Kathryn joined Watsi on March 22nd, 2017. Two years ago, Kathryn joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Kathryn's most recent donation supported Sai Laung, an 18-year-old laborer from Burma, to fund heart surgery.
Kathryn has funded healthcare for 30 patients in 10 countries.
Kathryn has funded healthcare for 30 patients in 10 countries.
Sai Laung, who is 18 years old, lives with her parents and her younger sister in Shan State in Burma. Sai Laung used to be an agriculture day laborer, but she stopped working in July 2022 due to her illness. In her free time, Sai Laung likes to read Buddhist books and study English online. During the first week of July 2022, Sai Laung began to feel very tired and she developed a fever. At first, she thought it was because she was working a lot, but when she had difficulty breathing a few days later, her mother brought her to the hospital. She was told she might have a congenital heart condition, and the doctor recommended that she have an echocardiogram to confirm the diagnosis. Sai Laung had an echocardiogram at another hospital, confirming that she has a ventricular septal defect, or a hole in her heart. The doctor advised her to go to the Pun Hlaing Hospital in Yangon to see a cardiologist, which Sai Laung did towards the end of November 2022. During that visit, the doctor also diagnosed her with aortic valve regurgitation, and told her that she needs surgery. Currently, Sai Laung has difficulty breathing and is only able to walk short distances before experiencing fatigue. Performing ordinary household chores like cooking or cleaning is exhausting for her. Her lips turn blue, and she has sharp chest pain, fever, and difficulty sleeping. Fortunately, our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, has stepped in to assist Sai Laung access the care that she needs. On March 7th, she will undergo surgery to repair her heart at Pun Hlaing Hospital. Now Sai Laung and her family need your help to raise the $1,500 to fund this life-saving procedure. “I have felt so sad since I was diagnosed with this [heart disease]. I need surgery and we have no money. I look at my parents and I pity them because they work so hard to help me get treatment. I want to recover quickly and go back to work so I can help my parents with the extra income. When I learned that there are donors who will help pay for my treatment cost, I felt so happy," said Sai Luang.
Valentina is a beautiful 2-year-old girl from Bolivia. She lives in La Paz with her parents, who are a teacher and a homemaker respectively, and two older siblings. Valentina was born with a cardiac condition called atrial septal defect, in which a hole exists between the two upper chambers of her heart. As a result blood leaks through this hole, leaving her weak and short of breath. Our medical partner HCA is helping Valentina access life-saving cardiac treatment so she can grow up healthy. During surgery, doctors will use a patch to close the hole so that blood can no longer leak through it. Her family is raising $1,500 to support her surgery and care. Valentina's mother shared: "Our family is very thankful that Valentina can have this opportunity for her heart to be healed."
Danilo is a 40-year-old man from Philippines. He is married and his wife owns a small food business. He previously worked as a construction worker, and now he works as a tricycle driver. In February 2022, Danilo began to notice a small lump on his navel. Over time, the lump grew in size and he visited a doctor for further examination. He underwent an abdominal ultrasound and was diagnosed with an umbilical hernia and gallstones. He needs to undergo surgery to treat his condition. If left untreated, his symptoms will continue to worsen and may put him at risk for health complications in the future. Fortunately, our medical partner, World Surgical Foundation Philippines (WSFP), is helping Danilo receive treatment. On January 20th, he will undergo a hernia repair and a cholecystectomy to remove his gallbladder. A portion of the cost of his procedure is covered by the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation, and he needs help raising the remaining $1,146 to cover the full cost of his procedure and care. Danilo shared, "I had to decline my colleague's offer to have a part-time construction job. It was an opportunity for me to bring more money to my family, but my condition is hindering me. This free surgery didn't just ease our worries about where to find the money to pay for the hospitalization but also gives me a chance to strive more for my family. Thank you so much, Watsi and World Surgical Foundation Philippines!"
Hannah is a 70-year-old mother of seven children. She is a widow who lost her husband ten years ago. She is a small-scale tea farmer and relies on her children for upkeep and survival. For eight months, Hannah has been experiencing abnormal bleeding and pelvic pain. She has been diagnosed with endometrial cancer. She needs to undergo a hysterectomy, a procedure in which surgeons will remove her uterus. Although supportive, her children are unable to raise the funds required for her procedure. She had one cow that she sold to pay for a biopsy, treatment and fare to the facility. However, she is requesting financial support for her surgery cost. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping raise $1260 to fund Hannah's surgery. On December 16th, she will undergo gynecological surgery at our medical partner's care center. Once recovered, Hannah will be able to resume her daily activities free of pain. Hannah says, "I am old now and fragile. This cancer has depleted my financial resources and affected my health. I need the surgery to avoid the spread of the cancer.”
Hnin is a determined 5-year-old girl from Burma. In her free time, she likes to draw pictures. Hnin lives with her grandmother and brother in Mon State. She goes to kindergarten, her brother goes to primary school, and her grandmother is a washerwoman. Hnin's parents, who work as day laborers in Thailand, also send them money every month to help support basic needs. Hnin was born with club foot of her left leg. With the help of Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), she underwent casting at Mawlawmyine Christian Leprosy Hospital (MCLH) to straighten her foot. Hnin's family was told to bring her back when she was five years old as she would need another surgery to fully correct her clubfoot. Currently, Hnin still has a cast on her left leg. When she walks, she walks on the side of her left foot. Because of this, she cannot play on the playground or keep up with her friends. Without treatment, Hnin's condition will continue to cause her discomfort and will further limit her movement. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to cover the cost of surgery for Hnin, which is scheduled to take place on November 18th. This procedure will elongate her Achilles tendon, allowing increased motion at the ankle joint. Hnin said, “My left leg is so heavy with the cast, but I am not scared to have the operation on my leg. I want to have surgery."
Son is a 21-year-old mother of two. She and her husband have two sons - one is four years old and the other is one year old. Both she and her husband are construction workers. When not working outside on construction sites, she is a busy mother caring and cooking for her active children. Four months ago, on the way home from work, Son was in a motor vehicle collision. She injured her left shoulder and received a hard blow to the face, fracturing her left orbital bones. Her family took her to a government hospital to repair the bones surrounding her eye. The traumatic injury also damaged the muscle and nerve function of her shoulder, which was not repaired. This is a devastating injury for their young family, as it can cause a significant loss of function and ability to perform tasks of daily living. Son has been diagnosed with a brachial plexus injury on her left side. The brachial plexus is a nerve network that transmits signals from the spine to the shoulder, arm, and hand. Injuries to this nerve network can result in loss of function and sensation. She has pain and is unable to lift her left arm. She cannot work in construction or manage her household, which has also been very hard for her husband. Son traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. This is the only center in the whole country where this treatment is available. On October 17th, she will undergo a brachial plexus repair surgery. After recovery, she hopes that her arm will be functional and she can work, do housework, and care for her children. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is requesting $709 to fund this procedure. She says: "After surgery, I hope I can use my left arm. This treatment will help me in the future to return to work."
Stevenson is a 26-year-old man from Haiti. He lives in a neighborhood of Port-au-Prince with his parents and several siblings. Stevenson had been attending university, studying for a business degree, when poor health forced him to leave school. When he was a child, Stevenson developed rheumatic fever, which has resulted in rheumatic mitral valve prolapse. This condition has meant that one of Stevenson's heart valves is unable to pump sufficient blood through his body, leaving him weak and short of breath. Thanks to our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, Stevenson will fly to the Dominican Republic, where on September 27th, surgeons at Hospital CEDIMAT will perform surgery to remove the damaged valve, and implant an artificial one. Haiti Cardiac Alliance is contributing $8,000 to pay for Stevenson's surgery. But Stevenson's family also needs your help to fund the $1,500 to cover the cost of labs, medicines, and follow up appointments, as well as for the passports and the social workers, who will accompany the family to the Dominican Republic. Stevenson shared, "I feel very lucky to have this chance to finally have my heart healed!"
Meet Ann, a very bright, friendly, and cheerful 14-year-old girl who lives with her mother in Kenya. She is currently in class six and aspires to be a surgeon after completing her studies. One of her favorite activities is reading. Her mother is a single parent who works selling samosas, a fried or baked pastry, in their hometown. Ann was born with a bow-legged impairment. She began therapy at the age of two, but she had to stop attending her sessions due to financial constraints. As a result, her condition has worsened. She shares that this has affected her mobility, studies, and self-esteem. A year ago, Ann underwent a successful multiple osteotomy surgery, which cut and reshaped her leg bones, with the help of amazing Watsi supporters. Now, she requires a second procedure to fully treat her condition in both of her legs. Ann is scheduled to undergo an angular deformity correction procedure on August 29th at our medical partner's care center, AIC Cure International Hospital. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is seeking $1,224 to fund this surgery. This procedure will allow Ann to walk easily, engage with her friends more comfortably, and continue on with her studies. Ann's mother says, "I wish to thank the donors for their great support towards my daughter's treatment. We were desperately looking for funds for her surgery. May the almighty God bless you. After her treatment, Ann will be able to walk comfortably."
Thidar is a 30-year-old woman who lives with her son, husband, parents in-law, brother-in-law, and sister-in-law in Burma. She, her husband, and her mother-in-law grow rice, beans, and sesame on their farm. During her free time, Thidar enjoys growing flowers and vegetables around her house. Ten years ago, after Thidar gave birth to her son, she began to experience troubling symptoms. These included chest pains and a rapid heartbeat. When visiting a clinic, medics determined that she has a heart condition. To help her condition and alleviate her symptoms, Thidar took medication regularly. However, she ran out of oral medication at the start of this year. This was a problem because medics at her local clinic were protesting against the February 2021 coup, so the clinic was closed. She also could not go to a different clinic because the military had many checkpoints around the nearest town at the time, and she was too scared to pass them. Months later, after experiencing exhaustion, a rapid heartbeat, painful and swollen joints, and a loss in appetite, Thidar was able to seek medical care and receive medication. Following the advice of a medic at the clinic, she eventually visited a hospital. There, she received an X-rays scan and an echocardiogram, which determined that Thidar has a heart disease requiring surgery. Due to financial constraints, she and her husband could not fund the needed procedure and had to return home with Thidar still experiencing the same troubling symptoms as before. Fortunately, our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is helping Thidar finally receive treatment. On July 22nd, surgeons will perform double valve replacement cardiac surgery. This procedure will hopefully alleviate her symptoms and allow her to live more comfortably and confidently. Now, Thidar and her family need help funding this $1,500 procedure. Thidar says, “I feel very sad and I want to cry because I have no money to pay for my surgery cost. My mother and husband had to borrow money with interest [to pay for some of my medical fees]. I am also worried that I cannot work and support my son. Now, I am very happy that my surgery cost will be supported. I am thankful to all the donors and the organization.”
Eddys is a farmer and tailor who hails from the highlands of Elgeyo Marakwet County in a small village well known for potato farming. She is a calm and conversational woman. Eddys is a mother of two aged between 5 and 9 years. She separated from her husband due to domestic violence at home. She returned to her homeland after the separation and now lives with her parents and her children in a semi-permanent house in their village. Before the incident, Eddys used to earn her wages through tailoring, a skill she learned in a polytechnic program. Eddys presented to our medical partner's hospital with a five-month-old fracture following a road traffic accident, which left her with severe injuries and a broken leg. Before they came to our hospital, Eddys was managed in a local health facility near her home. She had a cast applied and was told that she will heal without surgery. However, two months later, she started having pain in her leg. One of her relatives referred her to our facility where an X-Ray revealed a closed fracture of the shaft of her tibia. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On June 21st, Eddys will undergo a fracture repair procedure called an open reduction and internal fixation. Eddy will be able to walk, work and provide for her children once she heals. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,145 to fund this procedure. Eddys has been surviving on her friend’s contributions and relies on her mother because she has not been working since the accident. She appeals for financial assistance so that she can be well again. Eddys says, “My children need my motherly support which I am unable to give them since I broke my leg, it has been a nightmare for us. My hope is to get my leg treated and be able to walk again.”
Catherine works hard to care for her two children. She currently lives with her partner who works different part-time jobs to help make ends meet for their family. A month ago, Catherine began experiencing abdominal pain. She got checked at her local health center and was advised to undergo an ultrasound. The test showed that she is suffering from Cholecystolithiasis, a condition where there are one or more gallstones in her gallbladder. Their family already finds it hard to sustain their day-to-day needs, so didn't know where to find the money for her needed surgery. Fortunately, a health center worker knew about our partner care facility, the Our Lady of Peace Hospital, and was able to reach out to World Surgical Foundation Philippines and Watsi for support. Catherine is now scheduled to undergo surgery to correct her condition on April 7th. Our medical partner, World Surgical Foundation Philippines, is requesting $1,253 to cover the total cost of Catherine's procedure and care. After her recovery, Catherine will no longer experience severe abdominal pain or be at risk of developing severe health complications in the future. “My maintenance medicine costs more than our daily meal budget. I’m grateful to WSFP and WATSI for helping us. Aside from the fact that I’ll be free from pain, I can now take good care of my children,” she shared.
Eden is a 15-month-old baby boy from Haiti. He lives with his mother, father, and two older brothers in a neighborhood of Port-au-Prince. Eden's father is a teacher and his mother takes care of their family and home. Eden was born with a cardiac condition called complete atrioventricular canal defect. A large hole exists in the center of Eden's heart that causes blood to leak between all four chambers. This condition puts a strain on his heart and makes it difficult for oxygen to circulate through his body. The treatment and diagnostics he needs is not available in Haiti so on April 20th, Eden will fly to the Dominican Republic to hoping undergo cardiac surgery. Upon arrival at the hospital, doctors will perform advanced diagnostics to determine the best way to treat Eden's condition. Depending on the results of the exams, the doctors will determine if they recommend Eden undergo surgery or have his condition closely managed through medication and other care. Haiti Cardiac Alliance is contributing $4,000 towards Eden's medical care, but his family also needs assistance covering an additional $1,500 for labs, medicines, and follow-up appointments. This also supports passport obtainment and the social workers who will accompany Eden's family overseas. Eden's mother shared, "We are very hopeful that the doctors will have good news to share with us about Eden's heart problem!"