James joined Watsi on September 28th, 2015. Three years ago, James joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. James' most recent donation traveled 8,600 miles to support Mo, a refugee and student from Thailand, to fund brain surgery to remove a tumor.
James has funded healthcare for 42 patients in 8 countries.
Mo is a 22-year-old student from Thailand. He lives along with his father in a refugee camp on the Thai-Burma border. While living in the camp, Mo finished high school and is now completing post-high school education. Their household receives 480 baht (approx. $16 USD) each month as part of their food support from an organization called The Border Consortium. However, this amount is not enough to cover their daily needs. Therefore, Mo's father works as a seasonal agricultural day laborer in a nearby village. He is able to earn an extra 350 baht (approx. $12 USD) in a month but this amount is still not enough and they shared that they struggle to make ends meet despite having free basic health care and education in the camp. In early September, Mo started to feel dizzy frequently, especially whenever he stood up. At first, he thought he would feel better after he rested and slept. However, he was unable to sleep well for about a week and was suffering from insomnia. After a medic examined him he was referred to the local hospital for treatment. The doctor at the local hospital referred him to Chiang Mai Hospital (CMH) to see a neurologist. After he returned to the camp, Mo rapidly started to lose his vision in both of his eyes. An NGO called Malteser International Thailand (MI) was able to arrange Moses’ travel documents, he was brought to CMH on October 5th, 2020. The next day, he received a CT scan which showed that he has a mass in his brain and a build-up of cerebrospinal fluid in his brain due to the mass. Because of the severity of his condition, the doctor scheduled him to receive surgery right away on October 9th. The mass will be removed and sent for biopsy. He will also undergo a procedure to receive a ventriculoperitoneal (VP) shunt to drain the excess fluid from his brain. Currently, Mo has a headache, and he is not able to move his eyes from side to side. He needs his father to accompany him wherever he goes because he can no longer see far. He spends most of his time lying down in bed and needs to be pushed in a wheelchair to get around due to his new vision problems. Mo sought treatment through our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund. He is now scheduled to undergo a brain mass removal surgery on October 9th. He is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. “Life suddenly become darker without me knowing why," said Mo. "It is extremely difficult for me to even go to the toilet [by myself]. I cry while I lay in bed for many hours. I really miss seeing colors."
Oun is a 56-year-old Khmer cake seller from Cambodia. Oun has been married for 31 years and she has three daughters and one granddaughter. Oun's husband is a hard-working farmer. Three months ago Oun was in an accident caused by a dog running across the road as she was driving her moto. The accident caused a left side distal humerus fracture. First, she went to a Khmer traditional healer for treatment but after one week she saw no improvement. She still experiences swelling, pain with movement, and is unable to flex her left arm. Her family encouraged her to come to Watsi's Medical Partner Children's Surgical Centre (CSC). Fortunately, surgeons at CSC can help. On September 7th, Oun will undergo a fracture repair procedure, which will cost $465. This procedure will allow her to use her left arm again. Oun says, "I hope after surgery my arm will heal and I will not feel any pain."
Bashaija is a teacher from Uganda. For the past 3 years, he has been complaining of scrotal pain, especially when he is walking. He has been managing the condition with medications from different dispensaries and chemists. However, the swell has been persistent and painful. When he was reviewed during Nyakibale Hospital's surgical camp, he had an inguinal scrotal swell diagnosis and doctors recommend herniorrhaphy treatment. If not treated, he risks further complications such as strangulation. Bashaija is a father of 9 children. He is a teacher currently working in a private institution. Bashaija's wife is a peasant farmer, and from their farm produce and his salary, they are able to sustain their cost of living and their last born child's education. His other children are out with their families but do not have any formal income to rely on. Fortunately, on April 25th, he will undergo hernia repair surgery at our medical partner's care center. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $219 to fund Bashaija's surgery. Once completed, this procedure will hopefully allow him to live more comfortably and confidently. Bashaija says, “I hope that since your program is going to give me an upper hand, my condition will be treated and I will get peace of mind and be able to do my job of teaching.”
Khin is a 25-year-old man from Thailand. He lives with his wife and his friend in Mae Pa Village in the north of the country. Khin and his wife moved from Burma searching for better job opportunities. His wife works in a factory as a seamstress. Khin used to work as a day laborer but since his accident he has not been able to work. His friend works as an agricultural day laborer but he does not share his income with Khin and his wife. In his free time, Khin loved to play caneball with his friends and listen to music. Khin currently has a colostomy and shared that he does not like having one. He feels embarrassed and he avoids his friends. He worries what his friends will think so he always stays at home since he received the colostomy. Aside from his symptoms, he feels sad that he cannot work and that he has to depend on his wife’s income. Furthermore, because of the COVID-19, the factory his wife works at has reduced their hours of operation. Khin underwent a colostomy, in which the end of the colon was brought through an opening in the abdominal wall. This surgery is often performed to bypass bowel malformations, but colostomies are usually temporary and may call for reversal. In Khin's case, his colostomy requires reversal in order to restore bowel function and prevent future complications. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to cover the cost of a reverse colostomy for Khin. The surgery is scheduled to take place on August 10th and, once completed, will hopefully allow him to live more comfortably and confidently. Khin said, “I feel sad that I cannot work and have to depend on my wife’s income. When I was admitted at the hospital my wife had to accompany me which also reduced the salary she received.”
Kong is a 60-year-old tour guide from Cambodia. He and his wife have three children. Kong has to travel a lot for his work, but he can support his family. He enjoys taking care of his children, helping them with their schoolwork and taking them on trips. Last year, Kong had an ear infection. This infection caused the tympanic membrane, or the ear drum, in both ears to perforate. For this reason, Kong experiences hearing loss, ear pain, and pus discharge. He has trouble communicating in his work now, and his wife is very concerned that he will have permanent hearing loss. Kong traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On July 8th, he will undergo a myringoplasty procedure in both ears. During this procedure, surgeons will close the perforations. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is requesting $913 to fund this procedure. This covers medications, supplies, and inpatient care. Kong said, "I hope that my ear can heal well after this surgery and that I can have an easy time going back to work. I do not want my family to worry too much."
Jael is a young girl who arrived at the hospital seeming nervous and afraid. Her aunt also looked disturbed and was filled with emotion as she shared more about Jael with us. Jael's mother passed when she was one year and six months old and her sister was six months old. The father took the responsibility of looking after them but every time they would visit their aunt they looked distressed. In 2019, Jael's aunt was going to her business when she heard somebody calling from behind. On looking back it was Jael and her sister with bags. Their dad had sent them away and was frustrate that they have never been able to have a clear conversation. Jael is currently in school but her aunt shared that this has been a struggle for her due to her hearing condition. Jael's aunt noted her hearing challenges during a visit when she was 5 years old. Jael's performance at school has since deteriorated. Early this year her aunt took her to Eldoret referral hospital where upon examination she was referred to Watsi's Medical Partner Care Center AIC Kijabe Hospital to received treatment for hearing loss. Jael's aunt is a farmer and also sells her farm produced directly to others in the evenings. She is married and blessed with three children. They are in need of support to fund this care and help Jael hear. "We would be very happy if she can hear clear like other children,’ shared Jael's aunt.
Marvens lives in a rural area in northwestern Haiti with his aunt and uncle and their family. He has not yet started school due to his cardiac illness. He has a condition called Tetralogy of Fallot, which involves several related defects including a hole between the two lower chambers of the heart, and a muscular blockage of one of the valves. Marvens will fly to Jamaica to receive treatment. On March 4th, he will undergo cardiac surgery, during which doctors will close the hole in his heart with a patch, and remove the muscular blockage. Another organization, Chain of Hope UK, is contributing $6,000 to help pay for surgery. Marvens's 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 Marvens's family overseas. His uncle said, "We are hopeful that after this surgery Marvens will become stronger and gain weight so that he can be enrolled in school."
Alex is a four-year-old playful boy. He has struggled with his hearing since birth. However, the condition became known when he has 9 months old. His parents took him to different hospitals seeking care. He had several tests run over the period. In 2020, his parents were advised to seek care at Watsi's Medical Partner Care Center Kijabe Hospital where Alex had hearing aids recommended. He only perceives loud noises or barely speaks. Alex’s parents are peasants from Nyeri county. His father works as a miner in a stone quarry near their home while his mother is a housewife. Their daily income is about $4 which is too low to meet the cost required. Alex has one sibling and together, they live with their parents in a two-roomed rental house. His father appeals for financial assistance. Alex’s father says, “Our hope is to see Alex being able to talk and lead a normal life.”
Jonah is a jovial and high-spirited student from Kenya. He is the 7th born in a family of 8 children. He is in class 2 at Mwiteria vision academy under a sponsorship of a well-wisher. The family hails from Iteria village in Meru County. His single mother used to be a farmer, but she currently stays at home. She recently underwent an amputation on her leg after suffering from diabetes. Jonah has clubfoot of his left foot. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Fortunately, Jonah traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, AIC Cure International Hospital. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on March 16th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,224 to fund Jonah's clubfoot repair. After treatment, he will be able to walk easily. “We request your support, being the only breadwinner in the family and I am also impaired. I have two boys who need surgery. I am not able to raise the bill. Please help,” said Jonah’s mother.
Alvin is a baby boy from Tanzania. Alvin is very friendly and charming, he is the only child to his single mother. His mother has a small shop from where she is able to get money to support her son. The income is not much but gets them by somehow. Alvin was diagnosed with bilateral genu varus. His legs are bowed so that his knees cannot touch. This condition is typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, which often stems from contaminated drinking water. As a result, he has a difficult time walking. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $838 to fund corrective surgery for Alvin. The procedure is scheduled to take place on January 24th. Treatment will hopefully restore Alvin's mobility, allow him to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease his risk of future complications. Alvin’s mother says, “As days go by my son’s legs keep worsening and walking is becoming more difficult. Please help treat him.”
Ei is a 31-year-old woman from Burma. She lives with her mother and two younger sisters in Dawei Township, Tanintharyi Division. Her mother and her youngest sister, who dropped out of university to work, are vendors who sell vegetables in the street market. Ei’s other sister is in her final year of university. Ei used to help her mother sell vegetables but stopped five years ago because of her health condition. Ei was diagnosed with a heart condition that involves a malformation of the mitral valve, 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, Ei feels tired and she cannot walk long distances and has difficulty climbing stairs. In addition to feeling tired, she has difficulty breathing and experiences heart palpitations. Due to the lack blood flow, her lips, toes and fingers are blue especially when she cannot breathe well. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund a mitral valve replacement for Ei. The treatment is scheduled to take place on November 7th and, once completed, will hopefully allow her to live more comfortably. Ei said, “I want to have surgery soon so that I can work, and so that our family will have enough money. Now, my mother cannot work while she accompanies me to the hospital. Only my youngest sister works, and we are in debt now”.
Mercy is a baby from Kenya with a family from a humble background. Her mother earns wages from laundry business in the neighborhood while her father is a casual laborer in construction sites. In October 2018, Mercy, while playing with friends, fell in a pot of boiling maize. She sustained scalp and back burns and was admitted for four months in a nearby hospital. Several graftings were done failed and her mother retorted to dressing the young child from home. If not treated, she is at risk of infection. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Mercy receive treatment. On December 11th, surgeons will perform a debridement and skin graft procedure so she will not be at risk of infection and will heal well. Now, Mercy needs help to fund this $1,129 procedure. Mercy’s mother says, “My prayer is to see Mercy heal and lead a normal life that will be fulfilling.”