Nick joined Watsi on December 28th, 2015. Five years ago, Nick joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Nick's most recent donation supported Tina, a 39-year-old mango farmer from Cambodia, to fund pterygium eye surgery.
Nick has funded healthcare for 65 patients in 14 countries.
Nick has funded healthcare for 65 patients in 14 countries.
Tina is a 39-year-old mango farmer. He's proudly married with three sons who are all in school. Since Phnom Penh has been on a COVID lockdown for a month, he has been unable to travel to sell his mangos, so he is currently staying at home with his family. Two years ago, Tina developed a pterygium in his left eye, causing him itchiness and tearing. Pterygiums are non-cancerous growths of the conjunctiva, a mucous layer that lubricates the eye. The growths occur when the conjunctiva is exposed to excessive sun damage and the cells grow abnormally over the pupil. He has difficulty seeing things clearly, recognizing faces, working, and going anywhere outside. When Tina learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, he traveled there seeking treatment. Tina needs a surgical procedure to remove the abnormal conjunctiva from the cornea surface and replace it with a conjunctival graft to prevent recurrence. The procedure is scheduled for May 4th, and the total cost of his procedure is $216. This covers medications, supplies, and inpatient care for two days. Tina shared, "I hope after surgery my eye's irritation stops and when I return to work I am feeling well."
Hsue is a 52-year-old man who lives with his four daughters, his son-in-law and two grandchildren in a refugee camp on the Thai-Burma border. Hsue and his son-in-law used to work as agricultural day laborers in a nearby Thai village, but stopped working after travel restrictions were put in place due to Covid-19. These restrictions made it difficult for them to leave the camp for work. Since then, only Hsue's oldest daughter works, while one of his daughters goes to school and the others look after household chores. Last month, the ophthalmologist at Mae Sot Hospital diagnosed Hsue with a cataract in his left eye. Currently, the vision in Hsue's left eye is blurry, and he can only perceive light. He develops a headache whenever he tries to focus on something. He has to rely on his right eye and he can only see things that are near him. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund lens replacement surgery for Hsue. On June 20th, doctors will perform a lens replacement, during which they will remove Hsue's natural lenses and replace them with an intraocular lens implant in each eye. After recovery, he will be able to see clearly. Now, he needs help to fund this $1,500 procedure. Hsue said,“I feel very sad. I can’t see and I can't make out people's faces when they are not near.” He is hopeful that this surgery will help him to get his vision back.
Saovory is a 54-year-old vegetable seller with one son and one daughter. Saovory lives with her youngest daughter, who is a student in 8th grade. She makes a living by selling vegetables from a cart around her village. In her free time, Saovory likes to watch the TV news at her neighbor's house and listen to the monks pray on the radio. About four years ago, Saovory developed a cataract in her left eye, causing her blurry vision, photophobia, and sometime tearing. She has difficulty seeing things clearly, recognizing faces, and doing all the things she needs to do outside. When Saovory learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, she traveled with her daughter hoping for treatment. On March 10th, 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 $229 procedure. Saovory shared, "I hope after surgery I can see well again so I can have an easier time selling vegetables, taking care of my daughter, and doing my housework."
Seng Hout is a 44-year-old farmer who has been married for 15 years and has one son and one daughter. Seng Hout shared that his son is 10 years old and in 5th grade, and his daughter just turned one year old. When Seng Hout is not farming, he also works in construction building houses. In his free time, he enjoys listening to the radio and drinking with his friends. On April 18th, Seng Hout fell hard from a mango tree and fractured his right ankle. He takes pain medication to ease the symptoms but he still experiences pain and stiffness in the area. It is difficult for him to walk and work normally. When Seng Hout learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, he traveled for six hours from his province seeking treatment. On May 19th, surgeons at Children's Surgical Centre will perform an ankle fusion procedure to relocate and secure the joint. Now, Seng Hout needs help to fund this $518 procedure. Seng Hout shared, "I hope I can walk without pain and return to my work as soon as possible."
Kembaga is a 55-year-old farmer and a married mother to twelve children - four sons and eight daughters. Most of her children are self-employed as small scale farmers, like herself and her husband. They earn a living from their small banana plantation and also own a few cattle. Fourteen years ago, Kembaga began to experience troubling symptoms. She finds difficulty in swallowing, breathing and sometimes experiences shortness of breath. Kembaga was diagnosed with a goiter, an abnormal enlargement of the thyroid gland. She needs surgery to prevent her symptoms from getting worse. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Kembaga receive treatment. She is scheduled to undergo a thyroidectomy on February 9th at our medical partner's care center. Surgeons will remove all or part of her thyroid gland. This procedure will cost $252, and she and her family need help raising money. Kembaga shared, “I have surely had difficulty in my life because this condition has given me a poor quality of life, but I will surely be thankful to you once I undergo a successful surgery. I hope to continue with farming once I have fully recovered."
Hiek is a mother of four with two sons, two daughters, and now many grandchildren. She sells roast beef sticks from a mobile cart, but now she cannot go outside to sell due to her vision problems. She lives with her older son who is a motor-taxi driver. Her husband passed away ten years ago due to hypertension. She likes to visit her neighborhood pagoda and help to care for her grandchildren. One year ago, Hiek developed a cataract in her right eye, causing her cloudy vision, sensitivity to light and glare. She has difficulty seeing things clearly, recognizing faces, and going anywhere outside. When Hiek learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, she and her son traveled there seeking treatment. On February 1st, doctors will perform a small incision cataract surgery and an intraocular lens implant in her right eye. After recovery, she will be able to see clearly. Now, she needs help to fund this $229 procedure. "After surgery I hope I can see well, I will be able to take care of myself, and help my son to look after my grandchildren. I look forward to visiting my pagoda and having more independence," Hiek said.
Biruk is a young boy from Ethiopia who loves to eat spaghetti and macaroni. He also enjoys doing arts and crafts, and loves to play hide and seek with his friends in his neighborhood. Biruk is the second child in his family, and he has one older sister. His dad is a teacher in primary school and his mom is a housewife. Biruk lives together with his parents and sister in a rented house. Biruk was born with hypospadias, a congenital abnormality that causes urinary dysfunction. Without treatment and surgery, he will continue to experience uncomfortable symptoms and will be at risk of infertility as he grows older. Fortunately, Biruk is scheduled to undergo corrective surgery on March 16th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,231 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. Biruk shared with us, “I want to heal well and go to school and become a pilot.”
Paulo is a happy 7-year-old child from Kitui County in Kenya. He is the fourth born in a family of five children. Paulo’s father is a casual labourer who does welding in Rwaka, while his mother is a housewife in their rural home in Kitui. Paulo had an accident and fell from an avocado tree while he was playing. He was taken to a government health facility but did not receive any service as the health workers were on strike. Paulo’s father then took him to a private hospital in Kiambu, where doctors conducted an x-ray revealing a fracture of his left femur. Paulo is not able to walk and is in constant pain. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help make sure Paulo has the surgery he needs. On January 7th, Paulo will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. This procedure will help him walk easily again. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,049 to fund this procedure. Paulo's father shared, “I had my reservations about Paulo having surgery, but I have had time to think about it, leading to my decision for him to have the surgery. I look forward to him being able to play and walk properly again.”
Bora is a 29-year-old rice farmer from Cambodia. He has been married for two years and has a baby boy. Bora's wife is also a farmer. When he is not working Bora enjoys playing volleyball, football, listening to classical music, and watching concert programs on TV while he does housework. In 2014, Bora was in a motor vehicle accident that caused a closed fracture of his left femur. He traveled to a hospital in Thailand for treatment and a nail was put in his femur. Now the fracture is healed and the nail must be removed so that he does have not future infections and can fully use his leg. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, can help. On November 19th, Bora will undergo a hardware removal procedure, which will cost $230. The procedure will remove the hardware to prevent future complications. Bora said, "I hope after the nail is removed I will feel no pain and the wound will heal soon so I can return to work."
Di is a 40-year-old woman from Thailand. She lives with her parents, her husband, her brother, and her two children in Mae La Refugee Camp in Tak Province. Di and her family work hard to make ends meet. Her family runs a small shop selling kitchen utensils. Di's husband is a religious teacher, and he does not earn regular income. Her brother is unemployed, and her parents are retired. Di helps with the family shop while her daughter goes to the community school that is led by volunteers. Her youngest son is too young to go to school. She shared that their family income is enough for family expenses, but they are not able to save any money. Around two years ago, Di was diagnosed with an umbilical hernia. Currently, she experiences pain under her chest and her abdominal around umbilical is swollen and pain. Di is not able to do any household chores because of her condition. The pain worsens after she has meals or constipation, and her stomach will feel as hard as a stone. Fortunately, on January 19th, Di will undergo hernia repair surgery at Mae Sot General Hospital, our medical partner's care center. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund Di's hernia repair surgery. Once completed, the procedure will hopefully allow her to live more comfortably and be well enough to care for her family. Di shared, “Once I am better, I will try my best to take care of my family and my children's education. I want them to study in Thai school. They need to be educated, so I need to be healthy."
U Win is a 54-year-old man who lives with his wife and youngest son in the Ayeyarwaddy Division in Burma. He has three sons and three daughters, with five of his children already married and working. His 17-year-old son left school because they were unable to pay school fees, and worked as a day laborer until COVID-19 happened. U Win used to work as a day laborer as well, but stopped working around two years ago due to his health condition. His family survives on 60,000 kyat (approx. 60 USD) each month that U Win's three other daughters and another son send them, enough to cover their basic expenses. In January 2012, U Win felt tired, had a headache, suffered from heart palpitations, and a rapid heartbeat. He went to a clinic where the doctor listened to his heart with a stethoscope and checked his blood pressure. U Win was told that he has high blood pressure and that he would need to take oral medication for a long time. He received an injection, oral medication, and another appointment for more medication. After he took the medication, he felt better and he went back to work. However, U Win continued to experience worsening symptoms over the next few years, returning to clinics and receiving the same treatment. He was told at one point to visit a cardiologist, but did not do so until later on. In August 2020, during another clinic visit in Yangon, the doctor diagnosed U Win with an atrial septal defect, and said that he would need to receive surgery to repair this hole in his heart. If not treated, the condition could weaken his heart further and cause lung problems later on. He was unable to receive surgery in November due to an upsurge in COVID-19 cases, and was also told the procedure would cost about 3,000,000 kyat (approx. 3,000 USD). Luckily, U Win’s wife remembered that there is a charity group in Yangon that might be able to help. The group told him about our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, to look for assistance with accessing the treatment he needed. U Win currently experiences chest pain and back pain, has no appetite, and cannot sleep well at night. He appeals for financial support for his cost of care. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On December 20th, U Win will undergo an atrial septal defect closure procedure. Once recovered, his quality of life will significantly improve and he will be able to return to work. Now, our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund this procedure. U Win shared, “I want to get better soon so that I can work for my family again. I am worried about my family’s future because we cannot find work in the village. My son also cannot go to Yangon to find another job because of COVID-19 travel restrictions.”
Beatrice is a young student from Kenya. She is a calm girl and the seventh born in a family of eight children. Her family hails from Mokoyon village in West Pokot County. Beatrice's father is a farmer while her mother is a housewife. They live in a one roomed grass thatched house in their village. Beatrice has clubfoot of her right foot. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Fortunately, Beatrice traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, AIC Cure International Hospital. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on November 23th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,286 to fund Beatrice's clubfoot repair. After treatment, she will be able to walk easily, play, and wear shoes like the other children she knows. “We are requesting for support so that her foot can be corrected and she can continue with her normal life,” Julius, Beatrice’s father told us.