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 8,800 miles to support Somnang, a young fisherman from Cambodia, to fund leg surgery.
Norm has funded healthcare for 85 patients in 11 countries.
Norm has funded healthcare for 85 patients in 11 countries.
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."
Yvonne is a 15-year-old student and the youngest in a family of two children. She's in grade eight in primary school. Her favorite subjects in school are social studies and mathematics. She enjoys reading and would like to be a lawyer in the future. Her mother is a single mom and works as a farmer. Yvonne has clubfoot of her left foot, a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Yvonne receive treatment. She traveled to visit AMH's care center, where, on November 22nd, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery. After treatment, she will be able to walk without pain, wear shoes, and her self-esteem will improve. Now, AMH is requesting $1,286 to fund Yvonne's procedure and care. Yvonne shared, "please help me undergo the surgery. I hope after this, I will be able to walk normally like others with no pain. I will be very grateful."
Ezra is a very talkative and active boy. He would like to be a truck driver when he grows up. He's in grade five and the last born in a family of five children. A few years ago, his father fell into a deep hole he was digging and broke both of his legs. He has been recovering well but he is still unable to work. His mother, who is the sole breadwinner of the family does farming, ploughs farms, and does laundry for their neighbors to provide for the family. The family can not raise the required funds to cater for Ezra’s surgery. Ezra was born with hypospadias, a congenital abnormality that causes urinary dysfunction. Without treatment, he will continue to experience uncomfortable symptoms and will be at risk of infertility. Fortunately, Ezra is scheduled to undergo corrective surgery on October 19th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $847 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. Ezra’s mother says, “I was really worried that my son will not get treated but now at least I’m very hopeful that he will.”
Victor is a three-year-old boy and the youngest in a family of four children. Victor’s father is the sole provider for the family through his job at a tobacco factory. Victor was diagnosed with bilateral Genu Valgus, which means that his legs have bowed inwards forming knocked knees. This condition is typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, which often stems from contaminated drinking water. As a result, walking is difficult and painful for him. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Victor to receive treatment. On September 14th, Victor will undergo corrective surgery at AMH's care center and now, AMH is requesting $880 to fund Victor's procedure and care. Treatment will hopefully restore Victor's mobility, allowing him to participate in a variety of activities and greatly decreasing his risk of future complications. Victor’s mother shared, "we have been informed that surgery will correct his legs but the cost is too high for us to afford."
Shallet is a humble and jovial three-year-old girl. She's the third child born in a family of four children and her parents are teachers. Shallet has hydrocephalus, spina bifida, and clubfoot of both feet. She has visited local hospitals since birth for treatments, and began casting for clubfoot when she was four weeks old. Her condition causes her difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Fortunately, Shallet traveled to visit our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), for treatment. At AMH's care center, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on August 18th and now, AMH is requesting $1,286 to fund Shallet's clubfoot repair. Her parents shared that they hope that the treatment will be of great impact to Shallet because she will be able to wear shoes and walk with ease. Shallet's father shared, “we have high hopes for Shallet and it is our joy to see her excel in life and become an independent person like other girls in the society.”
Bright is a very charming, friendly, and playful 2-year-old boy. He's his mother's only child. Bright's mother works at a shop as salesperson while his father owns a small liquor shop. The two parents live separately and his mother is single, though his father does try to provide for his son when he is able. Bright was diagnosed with genu varus, a condition typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, which often stems from contaminated drinking water. As a result, Bright's legs bow outward so that his knees do not touch. He has having difficulty walking and experiences pain when he walks for a short distance. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Bright. The procedure is scheduled to take place on July 15th. Treatment will hopefully restore Bright's mobility, allow him to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease his risk of future complications. Bright’s mother shares, "My son falls down when walking and needs to be supported most of the time, his age mates are running about but not my son, please help."