Brett joined Watsi on May 29th, 2014. Six years ago, Brett became the 207th member to automatically support a new Watsi patient every month. Since then, 5,784 more people have become monthly donors! Brett's most recent donation traveled 8,500 miles to support Monica, a greengrocer and mother of four from Kenya, to fund mobility-restoring ankle surgery to repair a fracture.
Brett has funded healthcare for 74 patients in 11 countries.
Monica is a greengrocer from Kenya. She is a mother of four aged between three and eight. She separated with his husband and now she lives with her four children in a single room rental house. Monica depends mostly on her daily work for food and saves a little to pay bills at the end of the month. Her low socioeconomic status and her family struggles have limited her options of getting treatment. On June 26th 2020, Monica went to the hospital because she fell on wet ground while she was heading home carrying a bundle of firewood on her back. On arrival at the hospital, an X-Ray was done which confirmed a fracture in her left ankle. She cannot walk on her own and is in a lot of pain. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On July 3rd, Monica will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. This procedure will help her heal well and be able to walk and work without pain. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $809 to fund this procedure. Monica shared, “I want to receive treatment, get healed and continue supporting my children. I am worried about my ability to help them now that I can’t perform any of my duties at home."
Muiruri is an elderly man from rural Kenya. He has 7 children and one who has passed away. He lives on his farm in Muranga with his family. His children do farming for subsistence, and none make earnings enough to help raise funds for their father's medical bill. Muiruri was able to raise funds for his previous surgery and also used his National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF). Unfortunately, he has exhausted his NHIF limit due to his previous treatment. In 2019 he was involved a motorcycle accident and had a femur fracture on his left leg. He underwent an ORIF surgery and he was healing well. Early this year, as he was walking home, he slid and fell. The same leg that had an earlier femur fracture was fractured again and now doctors need to carry out an ORIF surgery so he can walk again. Currently, he is not able to walk on his own and he is in a lot of pain. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On June 29th, Muiruri will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. This procedure will help him walk easily again Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,500 to fund this procedure. "I will be happy to be able to walk without struggle and also assist my wife with farm work," Muiruri told us.
Cha is a 20-year-old young man from Burma. He lives with his father, older sister, brother-in-law, and three nieces in Hpapun Township of Karen State. Cha is a student and his oldest niece goes to school while the other two are still too young to attend. His father and brother-in-law are subsistence farmers while his sister is a homemaker. In his spare time, Cha loves to play cane ball and football with his friends. He also likes to help his family with farming during school holidays. Cha goes to the nearest high school to his village, located four to five hours away by motorbike in the village of Day Bu Noh. During the school year he lives in a dormitory and he does not have to pay for school and dormitory fees. On May 6th, Cha was getting ready to move back home for the summer holidays. He borrowed his friend’s motorbike and started the trip back to his village. Not long after he left Day Bu Noh Village, his motorcycle slipped on the uneven dirt road and he fell from the motorcycle. The next thing Cha remembered was waking up at a clinic in Day Bu Noh Village with his friend beside him. When he asked his friend what had happened, his friend told him that some of the villagers had found him unconscious on the side of the road and brought him to the clinic. The medic at the clinic examined Cha and told him that his lower jaw was fractured but they could not treat him at the clinic. The medic gave him injections and oral medications to help control the pain. Cha’s friend, who works for the district’s office in the Day Bu Noh village, told his superiors about Cha’s situation and that Cha did not know how he could receive treatment at another clinic in Mae Sot, Thailand where another friend works. However, due to the COVID-19 outbreak, Thailand had shut its borders to neighboring countries. His friend’s superiors were able to arrange for Cha to be brought to Mae Tao Clinic (MTC), accompanied by Cha’s friend. Cha was discharged from the clinic in Day Bu Noh Village on May 15th and started to make their way to MTC. After they crossed over into Thailand on a boat, Chan and his friend arrived at MTC on May 16th. At the clinic, the medic examined Cha before telling him that he will have to go to Mae Sot Hospital (MSH) for an x-ray. He also received some oral pain medication from the medic and, on May 20th, Cha received an x-ray at MSH. The x-ray showed that Cha had fractured his lower jaw in two locations, the left side and in the middle, as well as that the fracture was now infected. He was told that he will need to receive injections to treat the infection and that he will need surgery to help his jaw heal properly. Currently, Cha’s jaw is swollen and painful. He cannot eat solid food and is only able to eat boiled rice and drink liquid food. One of his teeth hurts and he cannot open his mouth wide. He is not able to speak properly, and his lower jaw is extremely painful, especially on the left side. With the help of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, Cha will undergo surgery to reset his fractured bones and ensure proper healing. The procedure is scheduled for May 29th and will cost $1,500. The surgery will help Cha to be free from the pain and he will be able to talk properly again. “I feel sad that I cannot help my family during this summer holiday,” Cha said. In the future, Cha said that he plans to continue his studies next year at Mu Traw Junior College in Day Bu Noh Village. He is also interested in working with his friend at the district office in the branch that looks after the environment, forest, and wild animals.
Komuhangi is a small-scale farmer from Uganda. She is a widow who lost her husband in 2013, leaving her with six children. Four boys: one operates a hair salon and the others are all still at school. She has two girls: one married so far and also a small-scale farmer. Komuhangi earns a living through practicing farming and as a part-time worker in other people’s farms to earn a living. Five years ago, Komuhangi began to experience troubling symptoms, including difficulty swallowing, heart palpitations and blurred vision. She was diagnosed with a goiter, an abnormal enlargement of the thyroid gland. She needs surgery to prevent her symptoms from getting worse. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Komuhangi receive treatment. She is scheduled to undergo a thyroidectomy on March 10th at our medical partner's care center. Surgeons will remove all or part of her thyroid gland. This procedure will cost $240, and she and her family need help raising money. Komuhangi says, “I hope that I may have peace after my surgery is done.”
Catherine is a 17-year-old student from Tanzania, the youngest in her family of three children. She is currently in Form Four and hoping to graduate secondary school this year. She is a shy but bright young girl. Catherine’s father is a construction worker and her mother owns a shop at their home where she sells day-to-day household stuff. Catherine has been diagnosed with hydrocephalus, a condition in which excess cerebrospinal fluid accumulates in the brain and increases intracranial pressure. As a result of her condition, Catherine has been experiencing headaches for the past two weeks continuously. She was originally taken to the hospital and was tested for a UTI and malaria but found to have nothing wrong. Her headaches got more severe, followed by vomiting and irritability and could not control her urination. Her family was told to do a CT scan test but the surgeons were not satisfied with the results and needed to do an MRI. The MRI showed that there is build up of CSF fluids causing pressure in her brain and the doctors shared that Catherine needs surgery as soon as possible. Without treatment, Catherine will experience severe physical and developmental delays. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,238 to cover the cost of surgery for Catherine to treat her hydrocephalus. The procedure is scheduled to take place on April 29th and will drain the excess fluid from Catherine's brain. This will reduce intracranial pressure and greatly improve her quality of life. With proper treatment, Catherine will hopefully develop into a strong, healthy young girl. Catherine says, “I would really like to get better and continue with school. Please help me get well.”
Toeur is the sixth of seven children in his family, including four brothers and three sisters. He likes to stay home and help around the house and cook, as well as watch television and listen to music. Toeur was born with a hump on his spine and, at the age of two, he fell down the stairs and has since had a curve in his spine. He has pain in his right knee and experiences paraparesis, where he has partial paralysis in his legs and requires crutches when he walks. He cannot do any heavy work and stays near his house most days. Spinal surgery will correct Toeur's spine position and relieve his symptoms. He will be able to walk comfortably again, and will be able to take on daily activities with greater ease. He shared, "My family worries about my pain a lot, and they hope that I will be able to work again and help provide for the family. I hope that my spine will be straight and will no longer have a curve, and I won't have anymore pain in my knee so I can return to work."
In is a 66-year-old rice farmer from Cambodia. She has one son, three daughters, and seven grandchildren. She enjoys looking after her family and cooking for them. Two months ago, In fell off of her bicycle and fractured her hip on the right side. She finds it difficult to walk, and painful to sit and sleep. Fortunately, In learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre. At CSC, surgeons can perform a total hip replacement to relieve In of her pain and allow her to walk easily. Treatment is scheduled for February 20th, and In needs help raising $1,087 to pay for this procedure. "I hope that my mother will feel better and she will be able to go places and do things independently again. I am so glad that she is getting surgery and we will not have to worry about spending anymore money for her treatment. We are so grateful." -Chanthea, In's Daughter
Khin lives with his wife and five children along the Thai-Burma border. Khin and his wife work as porters on the river that runs between the Thai-Burma border. They carry items to and from the boats that bring Burma people across to Thailand. However, Khin has been unable to work for the past year, and his wife stopped working in December 2019, when she accompanied Khin to Mae Tao Clinic (MTC). His eldest son works at a bicycle shop as a salesman and earns 200 baht (approx. 7 USD) per day. Khin’s other children all go to school. One day in February 2019, Khin was playing football with his friends. During the game, Khin went to hit the ball with the inside of his right foot. However, someone from the opponent team accidentally kicked him above his right ankle when they tried to take the ball away from him. Right away, Khin’s leg hurt and he was unable to continue with the game. His friend brought him back home. For the next two months, Khin sought help from a traditional masseuse and a traditional healer. When neither treatments helped, he sought help from a health worker. There, he received an injection into his right leg, close to his injury. Khin said, “As soon as I received the injection, I felt better but it did not last for a long time and the pain returned.” He returned twice more and each time he received another injection that at first helped reduce the pain. One day, Khin heard about a traditional healer from a friend. When he went to see them, the traditional healer applied a bandage with herbs to his injured leg and provided him with instructions on how to reapply the bandage at home. Afterward, whenever Khin applied the bandage with herbs, he felt better so he continued to reapply it for the next six months. Khin thought his leg would finally heal, but after using the bandage for six months, he noticed that the area around his ankle and his right foot had become swollen, and that there was pus from sores on his ankle and the sole of his foot. A friend told him about a charitable clinic called MTC right across the border in Mae Sot, Thailand. Khin decided to seek help there, so accompanied by his wife, they arrived at MTC on the 1st of December 2019. He was admitted right away and he received oral medication, injections and had his leg dressed and changed daily. Every 10 days, he also had the pus in his injured leg drained. During the first week of January 2020, MTC brought Khin to Mae Sot Hospital (MSH) for further treatment. There, he received blood tests and an X-ray before the doctor told him that he needs to receive surgery which would cost him around 30,000 baht (approx. 1,000 USD). However, Khin was unable to pay for surgery. Once Khin was brought back to MTC, the medic saw that he had been diagnosed with chronic osteomyelitis, a severe infection of his bone, and referred him to Watsi Partner Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF) for assistance in accessing further treatment. BCMF connected him to Mawlamyine Christine Leprosy Hospital (MCLH) in Burma. After the doctor reviewed his medical records, the doctor recommended an amputation of his right leg below the knee. Currently, Khin suffers from a lot of pain in his right leg at night and he is not able to sleep. During the day however, the pain lessens if he does not walk long distances. He also needs to use crutches to get around. Khin said, “I would like to feel better as soon as possible so that I can go back to work to support my family and so that we can pay back our loan.”
Koemsrorn is a two-year-old from Cambodia. He is an only child from Kampong Cham Province, any enjoys playing with his toys in the village. When he was four months old, Koemsrorn had an ear infection. This infection caused a cholesteatoma, or an abnormal skin growth, to develop in the middle ear behind the ear drum. For this reason, Koemsrorn experiences consistent fevers and hearing loss. He is often upset and has a difficult time hearing others and sleeping due to discomfort. Koemsrorn traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On November 19, he will undergo a mastoidectomy procedure in his right ear. During this procedure, ENT surgeons will remove the cholesteatoma. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is requesting $842 to fund this procedure. This covers medications, supplies, and inpatient care. Koemsrorn's mother said, "I hope that my son will recover from his illness and no longer have any more pain or hearing loss."
Kyu is 38-year-old-woman from Burma. She owns a farm which she is able to rent out for 200,000 kyat (approx. 200 USD) for each season. In her free time, she enjoys doing housework such as cooking and cleaning. Kyu was diagnosed with a heart condition that involves a malformation of the mitral valve, the valve between the left atrium and left ventricle that controls the flow of blood. Currently, Kyu has difficulty breathing, chest pain as well as pain in her neck. She also cannot walk fast or for long distances because she gets tired easily. Kyu is unable to sleep well for she worries about her condition. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund a mitral valve replacement for Kyu. Once her treatment is completed, it will hopefully allow her to live more comfortably. “If I feel better after surgery, I want to work and save money for my daughter,” said Kyu.
Aziza is a pupil from Tanzania. Aziza is a twelve-year-old girl who hopes to become a teacher in future. The class five pupil enjoys learning mathematics and Swahili. However, she struggles with her left land due to secondary burn contractures. When she was three years old, Aziza fell on an open fire when playing with her two siblings. She suffered wrist burns and after a hospital stay, she was discharged to continue with dressing at home. Unfortunately, she healed with contractures on her left wrist. One of her aunts referred her to our facility whereupon review, contracture release was advised. The aunt is afraid that she might not receive surgery as they do not have sufficient money. Aziza's mother passed away three years ago. Aziza currently lives with her aunt who does laundry labourer to provide for the family. Their income is limited to meet just basic needs. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Aziza receive treatment. On October 17th, surgeons at their care center will perform a burn contracture release surgery to allow Aziza fully utilize her hand. Now, she needs help to fund this $832 procedure. Aziza’s aunt says, “Aziza already has a lot of challenges we would be happy and life would be easier for her if she could get her hand treated and be able to use both of her hands in her daily activities.”
Mi is a 28-year-old woman from Thailand. She now lives with her parents, one brother and two sisters in Mae Tao, Mae Sot, Tak Province. Her three siblings study at two different migrant schools. Mi’s father works at construction site and mother also works occasionally as a day labourer. Mi herself, stays at home as she lives with an intellectual disability. Around five years ago, Mi complained about itchiness in her vagina. Her mother took her to Mae Tao Clinic (MTC), where the midwives and medics completed a full examination on Mi. She was then put on medication and she seemed fine again. About two weeks ago, Mi’s mother noticed a wet spot on the seat of Mi’s pants. When Mi’s mother looked at Mi’s vagina, she found it was very red, swollen and saw what looked like scratch marks. She also saw some lesions around Mi’s vulva. She was referred to Mae Sot Hospital (MSH) to consult a gynaecologist. After examining Mi, the doctor said that Mi’s vulva was enlarged and that she has abnormal growths around it. They were also told that Mi needs to be admitted to the hospital to remove the growth in her vulva before running a biopsy to confirm her condition. She is experiences redness and swelling in her vulva. Mi sought treatment through our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund. she is now scheduled to undergo mass removal surgery on September 25. She is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of her procedure and care. Mi's mother said, “I want her to be healthy. She can’t live with it like that. I’m very worried for her as she is not like other children. Sometimes I think about her future and it scares me. What if her sisters will not look after her, after I die? I know she can’t survive on her own. I don’t want her to face troubles on her own. For now, all I want for her is to have the right treatment so that she will be well again.”