Jeff joined Watsi on April 15th, 2013. One year ago, Jeff became the 5156th member to automatically support a new Watsi patient every month. Since then, 874 more people have become monthly donors! Jeff's most recent donation traveled 8,500 miles to support Veronica, a baby from Kenya, to fund a colostomy closure for her birth anomaly.
Jeff has funded healthcare for 34 patients in 9 countries.
Veronica is a 12-month-old girl from Kenya. Veronica’s mother was a stay at home mother but now prepares and sells mandazi (pastries) while her father who used to farm now is a laborer in construction sites in order to make ends meet. Being the third born in a family of five, Veronica’s parents are not able to raise enough to pay for her treatment. Veronica underwent a colostomy, in which the end of the colon is brought through an opening in the abdominal wall. This surgery is often performed to bypass bowel malformations, but colostomies are usually temporary and may call for closure. In Veronica's case, her colostomy requires closure in order to restore bowel function and prevent future complications. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $650 to cover the cost of a colostomy closure for Veronica. The surgery is scheduled to take place on July 13th and, once completed, will hopefully allow her to live more comfortably and confidently. Veronica’s mother says, “Being Veronica’s last surgery, I’m looking forward to see her well.”
Daw Ei is a 48-year-old woman from Burma. She lives with her husband, mother, two daughters, son, and daughter-in-law in Yangon. Her husband is a security guard, her mother is retired, and her daughter-in-law is a homemaker. Her eldest daughter works in a factory, her other daughter is a student, and her son works as a mason. Daw Ei used to work as a shop vender herself but had to stop three years ago due to her health problem. Daw Ei 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, Daw Ei suffers from chest pains, feels tired and cannot walk long distances. Sometimes, she has no appetite. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund a mitral valve replacement for Daw Ei. The treatment is scheduled to take place on June 14th and, once completed, will hopefully allow her to live more comfortably. Daw Ei said, “I’m worried about my health problem. Also, I’ve spent all my money on [seeking] treatment and I had to borrow 300,000 kyat (approx. 300 USD) from my daughter’s friend. I want to be cured.”
Phyo is a two-year-old boy from Thailand. He lives with his parents and sisters and a brother in Fo Fai Village. His parents are originally from Bago Division in Burma and moved to Thailand in search of better job opportunities around 10 years ago. Both of his parents are agricultural day laborers. Phyo’s parents cannot afford to send him or his siblings to school and they are looked after by his six-year-old sister when his parents are working. Phyo was born a healthy baby boy at Mae Tao Clinic (MTC). In June 2019, Phyo’s mother noticed that both of Phyo’s testicles were swollen. At first she thought that the swelling was caused by an insect bite and that the swelling would come down on its own. However, the swelling never reduced. Busy with work and since Phyo did no complain of any pain and looked otherwise healthy, his mother did not take him to a clinic or a hospital. In the beginning of November 2019, his mother realized that his testicles were increasing in size and he was uncomfortable. His mother decided to have this checked and brought him to MTC in early November. When they arrived at the clinic, the medic completed a physical examination and gave him antibiotics. The medic also told Phyo’s mother that they could not treat him further because the medic was not completely sure what his diagnosis was. They were told that Phyo would need to receive an x-ray at Mae Sot Hospital (MSH) so that they could diagnose him properly. Since his mother did not have enough money to pay for the x-ray and she had work she had to do at home, she brought Phyo back to their village. At home, Phyo took the antibiotics the medic had given him, which seemed to reduce the size of his testicles. However, on April 7th, 2020, Phyo’s mother noticed that his swelling was increasing in size again and that he could not pass urine nor stool; she became worried when she noted that he ate and drank a lot the whole day. The next day, his mother asked her pastor if they could take them back to MTC, as she did not have enough money to pay for transportation. Their pastor agreed to help them and drove them to the clinic. At MTC Phyo received a physical examination and the medic explained to Phyo’s mother that he might have a hernia. The medic diagnosed him with incarcerated inguinal hernia and told them that he would need to receive surgery at the nearby hospital. Phyo has an inguinal hernia and currently cannot pass urine nor stool. He cannot walk or stand for the past two days as his swelling is severe and uncomfortable. Fortunately, on April 8th, he will undergo hernia repair surgery at Mae Sot General Hospital, our medical partner's care center. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund Phyo's hernia repair surgery. The procedure is scheduled to take place on April 8th and, once completed, will hopefully allow him to live more comfortably. Phyo's mother said, “I feel very stressed and worried about my son. I can’t help him any further as I don’t have money. His father has also not come back since he went back to Burma [a month ago to take care of his sick parents]. I cannot work and I have no income as we have less work during this time of the year. Sometimes our neighbors have to give us a meal. Now I have a debt of 600 baht (approx. 20 USD) already from my neighbor, without interest.”
Kathure is a 13-year-old student from central Kenya who lives at a rescue centre near her village. She is mentally challenged and shares a condition with others in her family. At the rescue centre, all her expenses are met by the organization, but they do not have medical insurances for the children. In 2018, Kathure scantly recalls preparing meals for her siblings when her dress caught fire. She could not remove it instantly thus suffering severe burns. She had one surgery at a hospital near her home and she has healed with burn contractures developing. As she is growing, she has bodily changes that are strained by the contractures. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Kathure receive treatment. On April 13th, surgeons at their care center will perform a burn contracture release surgery to help her walk more easily again. Now, she needs help to fund this $1,176 procedure. Kathure’s guardian says, “Our hope is to see Kathure grow like any other normal girl especially during these critical teenage years.”
Tin is a 20-year-old from Burma. He lives in a nunnery with his mother and aunt, who are nuns, in a village in Katha Township. Tin became a monk 13 years ago when his father passed away. His mother then became a nun. Tin left monkhood two months ago, when he became very ill. He is now unable to work, and he is looked after by his mother. However, sometimes when he feels better, he teaches Buddhist theology to boys from a nearby monastery. As his mother is a nun, she has no income except for whatever she is given during weekly alms collections. Usually she receives dried food staples such as rice in addition to money. Currently, Tin feels tried if he has to walk for a while and if he has to use stairs. Tin was born with ventricular septal defect, a cardiac condition in which a hole exists between the two lower chambers of the heart. Blood leaks through this hole without first passing through his lungs to obtain oxygen, leaving him sick and short of breath. Tin is scheduled to undergo heart surgery on March 15th to correct the condition and improve his quality of life. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of Tin's procedure and care. Tin said, “Sometimes I have chest pain and when I have them, I have difficulty breathing.”
Phelon is a young student from Kenya who wants to be a doctor when she grows up. She is the last born child in a family of three. Her mother, the only breadwinner in their family operates a printing kiosk in the capital, making about $5 daily. She cares for her children and her own siblings. In the second week of January, Phelon fell while playing with other children. Her right hand dislocated and by evening, it was swollen. She is not able to use her hand freely and she is in pain. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On February 3rd, Phelon will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. This procedure will help her use her hand again and continue with her studies. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $640 to fund this procedure. Phelon’s mother says, “My prayer, like any other mother, is to see my daughter heal and lead a normal life.”
Savin is a 31-year-old rice and vegetable farmer from Cambodia. She has two daughters, and in her free time she enjoys doing the housework and preparing meals for her family. Seven years ago, Savin 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, Savin experiences hearing loss, ear drainage, headache, and tinnitus. She is unable to hear other clearly and has a difficult time communicating with her family. Savin traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On November 18, she will undergo a mastoidectomy procedure in her 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. Savin said, "I hope that after surgery, I will no longer have any ear infections and the discharge will stop so I can hear clearly again."
Mercy is a baby from Kenya with a family from a humble background. Her mother earns wages from laundry business in the neighborhood while her father is a casual laborer in construction sites. In October 2018, Mercy, while playing with friends, fell in a pot of boiling maize. She sustained scalp and back burns and was admitted for four months in a nearby hospital. Several graftings were done failed and her mother retorted to dressing the young child from home. If not treated, she is at risk of infection. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Mercy receive treatment. On December 11th, surgeons will perform a debridement and skin graft procedure so she will not be at risk of infection and will heal well. Now, Mercy needs help to fund this $1,129 procedure. Mercy’s mother says, “My prayer is to see Mercy heal and lead a normal life that will be fulfilling.”
Dachena is a student from Haiti. She lives with her parents, grandparents, and siblings in a neighborhood of Port-au-Prince. She likes going to school and singing in her church choir. Dachena has a cardiac condition called rheumatic mitral regurgitation. One of the four valves of her heart was severely damaged by a rheumatic fever she suffered in childhood, and can no longer adequately pump blood through her body. Dachena will fly to the Dominican Republic to receive treatment. On October 29th, she will undergo cardiac surgery, during which surgeons will attempt to repair her valve; if they are unable to do so, they will implant an artificial replacement. Another organization, The Mitral Foundation, is contributing $7500 to pay for surgery. Dachena's family also needs help to fund the costs of surgery prep. 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 Dachena's family overseas. Dachena said, "I hope that after surgery I will have more energy to do the things I enjoy!"
Nuriya is a cute child from Ethiopia. Nuriya's mother was in Saudi Arabia for four years doing domestic work and her employers did not pay her during this time. She asked for her salary several times but they refused to pay her. Finally she decided to go home and they send her home without her payment. Nuriya’s father was also immigrant in Saudi Arabia for eight years. He went to Saudi Arabia illegally by sea and was caught and deported back to Ethiopia several times but he kept using his savings to go back. Once Nuriya’s parents were back in Ethiopia, they decided to stay and start a family. Their families have decided to help them and accommodate them until they find work. Nuriya’s father has not found work and now he plans to buy oxen and start farming. Nuriya was born with an anorectal malformation, a congenital abnormality that leads to a complete or partial intestinal blockage. He needs to undergo a series of procedures to eliminate bowel dysfunction. Nuriya is scheduled to undergo surgery to correct his condition on October 07. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of Nuriya's procedure and care. After his recovery, Nuriya will no longer experience bowel dysfunction or be at risk of developing health complications in the future. Nuriya’s mother said “We can’t afford the medical bill. We are here through the support of another organization. We are living under the support of our relatives. Nuriya’s colostomy operation was done by the government. I believe the child will get better soon."
Nesy is a baby from Tanzania. Nesy is a first born child to her newly wed parents who were very excited for her arrival. She was born in a local dispensary near their village. Nesy’s parents are subsistence farmers who earn very little and had to sell some of their cows and goats to be able to get trnsport to the hospital. Nesy was born with spina bifida, a type of neural tube defect in which the spine does not properly close around the spinal cord. Without treatment, Nesy is at risk of lower-limb paralysis, infection of the exposed nervous tissue, development of tethered cord syndrome, and possible developmental delays. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $966 to cover the cost of Nesy's spina bifida closure surgery. The procedure is scheduled to take place on September 09. This procedure will hopefully spare Nesy from the risks associated with her condition, instead allowing her to grow and develop along a healthy trajectory. Nesy’s mother says, “Please help my daughter get this surgery, I am so worried about her, she is very little and she has such a big problem. Please help us.”
Srey Nich is a 24-year-old university student from Cambodia. She likes to listen to music, read books, and hopes to become an electrician after completing her studies. When she was ten years old, Srey Nich had an ear infection. This infection caused the tympanic membrane, or the ear drum, in her right ear to perforate. For this reason, Srey Nich experiences hearing loss, discharge, tinnitus, and itchiness. She finds it difficult to participate in her normal activities and lacks focus at school. Srey Nich traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On August 1, she will undergo a myringoplasty procedure in her right ear. During this procedure, surgeons will close the perforation. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is requesting $423 to fund this procedure. This covers medications, supplies, and inpatient care. She says, "I hope that after my operation, I will be able to hear again and the ear infection will stop."