iva joined Watsi on August 8th, 2013. Six years ago, iva became the 93rd member to automatically support a new Watsi patient every month. Since then, 5,834 more people have become monthly donors! iva's most recent donation traveled 8,800 miles to support Lak, a farmer from Cambodia, to fund treatment for an infection and fracture in his leg.
iva has funded healthcare for 70 patients in 13 countries.
Lak is a 41-year old rice farmer from Cambodia. He has been married for 23 years and has three sons and one daughter. His favorite pastimes include feeding the chickens and pigs near his home, planting vegetables, and watching boxing on television. In November of 2019, Lak was hit by a vehicle and fractured his left leg. After receiving initial treatment at a nearby hospital, Lak still experiences swelling and pain in his leg, and he is unable to walk easily on his own. When Lak learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, he traveled for four hours seeking treatment. On March 4th, surgeons at CSC will perform a debridement procedure to remove the infected skin from his injuries and to fit Lak with hardware that will allow his fracture to heal. Now, Lak needs help to fund this $273 procedure. He shared, "I hope that surgery will fix the bone in my leg and I will no longer have any pain or swelling and can walk well again."
Robert is a casual laborer from Kenya. Robert works as a construction site worker in the capital while his wife takes up jobs such as laundry services. The father of two lives in a two-roomed house, paying $31 per month. They share bathroom amenities in a pro-poor home of the city. Robert walked to our facility in the late hours of 22 April 2020, with complaints of Achilles tendon injury. A week ago, he was bathing in their shared bathroom when he slid and his right foot got stuck by the toilet bowl sustaining the injury. Without treatment, Robert might not be able to walk with ease again and risks further wound infections. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Robert receive treatment. On April 23rd, surgeons will treat his Achillies injury and perform a debridement and skin graft procedure. Following treatment, he will be able to walk so he can return home and care for his family. Now, Robert needs help to fund this $1,129 procedure. Robert says, “Thank you for expressing a wish to support me. I did not have money for the motel lodge last night and do not have any money for the planned surgery. God bless you.”
Moe is a 31-year-old woman from Thailand. She lives with her husband and four-year-old son in Mae La Refugee Camp (MLRC) in Tha Song Yang District of Tak Province. She has lived there for 20 years after her parents moved from Bilin Township, Bago Division in Burma because of the civil war. Moe is a homemaker who does all the household chores while her husband is a farmer who works on rented land outside of the camp, where he plants corn and beans. To make some extra income, Moe also sells snacks from home. Their combined income is enough to cover basic family expenses. As for healthcare, they receive free basic care in the camp provided by International Rescue Committee (IRC). A few months ago, Moe started to feel a mass in her lower abdomen while she was lying down after eating dinner. She thought it was strange and told her neighbor about it the next day. Her neighbor told her that this was normal for someone gaining weight, which she suggested Moe was. Upon hearing this, she did not seek treatment, agreeing with her neighbor’s conclusion. However, she soon felt that the mass was increasing in size, which did not seem normal. On February 13th, 2020, she decided it was time to go to the clinic in the camp for further investigation. The medic at the camp examined to her and told her that she likely had a cyst in her lower abdomen, but they could not diagnose her further. The medic informed the doctor at the camp and the doctor discussed the situation with IRC staff, who then referred Moe to Mae Sot Hospital (MSH) for further investigation. She was referred to MSH on February 17th for an ultrasound. Upon going to MSH, doctors performed an ultrasound and told her that she has a mass in her uterus. Since the mass was already large, however, the ultrasound did not show a clear result whether the mass was outside or inside her uterus. For this reason, the doctor recommended a computed tomography (CT) scan on February 25th. Moe returned home and came back to MSH for the CT scan according to the appointment date. On the day of the scan, she also received a blood test and urine test before being informed that she would have to come back on February 27th to get the results. When she returned, the doctor explained to her that there is a large tumor in her right ovary and that she needs surgery to remove it, followed by a tissue biopsy to confirm whether the growth is cancerous. Currently, Moe has a burning pain in her lower right abdomen. Sometimes the pain gets worse, which makes it difficult for her sleep or eat well. For this reason, she said that she lost her appetite and weight. When she eats, she feels discomfort as her stomach becomes tight and full, even she eats very little. She feels like the mass is gradually getting bigger and she feels more comfortable lying down instead of sitting or walking. Moe sought treatment through our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund. She is now scheduled to undergo mass removal surgery on March 24th and is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of her procedure and care. Moe said, “Both my husband and I became worried when we heard that there was mass in my uterus. We worry that my whole uterus might need to be removed and we will no longer be able to have more children. Now, the doctor told me that only the tumor will be removed and that I most likely will be able to have children in the future. Me and my husband want to have one or two more children, so we were very happy when we heard that my uterus would not to be removed.”
Sar is a four-year-old girl from Thailand who lives with her parents and three sisters. Her mother is a homemaker, looking after household chores, while her father works as an agriculture day laborer. In her spare time, Sar likes to play with toys with her friends. Seven months ago, when Sar was on the way to buy snacks, a hen suddenly flew over to her and poked her right eye, protecting her baby chickens. Although Sar's eye turned red, her parents did not take her to any hospitals. They bought eye drops for her, but the medicine did not make her feel any better. Sar underwent a CT scan at Mae Sot Hospital but the doctor was not able to help her. She was referred to Chiang Mai and there she underwent an MRI. After the MRI, the doctor recommended surgery to remove her right eye. She received enucleation of her eye on July 25th, 2019. After enucleation, the doctor recommended an MRI to see if there is any problem post operation. She is now admitting in the hospital and will undergo the MRI on 25th February, 2020. Doctors want Sar to have an MRI, an imaging procedure that uses magnetic fields and radio waves to produce images of bodily organs, to help them continue to follow an appropriate treatment plan. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $968 to cover the cost of Sar's MRI and care, scheduled for February 25th. Sar's father said, "My daughter is healthy and playing happily with friends after we came back from treatment in Chiang Mai. The doctor told me that they will do MRI for my daughter to check if there is any abnormal growth or problem after surgery and if there is no problem after the MRI result, the doctor will implant an artificial eye in the next eight month for my daughter."
Chanthim is a 33-year-old security guard from Cambodia. He enjoys exercising, listening to music, and taking care of his daughter in his spare time. In November of 2019, Chanthin was in a motorcycle accident and collided with a car, fracturing his left hip. He has pain everyday and cannot walk without support. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, can help. On January 7th, Chanthim will undergo a fracture repair procedure, which will cost $465. Surgery will allow him to walk easily again and regain strength in his hip and leg. "I hope that I will no longer have any pain and can walk well again so that I will be able to return to my work and help my family make a living," he said.
Wine is a 23-year-old man from Burma. Wine’s family are subsistence farmers and they mainly grow rice and sunflowers. Since Wine’s health deteriorated, he can no longer work on the farm and now looks after two cows. In his free time, he likes to hang out with his friends. In 2016, Wine started to experience a rapid heartbeat and fatigue. As his heart rate continued to be fast, he went to see a medic in his village. The medic told him to go to the hospital instead so he visited a general hospital near his hometown. At the hospital, he received an echocardiogram and the result revealed that Wine's heart valves are not good. The doctor told him that he needs to have surgery and that it would cost six million kyat (approx. 6,000 USD). The doctor then asked his family to come back after they have enough money for the surgery and prescribed him monthly oral medication. Since then, Wine also tried to treat himself with traditional medicine. When that did not work, he relied on oral medication to stabilize his condition. However, his symptoms frequently return. At the moment, Wine cannot do strenuous work such as lift heavy things, and he has back pain. Wine said, “I am very upset that I had to stop working on the farm and that I cannot support my family anymore. I want to be healthy and recover as soon as possible. When I recover fully, I will find a good job to pay back my debt and I will help my community as much as I can.”
Three weeks ago, Ko was foraging for bamboo roots in the jungle when a bamboo twig sprang back and hit him in his left eye. His left eye started to hurt right away, and he stopped foraging. When he went back home, he did not apply any medication because he thought his eye would get better on its own. The next day however, he could not open his left eye and had a sharp pain in his injured eye as well as a headache. When he asked his wife to check his eye, she told him that it was red and that he had a white dot on his pupil. He then went to Chaung Son Clinic, a free clinic. he health worker at the clinic gave him an antibacterial ointment to apply inside his eye every day and seek further treatment at Mae Tao Clinic (MTC) in Mae Sot, Thailand right away. The next day, Ko went to MTC. At the clinic, he received an eye examination, one weeks’ worth of ointment and a bottle of eye drops to apply twice a day. He was asked to come back a week later. When he went back on the 14th of October. After he received another eye examination, the doctor told him that he wanted to admit him at the hospital right away. His left eye was infected, and he needed antibiotics. If the treatment would not work, the doctor told him that they would probably have to remove his eyeball. Unable to pay for his own admission, MTC referred him to Burma Children Medical Fund for assistance in accessing further treatment. Currently, Ko's left eye is teary, he has a severe headache and sharp pain in his left eye. Because the antibiotics did not work, he now has to remove his left eye. His injury has also impacted his family, as he is currently unable to work. Unable to leave his children with any money for food while he receives treatment, his children now have to work on a farm as daily labourers for 2,400 kyat (approx. 2 USD) each per day, to pay for their own meals. Luckily, they have not missed any school, as schools are closed until November for the holidays. "I worry about my eye and I worry for my children too. We left [our children] with our neighbor and they told us not to worry about my children getting food because they will look after them [when they go back to school]. I feel really grateful for my neighbors, BCMF and [BCMF’s] donors for supporting my treatment and everything they have done for me," said Ko.
Gracious is a baby boy from Tanzania. Gracious is a calm baby boy and the only child to his young parents. He has bilateral clubfoot which if not treated will result in permanent disability. After he was born, his parents were advised to take him to the hospital at three months of age. Upon review, surgeons advised for manipulation and casting surgery to correct the condition. Gracious's parents are casual labourers. His mother sells fruits and vegetables in the neighbourhood while his father is a casual construction site labourer. Their income is only sufficient to meet their daily needs. Gracious's relative referred them to our facility where the child was reviewed. His parents were asked for the hospital fee but are not able to raise it. If treated, Gracious will be able to walk upright and with ease. The family appeals for help. Fortunately, Gracious traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on October 15th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $890 to fund Gracious's clubfoot repair. After treatment, she will be able to walk easily. Gracious’s mother says, “The cost of the treatment is high for us to afford, kindly help our son if it’s possible.”
Joseph hails from Juhudi in Lamu county. He is married and had two children who passed away 2 years ago due to heart disease. His wife left home on losing the two children and due to the hardship they were experiencing in the family. Joseph is a farmer and a house attendant in one of the farms in Lamu. He lives in a one-roomed mud-house. Joseph has a condition called Blount disease causing bow legged. This condition has affected his normal life like walking; he complains of pain. He cannot walk for a long distance or work for many hours. Joseph is scheduled to undergo high tibial osteotomy, a surgery that will help him walk without difficulty as well as alleviate pain on her. . He cannot afford the estimated bill and thus requests support.
Michael is a motorcycle taxi operator from Kenya. He is a hardworking and entrepreneurial man. In July, Micheal was involved in an accident with another motorbike. He was brought to the hospital, where it was confirmed that he had sustained a fracture of the left femur. He is not able to walk and is in chronic pain. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On July 25, Michael will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. This procedure will help him walk easily again Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $998 to fund this procedure. “I cannot afford the cost of surgery. I will be eternally grateful if you can find a way to help,” Michael says.
Meki is a child from Kenya. Since birth, Meki has been experiencing difficulty breathing. Frequent illness has caused his parents to worry and spend their little earnings on medication. He was recently diagnosed with enlarged tonsils and adenoids, which are the soft tissue behind the nasal cavity. Without treatment, this condition will cause Meki's symptoms to persist and possibly even intensify. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $779 to fund an adenotonsillectomy for Meki, which is scheduled to take place on July 9. Surgeons will remove his tonsils and adenoids, hopefully relieving Meki of his symptoms and helping him live more comfortably. Meki’s mother says, “My hope is to have my son treated and being able to breathe. Please help me."
Wilanka is a girl from Haiti. She was born with a cardiac condition called ventricular septal defect, in which a hole exists between the two lower chambers of her heart. She underwent open-heart surgery for this condition in 2017, but at some point after the surgery, the patch that was sewn over the hole unfortunately separated from part of her heart, and so she requires a second open-heart surgery to replace the patch. Wilanka lives in west central Haiti with her parents and three siblings; she does well in school, especially in math and science. Wilanka will fly to India to receive treatment. On August 14, she will undergo cardiac surgery. Another organization, Rotary International, is contributing $8,000 to pay for surgery. Her family also needs help to fund the costs of surgery prep. The $1,500 bill covers labs, medicines, and checkup and followup appointments. It also supports passport obtainment and the social workers from our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, who will accompany her family overseas.