United States • Born on February 18th
Jaewon joined Watsi on September 8th, 2014. Eight years ago, Jaewon joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Jaewon's most recent donation traveled 8,300 miles to support Aung, a 25-year-old man from Burma, to fund life-saving cardiac surgery.
Jaewon has funded healthcare for 102 patients in 14 countries.
Jaewon has funded healthcare for 102 patients in 14 countries.
Aung, who is 25 years old, lives with his mother, brother and two sisters in Burma. His mother is retired, and his brother is a security guard. One of his sisters works at a bicycle factory, while the other one works for a local company. Aung is currently unemployed because of his poor health. In October 2022, Aung fell ill and developed a persistent cough. He went to a charity hospital, where he was told that he had a heart infection. After he was treated with injected antibiotics, the doctor told him that he needed an echocardiogram, because he might have a heart condition due to the infection. After the echo was completed, he was diagnosed with mitral valve regurgitation, and he was referred to a cardiologist in Yangon. Aung went to see the cardiologist, who told him that he would need surgery, which he could not afford. On December 25, 2022, both of Aung's legs and his arms became swollen, and he was unable to sleep. He went to a private hospital, where it was determined that he would need surgery as soon as possible. Currently, Aung feels extremely fatigued, experiences chest pains, and has difficulty breathing. Sometimes, his legs and his arms become swollen, and he cannot sleep well at night. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 for the mitral valve replacement surgery that Aung needs. The procedure is currently scheduled to take place on April 2nd, at Pun Hlaing Hospital. "In the future, I want to work as a taxi driver, because I believe that I could easily earn money doing this [in the city]," said Aung.
Wideline is a 27 year old woman from Haiti. She lives in Port-au-Prince with her sister and her sister's family. She has not been working because of her illness, but would like to return to school to study business once she is able. Wideline has a cardiac condition called atrial septal defect and ventricular septal defect. Wideline was born with two holes in her heart, one between the upper chambers and another between the lower chambers. Blood leaks through these holes without passing through the lungs to obtain oxygen, leaving her weak and short of breath. It is extremely rare for someone to live to Wideline's age with this untreated condition. Because the care that she needs is not available in Haiti, Wideline will fly to the United States to receive treatment. On March 1st, she will undergo cardiac surgery, during which doctors will use patches to close the holes so that blood can no longer leak through them. Another organization, Baylor Scott and White Heart Hospital, is contributing $15,000 to help pay for surgery. Wideline's family also needs help to fund the costs of surgery prep and travel. 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 Wideline overseas. Wideline shared: "I am so excited to finally be able to live a more normal life!"
Michael is a beautiful baby who likes playing with blocks and waving his arms in time to music. Michael has a cardiac condition called tricuspid atresia: he was born without one of the four valves that is normally present in the heart. As a result, blood cannot flow through his lungs and body normally, leaving him sick and short of breath. On March 1st, Michael will undergo cardiac surgery, during which doctors will perform a technique called a Glenn procedure to create a conduit to allow blood to bypass the missing valve and more easily circulate through Michael's body. Another organization, Gift of Life International, is contributing $5,000 to pay for surgery, but Michael's family is still in need of $1,500 and have turned to the Watsi community for support. Michael's mother says: "It has been very frightening to see my son have such difficulty breathing, and I am so glad we can finally find a way to help him."
Htwe is a 12-year-old student who lives with his uncle's family in Thailand. His parents are day laborers in Bangkok, who send his uncle money every month to support him. In his free time, Htwe enjoys playing football with his friends. Two years ago, Htwe's right eyelid became swollen and red. By July 2021, the swelling had worsened and he felt a small mass in his right eyelid. He also developed double vision. He visited several clinics and was given oral medications and eye drops, but he never felt better. Currently, Htwe has redness and swelling in his right eyelid, and sometimes his eye will water. He also has blurry vision and feels uncomfortable with the mass pressing on his eyelid. Due to his blurry vision, he finds it hard to study and do his homework. Eventually, his aunt took Htwe to Mae Sot Hospital (MSH), where he was diagnosed with a cyst in his right eyelid. The doctor told him that he will need to have surgery to remove the cyst. Thanks to our partner's care center, Htwe will have the cyst surgically removed on May 11th. Now his family needs your help to fund this $1,500 procedure. Htwe said, “I want to be a football player when I grow up.” (His family hopes he'll become a medic himself one day and can help others in need!)
Emmanuel, who is 19 years old, is the third born in a family of five children. He lives in Kansau village in Kenya. While Emmanuel was healthy at birth, when he was four or five years old, he began to experience convulsions. His parents brought him to Kenyatta National Hospital, where he was diagnosed with hemiplegic CP, a condition where the brain has been impacted and results in the paralysis of one side of the body. In addition, Emmanuel has clubfoot of his left foot, which makes it difficult for him to wear shoes and to walk easily. Fortunately, Emmanuel traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, AIC Cure International Hospital. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on January 16th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,286 to fund Emmanuel's clubfoot repair. After treatment, he will be able to walk more easily, and to resume his vocational studies classes at Machakos School, which he so enjoys. Emmanuel said: “I would love to see my foot corrected so that I can continue with my studies and start my business in the future.”
Benina is a cheerful woman with an infectious smile, she is married and has been blessed with five children, all boys. The first two children have completed their high school education; the other two are still in high school, while the youngest is in primary school. Benina and her husband own a piece of land where they primarily cultivate potatoes for their family's consumption and sell the surplus in the market. They also sporadically work on the farms of their neighbors to supplement their little income. This year, rainfall was very inconsistent, and the couple did not have any potato produce, thereby earning no income from their land. For the past 6 years, Benina has been experiencing severe abdominal pains, bleeding, and a persistent headache. She sought medical services from a clinician, who referred her to the obstetrics and gynecology department for further review. In 2019, the symptoms became severe, and she decided to visit a nearby health facility where she was given medication and sent back home. She experienced temporary relief from the condition, but it later reappeared. Benina made the decision to come to our partner's care center, AIC Kapsowar Hospital, because the situation did not get any better. After learning about her medical history, medical test were recommended which revealed that she had a hemoglobin level below 6, which is extremely low and dangerous. She was hospitalised and underwent a blood transfusion to boost hemoglobin levels and enhance blood quality. To help her heal she needs to undergo a hysterectomy, a procedure in which surgeons will remove her uterus. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $918 to fund Benina's surgery. On November 29th, she will undergo gynecological surgery at our medical partner's care center. Once recovered, Benina will be able to resume her daily activities free of pain. Benina says, "I have endured a lot while holding out hope that I may soon recover. Day by day, the symptoms are getting worse, and I've lost a lot of blood. I'm in a terrible situation, please support me to get this operation."
Meet Katweensly, a 16 year old student, living with her mother and siblings in a small town in Haiti, near the border with the Dominican Republic. Katweensly, who is a junior in high school, particularly enjoys her math and science classes. As a young child, Katweensly suffered a bout of rheumatic fever, which damaged one of the four valves in her heart. As a result, her heart cannot pump blood efficiently through her body, leaving her feeling weak and short of breath. Thanks to the help of our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, Katweensly is scheduled to travel to the Dominican Republic for surgery, which is scheduled for November 10th, at Hospital CEDIMAT. There, doctors will first try to repair the damaged valve. If they are unable to do this, they will implant an artificial valve. Another organization, Mitral Foundation, is helping supporting the cost of the surgery, but Katweensly's family needs an additional $1,500 to pay for lab tests, medicines, and follow up appointments that are a part of her overall treatment. In addition, support will help cover the travel costs and ensure a social worker from Haiti Cardiac Alliance can support the family during treatment in the Dominican Republic. Katweensly said: "I am feeling very happy to finally have the chance to have my heart repaired after waiting for so long."
Nu is a 57-year-old woman from Thailand. She lives with her husband and two sons in a refugee camp. Her sons go to school. She and her husband raise chickens and grow vegetables both for their own consumption and for sale. She has cataracts and her vision is blurry. She is often worried that she might slip and fall due to her poor vision, and she has to walk slowly and carefully. Sometimes, she will have a headache and a stiff neck. Since her vision has become blurry, she can no longer read, which she shared she especially likes to do to read the Bible or the lyrics for new hymns. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund lens replacement surgery for Nu. On September 15th, doctors will perform a lens replacement, during which they will remove Nu's natural lenses and replace them with an intraocular lens implant in each eye. After recovery, she will be able to see clearly. Now, she needs help to fund this $1,500 procedure. “When I go to church, I feel sad because I cannot participate, like reading passages from the Bible," she shared.
Dibora is a smiley and playful 13-month-old baby girl from Ethiopia. Her father is a farmer and her mother is a housewife. She has three older siblings and loves to eat and to play with her family. Dibora was born with an anorectal malformation, a congenital abnormality that leads to a complete or partial intestinal blockage. Due to her condition, she developed a bowel obstruction and an emergency colostomy procedure was performed. She has had a number of complications due to this procedure, and requires an additional procedure to correct her condition. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Dibora receive treatment. On September 8th, she will undergo corrective surgery at AMH's care center. After her recovery, Dibora will no longer experience bowel dysfunction or be at risk of developing health complications in the future. Now, she and her family need help raising $1,500 to fund her procedure and care. Dibora's mother shared, "Once Dibora has recovered and is healed of this condition, I want to take care of her and her siblings well."
Win is a 34-year-old mother of two from Thailand. She works as an agricultural day laborer to support her two children who live with her relative. Last month, Win was walking down the stairs in front of her home when she suddenly slipped and fell. This fall caused a fracture of her lower right leg, preventing her from both standing up and straightening her right leg. She first tried to treat herself with traditional medicine, but when she saw no improvement, she sought medical attention at a clinic. Win's lower right leg is currently swollen and in a lot of pain. She cannot straighten it nor put any weight on it. Because of the pain, she is experiencing difficulty sleeping and a loss of appetite. To get around, she is using a wheelchair provided by the clinic. With the help of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, Win will undergo surgery to reset her fractured bones and ensure proper healing. The treatment is scheduled for August 5th and will cost $1,500. This procedure will help her walk again and return to work to support her children. She said, “I felt very happy when I learned that an organization will support the cost of my surgery. I am very thankful to all the donors and the organization for their support."
Chrismarlie is a 13-year-old student from Haiti. She lives with her parents and three siblings in a city on the northern coast of Haiti. Her father is a school administrator, and her mother is a homemaker. Chrismarlie shared that she enjoys going to school and listening to music with her friends. Chrismarlie has a cardiac condition called pulmonic stenosis, which means one of her heart valves is too tight, making it difficult for blood to pass through and leading to heart failure. The surgery that she needs is not available in Haiti, but fortunately, Chrismarlie will be able to fly to the Dominican Republic to receive treatment. On July 29th, she will undergo cardiac surgery, during which the surgeons will widen the heart valve so that blood can flow through it more easily. Chrismarlie's family is raising funds to cover the costs of her surgery prep, as our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance (HCA), is contributing funds to help cover the cost of surgery. The $1,500 will support her surgery prep, which includes all labs, medication, check-ups and follow-up appointments, and the passports needed for HCA's social workers to accompany Chrismarlie and her family overseas. Chrismarlie said, "I would like to say thank you to everyone who is helping to fix my heart problem!"
Neang is a 67-year-old retired rice farmer, living with her husband and their youngest daughter. Altogether, Neang and her husband have one son, three daughters, and five grandchildren. One year ago, Neang developed a cataract in her left eye, causing her blurry vision, tearing, and sensitivity to light. She has difficulty seeing things clearly, including colors and faces, and is unable to go places on her own. Neang traveled for three and a half hours to our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, to seek treatment. On May 17th, doctors at Kien Khleang National Rehabilitation Centre will perform cataract surgery, and implant an intraocular lens in her left eye. This procedure will enable Neang to see clearly, and to become independent again. She is raising $253 to fund her surgery. Neang says: "I hope after surgery my eye can see clearly. I want to help my daughter with housework and take care of my grandchildren well."