Jonas HuckesteinUNIVERSAL FUND MEMBER
Jonas' Story

Jonas joined Watsi on November 7th, 2014. Nine years ago, Jonas joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Jonas' most recent donation traveled 6,200 miles to support Sarin, a 53-year-old caretaker from Cambodia, to fund surgery to remove a growth in her ear.

Impact

Jonas has funded healthcare for 68 patients in 10 countries.

Patients funded by Jonas

Sarin is a 53-year-old single woman who lives in Phnom Penh province and is the primary caregiver for her elderly parents. She has five living siblings (sadly, two of her siblings died young) who help to support her and her parents. Most of her day is taken up with caring for her parents, cooking, and cleaning. In the evenings, Sarin likes to practice dhamma - a form of Buddhist meditation - as well as listen to the village monks pray on the local radio station. For many years, Sarin had an ear infection. This infection caused a cholesteatoma, or an abnormal skin growth, to develop in the middle ear behind the ear drum. If untreated, a cholesteatoma can cause erosion of the three small bones located in the middle ear, resulting in nerve deterioration, imbalance, vertigo, and deafness. It can also affect and erode, through the enzymes it produces, the thin bone structure that isolates the top of the ear from the brain, risking further infection with serious complications. Sarin's cholesteatoma has caused her many problems. She suffers ear discharge, headaches, and a gradual loss of hearing. It is difficult for her to communicate with her family and other villagers, and she is embarrassed that she cannot hear well. She visited several hospitals seeking care but could not afford to pay for surgery. One of the hospitals suggested she visit our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC). Sarin traveled to CSC and, after examination, learned that she will be able to receive treatment. On October 17, the ENT surgeons at CSC will remove the cholesteatoma by performing a mastoidectomy procedure in her left ear. CSC is requesting $926 to fund this procedure. This covers medications, supplies, and inpatient care. Sarin said: "I hopeful that this operation will improve my hearing and prevent a brain infection."

$926raised
Fully funded

Irene is a 43-year-old mother dedicated and resilient mother from Philippines who diligently cares for her family, despite facing the challenges of stomach pain and financial constraints. Her dedication is evident as she strives to provide for her five children by taking on various chores. Her husband works as a room attendant and is the sole provider of the family. The burden of her health issues not only affects her but also weighs heavily on the concerns of her entire family. Five years ago, Irene began to experience troubling symptoms, including severe stomach and back pain. When she was examined, the attending physician recommended an open cholecystectomy, the surgical removal of the gallbladder. If left untreated, her symptoms will continue to worsen and put her at risk for further health complications in the future. After seeking treatment through our medical partner World Surgical Foundation Philippines (WSFP), Irene is scheduled to undergo a cholecystectomy on December 8th. A portion of the cost of the procedure is being supported by the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation, and WSFP and Irene need your help raising the remaining $1,128 to cover the cost of Irene's surgery and care. Irene shared, "I am hoping to be one of the beneficiaries for this surgery. This would be an immense blessing not just for me but also for my family who also suffers greatly from my illness. I would never be able to afford an expensive surgery and so I am very grateful to everyone who will make this possible for me."

$1,128raised
Fully funded

Ko Tin is a 34-year-old man from Burma. He lives with his parents and his younger brother in a village in Yangon Division, Burma. He used to be a driver before his condition got worse but now he has stopped. Currently, Ko Tin is living with his parents who are farmers and support him. The whole family’s income is just enough for their basic expenses and basic health care. Ko Tin has a wife who went to Thailand for work about four months ago but he has lost contact with her. When he has the energy and free time, Ko Tin likes playing football with friends. Ko Tin was diagnosed with a heart condition that requires replacement of the mitral valve, the valve between the left atrium and left ventricle. This valve controls the flow of blood, but certain conditions may cause blood to flow backward or the valve to narrow. In mid October, Ko Tin experienced fever, cough, body pain, difficult breathing, and severe fatigue when he walks a short distance. After he visited the cardiologist in Yangon Hospital, he was diagnosed with mitral valve regurgitation and doctor recommend that he should receive surgery. Currently, Ko Tin feels tired, coughs often, and is experiencing difficult breathing. Sometimes, he feels pain from his legs and his arms, and he cannot sleep well at night. He will feel extremely fatigued with shortness of breath when he lays down on the floor. He also cannot walk long distances. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund a mitral valve replacement for Ko Tin. The treatment is scheduled to take place at Pun Hlaing Hospital on December 3rd and, once completed, will hopefully allow him to live more comfortably. Ko Tin said, “I would like to recover as soon as possible. My parents are worried about me, and they have difficulty earning enough money to pay for my treatment. I hope my wife to return, and I would like to live as a happy family.”

$1,500raised
Fully funded

Ya is a 41-year-old woman from Burma. She currently lives with her father who is retired, her brother who is a student, and her son who works on the family rice farm with her. Their farming sustains their family, as they have no other source of income. They also forage for plants and vegetables from the forest. In her free time, Ya enjoys weaving traditional Karen (her ethnic community) bags. As a result of COVID-19 and the February 2021 coup, it is no longer feasible for Ya’s family to have traditional jobs. Her family faces extreme instability due to ongoing fighting in their area. Often, they must escape to nearby forests to avoid the conflict. They spend around a week at a time displaced in the forests. After the fighting has moved, they return to their village. Recently they had to sell their two cows to support themselves. In September 2020, Ya began experiencing back pain, and it was uncomfortable for her to walk and do regular activities because she cannot put pressure on her abdomen. She was diagnosed with myoma, or uterine fibroids. She has been advised to undergo a total abdominal hysterectomy, the surgical removal of her uterus and cervix. If left untreated, Ya's symptoms will continue to worsen and put her at risk for further health complications in the future. Fortunately, Ya is scheduled to undergo her hysterectomy on July 10th with the help of our medical partner Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), who is requesting $1,500 to cover the cost of her procedure and care. Once recovered, Ya will no longer be in pain and will be able to walk without discomfort and work on the farm with her son. Ya said, “I want to get the surgery and recover quickly so I can go back to my family and help with the farm.” She is not sure what the future will hold as the fighting in her village is still happening, but she said, “I just want to be happy and stay with my family for the rest of my life.”

$1,500raised
Fully funded