Alan joined Watsi on December 24th, 2013. Eight years ago, Alan joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Alan's most recent donation traveled 8,300 miles to support U Tin, a 36-year-old man from Burma, to fund hernia surgery.
Alan has funded healthcare for 99 patients in 13 countries.
Alan has funded healthcare for 99 patients in 13 countries.
U Tin is a 36-year-old man, living with his mother on the western coast of Burma. U Tin’s mother is retired and helps with household chores. U Tin works in a photo studio, printing photos and wedding invitations. Through this, his monthly income is just enough to pay for their basic living expenses. One year ago, U Tin started to experience pain in his lower left abdomen. Thinking that the pain would go away, U Tin relied on traditional medicine and pain medication. In February, the pain increased, but U Tin could not afford to seek treatment at a hospital. Instead, he purchased more pain medication from a pharmacy, which helped ease his discomfort somewhat. However in April, the pain became so severe that he could no longer work. He borrowed money from his friend, and went to a hospital. The doctor examined him, and diagnosed him with an inguinal hernia. When the doctor told him the surgery would cost 1,200,000 kyat (approx. $1,200 USD), U Tin told the doctor he could not afford to pay such a sum, and he returned home still feeling unwell. A few days later, U Tin told his neighbour about his problem, and she suggested that he seek treatment at Mawlamyine Christian Leprosy Hospital (MCLH), where care is more affordable. He followed his neighbour’s advice, and went to MCLH, where the doctor confirmed his diagnosis and the need for surgery. When U Tin explained that he could not afford to pay for the surgery, the doctor referred him to our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, for assistance in accessing the treatment he needs. Currently, U Tin is experiencing severe pain, and he cannot sit or stand for any length of time. Fortunately, he is now scheduled for surgery on May 24th, and Burma Children Medical Fund is requesting $807 to cover the cost of U Tin's hernia repair treatment. U Tin said: “I would like to recover. I am worried that I will not be able to work and take care of my mother. When I recover, I will go continue to work [at the shop] and pay back the money I borrowed from my friends.”
Dar is a 21-day-old baby girl who lives with her parents and her brother in a village in the border area of Karen State in Burma. Dar was born at home with the help of a traditional birth attendant. Two days after she was born, Dar's mother noticed a problem when Dar was passing stool. She told Dar’s father to call a medic from the clinic to their home. The medic realized that Dar was born with a anorectal condition and shared with Dar’s mother that baby Dar would urgently need surgery to receive a colostomy. Dar’s parents are subsistence farmers who grow rice and raise chickens. They also forage for vegetables in the jungle and go fishing when they want to eat fish. To purchase staples that they cannot produce such as salt and oil, Dar’s father works as an agricultural day labourer during the rainy season. However, since the rainy season has not yet begun, they currently have no income. However, their daily needs are fulfilled from living off the land. If they are sick and need to seek treatment, they go to the free clinic in their village run by Burma Medical Association (BMA). Fortunately our medical partner Burma Children Medical Fund is helping Dar's family access the medical care she needs. They need help raising $1,500 to fund the treatment she needs. “We had to borrow money so far for Dar’s treatment and my husband cannot work,” said Dar’s mother. “I want to send my baby to school until she graduates so that she can become educated. I want this for her future because I only went to school until grade four. After she completes her studies, she can become whatever she wants one day.”
Laizer is 17 years old and a happy guy who loves to play with his siblings. He is the fourth born of his mother's eight children and does not attend school yet due to his disability. Laizer was diagnosed with a condition called Right Varus that affects the alignment of bones in his legs. This condition is typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, which often stems from contaminated drinking water. As a result, Laizer experiences pain at the end of the day and cannot walk for a long distance, including to school. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), can help him finally heal. On March 22nd, Laizer will undergo corrective surgery that will restore his mobility, allow him to participate in various activities, and significantly decrease his risk of future complications. AMH is requesting $880 to fund this life-changing procedure. Laizer's mother shared, "I am happy to know that his leg can be corrected. This will help him walk well and stop having pain."
Pai is a 63-year-old woman who lives alone in a refugee camp in the border region of Thailand and Burma. She receives 350 baht (approx. $12 USD) each month on a cash card from The Border Consortium, to purchase food in the refugee camp. This support is just enough to cover her daily needs, since she sometimes shares meals with her sister. In June 2019, Pai first notice that the vision in both of her eyes was blurry. By late 2021, she could no longer see with her left eye. She then went to the hospital in the refugee camp, run by the International Rescue Committee (IRC). A medic checked her eyes, gave her some eyedrops, and told her that they would refer her to Mae Sot Hospital (MSH) for further follow up. IRC staff brought Pai to the hospital in January where the doctor completed a vision test and also checked her eyes with specialized equipment. The doctor diagnosed her with cataracts and shared that she would need surgery to be able to see clearly again. Currently, Pai can only see objects near to her with her right eye and even then, she cannot see objects clearly. She can only perceive light with her left eye. When she walks, she has to do so slowly to avoid stubbing her toes on stones and other objects. At night, she now needs someone to assist her to get around at all. She also has difficulty cleaning her house and doing other household chores like washing her clothes or cooking. She shared that when she tries to cook on her own, she will sometimes mixed up the ingredients now. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund lens replacement surgery for Pai. On February 22nd, doctors will perform a lens replacement, during which they will remove Pai's natural lens and replace this with an intraocular lens implant. After recovery, she will be able to see clearly. Now, she needs help to fund this $1,500 procedure. Pai said, “I do not want to depend on my sister as she has to look after her family too. However, now I have to depend on her for many things and I feel sad about this.” Pai is thankful to the donors who can help pay for her treatment cost. She is very happy that there will be a donor for her. She said, “I hope that I can see again, and I really want to see the donors and everyone at BCMF’s organisation who was willing to help me. Thank you so much for your kind support.”
Ray is a 2-year-old boy who lives with his four brothers and parents in a refugee camp. His siblings go to school and his mother weaves traditional Karen skirts for sale at their home. Unfortunately, his father has been unable to leave the refugee camp to search for work since August 2021, due to local COVID-19 restrictions. When Ray was eight months old, his mother noticed a worrying swelling. She brought him to the hospital in the refugee camp, where a medic examined Ray and advised his mother to come back if it increased in size. In July 2021, his parents brought him back to the hospital for a medical examination and he was referred to Mae Sariang Hospital for further treatment. With the help of the organization Malteser International (MI) staff, Ray and his mother were brought to the hospital, where a doctor examined Ray and diagnosed him with an inguinal hernia. Ray has little appetite and cries frequently, and the pain he feels often causes him to wake up during sleep. After completing a physical examination, the doctor scheduled him to be admitted to the hospital on January 12th so he can receive hernia repair surgery the following day. As Ray’s family cannot afford to pay for surgery, MI staff referred him to our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, for assistance accessing treatment. This procedure will cost $1,486, and Ray and his family need help raising money. Ray's mother shared, “I will send Ray to school when he is older and I want him to become a doctor because I want my son to help the community and other families."
Jane is a strong 34-year-old woman from Zambezi in Kiambu County. She is married with 3 children. Jane began having abdominal pains and vomiting about four years ago. She visited various hospitals and was treated for ulcers but her symptoms persisted. At one point she was told she had an issue with her liver and was sent to a specialist. Jane had extensive lab tests done and several scans which showed she has cholelithiasis or gallstones. These are hardened deposits of digestive fluid that form in the gallbladder. She came to Nazareth Hospital and consulted the surgeon who recommended laparotomy to finally remove the gallstones. Jane’s husband, who runs a small shop to fend for his family, has registered with the national health insurance program but their coverage has not yet been approved. On seeing his wife’s worsening pain and discomfort he decided he couldn’t wait any longer and came to the hospital to find out about the estimated cost of surgery so that he can organize a community fundraiser (Harambee). The family members are not able to raise the money required on their own and need support. Jane says, “I hope to be treated and get relieved of these symptoms so that my family can stop being in a constant state of worry and uncertainty.”
Klo is a 33-year-old man who lives with his wife in a village on the border of Thailand and Burma. He and is his wife are subsistence farmers, growing rice on rented land. Sometimes they work as day laborers when they can find extra work. However, due to a number of COVID cases around their area, they cannot find work right now. Late afternoon on 20 November 2021, Klo climbed a tree to pick cat tongue fruit, a type of local vegetable. Suddenly, the branch he was holding onto broke, and he fell out of the tree breaking both his wrists. Currently, both of Klo's wrists hurt badly. He cannot move his hands nor lift his arms up. He feels a bit better when he takes pain medication. He cannot dress himself and someone has to feed him and help him when he goes to the bathroom. He's worried that he cannot work on his farm since the accident. With the help of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, Klo will undergo surgery to reset his fractured bones and ensure proper healing. The procedure is scheduled for November 26th and will cost $1,500. After surgery, he will be able to work on his farm again and he will no longer need someone to help him do everything such as eat and dress himself. Klo said, "I feel stressful that I cannot work during this time when I have to harvest. My wife has to work by herself and now also has to look after me. When I learned the large amount my treatment would cost, I felt hopeless. But when I learned from BCMF that donors would help me, I felt so happy and relieved! Thank you so much to all of the donors!"
Mapai is a three-year-old and the second born child in a family of three children. Mapai is a charming and social. He was born a healthy child but when he was two years old his parents noticed his right leg was slightly curved. They thought he would grow out of it with time. At the time, his parents couldn’t afford to seek treatment for him due to financial challenges. Mapai’s parents are livestock keepers from a remote village where health facilities are not easy to get to. A family who also had a similar condition to Mapai shared with his parents that they should visit our medical partner at The Plaster House. They had received treatment there and their child was now doing well. Mapai's family decided to travel there and hoped they could also get the care he needed. Mapai was diagnosed with right valgus, where his right leg is bending inwards. This condition is typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, which often stems from contaminated drinking water. As a result, Mapai is having a hard time walking and moving around. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Mapai. The procedure is scheduled to take place on October 26th. Treatment will hopefully restore Mapai's mobility, allow him to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease his risk of future complications. Mapai’s father says, “You can see how much he is struggling to walk, I have no means to afford the treatment costs, please help.”
Maung is a 43-year-old father from Burma with two daughters. He used to work as a boatman, ferrying people to and from the island across from where they live; however, he had to stop working two years ago when a stroke weakened the left side of his body. Maung's mother supported the family until she developed severe diabetes and can now only provide them with rice. Maung's daughters are students; however, due to the current wave of COVID-19 infections and teachers protesting the country's recent coup, all schools are closed. As a result, his youngest daughter is looking after household chores, while his oldest daughter has found work to support the family. She works as a shop vendor and earns about 80,000 kyats (approx. $80 USD) per month. Maung's family shared that their current income is insufficient to cover daily needs or basic health care. About a month and a half ago, Maung's left toe became very itchy, and, eventually, the skin turned red and darkened further around his toe. Initially, Maung thought the skin was healing; however, the skin became hot, itchy, and painful. The area on his left toe later turned black, with the surrounding skin reddening. Maung was unable to see a doctor due to his family's limited income. Currently, the pain in his left toe makes it difficult to sleep and get around. Fortunately, in mid-September, Maung's relatives came to visit the family. When they saw Maung's toe, they were able to help him visit our medical partner's care center, Mawlamyine Christian Leprosy Hospital (MCLH). On September 21st, doctors examined Maung's toe and ordered a blood test. He was diagnosed with diabetes and gangrene on his left big toe. Maung will need to undergo surgery to clean and remove the necrotic tissue and help him heal. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $694 to fund this procedure. Maung shared, "After surgery, I will no longer be in pain ... I will try to find some work to support my family."
Salome is a jovial but very timid student. Her mother does most of the talking as she lovingly clings to her. Currently a fourth-grade student, and she aspires to be a teacher in the future. Salome is the second born in a family of four. Her older sibling is 17 years old, and the youngest is 8 years of age. Her father is a casual laborer who transports meat to butcheries around the Kagwe area in Kenya. Her mother is also a casual laborer and tends to farms for a living. They live in their ancestral home on a quarter an acre farm. Since birth, Salome has had an umbilical hernia. If not treated, the hernia could result in intestinal tissue damage and/or death. Fortunately, on August 26th, she will undergo repair surgery at our medical partner's care center, BethanyKids Kijabe Hospital. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $585 to fund Salome's surgery. Once completed, this procedure will hopefully allow her to live more comfortably and to continue her studies. Salome’s mother says, “My baby has had this condition since birth. We have not been able to take her to a hospital because we are financially struggling. I hope her condition does not threaten her life.”
Hy is a 38-year-old fisherman from Cambodia. He has been married for 9 years and has 2 young sons. His wife worked in a factory but now stays at home to look after Hy. One year ago, Hy was in a motor vehicle accident that left him with fractures that caused paralysis of his left arm. He was brought to a government hospital for treatment, but his arm still did not recover sensation or feeling after weeks of treatment. Hy has been diagnosed with a brachial plexus injury on his 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. He is unable to lift his arm, is in chronic pain, and can't work Fortunately, Hy traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On July 30th, he will undergo a brachial plexus repair surgery so that he will be able to use his arm again. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC), is requesting $696 to fund this procedure. He hopes that he can use his arm as soon as possible and can return to work to support his family.
Baby Nejat is a sweet six-month-old boy from Ethiopia. He has one brother, a father who works as a laborer, and a mother who is a homemaker raising their two children. Baby Nejat loves playing and spending time with his parents and brother. Baby Nejat was born with an abnormality that leads to a complete or partial intestinal blockage, and needs to undergo a series of procedures to correct his condition. Baby Nejat's surgery is scheduled to take place on June 24th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMH), is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of Baby Nejat's procedure and care. After his recovery, Baby Nejat will no longer experience bowel dysfunction or be at risk of developing serious health complications in the future. His mom is optimistic, “After the operation, I believe my son will grow healthy. And I hope I will educate him and help him reach higher in life."