Matthew joined Watsi on November 21st, 2014. Seven years ago, Matthew joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Matthew's most recent donation traveled 8,600 miles to support Phyo Ko, a 33-year-old construction worker from Thailand, to fund leg surgery so he can return to working.
Matthew has funded healthcare for 91 patients in 12 countries.
Matthew has funded healthcare for 91 patients in 12 countries.
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."
Pauline is a vegetable vendor from Kiambu County in Kenya. She is married and has four children who are all grown and have their own families. Her husband has been working for a company for about 40 years as an office assistant. Last week Pauline was hit by a motorcycle while she waited to cross the road en route to her small vegetable business. First aid was done on site then she was rushed to Nazareth Hospital. X-rays confirmed she had sustained fractures of the right femur, tibia, and left clavicle. The surgeon has recommended two surgeries so she can heal, one for the right femur and the other for the left clavicle. She is in pain and can neither use her hand nor walk easily due to the fractures. She has applied for health insurance coverage, but so far this has been rejected. Her family is unable to raise the money required for the surgery as the income from her husband's job is just enough to sustain their basic needs. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On January 13th, Pauline will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. This procedure will relieve her of her pain and restore the use of her hand and leg. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,049 to fund this procedure. Grace says, “I thank God I survived the accident. I know I will get better and go back to my normal activities by God’s grace."
Noel is a nine-year-old student and the oldest child of two children in his family. He is currently in first grade in school, and will join second grade early next year. Noel’s mother works as a small-scale farmer to make a living, and sells her surplus when possible. Noel has clubfoot of both feet, a condition in which his feet are twisted out of shape causing difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. This year, Noel has had difficulty walking to and from school. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Noel receive treatment. On December 17th, Noel will undergo clubfoot repair surgery at AMH's care center, and now, AMH is requesting $935 to fund Noel's procedure and care. After treatment, he will be able to walk easily. Noel’s mother shared, "I have always wanted to seek treatment for my son but due to financial challenges, I have not been able to get the money."
Nerold is a 5-year-old boy from Haiti. He is cherished by his family who want to see him healthy and active as he grows. Nerold has been diagnosed with hydrocephalus, a condition in which excess cerebrospinal fluid accumulates in the brain and increases intracranial pressure. As a result of his condition, Nerold underwent surgery but has been experiencing problems with a shunt he had placed 6 months ago. It began to malfunction causing him infection and severe pain from the increasing pressure in his head. Without treatment, Nerold will experience severe physical and developmental delays. Our medical partner, Project Medishare, is requesting $957 to cover the cost of surgery for Nerold at Hospital Bernard Mevs that will treat his hydrocephalus. This is the only site in the country where this care is currently available and the procedure is scheduled to take place on November 19th. This critical treatment will place a new shunt to drain the excess fluid from Nerold's brain to reduce intracranial pressure and greatly improve his quality of life. With proper treatment, Nerold will hopefully develop into a strong, healthy young boy. Nerold's mother shared that she was devastated when the original shunt stopped working. She is relieved that with this new surgery he will continue to have a chance for a happy life.
Hasani is a 16-year-old boy and the fourth born child in a family of five children. Sadly, his father passed away in 2011. Hasani's mother needed help supporting her children, so Hasani and one of his siblings are living with their aunt, while the other three children are living with other relatives. Hasani's mother and his aunt work as small-scale farmers. For three years, Hasani has had a right inguinal hernia, which occurs when tissue, such as part of the intestine, protrudes through a weak spot in the abdominal muscles causing pain and discomfort. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Hasani to receive treatment. On October 18th, he will undergo hernia repair surgery at AMH's care center. Once completed, this procedure will hopefully allow him to live more comfortably and confidently. Now, his family needs help raising $566 to fund his procedure and care. Hasani shared, "it hurts badly when it swells up especially during the cold seasons and when I help a lot in the farm."
Lydia is a small-scale farmer and mother of ten children. Her oldest child is now forty years old and her youngest is eighteen years old. Her husband stays at home, as his old age keeps him from engaging in income-generating work anymore. Her children can only provide minimal support, so Lydia engages in small-scale farming to provide for her family. About thirty years ago, Lydia began to experience troubling symptoms, including swelling on her neck that was initially small and painless but has rapidly increased in size. Due to limited income, she has not been able to seek treatment before. However, Lydia recently visited our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), for another health condition and shared more about her situation with the doctors. She shared that she experiences airway obstructions and has difficulty sleeping. Additionally, she experiences pain in her eyes and ears that affects her hearing and ability to light a fire in the kitchen which is needed for cooking. Upon review, doctors diagnosed her condition as a non-toxic goiter, and thyroidectomy surgery iss recommended to prevent her symptoms from getting worse. On October 5th, Lydia will undergo a thyroidectomy at AMH's care center to remove all or part of her thyroid gland. AMH is requesting $333 to fund this procedure. Lydia shared, “I have been for the majority of my life covering my neck whenever I go to the public because of the huge neck swelling and feeling uncomfortable. I pray that I may look normal again through surgery. I hope to comfortably continue with farming once I am stable.”
Adamba is three-year-old boy and the youngest of two children in his family. He's excited that he recently began attending school. Adamba's parents separated not long after he was born. His mother works as a tailor and shared that her job is difficult because she does not have regular customers as she did before the pandemic. She has not yet found a different job, and she sometimes is able to do casual jobs in their neighborhood to provide for her family. Adamba was diagnosed with cryptorchidism, a condition in which one or both of the testicles remains undescended. If left untreated, Adamba will have an increased risk of developing hernias, testicular cancer, and fertility problems in the future. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Adamba receive treatment. On September 21st, he will undergo corrective surgery and, now, AMH is requesting $646 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. Adamba’s mother shared, "I have been wondering how and when my son would get treated because I felt like I failed to do my part as a parent. Sometimes, Adamba could not eat or sleep because of the pain and I could not help him since I have no money."
Florence is a 38-year-old house helper from Uganda and a single mother to two children, ages eight and nine years old. She works as a house helper and their family lives in a one-room house. For eight years, since her pregnancy with her youngest child, Florence has had a mass in her pelvic area. She experiences chronic pelvic pain and bloating and was diagnosed with multiple myomas and an ovarian cyst. Her medical team recommended a total abdominal hysterectomy, a procedure in which surgeons will remove her uterus, to treat her condition. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is requesting $1,260 to fund Florence's surgery. On August 16th, she will undergo gynecological surgery at AMH's care center. Once recovered, Florence will be able to resume her daily activities free of pain. Florence shared, “I am overwhelmed with both sickness and family responsibility. I have been having this stomach upset for so long I am even worried. I need this treatment to be able to raise my young family."