Julie joined Watsi on July 30th, 2014. Seven years ago, Julie joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Julie's most recent donation traveled 8,300 miles to support Myint, a construction manager from Burma, to fund mitral valve replacement surgery.
Julie has funded healthcare for 72 patients in 12 countries.
Julie has funded healthcare for 72 patients in 12 countries.
Myint is a 52-year-old father from Burma. He lives with his wife, two sons and daughter. Myint used to work as a construction manager, and his wife is a homemaker. In his free time, Myint likes to search for building design ideas on Facebook and likes to read books. He also enjoys helping a charity group that drives patients to hospitals in an ambulance. Myint was diagnosed with a heart condition that involves a malformation of the mitral valve, which is the valve between the left atrium and left ventricle that controls the flow of blood. Malformations of this sort may cause blood to flow backward, or cause the valve to narrow. Currently, Myint has difficulty breathing and chest pains. He cannot sleep well at night and has to take medication to help him fall asleep. He also feels tired when he talks for a long time. Myint needs a mitral valve replacement surgery to improve his quality of life. Since April 2020, he has been unable to work due to his poor health. When his eldest son's university classes did not resume this year, his son found work as a truck driver to make additional money. However, due to government imposed COVID-19 restrictions, his work ceased around August. Myint's family now lives off of their savings and borrow money when needed. They are appealing for financial help for Myint's health. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund a mitral valve replacement for Myint. The treatment is scheduled to take place on October 25th and, once completed, will hopefully allow him to live more comfortably. Myint shared, “After I have recovered fully, I will go back to work. But if I cannot do that same job anymore, I will look for something else that I can do. I will save money for my family’s future. I want my daughter and my sons to successfully complete their studies.”
Sara is a 27-year-old construction worker from Cambodia. Sara and his wife were married five years ago and they have one two-year-old son. Sara and his wife are both construction workers. He enjoys taking care of his son, doing housework, and listening to the radio. Earlier this month, Sara was shocked by electricity when working on the rooftop of a house. It caused electricity burns on both of his hands. He first went to a provincial government hospital for treatment but left when the only option they presented to him was to amputate both hands. He is now unable to use his hands. When Sara learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, he traveled for four and a half hours seeking treatment. On September 29th, surgeons at CSC will perform a debridement procedure to to help him preserve and heal both hands. Now, he needs help to fund this $787 procedure. Sara said, "I hope I can regain the use of my hands as soon as possible. My wife and I are worried so much about the loss of my hands because I will not be able to support my family without them."
Grayson is a baby from Tanzania. Grayson is a six month old baby boy and the firstborn child to his young parents. Both parents finished their college studies last year. Grayson's mother studied business management while the father was a nursing students and he is currently volunteering at a local hospital in their village. Both parents do not current have jobs and are struggling to make ends meet to be able to support their baby. Grayson has been diagnosed with hydrocephalus, a condition in which excess cerebrospinal fluid accumulates in the brain and increases intracranial pressure. As a result of his condition, Grayson has been experiencing an increasing head circumference. Without treatment, Grayson will experience severe physical and developmental delays. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,300 to cover the cost of surgery for Grayson that will treat his hydrocephalus. The procedure is scheduled to take place on August 24 and will drain the excess fluid from Grayson's brain. This will reduce intracranial pressure and greatly improve his quality of life. With proper treatment, Grayson will hopefully develop into a strong, healthy young boy. Grayson’s mother says, “With no jobs, we are unable to afford our son’s treatment cost. His condition is worsening, please help us.”
Pheap is a 39-year old seafood seller from Cambodia. She lives with her husband and for children. Her oldest son is a construction worker, while the others are students. In addition to working long hours, she also spends time helping her children with their work. In her free time she like to watch Khmer dramas on TV. Six months ago, Pheap developed a cataract in each eye, causing her to become partially blind. She feels constant irritation in her eyes. She has difficulty seeing things clearly, recognizing faces, and going anywhere outside. When Pheap learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, she traveled for three-and-a-half hours by taxi seeking treatment. On June 3rd, doctors will perform a phacoemulsification cataract surgery and an intraocular lens implant in each eye. After recovery, she will be able to see clearly. Now, she needs help to fund this $425 procedure. Pheap said, "When my eye surgery is successful, I can finally work again to get more money for my family, and I can recognize my children. They want their mom to be better."
Thoeun is a 37-year-old monk from Cambodia. He is the oldest of eight siblings who are all married and live elsewhere. He normally lives with other monks, but his parents are taking care of him while he is injured. He reads books every day, prays and does house work. Two months ago, Thoeun fell from a hammock, resulting in a compression of his spine. He soon began to feel weakness and numbness in his legs. Now he cannot stand or walk, and occasionally feels acute pain in his lower back. Fortunately, our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC), can help. Doctors will perform a laminectomy, a surgical procedure that removes a portion of the vertebral bone called the lamina in order to relieve pressure on his spine. Once he has recovered from the procedure, his nerves will function normally and he will be able to walk. Our medical partner is now asking for $1,500 to help cover the cost of his surgery. Thoeun shared, "I hope that I can soon return to my duties as a monk. I can't stay with my parents and make them take care of me anymore. When I get better I want to thank them and take care of them in return."
Thi is a 31-year-old woman who lives with her husband, father-in-law, nephew and daughter in Shwepythar Town in the Yangon Division of Burma. Thi is a homemaker while her husband is an electrician. Thi’s nephew and her daughter are students. In mid-February 2019, Thi developed a fever, a cough, and difficulty breathing. She went to the nearest clinic where she received an injection and oral medication to treat her fever and cough. When she took the medication she felt better, but the next day, she had difficulty breathing, felt tired, had a sharp pain in her chest, and a rapid heartbeat. She then went to a hospital in Yangon, where she received another injection, oral medication, and an x-ray. After the doctor diagnosed her with asthma, she also received a nebulizer for her asthma. Once the doctor checking her had the x-ray results, the doctor told her that her heart is enlarged and referred her to another hospital for further investigation. There she received an echocardiogram (echo) and another x-ray. After her results came in, the doctor told her that her heart valves are not working well and that she might have to replace two of the valves in her heart. She was diagnosed with mitral valve stenosis, mitral valve regurgitation, aortic valve stenosis, and aortic valve regurgitation. The doctor also told her that the surgery would cost 2.5 million kyat (approx. 2,500 USD). Thi could not afford to pay such a large amount and when she told the doctor this, the doctor provided her with oral medication every month. She did not feel better after she took the medication. Last month, Thi’s husband was setting up the electricity in his friend’s house when he met a cardiologist. The doctor had come to look after his friend’s sister, who has a heart condition. Thi’s husband had told his friend about Thi’s heart condition and his friend introduced him to the cardiologist. After he told the doctor about Thi’s condition, the doctor told him to bring her in to his office with her medical records. After they came into his office and doctor reviewed her medical records, he referred her to Watsi's Medical Partner Care Center Pinlon Hospital to finally receive the treatment she needs. Currently, Thi feels tired, has difficulty breathing and cannot walk long distances. Aside from her symptoms, she is very stressed and upset about her financial situation. In her free time, Thi likes to do housework and bring her daughter to and from school. In the future, when she is fully recovered, she would like to work as a seamstress and save money for her family. Thi said, “I think too much about my condition and worry about the treatment’s cost. So, I cannot sleep at night and I have a small appetite.” Thi’s husband said, “I have to accompany her whenever my wife visits the hospital. My daughter and I have had to stop working and attending school whenever she is sick. I feel bad for my wife because she cries every night since she found out that she needs to receive surgery.” Thi added, “I am very afraid to die and to lose my family as my daughter is still young.”
Suliman is an 11-month baby who needs surgery in Ethiopia. His family came from the Gambia in August 2019 in need of medical care. His mom gave birth to Suliman when she was 20 years old. She dropped out of school when she was in Grade 8 because her mom couldn’t afford to send her to school anymore. Suliman has multiple birth defects including cleft lip, club foot, tongue-tie, fused finger, and bilateral undescended testicles. His mom tried to get her baby treated in the Gambia but the hospitals referred them to another country that can better provide the surgery. Since the family could not afford to get the child the surgery they communicated to different organizations and were able to come to Ethiopia. Suliman has now finished all his surgeries except undescended testicles and fused fingers. Suliman was diagnosed with cryptorchidism, a condition in which one or both of the testicles remains undescended. If left untreated, Suliman has an increased risk of developing hernias, testicular cancer, and fertility problems in the future. Suliman will be receiving assistance from our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMHF). Fortunately, he is scheduled to undergo corrective surgery on May 5th. AMHF is requesting $1,021 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. "I see good hope for him once he finishes his last operation. Because he will be free of all the potential deformities and disabilities and he can live like a normal person. He can live as healthy as others free from the risk of other future complications. And I believe he will go to school and help himself well," Suliman's mom says.
Faraja is a two-year-old girl and the last born child in a family of two children in Tanzania. Faraja’s father works as a night guard and during the day he tries to seek casual laboring jobs like working on other people’s farms with his wife in order to supplement the little income he is able to get from his night guard job. Faraja 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, Faraja traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on February 11th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $890 to fund Faraja's clubfoot repair. After treatment, she will be able to walk without difficulty. Faraja’s mother says, “Please help treat my daughter. We are not able to afford her treatment due to financial challenges.”
Chit is a 39-year-old woman from Burma. She lives with her daughter, mother-in-law, and her sister-in-law’s three children. Her husband has recently left the village to work in Bangkok so he could increase his income, especially since her condition has worsened. Since she became ill, she feels bored because she is unable to work. Around five months ago, Chit started to feel unwell with a stiff neck, headaches, and pain in her right eye. Soon after, she noticed that the black part of her right eye started to move inward toward the middle of her face, becoming crossed eyed. As soon as she noticed a change in her right eye, she went to a hospital to see a doctor about her condition. At the hospital, she underwent a CT scan of her head which showed normal findings. Therefore, the doctor just gave her an injection and oral medications. A week later, she decided to go see a local medic in her village because she felt like the medications were not helping. The medic looked at her medical test results, assessed her and said she might have a neurological condition. The medic gave her oral medication and another injection. She took the medication she received from the medic, and her symptoms subsided gradually. Chit's symptoms disappeared completely about 20 days ago, but this only lasted around 10 days because she noticed that the black part of her right eye had started to become white and the rest of her eye, normally white, started to turn red. She bought eye drops at a local medication stall, but they did not help. A few days later, she learned about Mae Tao Clinic (MTC), a charitable clinic, from one of her nephews. On January 11th, Chit visited MTC regarding her condition, and a medic explained that unfortunately her eye was not functional anymore and that it needed to be removed due to a severe infection. The medic also explained that if her right eye was not removed, the infection could spread to her left eye and cause the same problem. MTC then brought Chit to Mae Sot Hospital (MSH) and the doctor there confirmed that her eye needs to be removed as soon as possible. Chit said, "It's upsetting to know that I need to have one of my eyes removed. But then, I feel that since the eye is bad, there is no sense in keeping it. In the future, if possible, I want to get a prosthetic eye."
Mary Wambui, a widow, is a 79-year-old retired primary school teacher who depends on her pension to earn a living. She is suffering from hearing loss and requires bilateral hearing aids to improve her hearing. Her hearing challenges began two years ago when her hearing ability dwindled and she could no longer attend church or gatherings as she could barely hear. Mary lives on her own since her husband passed on six years ago. She has no children, thus has no one to depend on. Mary can barely afford the hearing aids with just her pension as she needs funding for the fitting to be completed as well. Mary gets an average of Kes. 5,000 per month but that can barely cater for her basic needs leave alone pay for the hearing aids she so badly needs. She appeals for financial assistance.
U Min is a 49-year-old man from Burma. He lives with his wife, son, and daughter. He and his son work as day laborers. His wife stays home to look after household chores, while his daughter studies in grade school. About a month ago, U Min's right heel was injured while he was getting off from the tractor he was driving at work. It was very painful that he went to a clinic in his village to receive treatment. However, his condition did not improved with the treatment, and the wound worsened day by day. He was then advised by the health workers at his village to go to Mawlamyine Christian Leprosy Hospital (MCLH) for further treatment. At MCLH, the doctor did detail assessment of U Min's condition and said that because of his injury, the blood supply to his heel was insufficient. His wound by then has turned into black color, as the tissues around his heel were damaged and have died, and it causes him severe pain, especially at night. Since the doctor could no longer help to make his ulcer healed by treatments, the only option is to do a below knee amputation. U Min said, "It's so painful that I can't bear it anymore. I just want to receive surgery as soon as possible."
Leah is a housewife from Kenya. She is married with three children. Leah is a housewife but sometimes she does casual work at neighbor’s farms or washing clothes for them. The husband is a casual laborer at construction sites but their income is not much. One year ago, Leah has been experiencing heavy abdominal bleeding. She has been diagnosed with uterine fibroids. She needs to undergo a hysterectomy, a procedure in which surgeons will remove her uterus. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $718 to fund Leah's surgery. On October 09, she will undergo gynecological surgery at our medical partner's care center. Once recovered, Leah will be able to resume her daily activities free of pain. “I have suffered a lot with this bleeding and it is making it hard to serve my family and to join other friends. Kindly support me so that I can be well again to take care of my family,” said Leah.