Sarah joined Watsi on February 9th, 2020. Two years ago, Sarah joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Sarah's most recent donation traveled 8,600 miles to support Mi, a 58-year-old mother from Thailand, to fund mass removal surgery so she can return to supporting her family free of pain.
Sarah has funded healthcare for 28 patients in 6 countries.
Sarah has funded healthcare for 28 patients in 6 countries.
Mi is a 58-year-old mother from Thailand. She lives with her husband and her three daughters. She supports her family by working as a homemaker. Her husband does not work because he is ill. Her eldest daughter is an accountant, her second eldest daughter is a homemaker, and her youngest daughter does not work because she is attending school. Some of Mi's favorite activities include cleaning her house and growing vegetables in her garden. In February, Mi started experiencing pain in her left breast. After examining the area, she noticed a small mass. Over time, the mass increased in size and the pain worsened. She currently still experiences pain in her left breast. Although she takes medication, it only alleviates her pain temporarily. Because of this, she cannot cook or clean, and her daughter has had to take over the household chores. Fortunately, Mi sought treatment through our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund. She is now scheduled to undergo mass removal surgery on July 12th. She is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of her procedure and care. Mi shares, “I want to get better soon. Then my second eldest daughter can find work so that we can pay back our debt. I want to live happily with my family for the rest of my life.”
Thu Zar is a 21-year-old woman who lives with her parents, three sisters, and three nieces in Mae Sot near the Thailand-Burma border. Her family moved from Shan State in Burma to Thailand in 2008 in search of better opportunities. She used to work at a logistics company until two weeks ago when she quit due to her condition. Her parents run a small shop from their home, and her oldest sister is a cleaner at a restaurant. One of her other sister’s is unemployed and her third sister as well as her three nieces all go to school. In 2015, Thu Zar felt a small mobile mass in her chest. She did not feel any pain at the time and forgot about the mass. In 2019, she attended a workshop about reproductive health at her school, run by Mae Tao Clinic (MTC). During the workshop she remembered the mass and later when she was alone, she checked to see if it was still there. She felt the mass and thought that it had increased in size, but she did not experience any pain. The next day, she told the workshop trainer about the mass. The trainer told her to go to MTC for treatment. However, Thu Zar decided she did not want to take time off from school to go to the clinic, since she thought the mass was not causing her any pain or discomfort. Now, Thu Zar's condition has worsened and causes her great pain. She can only sleep on her back, because if she sleeps in any other position she experiences immense pain. Thu Zar sought treatment through our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund. She is now scheduled to undergo mass removal surgery on June 9th to heal her condition. She is raising $1,500 to cover the total cost of her procedure and care. Thu Zar is very worried about her health and told us, "I feel very sad and depressed with this condition."
Shedrack is a 17-year-old teenager and the fourth born child in a family of seven. He had to drop out of school last year, but hopes to learn masonry at a local technical school so that he can work and make a living for himself. He is currently helping in looking after his family's cattle. His parents are small scale farmers, and his father also works as a night guard. His father shared that he can't yet afford to send Shedrack to the technical school. Shedrack was diagnosed with bilateral genu valgus. His legs bow inward at the knees. This condition is typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, which often stems from contaminated drinking water. As a result, he has had difficulty walking for four years now. His father says the problem started with a slight curve but over the years the curve has increased in size. Shedrack's aunt learned about Plaster House - a special site that provides a home to patients undergoing treatment at our medical partner's care center in Arusha, Tanzania. She informed Shedrack's father who brought him there seeking treatment. Unable to raise the funds needed for surgery, their family is asking for support. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Shedrack. The procedure is scheduled to take place on May 6th. Treatment will hopefully restore Shedrack's mobility, allow him to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease his risk of future complications. Shedrack says, “My legs hurt at the knees and carrying out daily life activities is now a big challenge.”
Joan is a 36-year-old woman and a mother of three teenage children. Joan used to help tend a farm, but the work availability was inconsistent and could not support her family's needs. Her fracture makes it impossible for her to work at this time, and she is currently staying with her mother. Joan's husband works on a construction site. In January, Joan slipped while doing chores outside her home and broke her hand. She was rushed to a local hospital, where she was given a cast for six weeks, followed by an arm sling. Since her pain never subsided, she visited Kijabe Hospital for further review. The doctors noticed a deformity at the fracture site and conducted an X-ray, which revealed a fracture in her upper arm. They determined that Joan will need to undergo surgery to heal. Currently, Joan cannot use her left arm, and it's affecting her family's livelihood. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), can help Joan receive treatment. On April 13th, she will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation, that will allow her to use her arm again. AMH is requesting $1,500 to help fund this procedure. Joan shared, "I have been in prolonged pain for a lengthy period of time. My hand is broken, and I can no longer use my hand to work. This surgery will help me get back to my work and raise my family."
Savy is a 35-year-old woman who earns a living by selling snacks and drinks out of her home. Savy and her husband have three children who are all in primary school. Savy enjoys trying new foods and cooking for her husband and children. About ten years ago, Savy had an ear infection that caused an abnormal skin growth to develop in the middle ear behind the ear drum. This has caused Savy to experience hearing loss, tinnitus, and uncomfortable discharge. Medical treatments and ear drops have not helped relieve her symptoms. Savy's hearing has worsened making it difficult for her to communicate with customers. Savy is worried about the future as now she has become reliant on her husband to make business transactions. On March 7th, Savy will undergo a procedure where an ENT surgeon will remove the abnormal growth from her ear. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is helping Savy raise $925 to fund this procedure, medications, supplies, and inpatient care. Savy hopes the surgery will stop her from having so many ear infections so that her hearing will improve and she can communicate better with everyone.
Meet Jonah, a 31-year-old quiet man. Jonah is the 2nd eldest in a family of three. His siblings and him were raised by a single mother who makes a modest living as a farmer. Earlier, Jonah left secondary school studies to find work to help support his family. Jonah has a history of a growing cheek mass that has recently increased in size. Jonah's condition is uncomfortable and often causes people to stare, which Jonah finds upsetting and is impacting his self esteem. Jonah received a scan of his cheek at AIC Kapsowar Hospital and was subsequently diagnosed with a submandibular tumor. Doctors recommended that the mass be removed and the procedure is scheduled for February 14th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare is helping Jonah raise the $1,196 he needs to undergo this life altering surgery. Jonah shared, “I have waited for this moment in my life for so long. My mother has tried to take me to so many hospitals but we lacked means because they requested too much from us.”
Kiliani is the last-born in a large family of seven children. He was born prematurely along with a twin brother, who sadly did not survive. Kiliani works hard and is now in class three in school. His best subject is mathematics. Currently, he walks to school every day on his crutches because he cannot use his right leg. Kilani was born with a condition impacting his leg and was further made challenging when he had a fracture when learning to crawl. When he was young, his parents tried to seek treatment for him but due to financial challenges, they were not able to continue with treatment. Unfortunately, Kiliani has lived with this condition until now, enduring a lot of pain. Their family depends on small-scale farming where they raise their food for daily use. They are working hard to make ends meet due to the change weather where they live, which is affecting the amount of harvest each year. Our medical partner met Kiliani through a community outreach program. After a medical team reviewed his condition, he has been scheduled to have amputation below his knee which will enable him to use a prosthetic leg. This will make walking for him easier and relieve him from the challenges he is going through. Kiliani’s father says “If this treatment can help my son have ease in walking, please help make it possible, we cannot afford the cost of treatment.”
Yasin is a 9-year-old student and the third born in a family of five children. Yasin is a social, talkative, and playful boy despite his challenges in walking due to his clubfoot condition. Yasin loves math and English. When asked if there are any sports, he loves he said “I love football, but my friends play better than me because of my feet, I cannot run as fast as them. So, I lose most of the time.” Yasin’s father sells vegetables at a local market and their income is not enough to care for the family and pay for Yasin’s needed treatment cost. Yasin has clubfoot of both his feet. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Fortunately, Yasin traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on December 14th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $935 to fund Yasin's clubfoot repair. After treatment, He will be able to walk easily and wear shoes. Yasin’s class teacher says “I felt I had to do something because it made me very sad seeing Yasin walking around school with no shoes on. It was even worse when I realized that he also went to a pit latrine toilet with no shoes on something that is a danger to his health. Please help him.”
Saitabau is a fifteen-year-old student. He's the second born out of four children from their mother who passed away three years ago. Saitabau is a hard-working boy who is currently in class three and his best subject is mathematics. Saitabau was diagnosed with bilateral genu valgus. His knees tilt inward and his ankles are far apart. This condition is typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, which often stems from contaminated drinking water. As a result, Saitabau's legs have worsened, making walking exhausting, painful and difficult for him. He has trouble walking to school and playing sports, which he loves to do. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Saitabau. The procedure is scheduled to take place on November 9th. Treatment will hopefully restore Saitabau's mobility, allow him to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease his risk of future complications. Saitabau says “Walking to school has now become very difficult because I feel pain on my knees and I get tired easily."
Pel is a young mother who lives with her husband, mother-in-law, and three sons in a refugee camp. She and her mother-in-law work at home and her husband is a nurse at the hospital in their refugee camp. Before her vision worsened, she used to weave traditional Karen bags like ones for her sons to use as school bags once they are old enough to attend. Now, Pel is no longer able to see faces and can only make out shapes. When she walks, she will often hit her toes against stones in her path, and when she moves around in her home, she will often hit her head on the door frame. She now needs someone to help guide her when she walks. Pel's mother-in-law moved in after she gave birth to her six-month-old son, since Pel could no longer see her baby's face at that point. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund lens replacement surgery for Pel. On October 14th, doctors will perform a lens replacement, during which they will remove Pel's natural lenses and replace them with an intraocular lens implant in each eye. After recovery, she will be able to see clearly. Now, Pel needs help to fund this $1,500 procedure. She said, “I really want to see my baby’s face and I am excited to see him after my surgery. Thank you so much to the donors who will help me receive treatment. I know my family could never afford to pay for my treatment.”
U Ghwe is a 70-year-old man who lives with his wife and granddaughter in Burma. His wife is ill and not able to look after household chores most of the time. His granddaughter is a student in grade 12, but since her school is closed right now, she looks after the household chores. U Ghwe is a weaver and primarily makes bamboo baskets used to carry materials for construction. The family also fishes and raises chickens. Four years ago, U Ghwe had a stroke which left the muscles in his right foot very stiff. Although he can walk, he cannot wear sandals comfortably and instead goes barefoot. About a month ago, while cutting bamboo for weaving, he felt something bite the sole of his right foot. When he got home that evening, his foot was painful, itchy, red and swollen. Unfortunately, he did not have money to seek treatment at a clinic and eventually, the wound developed into an abscess filled with pus. A family member finally recommended that he visit our medical partner's care center for further examination and treatment. After examination, a doctor diagnosed him with an ulcer and told him that he has diabetes. The doctor shared with him that any injury U Ghwe sustains will not heal easily. His doctor has recommended surgery to clean the ulcer and help it to heal. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), is helping U Ghwe receive the recommended treatment. On October 7th, he will undergo a wound debridement procedure at BCMF's care center to help his wound heal. Now, he needs help raising $694 to fund his procedure and care. U Ghwe shared, "I do not know how long my daughter will not be able to [give] me money. Today, my daughter called me and said that my son-in-law will need to have surgery so she cannot send me money. I am the only one who can earn an income, so if I do not feel better, I will not be able to work. I am interested in working with wood. If was younger, I would learn and become a carpenter but now I feel I am too old."
Winfred is a humble and shy 18-year-old girl. She is the second born in a family of three children. Her mother is single and works as a farmer. About eight years ago, when Winfred was 10 years old, she developed a change in her legs so that the bow and began experiencing pain when walking long distances. Since then, her condition has worsened. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Winfred receive treatment. On September 16th, she will undergo corrective surgery at AMH's care center. After surgery, she will be able to walk much more easily and will no longer experience pain when walking long distances. She will be able to continue with her life like her peers. Now, her family needs help raising $1,224 to fund her procedure. Winfred shared, "I would love to walk well like other girls and continue with my normal life."