Shannon joined Watsi on February 16th, 2016. Five years ago, Shannon joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Shannon's most recent donation traveled 8,700 miles to support Venance, a kindergartener from Tanzania, to fund corrective surgery so he can play and walk more easily.
Shannon has funded healthcare for 65 patients in 10 countries.
Shannon has funded healthcare for 65 patients in 10 countries.
Venance is a five year old boy and the second born child in a family of four children. Venance is a friendly boy who is currently in kindergarten. Venance and his siblings are being raised by their mother, who does small scale farming where she gets most of the food her children need. She also seeks day laboring jobs like working on other peoples farms or laundry to help make ends meet. Venance was diagnosed with Bilateral Genu Valgus, a condition that causes bones to bend. This condition is typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, which often stems from contaminated drinking water. As a result, Venance now has pain after a long day of play and walks to and from school. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Venance. The procedure is scheduled to take place on July 9th. Treatment will hopefully restore Venance's mobility, allow him to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease his risk of future complications. Venance mother says, "Please help my son."
Landei is an adventurous, playful and social 10-year-old boy from Tanzania. A while ago, he and his friends were playing in the fields, climbing on electric poles as the cattle were grazing. Sadly, they didn't realize the dangers that the poles posted, and the boys were electrocuted. Landei sustained burns to his hand and thigh. He later developed gengrene and had an emergency below-elbow amputation. However, his condition is not improving and now he needs an above-elbow amputation to save the rest of his arm. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Landei to receive treatment. On June 10th, he will undergo surgery at AMH's care center and now, AMH is requesting $1,088 to cover the cost of Landei's procedure and care. Landei’s father shared, "our son’s accident found us with no money to seek treatment for him that’s why it’s gotten this bad. Please help him have the needed surgery."
Jeremiah is a 26-year-old construction worker and a married father a two-year-old. His wife works at a local tea plantation, while he works at a construction site. On May 8th, Jeremiah was involved in a traffic accident on the highway. He had visited a local market and was on a motorbike on his way home. As they were turning a corner, they collided head-on with a car. He suffered fractures in his tibia and femur. He is not able to stand or walk without support, and he is in severe pain. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), can help. On May 13th, Jeremiah will undergo a fracture repair procedure called an open reduction and internal fixation. This procedure will help him walk easily again. Now, AMH is requesting $1,500 to fund this procedure. Jeremiah shared, “the accident was sudden and caught me off guard. I do not have enough savings considering we almost live from hand to mouth. This surgery is important to me to walk again.”
Lomnyak is a 5-year-old boy and the fourth born child in a family of five children. Lomnyaki and his siblings live with their mother, as their father left and doesn't offer support. His mother does not currently work as she is taking care of their family and she shared how challenging it was as they do not have livestock nor a place to farm. They are doing their best to get through a challenging living situation. Lomnyak was born with spina bifida, a type of neural tube defect in which the spine does not properly close around the spinal cord. Without treatment, Lomnyak is at risk of lower-limb paralysis, infection of the exposed nervous tissue, development of tethered cord syndrome, and possible developmental delays. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,015 to cover the cost of Lomnyak's spina bifida closure surgery. The procedure is scheduled to take place on April 19th. This procedure will hopefully spare Lomnyak from the risks associated with his condition, instead allowing him to grow and develop along a healthy trajectory. Lomnyak’s mother shared, "I didn’t know that this condition was life-threatening but I suspected it to be the cause of my son not being able to stand nor walk. Please help him get this surgery."
Ko is a 37-year-old father of five who lives with his wife, three daughters and two sons in a refugee camp in Thailand. His family receives a cash card every month from an organization, but this is not enough to cover their expenses. Therefore, he also works as an agricultural day laborer in a nearby Thai village. In his free time, Ko enjoys playing cane ball and spending time with his friends. On December 11, 2020, Ko slipped and fell onto rocks outside of the camp. When he tried to get up, Ko could tell that his leg was broken. He went to the hospital in the refugee camp run by Malteser International (MI). He was eventually referred to a hospital where he underwent surgery to insert a metal rod into his leg on December 25, 2020. When he went back to the hospital for his follow-up appointment on February 3, 2021, the doctor observed that the surgical wound was infected and he underwent surgery to clean his wound. When the wound still did not heal, the doctor referred him to another hospital, where the doctor told him he would need an additional surgery to remove necrotic tissue and replace the rod in his leg. Currently, Ko is experiencing a lot of pain. It is difficult for him to walk and he is worried about his family in the camp. With the help of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, Ko will undergo surgery to reset his fractured bones and finally heal. This procedure will allow Ko to walk and his leg to heal properly. The procedure is scheduled for March 12th and will cost $1,500. Ko shared, “I really want to work to support my family as soon as possible. I cannot imagine what life would be like for my family if my leg never heals.”
Naw Kwee Moo is a 54-year-old woman from the Karen region in Burma, who lives with her husband and their family in a refugee camp. Of her children, three daughters and three sons still live in the refugee camp along with them near the Thai-Burma border. Naw Kwee is a homemaker and her husband is currently too ill to work. Five of their children go to school in the camp, four other children have moved away, and her second oldest son graduated from a post-secondary program in May 2020. He worked as an agricultural day laborer at a nearby Thai village until mid-December 2020. Due to Covid-19 travel restrictions, he was no longer allowed to leave the camp. Naw Kwe’s household receives a monthly cash card to purchase basic rations. Although they receive free education and basic health care in the camp, they shared how hard it is to make ends meet. Starting four years ago, Naw Kwee often went to the camp’s hospital run by Malteser International (MI) Thailand to receive treatment for urinary tract infections (UTI). Most of the time, she would feel better after taking medication, but she was no longer able to work as an agricultural day laborer because of her pain. Over the next few years, she was diagnosed with chronic UTI. “I think my condition was caused from consuming dirty water,” she said. “When I worked as a day laborer, we had no access to clean water.” Naw Kwee received antibiotics through an intravenous (IV) line at the camp’s hospital. When her condition did not improve, a doctor at the camp’s hospital referred her again to Mae Sariang Hospital in March 2020. There she received a urine test and an x-ray of her kidneys, ureters and bladder. She was finally diagnosed with a right kidney stone. After multiple visits, the doctor at Mae Sariang Hospital referred her to Chiang Mai Hospital (CMH) for further treatment. However, Naw Kwee could not travel to CMH for a while due to travel restrictions after the outbreak of Covid-19. Finally, last June medical staff from her camp were able to bring Naw Kwee to Chiang Mai. During her appointment, the doctor scheduled her to undergo an intravenous pyelogram on July 16th, 2020. After she received a diagnostic test, she returned to CMH for her follow-up appointment on November 19th, 2020. During her appointment, she received more tests and it was at her next appointment Naw Kwee was told she needed to undergo multiple rounds of laser treatment to break up the stone in her kidney. She received her first round of laser treatment on February 11th, 2021. Two days later, she developed a fever and could only pass a bit of urine. She also started to experience severe back pain and other troubling symptoms. MI staff took her back to the hospital where she received an ultrasound. The nurse shared with her that after her laser treatment, the stones had broken up and many of them where now stuck in her ureter, creating a blockage. She now needs emergency surgery to remove the stones. Our Medical Partner Burma Children Medical Fund is seeking $1,500 to support her surgery and finally relieve her of her painful condition.
Thea is a 39-year-old gendarmerie (military policeman) from Cambodia. He has been proudly married for 7 years and has 3 daughters. Thea's first two children are in school. In his free time, he likes to exercise, play football, listen to music and news, read books, and take care of his children. Five years ago, Thea had a severe fall and subsequently developed right hip pain. He was diagnosed with avascular necrosis of the hip, a painful condition that occurs when the blood supply to the head of the femur (thighbone) is disrupted. Because bone cells need a steady supply of blood to stay healthy, it can ultimately lead to destruction of the hip joint and severe arthritis. After his accident, he was given pain medication, but the medication only helped for a short time. He continues to have chronic pain and needs to have his condition treated. Fortunately, Thea learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC). At CSC, surgeons can perform a total hip replacement to relieve Thea of his pain and allow him to walk easily. Treatment is scheduled for January 6th, and Thea needs help raising $1,087 to pay for this procedure. Thea shared, "I hope that after my operation, I will be able to walk without pain and can do my job easily again."
Kevin is a very playful 5-year-old from Kiambu County, Kenya. He is the only child to his mother, and was born when she was 17 years old so they decided to give him his grandmother's surname. His mother has been able to find casual jobs like working in neighbors farms and washing clothes. They also depend on Kevins’ grandmother who is a small scale farmer. Last week, while playing, Kevin slipped and fell. He sustained a closed fracture of his left hand (radius and ulna) and is unable to move his hand. He was brought to the hospital and the doctor advised he needs an ORIF procedure to correct the fractures. Kevin’s mother and grandmother could not raise the fee required and need help. If not treated Kevins’ hand may heal with a deformity or may have delayed healing or malunion. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On December 17th, Kevin will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. This surgery will help him move his hand easily, reduce the pain and be free from future complications. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,049 to fund this procedure. “My child had just started school and I had high hopes of seeing him grow up like other children. I kindly ask for help so that he can be well again and continue to play as he enjoys. We are desperate and can’t get the money required,” said Kevin’s mother.
Thein is a 33-year-old man from Burma. He lives with his wife in Yangon, while his daughter lives with his aunt. He and his wife are vendors at the main bus station. In his free time, Thein likes to go to the tea shop with his friend and talk about work. In the future, he would like to become a motorcycle broker, where he believes he could earn a more steady income. Unfortunately, Thein has been unable to work since March 2020. At the time, he often felt too tired or unwell to work. Upon seeking care, Thein was diagnosed with a heart condition involving a malformation of the mitral valve, which is the valve between the left atrium and left ventricle. This valve controls the flow of blood, but certain conditions may cause blood to flow backward or the valve to narrow. Currently, Thein has difficulty breathing and feels tired when he does not receive oxygen or an intravenous drip. He cannot sleep well at night and has to take sleeping pills to help him get rest. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund a mitral valve replacement procedure for Thein. The treatment is scheduled to take place on November 13th and, once completed, will hopefully allow him to live more comfortably and improve his quality of life. Thein shared, “After I have recovered fully, I will go back to work. I will try to search for a job that pays better so that I can pay off my debt. After I have paid back my debt, I will save money for my family’s future. I want my daughter to complete her studies.”
Laiyorie is a three year old baby boy and the last born child in a family of seven children. Unfortunately, Laiyorie's father passed away last year leaving their mother with seven children to take care of all by herself. She was able to start a small business which sells kerosene, sugar, and a few other commodities to make a living and help her provide for her children. Laiyore was born with deformed fingers of the right hand due to amniotic banding and webbed toes on his right leg. His parents could not seek treatment for him due to financial challenges. But when his mother learned about African Mission Healthcare from the doctors who visited her church she decided to seek treatment for him with our medical partner. But his mother cannot afford her son’s treatment cost. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, can help. Laiyorie has been scheduled for surgery to remove his deformed index finger which will help him use the remaining fingers with ease in carrying out his daily activities. Now, Laiyorie's mother asks for your help and support in funding this $1,088 surgery. Laiyorie’s mother shared, “With all the responsibility I have to provide and care for my children I will not be able to afford my son’s treatment cost. Please kindly help my son have this surgery.”
Jackson is an 8-year-old student from Tanzania. He has been living with his grandmother since he was 2 years old as his mother and father separated and neither could care for him. His aunt describes Jackson as a very friendly and playful boy. He used to be a very active boy, always friendly, and hardworking. He would help his grandmother with home chores when he was not at school. He was in class one at school but unfortunately, his studies had to stop after he started losing consciousness and falling most of the time when at school. Jackson 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, Jackson has been experiencing dizziness and he would lose consciousness and fall at school. He now cannot walk or stand and is often asleep. Without treatment, Jackson will experience severe physical and developmental delays. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $765 to cover the cost of surgery for Jackson that will treat his hydrocephalus. The procedure is scheduled to take place on September 16th and will drain the excess fluid from Jackson's brain. This will reduce intracranial pressure and greatly improve his quality of life. With proper treatment, Jackson will hopefully continue to develop into a strong, healthy young boy. Jackson’s aunt told us, “We all wish Jackson to get this needed treatment so that he can get back to his old normal self and hopeful resume school again.”
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.”