Philbert joined Watsi on May 28th, 2020. One year ago, Philbert joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Philbert's most recent donation supported U Pyin, a 36-year-old monk from Burma, to fund heart surgery.
Philbert has funded healthcare for 34 patients in 9 countries.
Philbert has funded healthcare for 34 patients in 9 countries.
U Pyin is a 36-year-old monk who lives with three other monks, seven novice monks, and his two younger brothers, in a village in central Burma. His two younger brothers are not monks, but work at the monastery as helpers, assisting with cooking and cleaning. U Pyin has no income, but receives food and accommodation at the monastery. If he is ill, there are three local families that help to cover the costs of his basic health care expenses. In early May, U Pyin began experiencing difficulty breathing, chest pains, and headaches. One of his brothers brought him to a hospital, where tests revealed that one of the valves in his heart needs to be replaced. This is a particularly dangerous condition, as it can lead to a stroke, and U Pyin has already suffered a stroke, earlier in his life. U Pyin was given medication, an appointment to return in two months, and sent home. When U Pyin did not feel any better after taking the medication that he had been given, he and his brother decided that he should see a cardiologist in Yangon. The cardiologist confirmed U Pyin's diagnosis, and stressed the need for U Pyin to have surgery to replace the ailing mitral valve. As U Pyin was unable to pay for the surgery, the doctor referred him to an abbot for assistance. Fortunately, the abbot referred U Pyin to our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, and now U Pyin is scheduled to have mitral valve replacement surgery on June 24th, at Pun Hlaing Hospital. Burma Children Medical Fund is seeking $1,500 to cover the costs of U Pyin's procedure and care, which will enable him to breathe well and to sleep comfortably again, things that he is unable to do right now. U Pyin will also be able to return to teaching the novice monks at the monastery, which he has been unable to do because he feels so unwell. U Pyin said: “After I recover, I want to teach novice monks again and I want to open a Buddhist school near Yangon.”
Gay is a one-year-old boy living with his family in a refugee camp. His family is originally from Burma, but they left for Thailand due to conflict in the area. Gay lives with his parents, grandparents, aunt, uncle, and brother. Gay and his brother are too young to go to school, so they stay home with their mother. Gay's aunt and uncle are in school, while his father and grandfather work on a farm near the refugee camp. Gay was born with an inguinal hernia. The condition causes him severe pain, and he often cries, so his mother sits quietly with him to help reduce the pain he is experiencing. Gay needs to undergo surgery to finally heal. Fortunately, our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), can help Gay receive treatment. On May 27th, he will undergo hernia repair surgery to help him live more comfortably in the future. BCMF is requesting $1,500 to fund his procedure and care. Gay's mother shared, “I have to be with him constantly. He cries and does not let anyone else hold him except me. I also have to look after my mother and sister, and sometimes we do not have time to cook. I cannot take care of everyone. I felt so happy when I heard that an organization will pay for my son's surgery. I would like to say thank you to all the donors who will help my son. I believe my son will get better soon and that he will grow up without feeling ashamed of himself due to his condition. I want him to become an educated person in the future.”
Erna is a 41-year-old woman and small business owner from the Philippines. She makes a small income from her grilled skewers and juice selling business, along with her husband's work as a company driver. Having had a family history of myoma, a type of tumor that can occur in the uterus, Erna frequently checked herself as a precaution. Unfortunately, in January 2022, she found a mass which was causing minor pain. Erna sought medical consultation and found out that she has myoma. This condition needs to be treated surgically. Erna cannot afford to cover her treatment on her own. Fortunately, a rural health worker helped her reach out to our medical partner, the World Surgical Foundation Philippines. On April 29th, Erna will undergo a hysterectomy to manage her condition and prevent further risk. Our medical partner, World Surgical Foundation Philippines, is requesting $1,485 to cover the total cost of her procedure and care. Once she recovers, she will no longer have a hypogastric mass or be at risk of developing severe health complications in the future. “We were anxious when we found out about my condition. It’s also especially hard for us to think where to find the money to finance my surgery," Erna shared. "The support coming from World Surgical Foundation Philippines and Watsi will be a big help for me and my family. Thank you so much for helping people like me," she added.
Thein is a 56-year-old man who lives with his family in a refugee camp. Two of his daughters and his son-in-law work as seasonal workers outside of the camp, while Thein and his wife look after their three grandchildren, send them to school, and care for the household chores. In January, Thein was diagnosed with a cataract in his right eye and an early cataract in his left eye. Currently, he cannot see with his right eye, as his vision is blurry, and the vision in his left eye is also beginning to blur. As a result, Thein cannot walk easily and relies on a bamboo staff to help stabilize him as he tries to avoid tripping on any objects in his path. He shared that he feels discomforted and like he is living in darkness. Fortunately, Thein was able to visit our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), and they can help him heal. On March 8th, doctors will perform a lens replacement. After recovery, he will be able to see clearly. BCMF is requesting $1,500 to fund this procedure. Thein shared, “When I recover from surgery, I will help my family plant and water vegetables around the house. It can save us money from buying the vegetables. I can help send my grandchildren to school and pick them up in the evening. I will also be able to visit my friend.”
Daw Than is 54-year-old woman who lives with her husband, son, daughter-in-law, grandson, daughter and her son-in-law. Her daughter-in-law looks after her son, while the rest of her family makes and sells different types of breakfast food from their home to earn a living. Their income is just enough for their daily expenses, but they haven't been able to save any money. Five years ago, the vision in Daw Than's left eye began to blur. In 2021 she underwent surgery to replace the lens in that eye but soon after the surgery, she developed blurred vision in her right eye. She went to the hospital last week to have her right eye checked. The doctor told her she needs to undergo lens replacement surgery on that eye. She told the doctor that their family had used all the money that had for her first surgery so she went home feeling uncertain about the future. Later on, Daw Than's neighbour told her to go to a monastery where the abbot might be able to help her access surgery. Daw Than followed the neighbour's advice and went to see the abbot. The abbot then referred her to our medical partner Burma Children Medical Fund for assistance accessing the surgery she needs. Daw Than's daughter said, "We do not have any money to pay for my mother's surgery. It is very helpful for us that the organisation and donors are hopefully willing to help pay for it."
Rose is a farmer and a single mother of two. She does small-scale farming, which mostly gives her and her family food to eat, leaving a little for them to sell. They live in a village where most work on farms and depend on seasonal farm products like mangoes to earn a living. Her family lives in a grass-thatched house. Rose came to the hospital after having fallen while walking. She sustained an injury to her left upper arm with an open wound, pain, bleeding, and inability to use the arm. After the doctor's assessment with help of an X-Ray, Rose was diagnosed with an open left distal humerus fracture and surgery was recommended. She is in pain and cannot use her left hand to perform any activities. Rose is currently totally dependent on her elderly mother. Their family is unable to pay for her surgery due to their socio-economic status as they depend on seasonal farm products to raise a basic level of income. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On January 11th, Rose will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. This procedure will relieve her of the pain and restore the functionality of the hand. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $941 to fund this procedure. Rose says, “I am in pain, I have nothing to pay for the surgery. My hope is to receive treatment and be able to use my hand again.”
Velonica is a 43-year-old woman and a mother of three living children. She shared that she lost a set of twins just a few days after birth some 15 years ago but still holds fond memories of her lovely tiny twins. Her children are aged between 25 and 8 years old and they are all in school. The oldest daughter is at a teachers' training college and the youngest in 4th grade in primary school. Velonica lives with her children and husband in Dowa about 40 kilometers away from the city of Lilongwe in Malawi. She and her husband are subsistent farmers, although they usually don’t have enough food for the year and they seek support from her husband’s relatives that live in the same village. In 2013, Velonica developed a swelling on her neck. She visited different hospitals and finally was referred to Kamuzu Central Hospital (KCH) where a diagnosis of goiter was made. A partial thyroidectomy was done at the facility in 2014. However, in 2019 her neck swelling resurfaced again. She started feeling pain, having sleepless nights, difficulties in swallowing, feeling neck tightness, and headaches. She reported again to Kamuzu Central Hospital and a rescan was recommended but unfortunately, it was not done at the time. While seeking alternatives, Velonica came to Partners in Hope Medical Center. She was seen by a surgeon who, after laboratory tests and a scan, concluded that her goiter has recurred. He recommended surgery to remove the enlarged thyroid gland in a procedure called a total thyroidectomy. Velonica is currently unable to help her husband on the farm and has challenges in performing daily duties. She is unable to lift water on her head or to carry other heavy loads. Velonica feels the condition is interfering with her life and is looking forward to living her normal life again soon. Velonica said, “I live at my husband’s village among my in-laws and it has been about 2 years now of failing to do the things that every woman does, this is threatening my marriage and makes me feel bad. I hope this operation will bring an end to all this and I will be able to do my household chores again.”
Anderson is an 8-year-old student from Haiti. He lives with his parents and younger brother in a neighborhood of Port-au-Prince. He likes math and science in school, and would like to grow up to be an engineer. Anderson has a cardiac condition called atrial septal defect. A hole exists between the two upper chambers of his heart. Anderson will fly to Dominican Republic to receive treatment. On November 26th, he will undergo cardiac surgery, during which surgeons will sew a patch over the hole in his heart so that blood can no longer leak through it. Our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, is contributing $8,000 to help pay for surgery. Anderson'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 Haiti Cardiac Alliance who will accompany Anderson's family overseas. Anderson shared: "I am excited to have this surgery so that I won't have to worry about my heart any longer!"
Ohin Zain is a six-year-old boy who lives with his parents and his brother in a refugee camp. Ohin Zain and his brother usually study in the refugee camp but all schools have been closed since July 1st due to the outbreak of Covid-19 in the refugee camp. Ohin Zain's mother is a homemaker and his father works as a construction day labourer in the camp. Every month, Ohin Zain’s household receives 1,300 baht (approx. 43.33 USD) on a cash card from an organisation The Border Consortium. Their total monthly income is not enough for their daily expenses and sometimes, they have to borrow money with interest from their neighbour. In his free time, Ohin Zain shared that he enjoys playing with friends and drawing pictures. On the afternoon of October 24th, Ohin Zain and his friends went swimming in a stream outside of the refugee camp. While playing in the water, Ohin Zain slipped on a stone and hit his right arm against the stone. He went home and immediately his mother brought him to the clinic in the refugee camp, run by International Rescue Committee (IRC). At the clinic, a doctor examined his right arm and referred him to a nearby hospital. When they arrived at the hospital, Ohin Zain received an X-ray. The doctor explained that his lower arm is broken and that he will need to receive surgery. Currently, Ohin Zain’s right lower arm is very painful and swollen. He cannot grab nor lift anything. He cannot play nor sleep well because of the pain. With the help of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, Ohin Zain will undergo surgery to reset his fractured bones and ensure proper healing. The procedure is scheduled for October 27th and will cost $1,500. This procedure will help Ohin Zain be free from pain and will enable him to extend his arm and move it around. Ohin Zain said, “When I recover, I will try to study hard because I want to become a teacher. I would like to teach children.”
Emie is a three-year-old girl from Haiti. She lives with her parents in a small city on Haiti's northeastern border with the Dominican Republic. She enjoys listening to music and going to church with her family. Emie was born with a condition called patent ductus arteriosus (PDA), in which blood leaks between the major artery and vein connected to the heart. This has led to heart failure, leaving Emie feeling sick and short of breath. Fortunately, our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, is helping Emie to receive treatment. On September 9th, doctors will use a catheter to plug the hole between the artery and the vein so that blood can flow normally. Now, Emie's family needs help to raise $1,500 towards her procedure and care. Emie's mother shared, "we are excited that once our daughter's heart is healed, we can start sending her to preschool with the other children."
Felix is a grade four student who lives with his grandmother. His elderly grandmother, who is a small scale farmer, takes care of him and his younger sibling, because their mother was not able to. On July 24th, when Felix was playing, he fell and caused a fracture on his right hand, so that he is now unable to move it. Felix was brought to our medical partner's care center by his grandmother. Fortunately, the surgeons there can help. On August 2nd, Felix will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,049 to fund this procedure. Felix's grandmother said, "I love my grandchildren even if their mother left them. I want to see them happy and growing like other children. I kindly ask for help and hope his surgery will go well.”
Ma Htun is a 60-year-old woman from Thailand who lives with her son. She and her family moved to Thailand from Burma about 17 years ago in search of better job opportunities. Since early 2020, Ma Htun has been retired. She is now a homemaker and takes care of the household chores. In her free time, she forages for vegetables in the forest. She has a daughter who is married and a son who works as a day laborer. On July 27, Ma Htun was walking home in the rain after visiting a shop to buy food. She slipped and fell and experienced a sharp pain in her right leg. Her son and her neighbor took her to the hospital where an x-ray confirmed that Ma Htun had fractured a bone in her thigh. Currently, she is unable to move her right leg or walk due to pain, and she has difficulty sleeping. With the help of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), Ma Htun will undergo surgery to reset her fractured bones and ensure proper healing. The procedure is scheduled for July 30th and will cost $1,500. This procedure will help Ma Htun to be free from pain and to walk again. Ma Htun's son shared, “I want my mother to receive surgery and get well soon. I feel bad that I cannot afford to pay for her surgery.”