Julie joined Watsi on July 30th, 2014. Six years ago, Julie became the 270th member to automatically support a new Watsi patient every month. Since then, 5,679 more people have become monthly donors! Julie's most recent donation traveled 8,800 miles to support Thoeun, a 37-year-old monk from Cambodia, to fund mobility-restoring spine surgery.
Julie has funded healthcare for 68 patients in 12 countries.
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.
Mi is a 28-year-old woman from Thailand. She now lives with her parents, one brother and two sisters in Mae Tao, Mae Sot, Tak Province. Her three siblings study at two different migrant schools. Mi’s father works at construction site and mother also works occasionally as a day labourer. Mi herself, stays at home as she lives with an intellectual disability. Around five years ago, Mi complained about itchiness in her vagina. Her mother took her to Mae Tao Clinic (MTC), where the midwives and medics completed a full examination on Mi. She was then put on medication and she seemed fine again. About two weeks ago, Mi’s mother noticed a wet spot on the seat of Mi’s pants. When Mi’s mother looked at Mi’s vagina, she found it was very red, swollen and saw what looked like scratch marks. She also saw some lesions around Mi’s vulva. She was referred to Mae Sot Hospital (MSH) to consult a gynaecologist. After examining Mi, the doctor said that Mi’s vulva was enlarged and that she has abnormal growths around it. They were also told that Mi needs to be admitted to the hospital to remove the growth in her vulva before running a biopsy to confirm her condition. She is experiences redness and swelling in her vulva. Mi sought treatment through our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund. she is now scheduled to undergo mass removal surgery on September 25. She is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of her procedure and care. Mi's mother said, “I want her to be healthy. She can’t live with it like that. I’m very worried for her as she is not like other children. Sometimes I think about her future and it scares me. What if her sisters will not look after her, after I die? I know she can’t survive on her own. I don’t want her to face troubles on her own. For now, all I want for her is to have the right treatment so that she will be well again.”
John is formerly a shop attendant from Kenya. He was employed as a shop attendant but since the attack, he has been dependent on well-wishers. He currently lives in a $5-a-month rent wooden house. Her aunt cares for his daily needs. John has an existing hospital bill from his initial spine surgery. John was attacked by thugs and thrown off a two floor building in 2016 suffering spine injury. He had spinal fusion done in our facility and recuperated. He however noted some swell on his back in 2019. He has an open wound is unable to work. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping John receive treatment. On August 21st, surgeons will perform a debridement and skin graft procedure. He will be able to work after recovery and the risk of sepsis will be eliminated. Now, John needs help to fund this $1,129 procedure. John says, “I am in great pain and would wish to have an ease of it”.
Aisha is a baby from Tanzania. She was diagnosed with genu varus. Her legs bow outward. This condition is typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, which often stems from contaminated drinking water. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $940 to fund corrective surgery for Aisha. The procedure is scheduled to take place on July 4. Treatment will hopefully restore Aisha's mobility, allow her to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease her risk of future complications.
Isaya is an infant from Tanzania. He is the youngest child in a family of six children. Isaya 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, Isaya has been experiencing an increasing head circumference. Without treatment, Isaya will experience severe physical and developmental delays. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,238 to cover the cost of surgery for Isaya that will treat his hydrocephalus. The procedure is scheduled to take place on June 24 and will drain the excess fluid from Isaya's brain. This will reduce intracranial pressure and greatly improve his quality of life. With proper treatment, Isaya will hopefully develop into a strong, healthy young boy.