Samuel joined Watsi on June 8th, 2014. Six years ago, Samuel joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Samuel's most recent donation traveled 8,600 miles to support Ku, a seven-year-old boy from Thailand, to fund fracture repair surgery so he can use his arm again.
Samuel has funded healthcare for 71 patients in 11 countries.
Samuel has funded healthcare for 71 patients in 11 countries.
Ku is a seven-year-old boy who lives with his parents and two younger sisters in a refugee camp in Northern Thailand. Ku's mother weaves shirts that she sells, and Ku's father helps weave, too. Ku is a primary school student, while one of his sisters is in nursing school, and his youngest sister is too young to go to school. On June 6th, Ku and two of his friends were playing in a tamarind tree when they all fell out of the tree. Ku injured his left arm in the fall and his father carried him to the camp hospital for an exam. The medic there told Ku's father that his elbow might be broken. After they bandaged his arm, Ku visited another hospital for an x-ray and was diagnosed with a left elbow fracture. Ku is in pain and cannot bend his arm or lift anything. With the help of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), Ku will undergo surgery to reset his fractured bones and ensure proper healing. The procedure is scheduled for June 9th and will cost $1,500. After surgery, Ku will no longer be in pain and he will be able to go back to school. He will regain full mobility in his arm. Ku's father shared, "Ku is an active boy who loves school and reading a lot. He always says that he wants to become a health worker to look after his family and others when he grows up. I want him to recover and go back to school soon."
Miguelangel is a two-year-old boy from Venezuela and the only child of a young family. Due to the economic and political situation in Venezuela, his family migrated to Colombia when he was one year old. Miguelangel lives with his cousins, mother and aunts. He loves to play hide and seek and to ride his little bike. When Miguelangel was born, he was diagnosed with cleft lip and palate. In January, he received his first cleft lip surgery. However, in order to get the cleft palate procedure he needs, he first has to have a few of his decaying teeth removed. Fortunately, our medical partner, Clínica Noel, is helping Miguelangel undergo a procedure to remove the teeth on June 14th. Now, he needs help to fund this $298 procedure. Miguelangel's mother shared, "being a foreign mother and knowing that your child doesn't have insurance coverage even though he needs help has always been stressful. Somehow, Clínica Noel has always found a person or organization to help me pay for his treatment. For sure Miguelangel has an angel protecting him."
Mary is a 78-year-old woman and a married mother of ten children. Since her husband is elderly, she depends on her children for day-to-day support. Mary used to have a small business selling cereals, but now that she is older, she mostly stays home and does some farming. In the mid-2020, Mary began experiencing pain in the upper left part of her abdomen, abdominal fullness and lack of appetite. She was taken to a few different hospitals, but the medicines prescribed did not help her condition. An ultrasound scan showed that Mary has gallstones, and a cholecystectomy was recommended to help her fully heal. If not treated, she could experience complications like gall bladder inflammation or blockage. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Mary to receive treatment. On May 6th, surgeons at AMH's care center will perform a cholecystectomy to remove Mary's gallbladder. Now, AMH is requesting $788 to fund Mary's surgery. Mary shared, "if that is the only way to make me well, I plead for your help so that I can be ok and continue mentoring my children and taking care of my husband."
Samuel is a 53-year-old fisherman. He is a father of two children aged 18 and 16 years old. He separated from his wife 5 years ago, and has been taking care of the children since the separation. In December 2020, Samuel was pricked by a poisonous thorn on his foot, which left a wound running from his foot to ankle that has become severely infected. He is in pain and unable to walk comfortably. The wound threatens his mobility and could result in amputation if not urgently attended to. Initially, Samuel tried treating the wound with herbs, but there was no improvement. He visited a nearby mission facility for a checkup and dressing, where doctors treated and washed the wound, but it continued to worsen. On April 1st, Samuel was driven by a well-wisher to our medical partner's care center Kijabe Hospital and upon review, doctors recommended an urgent debridement and skin grafting surgery. However, the cost of care is difficult for Samuel to afford. He had been depending on support from the local missionaries to pay for his previous medical bills and medication. Samuel appeals for financial support. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Samuel receive treatment. On April 2nd, surgeons will perform a debridement and skin graft procedure to clean off the wound and prevent further infection. Now, Samuel needs help to fund this $1,185 procedure. Samuel shared, “This wound is worsening by the day. I currently limp but I might lose the leg if I don’t get some surgical intervention. My fishing venture cannot even pay for the surgery.”
Israel is a three-year-old boy from Tanzania and an only child. His parents raise livestock for a living. They are able to buy maize for food if they sell the milk they get from their cattle. They live in a semi-arid area where raising livestock is the main economic activity since the region is not favorable for farming. Early one morning in June of last year, Israel got burned in an accident. His mother woke up and went out to milk the cows while Israel was still sleeping. The fireplace still had a few charcoals burning from the fire that had burned all night. Israel woke and tried to get out of bed. He fell off the bed and his right leg went into the fire. His wounds have healed, but the skin around his knee contracted making Israel unable to straighten his leg. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Israel receive treatment. On March 3rd, surgeons at AMH's care center will perform a burn contracture release surgery to help him walk easily again. Now, he needs help to fund this $639 procedure. Israel’s mother shared, “my son would be running around and playing with his siblings and friends if not for the fire accident that has left him with a deformed leg. Please help correct his leg so that he can stand and walk.”
Rosina is a 24-year-old teacher from Cambodia. She was married two years ago and has a one-year-old daughter. Her husband is also a teacher. Rosina and her family live with her parents. In her free time, she enjoys cooking and reading. When she was 5 years old, Rosina fractured her right elbow. She followed Khmer traditional medicine, and it proved to be an effective treatment for her elbow until last year. Then, Rosina started experiencing numbness on her right forearm, as well as muscle atrophy on her palm. Doctors diagnosed her with an old fracture of right elbow and compression of the ulnar nerve. Rosina will be receiving assistance from our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre. Fortunately, she is scheduled to undergo a corrective nerve and tendon procedure on February 4th. Children's Surgical Centre is requesting $541 to cover the total cost of her procedure and care. Once recovered, she will be free of pain and will be able to use her arm normally again. Rosina shared, "I hope that the numbness of my right hand will disappear, and I will have no pain. I would like to be able to return to my day-to-day activities soon."
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.”
Naomi is a 6-year-old girl from Tanzania and the youngest to her mother who has five children. Naomi's father is polygamous with three wives with a total of thirteen children in their family. Her parents have a few cattle which they depend on for daily living. Naomi is a playful girl and always wants to take part in daily home activities, but most of the time she can't due to her disability and how much she struggles using her hand. At the age of four months, Naomi was left by her mother sleeping as she went outside. She had left a fire burning close to the bed to keep their hut warm when Naomi rolled and fell into it. Her mother heard her cry and ran to her rescue. She sustained severe burns around her head and face, left hand, left foot, and around her stomach. Currently, she can’t use her left hand because it has contracted from the burn scar making it impossible for her to straighten and use it. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Naomi receive treatment. On December 1st, surgeons at their care center will perform a burn contracture release surgery. She will be able to straighten her hand and use it after she heals from surgery. Now, her family needs help to fund this $874 procedure. Naomi’s mother shared: “My daughter is very hard working but her hand limits her a lot and I feel bad seeing her struggling to carry out her daily life activities. Please help treat her.”
Jenipher is a 48-year-old mother of three from Kenya. She is married and lives in Umoja area in Nairobi County. In August 2020, Jenipher started experiencing heavy bleeding. She visited a hospital in Umoja, where the doctor suggested that the bleeding may be a result of menopause. She was put on medication for hormonal imbalance and hematinic for blood cell production. Unfortunately, the bleeding continued, so she was referred by a friend to Watsi's Medical Partner Care Center Nazareth Hospital. There, Jenipher had an ultrasound, which unfortunately showed that she had a cervical mass. The gynaecologist recommended that she undergo a hysterectomy, a procedure in which surgeons will remove her uterus. However, this procedure is very costly for Jenipher and her family. Currently, they depend on her husband’s income from his small business as a carpenter. Since she was let go from her job as a school secretary due to the school's bankruptcy, Jenipher has tried her hand in several small businesses. Lately, she is unable to do much because the bleeding leaves her feeling very drained and uncomfortable. She hopes to get better and help her 20-year-old daughter start a boutique business that can supplement their family’s income. If left untreated, Jenipher's bleeding will continue and may lead to severe anaemia. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $755 to fund Jenipher's surgery. On October 30th, she will undergo gynecological surgery at our medical partner's care center. Once recovered, Jenipher will be able to resume her daily activities free of fatigue and pain. Jenipher shared, “I am hopeful that surgery will help me get better so that my daughter and I can start a small boutique business to enable us to take care of my grandchild.”
Min lives with his wife, son, and daughter in a village in Tak Province, Thailand. He moved from Burma to Thailand nine months ago in search of better job opportunities. His daughter is still too young to go to school and his wife and son work as day laborers on a farm, each earning 150 baht (approx. 5 USD) per day. Min had to stop working with his wife and son three months ago because of his condition. Their monthly household income of 3,000 baht (approx. 100 USD) is not enough to cover their daily expenses. Sometimes, they have to borrow money from their relatives to meet their basic needs. Four years ago, Min used to work as a construction worker in Bangkok. One day, he started to experience pain in the left side of his abdomen. He went to a clinic twice and was diagnosed with a kidney stone in his left kidney after receiving an ultrasound. The doctor told him that he would need to undergo laser treatment at a hospital to break up the stone. The next day, Min went to a hospital in Bangkok. He received another ultrasound and underwent laser treatment which he did not have to pay for because he had health insurance at that time. When he returned for his follow-up appointment, he underwent another round of laser treatment, followed by more oral medications to take home. Min was not able to return to the hospital because his father passed away before his next appointment and he had to go back to Burma for the funeral. Before he had a chance to return to Bangkok, his mother also passed away. After spending money on the two funerals, Min did not have enough money to return to Bangkok. He moved back in with his wife and children and started working as a day laborer on a farm with his wife in their village. In May 2019, Min started experiencing pain again in his left lower abdomen. He would also pass small stones about twice a month while urinating. He went to a clinic where he received oral medication as well as an ultrasound. The doctor told him that he has a stone in his left kidney as well as small stones in his urethra. Min went back to the same clinic several times for his follow-up appointments, where he received oral medication each time for his abdominal pain. By September 2019, he was feeling much better and was no longer in pain. He was also no longer passing stones when urinating. Min then stopped going back to the clinic and stopped taking medication. Later in December 2019, Min and his family moved to their current home in Thailand and in May 2020, the pain in Min’s lower abdomen returned. He has pain when urinating and has started to pass small stones again about every two weeks. He went to a local hospital in the beginning of May with his wife, and he received an ultrasound. The ultrasound showed that he now has stones in both of his kidneys in addition to a bladder stone. The doctor referred him to Mae Sot Hospital (MSH) for treatment, but his family was not able to afford the estimated cost so he returned home. At home, Min told his friend about his condition and his lack of funds to pay for it. His friend told him to seek help at Mae Tao Clinic (MTC) and with Watsi's Medical Parter Burma Children Medical Fund. Surgery is now scheduled for August 14th. Min shared, “I had to sell my phone to pay for my treatment [the ultrasounds and oral medications] and my transportation when I sought treatment. For the past few days, we don’t have enough rice and we also don’t have any money to buy more food. So we have to eat rice porridge. I feel so sad for my family.”
Vuthy is a 31-year-old construction worker from Cambodia and the youngest of three siblings. He lives with his sister near his parents' farm in Kampong Cham province. He and his sister help with their family farm work. Eight months ago, Vuthy developed tuberculosis arthritis in his left hip. He has taken medication to control the condition, but in the last four months, his condition has worsened. He has constant hip pain and must walk with crutches. His muscles in his left thigh have atrophied, and range of motion of his left leg has contracted by 60 degrees. Due to all of this, he now cannot work or do his daily activities. Fortunately, Vuthy learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre. At CSC, surgeons can perform a total hip replacement to relieve Vuthy of his pain and allow him to walk easily. Treatment is scheduled for July 1st, and Vuthy needs help raising $1,087 to pay for this procedure. Vuthy said, "Since I had this problem, I have not been able to work or get any money for my family, and they have to take care of me. I want to get better so I can do my part to support my parents."
Phearuos is a 23-year-old construction worker from Cambodia. She is the youngest child of seven siblings. Her patients are rice farmers. Phearuos likes singing and spending time with her family and friends. Fifteen years ago, Phearuos had a serious ear infection. This infection caused a cholesteatoma, or an abnormal skin growth, to develop in the middle ear behind the ear drum. For this reason, Phearuos experiences ear pain, discharge with a foul smell, and headaches. She has difficulty communicating with others. Despite trying for a long time, Phearuos has had difficultly finding a better job because of her hearing and ear discharge problems. Phearuos traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On April 28th, she will undergo a mastoidectomy procedure in her right ear. During this procedure, ENT surgeons will remove the cholesteatoma. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is requesting $925 to fund this procedure. This covers medications, supplies, and inpatient care. Her mom said, "I am happy for her to have this surgery because I worry every day about the headaches and pain and how it could affect her brain. With the hearing problem it is difficult to talk to her as well." "I hope that the surgery will go well and my ear discharge and headaches will go away. I look forward to being able to communicate with people better when my hearing improves," Phearuos said.