Briana joined Watsi on September 29th, 2013. Six years ago, Briana became the 580th member to automatically support a new Watsi patient every month. Since then, 5,471 more people have become monthly donors! Briana's most recent donation traveled 8,800 miles to support Soeun, a 37-year-old man from Cambodia, to fund mobility-restoring shoulder surgery.
Briana has funded healthcare for 61 patients in 9 countries.
Soeun is 37-year-old government worker from Cambodia. He and his wife have a 10-year-old daughter who is in second grade. His wife sells rice at a local market. In his free time he loves to read the news or discovers new topics and books on the internet. In April 2020, Soeun was in motor vehicle accident that caused a fracture to his left femur and a traumatic injury to his left arm. He has been diagnosed with a brachial plexus injury on his left side. The brachial plexus is a nerve network that transmits signals from the spine to the shoulder, arm, and hand. Injuries to this nerve network can result in loss of function and sensation. He received treatment to his femur, but his left arm remains numb and he cannot move it. Soeun traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On August 4th, he will undergo a brachial plexus repair surgery. After recovery, he will regain feeling in his shoulder and arm, and will be able to return to work and do all of his daily tasks easily again. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is requesting $696 to fund this procedure. Soeun said, "I have been very worried about the numbness in my arm, but I am hopeful that after this surgery I will move it again and get my strength back."
Roth is a ten-year-old student from Cambodia. She lives with her family in the Kandal province. She is the oldest of three children. Her father is a farmer and her mother sells vegetables from home. She is in the fourth grade at school and her favorite courses are mathematics and English. Her favorite food is Khmer soup, and she loves to drink orange juice. In her free time, she helps her mother do house work and teaches her brother and sister to paint. Two years ago, Roth had an ear infection. This infection caused the tympanic membrane, or the ear drum, in her right ear ear to perforate. For this reason, Roth has experienced pain, discharge and hearing loss. Her mother noticed that the condition had grown worse when Roth did not react normally in conversation, and could no longer hear what people were saying to her. Roth traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On June 26, she will undergo a myringoplasty procedure in her right ear ear. During this procedure, surgeons will close the perforation. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is requesting $464 to fund this procedure. This covers medications, supplies, and inpatient care. Her mother shared, "I hope that she can have this problem solved quickly, so that she has no pain and can talk to us easily."
Rath is a 34-year-old from Cambodia. He and his wife have been married for ten years, and have three children together. They live on the army base where Rath's unit is located. Rath is a good soccer player, and he plays often with others in his army unit. When he was only 15 years old, Rath had a serious ear infection. This infection caused the tympanic membrane, or the ear drum, in both ears to perforate. For this reason, Rath experiences severe hearing loss and constant discharge from his ears. He also experiences tinnitus. His ears are chronically infected and require a lot of medicine. His lack of hearing has made it difficult to communicate and affected his career. His family is worried that he will have this problem forever. Rath traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On June 3rd, he will undergo a myringoplasty procedure in both ears. During this procedure, surgeons will close the perforations. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is requesting $913 to fund this procedure. This covers medications, supplies, and inpatient care. Rath said, "Once this ear infection is stopped, I will be able to hear better and maybe have an easier time in my work. Most of all I want to hear the voices of my children when they talk to me."
Tola is a 28-year-old construction worker from Cambodia. He lives with his parents in the Takeo province. He has two sisters and four brothers. His favorite sport is football and after work he helps his parents at home. When he was a child, he began experiencing ear pain, discharge, and discomfort. When he tried cleaning the ear discharge himself with cotton at home it only made his condition worse. Tola had a serious ear infection, which caused a cholesteatoma, or an abnormal skin growth, to develop in the middle ear behind the ear drum. For this reason, Tola experiences hearing loss, tinnitus, and ear discharge. He has difficulty hearing clearly at work and throughout his day. Tola traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On April 29th, 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 $925 to fund this procedure. This covers medications, supplies, and inpatient care. "I hope that after surgery I can hear everything better, my ear infection will stop, and especially that the discharge will go away. I want to go back to working at the construction site to support my parents and family," Tola said.
Meet Pauline, 12-year-old, calm girl. She is the 4th born in a family of five children. Pauline is a student in class 7 at Kathunguri School. Our medical partner met Pauline at a clinic in Embu and she was accompanied by her mother. Pauline's family hails from Kathunguri village in Embu county. Her mother is a housewife while her father is a farmer. Pauline was born normal and she could walk well like other children however during the month of December 2019, her mother noticed a sudden and unusual walking. She took her to a hospital where she was referred to our mobile clinic in Embu. The condition on her left foot has deteriorated and is suddenly lowering her self-esteem. “Sometimes my classmates imitate and laugh at me when I walk and I feel bad,” Pauline told us. She is scheduled to undergo a surgery which will be of great impact on her life and her growth as she will be able to walk confidently. She will also proceed with her education and her self-esteem will improve. Her family is unable to raise the estimated cost of surgery and thus requested for support from well-wishers. “I request for support for my daughter to undergo surgery. My joy would be to see her walking without any hardship and progressing on well with life.” --Judith, Pauline’s mother noted.
Win is a 49-year-old woman from Burma. She lives with her husband and four sons. Two of her sons are distant learners at university while her husband and two other sons work as masons. However, her husband had to stop working to look after the housework when she was no longer able to do so. Win was diagnosed with a heart condition that involves a malformation of her 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, Win feels tired, has no appetite, cannot sleep well nor walk longer distances. She also has a headache, chest pains, and tingling and numbness in her extremities. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund a mitral valve replacement for Win. The treatment is scheduled to take place on March 11th and, once completed, will hopefully allow her to live more comfortably. Win said, “When I recover from my illness, I will go back to doing the housework so that my husband can also go back to work.’’
Asha is a student from Tanzania. She is the seventh born in a family of eight children. Asha's parents are small-scale farmers growing maize, beans and vegetables to support the family. Asha has clubfoot of her left foot, a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. In 2010 she was able to have treatment through a team of visiting surgeon that helped corrected her foot and made walking easy and normal for her. Through the treatment she was able to wear shoes and walk like other children and also was able to study with ease. She is currently in form one though she has had to stop her studies and try seeking for treatment of her relapsed left foot which is now making walking hard and painful for her. The relapse has been there for three years now but as time goes by, it keeps worsening and walking is becoming more challenging. Fortunately, Asha traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on January 31st. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $890 to fund Asha's clubfoot repair. After treatment, she will be able to walk easily again and go back to school. Asha says, “I would like to be able to walk without difficulty, please help me.”
Khin is a 39-year-old woman who lives with her family in Hpa-An Township, Karen State, Burma. Both her children are in preschool. She and her husband are subsistence farmers, growing rice during the rainy season on rented land. The rest of the year, her husband collects leaves used to make roofs, works as a daily labourer or collects branches to sell. Khin was born with a scar the size of an ant bite on her upper lip. Her parents thought that it would disappear or heal on its own but the scar developed into a growth and increased in size. Her parents passed away when she was young and after that she went to live with her brother’s family. By the time she was around 20 years old, the growth had become large and soft, covering the area between her upper lips and her nose. When the pain became unbearable in 2005, her uncle dropped her off at Mae Tao Clinic (MTC) in Thailand, a free clinic close to where her uncle used to work. At this point, the growth had become so large that dragged her upper lip down and extended into her nostrils. At MTC, she was seen by doctors and medics, before she was diagnosed with a hemangioma. At this point, the growth had worsened, and she was bleeding from her lips. In April 2006, Khin went to Chiang Mai Hospital and had the hemangioma removed surgically. The growth later has returned. Overtime, the hemangioma has increased in size and become hard. It has now expanded into Khin’s nostrils, especially her left nostril, which causes her to have difficulty breathing at times. She feels uncomfortable but is not in pain. Sometimes she also feels like she has a blood clot in her nostrils during her nosebleeds. Because the nosebleed can start at any time and can last anywhere from 10 to 20 minutes, her life revolves around managing her nosebleeds. She is unable to work or sleep properly, and if she is about to have a nosebleed, she is unable to eat. The nosebleeds have also affected her ability to earn an income for her children and continues to impact her social life. “When I socialise, I do not feel comfortable and some people think I have a disease that I can infect them with,” said Khin. “So, I hope to get better after surgery, and I hope I will no longer have nosebleeds. I don’t want to bleed, and I want to socialise with my friends and family happily. [Right now] my friends won’t even touch me.”
Maw is a 50-year-old homemaker from Burma. She lives with her husband, daughter, son-in-law, granddaughter and son in a village. In her free time, she like to clean the house and do some gardening. Since June, Maw's left eye is itchy, painful, and swollen. One day, she woke up and her left eyelid was droopy. Gradually, the vision became blurry in that eye. She also suffers from severe headaches in the left side of her head. The headaches are so bad that none of the medications seem to help, and she sleeps most of the day. Doctors want Maw to undergo a CT scan, a procedure in which x-ray images taken from several angles are combined to produce cross-sectional images of the body. This scan will hopefully help doctors diagnose her condition and formulate an appropriate treatment plan. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $414 to cover the cost of Maw's CT scan and care, scheduled for August 19.
Modesta is a beautiful and playful 5-year-old girl from Tanzania who struggles to walk due to genu varum, a condition where the legs curve outward at the knees. She falls often when she tries to run. The curving has increased as she has grown. Her parents did not think its a treatable condition, but during an outreach program, her father learnt of the treatment option and hopes to have Modesta treated. With successful surgery, Modesta will be able to walk with ease and less pain. She will also walk to school easily when she joins. Modesta's parents are peasant farmers relying on maize, sorghum and vegetable plantations to meet their daily needs. They have limited income to pay for the cost of surgery. Modesta lives with her parents and 8 siblings. The family appeals for financial assistance. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $838 to fund corrective surgery for Modesta. Treatment will hopefully restore Modesta's mobility, allow her to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease her risk of future complications. Modesta’s father says, “The treatment cost is too expensive for us to afford please help.”
Sammy struggles with a congenital hearing problem. He has been to several ENT facilities where he had tests run on him and hearing loss diagnosed. However, he has not received any treatment due to financial struggles. He was brought to Kijabe and after hearing tests were done, he had hearing aids recommended. Sammy continues to face struggles socializing with other children. With the hearing aids, his social interactions will improve tremendously. Sammy is the only child in his family. His mother is a gas station attendant making about $120 per month. This is the money she splits to meet all her bills including rent and daily upkeep. She will need several months of saving to consolidate the amount required for her son’s treatment. She appeals for help.
Anifa is a student from Tanzania. Anifa is a friendly third born child in a family of four. Her mother describes her as hardworking both in school and at home. The class five student suffered severe burns on her left arm when she was three years old. While playing children's cooking games with her friends, Anifa's clothing caught fire as she was placing the cooking tin on the open fire. The severe burns saw her admitted to the hospital for a month. She healed with contractures on her left hand and armpit. At five years, she was funded by a visiting team of surgeons for a contracture release of the arm. However, the contractures on her axilla remain. The contractures limit her hand movement making it challenging to perform daily tasks. When her mother heard about our funding program from our outreach team who had visited their village, she brought her in to ask for help. Anifa is planned for a release and Z-plasty surgery in our ALMC hospital. Anifa's parents are small scale farmers of maize, rice and vegetables. Their income is limited to cater for the surgical cost and appeal for financial assistance Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Anifa receive treatment. On September 27th, surgeons at their care center will perform a burn contracture release surgery to The surgery will restore Anifa's ability to move her hand with ease. Now, she needs help to fund this $608 procedure. Anifa’s mother says, “We have always wanted to treat our daughter and correct the remaining part but due to lack of money we have not been able to do that kindly help our daughter if it’s possible.”