Lee SmallwoodMONTHLY DONOR
Lee's Story

Lee joined Watsi on January 1st, 2014. Four years ago, Lee joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Lee's most recent donation traveled 9,000 miles to support Mercy, a 28-year-old farmer from Malawi, to fund a thyroidectomy.

Impact

Lee has funded healthcare for 50 patients in 10 countries.

All patients funded by Lee

Mercy is a 28-year-old subsistence farmer from Malawi. She lives in a grass-thatched house with her husband and their three children. Her oldest child is nine years old and attends school, while her youngest is five years old. She and her husband also take care of her 93-year-old grandmother who depends on them. Mercy and her husband farm together and their farm produces enough food to feed the family, but not enough to sell a surplus. To supplement their income, she and her husband also work on other people's farms. In 2018, Mercy noticed a small lump on the left side of her neck. Over the years, the lump has grown and is hard and painful. After having several appointments rescheduled, Mercy finally got a scan and was referred to a lab for thyroid tests and to a surgeon. The lab tests and transportation costs have greatly impacted her family’s income, and it has taken her three years to have all of the required testing. She was finally diagnosed with an enlarged thyroid and surgery was recommended to heal her condition. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH) is helping Mercy to receive treatment. On September 2nd, she will undergo a thyroidectomy at AMH's care center. Now, she needs help raising $1,015 to fund her procedure and care. Mercy shared, "this condition is not only affecting me, but mainly my helpless 93 years old grandmother and also my family. I can no longer draw water for my grandmother and my children are too young to help. My husband is now getting exhausted combining farm work and household chores. Please assist me with this surgery so I can start helping my family again."

80%funded
$817raised
$198to go

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.

$1,500raised
Fully funded

Ra Sa is a 67-year-old woman who lives with her nephew in Mae La Refugee Camp in Thailand. Ra Sa is a homemaker and her nephew is a student. Ra Sa’s daughter, who also lives in the camp with her husband, supports Ra Sa with food and visits several times a week. Ra Sa’s daughter works as a domestic worker in the camp, and her son-in-law works as a porter unloading supplies from delivery trucks, but the support they are able to provide for Ra Sa does not always cover her expenses. In her free time, Ra Sa likes to teach children at the local mosque. However, since a hernia appeared last year, she has not been able to teach in the same way. Once she has recovered, she wants to live happily with her nephew and to continue teaching. Since the 7th of March 2020, Ra Sa has had an umbilical hernia. She experiences a lot of pain in her lower abdomen and has three lumps that are increasing in size every day. She can no longer sit for more than 10 minutes before she is in pain, feeling more comfortable when she lies down. Sometimes she cannot breathe well and is having other troubling symptoms. Fortunately, on March 5th, she will undergo hernia repair surgery at Mae Sot General Hospital, our medical partner's care center. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund Ra Sa's hernia repair surgery, which will hopefully allow her to live more comfortably again. Ra Sa said, “I prayed every day that I would get a donor to cover the cost of my surgery and I feel like my prayers have been answered. I am so happy! I would like to say thank you so much to all of the donors. I will never forget what you have done for me and I hope that you will continue to help more patients in the future.”

$1,500raised
Fully funded

Rebecca is a 1-year-old girl from Tanzania. She is the last born in a family of two children and has started to grow into a strong and beautiful girl. Both of her parents depend on small scale farming to support their family. Rebecca was initially brought to the hospital by her parents seeking treatment to help correct her spina bifida condition. Spina bifida is a birth defect that occurs when the spine and spinal cord fail to form properly. This puts a child in danger of limb paralyses or death in case of a severe infection. At the time, Rebecca's parents could not afford the proposed surgery. Luckily, one of their friends advised them to seek help at our medical partner's care center, ALMC Plaster House. Through Watsi funding, Rebecca’s life was saved and she has been growing well since then. However, a few weeks ago, Rebecca's mother noticed her daughter's head was increasing in size at a very fast rate and she was complaining of headaches. Her parents had worked hard to save some money and got a health insurance card for their baby, so they decided to take her to the hospital to seek treatment. There, Rebecca was diagnosed with hydrocephalus, a condition in which excess cerebrospinal fluid accumulates in the brain and increases intracranial pressure. She needs to have an ETV surgery that will help relieve her of the pressure build-up, which would otherwise lead to brain damage. Unfortunately, their insurance has not matured enough to cover this kind of major surgery, so Rebecca's parents are appealing for financial support to help her. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,300 to cover the cost of surgery for Rebecca that will treat her hydrocephalus. The procedure is scheduled to take place on January 25th and will drain the excess fluid from Rebecca's brain. This will reduce intracranial pressure and greatly improve her quality of life. With proper treatment, Rebecca will hopefully develop into a strong, healthy young girl. Rebecca’s mother shared, “My daughter’s head is increasing in size and it is making her sick. She needs surgery but the insurance we got for her cannot cover the cost. Please help once more if it is possible because we don’t know where to run to for help besides all of you.”

$1,300raised
Fully funded

Kelvin is a 13-year-old boy from from Nyeri County in Central Kenya. He is a humble and calm child, and the 4th born in a family of six children. His mother is a farmer, while his father passed on 6 years ago after a long illness. At school, Kelvin is in Class 3 at Karangi Primary School. His teacher says he is a bright boy and performs well in class. Kelvin is actually supposed to be in Class 8 but, because of the condition of his feet, he has not been able to advance in his education as quickly. Kelvin was born with bilateral clubfoot, which was neglected and not treated earlier on. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape, and causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Though he was taken to a hospital in the area to seek treatment, he could not initially undergo surgery due to lack of money. Now, Kelvin faces difficulty as he walks because his feet knock each other and causes him to fall every time. Unfortunately, this has affected his self-esteem when he sees other people playing and he cannot join. In March 2020, Kelvin underwent left triple arthrodesis surgery supported by Watsi donors and the procedure corrected his foot perfectly. Now, he is scheduled to undergo a right triple arthrodesis, a surgery to correct his right foot so he can walk well with both feet. Fortunately, Kelvin traveled back to visit our medical partner's care center, AIC Cure International Hospital. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on him on January 11th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,286 to fund Kelvin's clubfoot repair. This surgery will be very impactful as he will be able to wear both shoes, walk well, and play with friends. Kelvin will also be able to continue with his studies without any hindrances. His mother asks for support for his second surgery. Kelvin's mother shared, “We are grateful to God for the support we received from Cure Hospital through the Watsi donors. I have seen great improvement with my son and am looking forward to seeing him walking like other children. God bless you and continue with the good work you do of helping needy families to have surgery. God bless you."

$1,286raised
Fully funded

Gabriel is a 46-year-old refugee from South Sudan. He is a father of six children aged between 2-19 years old. Currently, Gabriel and his family are staying in the Kakuma refugee camp in Kenya fleeing civil conflict in their home country. In June 2020, Gabriel had an accident and broke his arm. He underwent surgery in his hometown of Juba in the same month and was discharged home from the hospital. However, his left arm started developing further complications, and he was forced to seek treatment in Kenya after his family left Sudan. Gabriel has chronic osteomyelitis of the left humerus and infected hardware in his arm. Gabriel has undergone 3 surgeries, including humeral debridement, hardware removal, and bone cementing. Doctors recommend another urgent sequestrectomy surgery on his left humerus to remove the infected hardware. If left untreated, he risks impediment of blood circulation within the bone leading to bone death and even amputation. Unfortunately, this procedure is costly for Gabriel and his family. He does not currently have a job, nor any medical coverage. Due to the support of well-wishers, friends, and family, Gabriel has been able to raise some money for his earlier medical and surgical concerns. However, he was forced to postpone his surgery due to lack of funds. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Gabriel receive treatment. He is scheduled to undergo a sequestrectomy on December 2nd at our medical partner's care center. This procedure will cost $1,500, and he appeals for financial help to fund the cost of his care. Gabriel shared, “I am in so much pain and there have been so many surgeries for me. I need assistance on this one.”

$1,500raised
Fully funded