Philbert's Story

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.

Impact

Philbert has funded healthcare for 34 patients in 9 countries.

All patients funded by Philbert

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.”

39%funded
$592raised
$908to go

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.”

65%funded
$980raised
$520to go

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.”

$1,015raised
Fully funded

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.”

$1,500raised
Fully funded