Norm joined Watsi on January 24th, 2016. Six years ago, Norm joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Norm's most recent donation traveled 8,600 miles to support Aung, a playful 6-year-old from Thailand, to fund surgery to restore his vision.
Norm has funded healthcare for 90 patients in 11 countries.
Norm has funded healthcare for 90 patients in 11 countries.
Aung is a six-year-old student from Thailand. He lives with his parents and brother. His mother works at a factory, his father is a homemaker, and his brother goes to school. In his free time, Aung likes to play with his toys and watch cartoon movies on the television. Aung has cataract in his right eye. As a result, he can only see light with that eye, and his eye is very sensitive and irritated. Fortunately, on November 15th, Aung will undergo lens replacement surgery, during which surgeons will remove Aung's natural lenses and replace them with an intraocular lens implant in each eye. After recovery, he will be able to see clearly. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), is requesting $1,500 to this surgery for Aung. Aung's mother shared: “We do not have money to treat him ourselves. My son is so lucky to be treated through the help of donors."
Sebastiana, who is eight years old, lives with her mother and four siblings in Tanzania. Because she is separated from her husband, Sebastiana's mother works many different jobs in order to support her children. One day, when their mother was away, Sebastiana and her siblings were busy helping out with household chores. Sebastiana got into an accident, and hot water spilled all over her arm. She received treatment for her burns - which healed - but they have left her with scars that limit the use of her arm. Sebastiana and her mother traveled a long way to meet with doctors from our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation. As a result of their visit, Sebastiana is now scheduled to undergo contracture release surgery, and the amputation of her left thumb, at Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre on October 13th. After her surgery, Sebastiana should regain full use of her hand and arm, which will be a big relief to her mother. Now we need your help to fund the $1,088 required for the surgery. Sebastiana’s mother says: “When we were leaving home, she was so happy knowing that she is going to get treatment.”
Yves is a young man from Haiti. He lives with his parents and sister in a neighborhood of Port-au-Prince; they have been caring for him since he fell ill about five years ago. Prior to his illness, he worked as a clerk for a local business. Yves has a cardiac condition called severe rheumatic mitral insufficiency. One of the four valves of his heart was severely damaged by a rheumatic fever that he suffered a number of years ago, and cannot adequately pump blood through his heart and body. The care Yves is not available anywhere in Haiti, so Yves will fly to Dominican Republic to receive treatment. On September 12th, he will undergo cardiac surgery, during which surgeons will remove his damaged valve and implant an artificial replacement. Haiti Cardiac Alliance is contributing $9000 to pay for surgery. Yves's family also needs help to fund the costs of surgery prep and travel. The $1,500 bill covers labs, medicines, and checkup and followup appointments. It will also pay for the social workers from our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, who will accompany Yves's family overseas, and the cost of obtaining Yves' passport. Says Yves: "I am hopeful that I can get back to a healthy and independent life once my heart problem is fixed!"
Hai is a 34-year-old who is married with one daughter in the 8th grade. Hai's wife works in a garment factory. In his free time, Hai enjoys watching TV and spending time with his family. Five months ago Hai noticed a mass on his right ankle. It has grown and caused pain since then. He traveled two and a half hours to reach our medical partner Children's Surgical Centre (CSC). A biopsy of the mass showed pleomorphic sarcoma, a rare type of cancer. Surgeons plan perform a below knee amputation to prevent the cancer from spreading and Hai's family needs help raising $446 to fund the urgent treatment.
Thein is a 42-year-old woman from Burma. She lives with her husband, son, daughter, mother-in-law and step-granddaughter in Palu Village, Myawaddy Township, Karen State, Burma. Thein’s husband is still recovering from an illness and is also looking after her as her caregiver. Her mother-in-law has impaired vision and is looked after by her children. Her two children stopped going to school in 2020, when schools closed due to COVID-19. After the coup in February 2021, their school never reopened. Thein works as a day laborer and as a farmer, but she has not been able to plant anything this year. In December 2021, she and her family had to flee their village for a month due to armed clashes in their village. After they were able to return, Thein was too scared to go to her farmland since she had been told that the area around the village is full of landmines. It has been a very difficult time for their family as Thein’s house was also destroyed during the armed clashes in their village. They are currently living with Thein’s mother-in-law, whose house partially survived the recent violence and destruction. Thein's family currently lives off of donations that Palu villagers receive as internally displaced peoples (IDPs), and the rice they harvested last year before they had to flee. Since July 2021, Thein has been experiencing backpain when she sits or lays down. She feels better when she is standing or walking. After she eats, she feels bloated and uncomfortable. She has been diagnosed with large abdominal endometriosis. She has been advised to undergo a total abdominal hysterectomy, the surgical removal of her uterus and cervix. If left untreated, Thein's symptoms will continue to worsen and put her at risk for further health complications in the future. Fortunately, Thein is scheduled to undergo her hysterectomy on July 20th. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of her procedure and care. Once recovered she will no longer be in pain and will be able to sit and lie down comfortably. Despite the hard moment they are in, Thein tries to stay hopeful about rebuilding her life: “When I recover fully, I want to go back to work so that I can earn money. I want to rebuild my house and live there with my family.”
Somnang is a 17-year-old fisherman. He has one brother and two sisters, and his father is also a fisherman. In his free time, Somnang enjoys swimming, playing football, and meeting with his friends to go for a walk. A year ago, Somnang was in an accident while steering his fishing boat at sea, injuring his left knee. Prior to the accident, Somnang had noticed a growth on this knee, but since the accident, the mass has increased in size, and it causes him pain. Somnang's neighbor suggested that he travel to our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, to see if they could help. Now doctors have diagnosed a benign tumor on his leg, which needs to be removed. On June 8th, surgeons at Kien Khleang National Rehabilitation Centre will perform a tumor excision, which will enable Somnang to live without pain and discomfort in his leg. Now, Children's Surgical Centre is seeking $673 to fund his medical care and procedure. Somnang says: "I am really hoping after this surgery my knee is healed and I can fish again."
Daw Nwe is a 61-year-old woman from Thailand. Originally from Mon State, Burma, she moved in with her sister’s family in Thailand in January 2022, when her vision worsened and she did not have anyone to take care of her at home. In her free time, she enjoys watching videos about Buddhism, reading books about Buddhism and praying. She has cataracts and she can can only perceive darkness and light with her left eye. The vision in her right eye is slightly better as she can still see a bit, but her vision is blurry and she needs help from her family for daily personal activities. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund lens replacement surgery for Daw Nwe. On April 25th, doctors will perform a lens replacement, during which they will remove Daw Nwe's natural lenses and replace them with an intraocular lens implant in each eye. After recovery, she will be able to see clearly. Daw Nwe said, “I am very happy when I think about how my vision will be restored. I am thankful to all the donors and the organisation [BCMF] for helping me receive eye surgery.”
Naw En is a 31-year-old woman who lives with her husband, two sons and parents in a village in Karen State near the border of Burma and Thailand. Her husband and parents are subsistence farmers. Naw En is a village health worker, and her two sons are primary school students in the village. Although she earns around 100,000 kyat (approx. 100 USD) per month to support her family, she does whatever she can to only charge the villagers she treats for medications provided. Those who cannot afford to pay for the cost of medications are provided medication free of charge. Her family also raises chickens and pigs for their family to eat. The income Naw En earns is just enough to cover their daily expenses, but they have to borrow money to pay for anything else, like basic health care. Naw En learned she was pregnant last August 2021. She went to register her pregnancy at nearby Hlaingbwe Hospital, but the doctor told her to go to Hpa-An General Hospital when she told them that she had high blood pressure and previously needed a c-section delivery. When she went to Hpa-An General Hospital, a nurse told her to go to Taw Win Thu Ka Hospital because they were understaffed due to the coup and humanitarian crisis in their area. Finally, she then registered her pregnancy at Taw Win Thu Ka Hospital last November and received an ultrasound, blood test and urine test. The doctor gave her monthly follow-up appointments to check her high blood pressure and to check that her baby is in the right position. In January, Naw En learned that she will have a girl. “I was very happy to hear this as I already have two sons,” she said. Her doctor has now told her that she will need another c-section to ensure a safe delivery and unable to come up with the money needed, Naw En called her friend who works in Mae Sot to ask for help. Her friend told her about our medical partner Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF) and that she may be able to find assistance in accessing her treatment. Currently, Naw En is taking medication for high blood pressure and feels tired when she walks. She can feel her baby kicking. When her blood pressure is high, she feels dizzy. She feels stressed each time she has to travel to the hospital, as it is located four hours from her home and cost 60,000 kyat (approx. 60 USD) just for the round-trip transportation. She is also worried about the cost of her c-section and that they would have to borrow money if they cannot find donors. In the future, she will continue to work as a village health worker. In her free times, she loves to spend time with her two sons and play with them. Naw En said, “I was happy when BCMF staff told me that donors will help pay for my c-section. Thank you so much to the donors for reliving me of my worries.” She also added, “I am very happy and excited to have a baby girl!”
Lionel is a charming five-month-old baby from Colombia. He was born near the northern coast and his parents are from Venezuela. After he was born, they moved to Medellin due to his father's job. Lionel was born with clubfoot of his right foot. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes difficulty walking and wearing shoes as he grows older. Fortunately, Lionel's family traveled to visit our Medical Partner Clínica Noel where they can offer life-changing treatment. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on March 22nd. Our medical partner is requesting $1,422 to fund Lionel's clubfoot repair. After treatment, he will be able to learn how to walk and live a fully active life ahead. His father said: "I hope my little champion can get his surgery, I pray for his wellbeing. I just want his feet to be normal and hope to see him walking like any other child."
Naw Eh is a 18-year-old woman from who lives with her family in a refugee camp in Thailand. Naw Eh moved to the refugee camp in 2019 from across the Burma border with hope to continue her education as her village only offered primary school. In 2020, Naw Eh met and married her husband in the refugee camp. Unable to work currently, every month, Naw Eh's household receives 770 baht (approx. 26 USD) to meet their daily needs. In her free time, Naw Eh likes to embroider traditional Karen clothes which she sells to earn more for their family. Naw Eh is currently expecting her second child, and doctors recommend that she deliver via a caesarean section (C-section) as Naw Eh was diagnosed with eclampsia. Eclampsia is a rare, but serious condition where high blood pressure results in seizures during pregnancy. The doctors at Mae Sariang Hospital believe a C-section will ensure the safety of both mother and child. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is helping Naw Eh undergo a C-section on February 10th. This procedure will cost $1,500, and Naw Eh is seeking support to fund this potentially life saving surgery for her and her baby. Naw Eh said: “I stopped weaving and embroidering clothes because my stomach is getting bigger making it hard to do. I am excited to have my second baby.”
Tabitha is a mother of four children and shared that her husband passed away few years ago. She works hard to find jobs, mostly doing laundry for people, to provide for her family. Over the years, she has managed to take care of her four children with the limited income she gets from her work. Last November, Tabitha noticed a worrisome bump and consulted with her daughters who advised her to visit a hospital. She gathered some funds and visited a hospital nearby, but was not able to receive any help. She went to another facility that referred her to our Medical Partner's care center Kijabe Hospital. There doctors have told Tabitha that she needs an urgent surgery. Tabitha has been diagnosed with breast cancer. Without treatment, the cancer may spread to other organs. A mastectomy, a surgery to remove breast tissue, has been advised to rid her body of breast cancer and to prevent the cancer from metastasizing. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,110 to cover the cost of a mastectomy for Tabitha. The procedure is scheduled to take place on January 14th. After treatment, Tabitha will hopefully return to a cancer-free life. Tabitha says, "I was very shocked when I learned about my condition and up to now, I do not know what to do as I cannot afford the surgery.”
Ngasungui is a five-month-old baby girl and the youngest child in a family of five children. Her parents have five cows and five goats, and they make a living selling milk to their neighbors. Ngasungui was born with clubfoot of both feet. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. A visiting doctor referred Ngasungai's parents to our medical partner's care center for treatment. Fortunately, Ngasunguii and her parents traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre. On December 17th, surgeons there will perform clubfoot repair surgery. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is requesting $935 to fund Ngasungui's procedure and care. After treatment, she will be able to walk easily and her self esteem will not be affected by her condition. Ngasungui’s mother shared, "I pray that my child gets this treatment and everything goes well. I want her to live and grow without disability."