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 Phaw, a loving daughter and hard worker from Thailand, to fund a total abdominal hysterectomy.
Norm has funded healthcare for 95 patients in 11 countries.
Norm has funded healthcare for 95 patients in 11 countries.
Phaw is a 38-year-old woman from Thailand. She lives with her friend on the Thai-Burma border while she receives treatment. Up until a month ago, she used to work in Bangkok and sent money to her father and stepmother every month to help support them. In her free time, Phaw enjoys playing mobile games, watching movies on her phone, and doing light exercise. Since 2021, Phaw has been experiencing slight pain between the right side of her back and her upper right thigh. She also feels tired and weak. Phaw cannot sleep on her right side because of the pain; if she does, she experiences shortness of breath. Phaw’s condition was diagnosed as a dermoid cyst. She needs to undergo a total abdominal hysterectomy because, if left untreated, Phaw's symptoms will continue to worsen and put her at risk for further health complications. Fortunately, Phaw is scheduled to undergo a hysterectomy on April 11th. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of her procedure and care. Once recovered, Phaw will no longer be in pain and can work and support her family in Burma again. Phaw said: “Since I have this condition, my father has told me not to worry about supporting them financially. Instead, he told me to take care of my health [first] and seek treatment. I felt so relieved when he told me this.”
Peterson is a 24-year-old man from Haiti. He lives with his parents and younger sister in a city on the southern coast of the island. When he feels well enough, he helps his family with their market stand. Peterson has a cardiac condition called atrial septal defect. A hole exists between the two upper chambers of his heart; blood leaks through this hole without passing through his lungs to obtain oxygen, leaving him weak and short of breath. Peterson urgently needs surgery, but this is not available within Haiti. So Peterson will fly to United States to receive treatment. On March 2nd, he will undergo cardiac surgery, during which surgeons will sew a patch over the hole so that blood can no longer leak through it. Another organization, Baylor Scott and White Heart Hospital, is contributing $15000 to pay for surgery. Peterson'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 also supports passport obtainment and the social workers from our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, who will accompany Peterson overseas. "I would like to say thank you to everyone who is helping to fix my heart," said Peterson.
Gladys is a Kenyan mother of seven. She and her husband are small-scale farmers and sell potatoes to provide for their children. Currently, their income is not enough to cover their medical bills. A few weeks ago, Gladys was involved in a road accident involving a motorcycle that resulted in a degloving wound on her left leg. Degloving injuries are injuries where the upper skin and tissue layers are torn from the lower muscle or bone. Last week, she successfully underwent a wound debridement procedure, and the wound is now clean. The surgeon has recommended a skin grafting procedure to be done while the wound is still in good condition. She is appealing for financial assistance to undergo the procedure, which is scheduled for February 9th. Gladys has accumulated a huge hospital bill that she and her family have been unable to pay. As a result, she needs help raising $1,089 to fund her skin grafting procedure, which will allow her to heal quickly and attend to her children Gladys says, ”My long stay in the hospital has really worried me. I don’t know how my children are doing and that has traumatized me. Kindly help me get treatment so that I may be able to go home.”
Meet Zephania, a jovial, 34 year old farmer, living in the highlands of Kenya with his wife and three children. Zephania has a small piece of land, on which he plants maize and potatoes, mainly for his family's consumption. He dropped out of high school early because his family could not afford to cover the necessary fees. He has been a casual laborer working on people's farms, clearing bushes and carrying loads, in order to earn a living. His wife is not working currently, as she is expecting a child. Zephania was involved in an accident while riding his motorbike. When he arrived at the hospital, he was unable to stand or to walk, and he complained of a lot of pain in his left leg. Upon examination, it was revealed that his leg had been shortened, and there was also some swelling of the limb. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, can help. On January 10th, Zephania will undergo a fracture repair procedure at AIC Kapsowar Hospital. As a result of this surgery, called an open reduction and internal fixation, Zephania will no longer be in pain; his leg will heal, and he will be able to return to work and to provide for his family. Now, African Mission Healthcare Foundation is requesting $1,145 to fund this procedure. Zephania says: "My family depends on me for their daily needs, so it is really difficult for them. I don’t want to see them struggle when I am living.”
James is a 63yr old man from Elgeyo Marakwet County in Kenya. He is married and has eight children - some of still in high school while others are married. Formerly, James worked in the forestry department for twenty years and he managed to educate his children as he used to earn a salary. Currently he is a farmer who plants maize, millet and sorghum in his small piece of land for consumption and sale. He has been able to get his basic needs and that of his family through the sale of farm produce. He has no medical coverage or insurance at the moment. Recently, James fell down and rolled down a hill when he was attempting to move his cow. He is in a lot of pain, unable to use both legs. The timing of his injury is unfortunate, because he needs to tend to his farm. He has nothing that can enable him get funds at the moment. Two of his sons managed to get ksh 10,000 which is not even a quarter of the required amount for his procedure. James has suffered fractures around both his knee joints, and they require special attention so that they may not damage the articular cartilage. He needs an urgent procedure on one of his limbs, which will also enable him undergo the surgery he needs on his other leg more quickly as well. The finance issue is barring him from getting his surgery. He is now appealing to all well-wishers for help in order to get his surgery done. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On December 7th, James will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. He will no longer be in pain, and will be able to walk, work and provide for his family. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,145 to fund this procedure. James says, “I am in so much pain. I cannot imagine that I am not able to walk and do things on my own. I don’t regret anything, I just thank God who protected my life. Kindly help me so that I may not become a burden to my children.”
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.”