Isabel joined Watsi on November 28th, 2017. Five years ago, Isabel joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Isabel's most recent donation supported Thu Ya, an earnest young man from Thailand, to fund mitral valve surgery to fix his severe heart condition.
Isabel has funded healthcare for 53 patients in 11 countries.
Isabel has funded healthcare for 53 patients in 11 countries.
Thu Ya is a 24-year-old man who moved to Mae Sot in April to live with his older sister and search for better job opportunities. Thu Ya’s sister works in an electronics factory, and his brother-in-law works as an agricultural day labourer. Thu Ya does not have regular work yet, but he is paid per task for completing miscellaneous jobs for the factory where his sister works. Their monthly income is just enough to cover their daily needs and pay for basic health care. Every month they send money to Thu Ya and his sister’s parents, who look after his sister’s daughter. Thu Ya was diagnosed with a heart condition that involves a malformation 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. Currently, Thu Ya experiences shortness of breath when he walks longer distances or whenever he is active. He often experiences rapid breathing and feels tired. He cannot sleep well at night, and he has heart palpitations. He has a poor appetite, and he has not been able to help his sister much around the house since early September 2022. His sister is very worried about his condition. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund a mitral valve replacement for Thu Ya. The treatment is scheduled to take place on November 22nd and, once completed, will hopefully allow him to live more comfortably. His sister said, “I have a few sisters, but Thu Ya is my only brother. When I see him in this condition, I feel sad and worried about him. I hope that he will receive surgery and that he will get better soon."
Ma Win is an 18-year-old girl who lives with her parents, sister and brother-in-law in Yangon, Burma. Ma Win’s sister works at a clothing factory, while her brother-in-law works as a day laborer. Her parents are homemakers. Before Ma Win's current illness, she also worked at a factory. When Ma Win was four years old, she experienced a bout of high fever, and was brought to the local clinic. She received an injection, and the doctor informed her parents that she was born with a heart problem. However, she was too young at the time for corrective surgery. Instead, she was sent home with medication, and appeared to be doing well until this past year. In April, Ma Win began experiencing chest pains, high fever and difficulty breathing. She went to a clinic, and received an x-ray and an echocardiogram. After the doctor checked her results, she was diagnosed with an opening between two major blood vessels leading from the heart. The doctor told her and her family that she would need to have surgery. When Ma Win explained to the doctor that her family could not afford to pay for the surgery, she was referred to the abbot of a local monastery, who provided the family with information about our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund. Now Ma Win is scheduled for cardiac surgery on October 23rd at Pun Hlaing Hospital. After she has recovered, she should no longer experience chest pains or difficulty breathing, and she won't have to worry any longer about her condition. She will also be able to return to work, which will help ease her family's financial burdens. Now she needs your help to raise $1,500 to cover the cost of her procedure. Ma Win said: “I am scared to receive surgery, but my mother tries to encourage me. However, I am very happy that I will be able to receive treatment with your help. I would like to say thank you so much to all the donors.”
Joyce is a 54-year-old wife and mother of three. She is a subsistence farmer who grows crops and raises farm animals mainly for food for their family. She lives in a corrugated iron house with her husband and her youngest son. Her oldest son is currently employed and married, but her middle son lost his job due to the COVID-19 pandemic. She proudly shared that her youngest son just sat for the Malawi School Certificate Examination and he is awaiting the results. Joyce's oldest son helps to pay the school fees for his younger brother because he is the only one currently working in their family. Last year Joyce noticed a lump on her breast. Her sister advised her to go to Kamuzu Central Hospital (KCH) where she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Surgery was recommended, but the waiting list for an operation has been too long. A KCH doctor advised her to come to Partners In Hope because her condition needs urgent attention. The Partners in Hope surgeon recommended Joyce get a mastectomy. A mastectomy is a surgery to remove all breast tissue from a breast as a way to treat or prevent breast cancer. Due to her financial status, she was referred to our medical partner African Mission Healthcare and has also contributed $19.40 herself to support her treatment. Joyce is fearful of what may come next because she has been reading and has learned of the impact of breast cancer on an individual. Hopefully, having the surgery will erase all these fears and allow Joyce to live her normal life again. Joyce says, “It will be great for me to live a life without a lump on my breast. This thing kills my self-esteem and my hopes to live.”
Samuel is a nine-year-old student who lives with his parents and three siblings in Haiti's capital city, Port-au-Prince. He is currently in third grade and enjoys studying history and science. Samuel has a cardiac condition called Tetralogy of Fallot, which is a combination of four different congenital heart defects, including a hole between two chambers of the heart and a muscular blockage of one of the valves. Fortunately, Samuel is scheduled to travel to the United States where he will undergo cardiac surgery on September 14th at Akron Children's Hospital. During the procedure, surgeons will sew a patch over the hole in his heart and remove the blockage from his valve. A portion of the cost of Samuel's treatment is being supported by Akron Children's Hospital. Our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance (HCA), is raising the remaining $1,500 to cover the costs of his surgery prep, which includes all labs, medication, check-up and follow-up appointments, and the passports needed for HCA’s social workers to accompany Samuel and his family overseas. Samuel's mother says, "I have been very worried about my son's health for many years. I am looking forward to being able to stop worrying so much after this surgery!"
Nathalia is a crafty and creative seven-year-old from Bolivia who just completed first grade. She lives with her parents and one younger sister. Some of Nathalia's favorite activities include creating artwork and making crafts! Nathalia was born with an atrial septal defect, a cardiac condition in which a hole exists between the two upper chambers of the heart. Blood leaks through this hole instead of flowing properly through her body, leaving her feeling weak and short of breath. Fortunately, Nathalia is scheduled to undergo heart surgery on July 27th with the support of our long-standing medical partner Haiti Cardiac Alliance, which is now growing and expanding into Bolivia. Surgeons will close the hole with a patch, allowing blood to properly flow through her body and improving her quality of life. Another organization, Gift of Life International, is contributing $2,500 to pay for a portion of Nathalia's procedure costs. Our medical partner is requesting $1,500 to cover the remaining costs, which cover surgical expenses, cardiac exams, medications, and travel fees so Nathalia and her family can travel to receive her life-changing cardiac procedure in La Paz. Nathalia's mother shares, "Ever since we learned our daughter was sick, we have been praying every day for this surgery, and we are so glad our prayers are about to be answered!"
U Pyin is a 36-year-old monk who lives with three other monks, seven novice monks, and his two younger brothers, in a village in central Burma. His two younger brothers are not monks, but work at the monastery as helpers, assisting with cooking and cleaning. U Pyin has no income, but receives food and accommodation at the monastery. If he is ill, there are three local families that help to cover the costs of his basic health care expenses. In early May, U Pyin began experiencing difficulty breathing, chest pains, and headaches. One of his brothers brought him to a hospital, where tests revealed that one of the valves in his heart needs to be replaced. This is a particularly dangerous condition, as it can lead to a stroke, and U Pyin has already suffered a stroke, earlier in his life. U Pyin was given medication, an appointment to return in two months, and sent home. When U Pyin did not feel any better after taking the medication that he had been given, he and his brother decided that he should see a cardiologist in Yangon. The cardiologist confirmed U Pyin's diagnosis, and stressed the need for U Pyin to have surgery to replace the ailing mitral valve. As U Pyin was unable to pay for the surgery, the doctor referred him to an abbot for assistance. Fortunately, the abbot referred U Pyin to our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, and now U Pyin is scheduled to have mitral valve replacement surgery on June 24th, at Pun Hlaing Hospital. Burma Children Medical Fund is seeking $1,500 to cover the costs of U Pyin's procedure and care, which will enable him to breathe well and to sleep comfortably again, things that he is unable to do right now. U Pyin will also be able to return to teaching the novice monks at the monastery, which he has been unable to do because he feels so unwell. U Pyin said: “After I recover, I want to teach novice monks again and I want to open a Buddhist school near Yangon.”
Prince is a 5-year-old and the youngest of three children. His father works at a construction site to help provide income for his family. In early February, Prince was on the school bus when the bus ran into a nearby shop. Prince was trapped between seats and became injured. He was rushed to a nearby health facility for first aid and underwent surgery. Two weeks later, he was referred to our medical partner's care center Kijabe Hospital for review. Prince then underwent a debridement and skin graft procedure in mid-February. Currently, Prince cannot walk and attend school, which is affecting his ability to move up in grades this year. Prince’s first two surgeries were paid for using his parent’s medical coverage, but the medical insurer turned down the current request for the surgery Prince needs to heal. Prince’s family shared that their trips to the hospital have exhausted their savings. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), can help Prince receive treatment. On May 25th, surgeons will perform a debridement and skin graft procedure. This surgery will address any risks of infection so that Prince’s leg can heal and he can walk again and resume his studies. AMH is requesting $1,185 to help to fund this procedure. Prince’s father said, “Prince has missed school since February. He was supposed to graduate to grade one, but due to the injuries, he did not. He needs this surgery so that he can be able to walk 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.”
Ikram is a charming and friendly 3-year-old boy. He's the youngest in a family of four children. Ikram’s mother works as “mamantilie”, which is a phrase used for women cooking street foods. His father is a casual laborer who seeks daily jobs like working at construction sites. Ikram was diagnosed with genu valgus. His legs bow so that his knees touch. This condition is typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, which often stems from contaminated drinking water. As a result, He has a difficult time walking and playing. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Ikram. The procedure is scheduled to take place on March 17th. Treatment will hopefully restore Ikram's mobility, allow him to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease his risk of future complications. Ikram’s mother shared with us how happy she will be to see her son able to walk like other children.
Esther is a beautiful seven-month old baby girl from Haiti. She has two older sisters, and loves to smile and play with her mom. Esther 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, Esther has been experiencing an increase in head circumference. Without treatment, Esther will experience severe physical and developmental delays. Our medical partner, Project Medishare, is requesting $897 to cover the cost Esther's surgery, which she will have on February 24th at our medical partner's care center, Hospital Bernard Mevs. This is the only site in Haiti that currently provides this critical type of treatment, which will drain the excess fluid from Esther's brain to reduce intracranial pressure and greatly improve her quality of life. With proper treatment, Esther will hopefully develop into a strong, healthy young girl. Her parents shared with us that they hope she'll have the opportunity to grow up and be able to play with the other children.
Precious is a one-month-old baby girl and the youngest child in a family of two children. Her mother is single and works washing clothes for a living. Precious has an older sibling who is 10 years old. Precious 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, Precious has experienced progressive head enlargement since her birth. If left untreated, her condition could lead to developmental and physical delays. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Precious receive treatment. On January 26th, she will undergo surgery to drain the excess fluid from Precious's brain. This will reduce intracranial pressure and greatly improve her quality of life. After treatment, Precious will hopefully develop into a strong, healthy young girl. Now, AMH is requesting $720 to cover the cost of Precious's procedure and care. Precious's mother shared, "I hope Precious gets help. Alone, I am unable to help pay for the treatment she needs."
Bancy shared with us that she has been a widow since 1990 when her husband passed on. She raised her children on her own and they are all adults now. Bancy does small-scale farming on her one-acre ancestral piece of land. Bancy looks uneasy and eager to get treatment. She's had stomach pains for the last ten years. She says the prolonged stomach upsets are making her uncomfortable and in pain. The pain has been on and off but worsened this year. She was diagnosed with Pyloric Stenosis, a condition in which the opening between the stomach and small intestine thickens. Last month before visiting Kijabe Hospital, she had a series of painful instances. She visited a national referral hospital in Nairobi where she was reviewed and an endoscopy requested. She was scheduled for surgery but the cost was too high. She opted to try our medical partner's care center Kijabe Hospital where the same surgical operation can be carried out. There she can undergo a procedure called gastric antiectomy to finally heal her condition. Bancy is appealing for financial assistance. She shared, "For the last ten years, I have had prolonged stomach pains that are so uncomfortable. I have sought several interventions but so far have not received any help. I'm hopeful this surgery is my likely solution to my decade-old problem."