and three siblings on a small farm in the mountains of southern Haiti. She likes going to school and helping her parents around the farm. Syndie has a cardiac condition called rheumatic mitral regurgitation. One of the four valves in her heart was severely damaged due to a fever she suffered earlier in childhood, and cannot adequately pump blood through her body. Syndie will fly to Dominican Republic to receive treatment. On July 29, she will undergo cardiac surgery, during which surgeons will first attempt to repair the damaged valve, and if this is not possible they will implant an artificial replacement. Another organization, Mitral Foundation, is contributing $6,000 to pay for surgery. Syndie'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 Syndie's family overseas. She says, "I am looking forward to having more energy and better health after my surgery!"
Soy is a 56-year-old rice farmer from Cambodia. She has four children and four grandchildren, and she enjoys looking after her grandchildren, cooking for her family, and watching television in her free time. Seven years ago, Soy started experiencing hip pain on her left side. She cannot extend her leg normally, and also experiences pain in her neck as well. Fortunately, Soy learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre. At CSC, surgeons can perform a total hip replacement to relieve Soy of her pain and allow her to walk easily. Treatment is scheduled for July 2, and Soy needs help raising $1,025 to pay for this procedure. She says, "I hope that after my operation I will be able to walk normally and return to my work without any difficulty."
Soksomaly is a 19-year-old college student from Cambodia. She is a hotel and tourism student and hopes to become a translator in the future. Five years ago, Soksomaly had an ear infection. This infection caused a cholesteatoma, or an abnormal skin growth, to develop in the middle ear behind the ear drum. For this reason, Soksomaly experiences headaches, hearing loss, discharge, and itchiness. It is difficult for her to hear, and she often experiences difficulty communicating with others. Soksomaly traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On May 3, she will undergo a mastoidectomy procedure in her left ear. During this procedure, ENT surgeons will remove the cholesteatoma. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is requesting $842 to fund this procedure. This covers medications, supplies, and inpatient care. She says, "I hope that this operation will allow me to hear properly and for the infection and discharge to stop."
Kerhi is a student from Haiti. He lives with his parents and two brothers in Gonaives, a city on the west coast of Haiti. His father is a bus driver, and his mother works in the market. He is in the fifth grade and enjoys math and science. Kerhi has a cardiac condition called patent ductus arteriosus. A blood vessel between the pulmonary artery and the aorta that normally closes soon after birth instead remains open. Blood flows through it, bypassing the lungs and depriving the body of the oxygen it needs. Kerhi underwent a surgery two years ago to tie off the duct, but unfortunately the defect has re-opened; he will now undergo a different type of procedure called cardiac catheterization to close it in a way that makes it very unlikely to ever reopen again. Kerhi will fly to the United States to receive treatment. On May 2, he will undergo cardiac surgery, during which surgeons will use a device attached to the tip of a catheter to block the leaking duct. Another organization, Gift of Life New York, is contributing $6,000 to pay for surgery. Kerhi'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 Kerhi's family overseas. He says, "I am excited to fly on a plane for the first time and visit a new country!"