Matthew joined Watsi on November 21st, 2014. Eight years ago, Matthew joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Matthew's most recent donation traveled 8,500 miles to support Ann, a bright and cheerful 14-year-old student from Kenya, to fund a leg procedure to fully treat her congenital condition.
Matthew has funded healthcare for 98 patients in 12 countries.
Matthew has funded healthcare for 98 patients in 12 countries.
Meet Ann, a very bright, friendly, and cheerful 14-year-old girl who lives with her mother in Kenya. She is currently in class six and aspires to be a surgeon after completing her studies. One of her favorite activities is reading. Her mother is a single parent who works selling samosas, a fried or baked pastry, in their hometown. Ann was born with a bow-legged impairment. She began therapy at the age of two, but she had to stop attending her sessions due to financial constraints. As a result, her condition has worsened. She shares that this has affected her mobility, studies, and self-esteem. A year ago, Ann underwent a successful multiple osteotomy surgery, which cut and reshaped her leg bones, with the help of amazing Watsi supporters. Now, she requires a second procedure to fully treat her condition in both of her legs. Ann is scheduled to undergo an angular deformity correction procedure on August 29th at our medical partner's care center, AIC Cure International Hospital. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is seeking $1,224 to fund this surgery. This procedure will allow Ann to walk easily, engage with her friends more comfortably, and continue on with her studies. Ann's mother says, "I wish to thank the donors for their great support towards my daughter's treatment. We were desperately looking for funds for her surgery. May the almighty God bless you. After her treatment, Ann will be able to walk comfortably."
Sovannareach is a cheery and playful two-year-old boy from Cambodia. Although he has no siblings, he loves playing with other children around his home! When Sovannareach was just seven months old, he was accidentally burned by hot water on his right hand. Due to the incident, burn scar contractures have developed, meaning the skin surrounding the burn has tightened. Since this occurred around his fingers, it is now difficult for him to use his right hand. When Sovannareach's family learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, they traveled for three hours seeking treatment for their son. On July 14th, surgeons at CSC will perform a burn contracture release surgery to help him be able to use his hand easily again. Now, his family needs help funding this $495 procedure. Sovannareach's parents shared that they hope their son's hand will heal well so he can regain use of it in the future.
Aidah is a small-scale farmer and a mother of six. Aidah's husband works around their village getting daily jobs as much as he can. They own a four-room semi-permanent house for shelter. Aidah's first born is now 38 years old and married, and her youngest is 18 years old and close to completing school. Aidah and her family have received aid from a church fund to help meet their daily needs. Since October 2021, Aidah has been experiencing lower abdominal pains. She was initially treated for gastric ulcers and typhoid, but there was no significant improvement. Aidah later developed further complications and rushed to a doctor who did tests and ultimately recommended a surgery that Aidah could not afford. This condition has prevented Aidah from working on her farm. Aidah traveled to our medical partner's care center, Rushoroza Hospital, and has been diagnosed with cervical intraepithelial neoplasia. If not treated, Aidah risks developing cancer of the cervix that could affect her life in the long run. She needs to undergo a hysterectomy, a procedure in which surgeons will remove her uterus. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $319 to fund Aidah's surgery. On June 7th, Aidah will undergo gynecological surgery at our medical partner's care center. Once recovered, Aidah will be able to resume her daily activities free of pain. Aidah shared, “I pray for a successful surgery so that I may live a normal life once again. I hope to resume farming in order to continue taking good care of my family.”
Sok Khy is a 22-year-old rice farmer. He and his wife live with his parents who are also rice farmers. In his free time he enjoys playing football, fishing, singing, and helping his family around the house. He was in a motor vehicle accident in 2017 that caused an opened fracture of his right tibia. He went to a hospital in Vietnam after the accident where a nail was fixated to heal the fracture. Now, the fracture is healed and the nail needs to be removed to prevent future infection and complications. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, can help. On May 10th, Sok Khy will undergo a hardware removal procedure, which will cost $304. This procedure will allow him to be fully healed and walk easily. Sok Khy says, "I hope I can recover well after my operation so I can return home and support my family."
Alfy is a three-month-old baby from Cambodia. Alfy's mother stays at home to take care of him and his two older brothers and one big sister, while Alfy's father sells pork at the local market. His parents tell us that Alfy is a good baby who sleeps most of the day, but not always at night. Alfy has clubfoot of both feet, which means that his feet are twisted, which will make it difficult for him to wear shoes and to walk as he grows. Fortunately, Alfy's family traveled three and half hours to visit our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC). There, surgeons will perform an operation on April 22nd that will mean that when he is older, Alfy will be able to stand and walk. CSC is requesting $444 to fund this life changing surgery. His mother said: "I hope the surgery will help him when he is old enough to walk, so he can be like other children."
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!”
Jean Pierre is a 45-year-old father from Haiti who lives with his wife and daughter. To help support his family, he works at the local city hall. His daughter was a previous Watsi patient and received life-changing surgery with the help of amazing donors. When bringing his daughter in a few months ago for a post-op checkup, he mentioned that he has been experiencing the same symptoms as his daughter for many years. After further examination, doctors found that Jean Pierre has the same life-threatening condition as his daughter and has somehow survived to his age! He was born with a cardiac condition called patent ductus arteriosus, a condition in which blood leaks through a hole between two large blood vessels near the heart. After years of feeling weak and experiencing poor health, Jean Pierre's heart condition will finally be treated. On July 14th, doctors will use a catheter to insert a device into the hole so that blood can no longer leak through it. Our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, is raising $1,500 to pay for Jean Pierre's life-saving procedure. Jean Pierre shares, "My family and I are very grateful that so many people are making it possible for me to have this surgery!"
Phyo Ko is a 33-year-old man, living in Thailand with his wife and two young children. Originally from Burma, Phyo Ko and his family moved to Thailand in 2009, in search of better job opportunities. Phy Ko's wife stays home with the children, who are too young to go to school, while Phyo Ko works as a construction day laborer, earning under $12 a day. In early 2021, Phyo Ko and his friend were at work at a construction site, when scaffolding fell onto Phyo Ko's left hand and thigh. Initially, he used oil made from traditional medicine to ease the pain. However, a month after the accident, Phyo Ko noticed that there was a mass on his left leg, so he sought medical attention. The first doctor he visited could find nothing wrong, and sent Phyo Ko back home. His mass continued to grow in size, and the pain increased, making it impossible for Phyo Ko to continue working, so once again, he went to the hospital. This time, there were no doctors available to see him because of the pandemic. Finally, in April, Phyo Ko was able to receive a CT scan, thanks to our medical partner Burma Children Medical Fund and the Watis community. The CT scan revealed a hematoma, which requires surgical intervention. On June 16th, Phyo Ko will undergo surgery at Mae Sot General Hospital, to have the mass removed from his thigh. After the procedure, Phyo Ko should be able to walk, stand and work without pain, something he is unable to do now. Burma Children Medical Fund is seeking $1,500 to cover the costs of Phyo Ko's surgery. Phyo Ko said: "I would like to receive surgery soon so that the pain will go away. Before I received the CT scan, I was told that my leg could be be amputated because the mass on my leg is very big. However, after the CT scan, the doctor told me that they could remove the mass without amputation. I was so happy to hear this. I want to work and earn an income for my family after surgery."
Ma Ei is a 37-year-old woman who lives with and financially supports her parents and son in a village in Burma. Over the last year, Ma El has suffered from a debilitating uterine mass, which causes her severe pain and weakness. She was given medications for six months to try to help, but she did not feel any better. In January, Ma Ei went to Karen Baptist Convention (KBC) Hospital, where she was diagnosed with a myoma. Doctors shared that to heal she would need surgery to remove her uterus. She is now raising $1,207 to fund her surgery and care, which is scheduled for May 18th. Ma Ei says, “I am worried that I cannot support and care for my family. When I recover from surgery, I will go back to work in the garment factory. I need to support my parents and pay for my son’s education."
Chanthy is a 62-year-old mototaxi driver. He's married with four sons, five daughters, and seven grandchildren. Chanthy lives with his wife, who works as a food seller. At home, he likes to watch boxing on television. Things have been harder for Chanthy since two years ago, he developed a cataract in his right eye, causing him sensitivity to light and blurry vision. He has difficulty seeing things clearly, including colors and faces, and is worried about falling when walking, so he is not able to go places on his own. When Chanthy learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, he traveled for three and a half hours seeking treatment. On February 4th, doctors will perform a small incision cataract surgery and an intraocular lens implant in his right eye. After recovery, he will be able to see clearly. Now, he needs help to fund this $229 procedure. Chanthy shared, "I hope after surgery my eye can see clearly again. I want to drive my moto well and help my wife at the market too."
Sophea is a 16-year-old student in grade ten. Sophea has three siblings, and she is the youngest. All three siblings currently study at the secondary school near their home. Her parents have been divorced since she was two years old, so she lives with her mother, who is a construction worker. When she is not studying, she likes to read and spend time with her school friends. Since she can remember, Sophea has had ear infections which have caused a cholesteatoma, or an abnormal skin growth, to develop in the middle ear behind the ear drum. Sophea experiences hearing loss, discharge, and fevers. Doctors has diagnosed an ear condition called microtia, which means she is missing the ear canal. Her mother has taken her to different healers for treatment but it has not improved. It is difficult for her to hear at school, she does not communicate well with friends and family, and often misses school due to infections. This makes her feel shy with strangers. Sophea traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On March 8th, she will undergo a mastoidectomy procedure in her left ear. During this procedure, ENT surgeons will remove the cholesteatoma. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is requesting $925 to fund this procedure. This covers medications, supplies, and inpatient care. She is hopeful that her hearing will improve and she won't have any more infections!
Keysha is a bright 12-year-old who lives on a small farm in northwest Haiti with her parents and four siblings. She really likes going to school and helping to take care of her family's animals. Keysha was born with a hole between the two upper chambers of her heart; blood leaks through this hole without passing through her lungs to obtain oxygen, leaving her weak and fatigued. During her upcoming surgery, doctors will use a catheter probe to plug the hole in Keysha's heart with a device so that blood can no longer leak through it. With this treatment, she can finally have a healthier life ahead. Keysha is hopeful to have more energy and feel healthy after her surgery. She shared, "I am looking forward to this surgery so that I can walk to my friends' houses to visit them without getting tired."