David joined Watsi on September 24th, 2016. Four years ago, David became the 2480th member to automatically support a new Watsi patient every month. Since then, 3,528 more people have become monthly donors! David's most recent donation traveled 1,900 miles to support Phebe, an accounting student from Haiti, to fund cardiac care for her pacemaker.
David has funded healthcare for 47 patients in 12 countries.
Phebe is a young woman from Haiti who underwent surgery in 2010 to close a hole between the two lower chambers of her heart. Although the surgery was successful in closing the hole, it left her with a condition in which her heart muscle was no longer able to properly transmit electrical pulses so that it could beat normally. To protect her heart, a pacemaker was implanted after surgery. The pacemaker has now reached the end of its life, and parts of it need to be replaced. Phebe lives in Port-au-Prince with her older brother, his wife, and their family; she is a university student studying accounting. For this treatment, she and a family member will travel to northern Haiti where a hospital has the ability to safely host the surgical procedure for Phebe, which will take place on July 23rd. Phebe shared, "I am very glad to know that my pacemaker will be able to be fixed here in Haiti, because I have been very worried about it!"
Esther is a small-scale farmer from Kenya. She used to work in her small village farm for subsistence and her husband worked as a chef in a city restaurant. However, with the closure of businesses currently due to COVID, they have limited finances. Two years ago, Esther has been experiencing lower abdominal pain, back pain and fatigue. She has been diagnosed with a swollen abdominopelvic mass. She needs to undergo a hysterectomy, a procedure in which surgeons will remove her uterus. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $832 to fund Esther's surgery. On June 12th, she will undergo gynecological surgery at our medical partner's care center. Once recovered, Esther will be able to resume her daily activities free of pain. Esther shared hopefully, “My desire is to be treated and regain back my strength.”
Edith is a farmer from Kenya and a single mother of a 23-year-old. She lives in her parental house practicing subsistence farming to make ends meet. Since 9 years ago, Edith has been experiencing an abdominal swelling and has been having bouts of pain. Recently, she has experienced severe back pains. Doctors have diagnosed her with a large abdomino-pelvic mass. She needs to undergo a hysterectomy, a procedure in which surgeons will remove her uterus. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $832 to fund Edith's surgery. On May 21th, she will undergo gynecological surgery at our medical partner's care center. Once recovered, Edith will be able to resume her daily activities free of pain. Edith says, “My hope is to be treated and resume my work normally.”
Chan is a 36-year-old woman who lives with her husband and father-in-law in Shwepyithar Town, Yangon Division. Chan’s husband works as a day labourer on a construction site, while Chan is a seamstress who works from home. In 2010, Chan started to feel tired, had a rapid heartbeat and developed joint pain. She went to the clinic in Thaton, where she lived at that time, and received an an echocardiogram (echo) and x-ray. The doctor also told her that, if her heart became too enlarged, she would not be able to control her condition with oral medication and she would not be able to have a baby. She then received oral medication for a week which made her feel better for a while. In September 2019, when she went back for her follow-up appointment, she received another echo. Following this, the doctor explained to her that her condition could no longer be stabilized with medication. As he knew that Chan could not afford to pay for her surgery, he referred her to Pinlon Hospital. On 17th September 2019, she met the staff at Pin Long Hospital and who then referred her to Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF). Currently, Chan suffers from chest pain, has difficulty breathing, has a rapid heartbeat and has lost weight. In her free times Chan likes to sew, cook and do housework. “When I’m fully recovered, I will continue to work as a seamstress, save money and live happily with family,” said Chan. “Once I have enough money, my husband and I have decided to adopt one child. And I want to do charity work and help poor people as much as I can.”
Lay is a 45-year-old man from Burma. He lives with his family in a village in Karen State. His wife is a homemaker while his son and daughter-in-law work as a day laborers. He also used to work as a day laborer before he stopped two months ago due to his loss of vision in his left eye. He has blurred vision and sometimes he also feels dizzy. When the doctor checked his left eye, he was diagnosed with a cataract as well as glaucoma. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund lens replacement surgery for Lay. On March 17th, doctors will perform a lens replacement, during which they will remove Lay's natural lens and replace with an intraocular lens implant in his eye. After recovery, he will be able to see clearly. Now, he needs help to fund this $1,500 procedure. Lay said, "Now I am happy that I will receive surgery with the help of donors. Thank you everyone for helping me and I pray for you all with all my heart. I know this surgery will return my vision and will be a great benefit for my family if it will allow me to go back to work.”
Keith is a 12-year-old from Kenya. He is the first born child in a family of two, both of whom are students in grade three. They hail from Kaptul village which is known to be a rural area with less access to medical and social services. His parents are peasant farmers and they depend on seasonal farm products like mangoes and cassavas for commercial purpose. The money they get from those farm products is not enough to sustain the family for their daily needs. Therefore they depend on well-wishers for food and clothing when they don’t have farm products to sell. Four days ago, Keith fell from a high height and sustained trauma with injuries on right leg. A right tibia fracture was revealed by x-ray on his arrival to the hospital. Keith was looking after his grandmother’s cattle when he fell into a ditch. He is now in pain and cannot walk. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On February 20th, Keith will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. This procedure will help him heal well and be able to walk again. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $968 to fund this procedure. Keith’s mother says, “He is hardworking and he is liked by his grandmother for being honest and taking responsibility. He will be missed by his grandmother, who is wishing him quick recovery.”
Tabitha is a business lady from Kenya. She is a single mother of three children. Tabitha sells camel soup in the capital to make a living for herself and her three children. Two of her children are in school, which demands school fees. From her small business, she makes about $5 daily, which she saves to meet the her family's needs. Tabitha has been recently diagnosed with breast cancer. Without treatment, the cancer may spread to other organs. A mastectomy, a surgery to remove breast tissue, has been suggested to rid her body of breast cancer and to prevent the cancer from metastasizing. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $816 to cover the cost of a mastectomy for Tabitha. The procedure is scheduled to take place on January 20. After treatment, Tabitha will hopefully return to a cancer-free life. Tabitha says, “I wish to be treated and be free from the stressful experience I am in.”
On May 28th 2019, Min was playing tag with his friend in front of his house, when he decided to climb up a tree. Unfortunately, the tree was slippery due to the rainy season, and Min slipped and fell out of the tree. At first, he was able to stand on his right leg, but he was not able to walk. When Min’s mother heard the news, she immediately came to see him. In the morning, his mother and grandmother rented a car and brought him to Mae Tao Clinic (MTC). The staff at MTC then sent him to Mae Sot Hospital (MSH) for an X-ray, which indicated that his left femur was broken. After they received the results of his X-ray, MTC referred Min to Watsi partner Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF) for help in accessing the treatment he needed. On May 31st, Min underwent surgery to place a metal rod into his leg. He was discharged from the hospital on June 5th. Within the past two months, Min returned to MSH for three follow-up visits. At his most recent follow-up, he was told his prognosis was good, and he was scheduled for surgery to remove the metal rod on January 2nd, 2020. “I feel normal again,” he said. “I’m no longer in pain. I can walk, sit, and take a shower by myself again. Before, I couldn’t do anything. I could only lay on my back and watch as people around me had to do everything. After my second surgery I want to work with my older brother in the factory.”
Khin is a 39-year-old woman who lives with her family in Hpa-An Township, Karen State, Burma. Both her children are in preschool. She and her husband are subsistence farmers, growing rice during the rainy season on rented land. The rest of the year, her husband collects leaves used to make roofs, works as a daily labourer or collects branches to sell. Khin was born with a scar the size of an ant bite on her upper lip. Her parents thought that it would disappear or heal on its own but the scar developed into a growth and increased in size. Her parents passed away when she was young and after that she went to live with her brother’s family. By the time she was around 20 years old, the growth had become large and soft, covering the area between her upper lips and her nose. When the pain became unbearable in 2005, her uncle dropped her off at Mae Tao Clinic (MTC) in Thailand, a free clinic close to where her uncle used to work. At this point, the growth had become so large that dragged her upper lip down and extended into her nostrils. At MTC, she was seen by doctors and medics, before she was diagnosed with a hemangioma. At this point, the growth had worsened, and she was bleeding from her lips. In April 2006, Khin went to Chiang Mai Hospital and had the hemangioma removed surgically. The growth later has returned. Overtime, the hemangioma has increased in size and become hard. It has now expanded into Khin’s nostrils, especially her left nostril, which causes her to have difficulty breathing at times. She feels uncomfortable but is not in pain. Sometimes she also feels like she has a blood clot in her nostrils during her nosebleeds. Because the nosebleed can start at any time and can last anywhere from 10 to 20 minutes, her life revolves around managing her nosebleeds. She is unable to work or sleep properly, and if she is about to have a nosebleed, she is unable to eat. The nosebleeds have also affected her ability to earn an income for her children and continues to impact her social life. “When I socialise, I do not feel comfortable and some people think I have a disease that I can infect them with,” said Khin. “So, I hope to get better after surgery, and I hope I will no longer have nosebleeds. I don’t want to bleed, and I want to socialise with my friends and family happily. [Right now] my friends won’t even touch me.”
At the age of seven, Sophea fell three meters from the roof of her house. Sine then, her back has formed a curve in her spine, and she has experienced pain in her back and difficulty sleeping. Surgery can help correct the position of her spine, and prevent further worsening of the condition. Sophea has three sisters and enjoys reading books, listening to music, and cooking. Her favorite subject in school is math, and she hopes to become a tailor when she grows up.
On August 13th, after classes, Michale was playing with his friend at school. While fooling around, Michale’s friend poked him in the right eye. Right away, Michale’s eye began to hurt and his eye became watery. Eventually, he could no longer open his right eye. When he told a teacher about this, the teacher called his mother. His mother then took him back home before bringing him to Mae Tao Clinic (MTC) in Thailand, on 15th August 2019. Unfortunately, that day was a full moon Buddhist holiday in Thailand. Therefor he had to wait till the next day to have his eye examined by a medic. After checking his eye the following day, the medic gave him an ointment for his eye and painkillers. On August 20th, he was referred to Mae So Hospital for further assessment. At the hospital, the ophthalmologist checked his eye, diagnosed him corneal perforation and informed him that he will likely have to remove his right eye and referred him to Chiang Mai Hospital (CMH) for further treatment. After he came back from the hospital, Michale told the MTC medic about what the doctor had said and how he could not afford to seek further treatment in Chiang Mai. Therefore, the MTC medic referred him to Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF) for assistance in accessing further treatment. Michale says, “I would like to become an engineer, so I would like to study engineering when I graduate from high school.”
Kry is a 58-year-old rice farmer from Cambodia. She has six children, eight grandchildren, and enjoys listening to the monks pray on the radio in her free time. Four years ago, Kry developed a cataract in her left eye, causing her blurry and cloudy vision. She has difficulty seeing things clearly, recognizing faces, and going anywhere outside. When Kry learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, she traveled for three hours seeking treatment. On July 3, doctors will perform a phacoemulsification cataract surgery and an intraocular lens implant in her left eye. After recovery, she will be able to see clearly. Now, she needs help to fund this $211 procedure. She says, "I hope that after my surgery I will be able to plant crops near my home and will be able to go anywhere I want to independently."