The joined Watsi on September 19th, 2016. Six years ago, The joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. The's most recent donation traveled 8,300 miles to support Yoon, a beautiful 12-year-old girl from Burma, to fund an Achilles tendon lengthening procedure so that she can walk again.
The has funded healthcare for 57 patients in 10 countries.
The has funded healthcare for 57 patients in 10 countries.
Yoon is a bright and loving 12-year-old girl. She lives with her mother and uncle in Karen State of Burma near the border with Thailand. She was a student in grade three but stopped studying in August 2020 when she was no longer able to walk. Yoon enjoys painting pictures and reading books. In the future, she wants to go back to school and continue her studies. She helps out her mother with household chores. Her uncle is unemployed whereas her mother is an agricultural day labourer. One day at home, Yoon fell down when she tried to stand up to go to the bathroom. Her feet felt painful and were pointing downwards. After that, she did not try to stand up again and would move around her house on her knees. Her mother would have to carry her to the bathroom. Due to their financial situation, her mother was not able to seek treatment despite being very worried for her daughter. Over time, Yoon noticed that her feet were increasingly pointing downwards and were stiff. Her legs would feel painful and were also stiff. Sometimes, she could not stretch out her legs due to feelings of tightness and pain. Her mom shared that she would cry whenever her legs pained, and she would have to wait until the pain lessened by itself. Additionally, her hands began to weaken until she could not hold food with her hands. At the same time, her speech became slurred and her voice became hoarse. On June 17, Yoon arrived at our medical partner's care center, Mawlamyine Christian Leprosy Hospital (MCLH), and was admitted that same day. She received a physical examination and was diagnosed with cerebral palsy and tightness of Achilles tendon in both of her legs. The doctor recommended she receive surgery on both of her feet, which would help her walk again, and scheduled the procedure for June 21st. When Yoon’s mother told the doctor that they cannot afford to pay for surgery, the doctor referred Yoon to Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF) for assistance accessing further treatment. Our medical partner, BCMF, is requesting $1,500 to cover the cost of an Achilles tendon lengthening procedure for Yoon. This procedure will elongate her Achilles tendon, allowing increased motion at the ankle joint. Without treatment, Yoon's condition will continue to cause her discomfort and will further limit her movement. Her mother said, “I cried almost every night when I saw my daughter in this condition. She always cried and complained about her feet. She always asked me to bring her to the hospital to get treatment. Whenever she asked me, I felt very sad and I would cry in secret. I want her to get treatment, but I cannot afford to pay for it. Due to COVID-19 and the current fighting in Burma, I cannot make enough money or save it. Often, I would only eat fishpaste and rice, but give her meat so that she can have something nutritious. When I heard that she has donors who will help her receive treatment, I felt very happy and thankful to BCMF for this kindness. I never thought she would receive such an opportunity. It makes me so happy that I do not know how to express it in words.”
Meshack is a six-year-old boy, living with his mother and one sibling, in a one-roomed grass thatched house in a village in Kenya. Recently, Meshack completed his preschool studies and now he is in grade one. According to his mother, Meshack is very helpful, and always assists her around the farm and in doing household chores. Meshack's mother is a single parent and a farmer, who works hard to provide for her family. Meshack was born with a condition known as hemiplegic CP, which means that one side of his body is weak. His right foot is affected, making walking challenging. Additionally, Meshack was born with clubfoot of his left foot, which adds to his difficulty walking, and limits his ability to wear shoes. Meshack has already undergone some preliminary, preparatory procedures on his left foot during mobile clinic visits near his village and the next step is for him to have clubfoot repair surgery at our medical partner's hospital. Meshack and his mother have now traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, AIC Cure International Hospital. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on May 27th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $1,286 to fund Meshack's surgery, which will enable him to walk, to play with his friends, and to continue his education. “I would love to see my son walking like other children, and I will be relieved of the burden of carrying him to school,” Meshack's mother told us.
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!”
Dav is a 25-year-old construction worker. Dav's wife is a garment worker and together they have a one-year-old son, who they adore. In January, Dav was in a motorcycle accident, causing trauma to his right shoulder. Dav was treated at a local clinic, where surgeons placed screws and plates to repair his broken arm, but he has experienced paralysis from extensive nerve damage. Dav has been diagnosed with a brachial plexus injury that impacts the 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. Dav is unable to lift his right arm, abduct his shoulder, or have any sensation in his fingers. Dav cannot work to support his family so Dav, his wife, and child live with Dav's parents. Dav traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. This is the only center in the country where this treatment is available. On March 7th, Dav will undergo a brachial plexus repair surgery. After recovery, the nerves that have been damaged will be able to regenerate, allowing Dav to have use of his arm again. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is helping Dav raise $696 to fund this procedure. Dav is hopeful that with this care, he can use his arm again to lift up his son and return to work to support his family.
Pai is a 63-year-old woman who lives alone in a refugee camp in the border region of Thailand and Burma. She receives 350 baht (approx. $12 USD) each month on a cash card from The Border Consortium, to purchase food in the refugee camp. This support is just enough to cover her daily needs, since she sometimes shares meals with her sister. In June 2019, Pai first notice that the vision in both of her eyes was blurry. By late 2021, she could no longer see with her left eye. She then went to the hospital in the refugee camp, run by the International Rescue Committee (IRC). A medic checked her eyes, gave her some eyedrops, and told her that they would refer her to Mae Sot Hospital (MSH) for further follow up. IRC staff brought Pai to the hospital in January where the doctor completed a vision test and also checked her eyes with specialized equipment. The doctor diagnosed her with cataracts and shared that she would need surgery to be able to see clearly again. Currently, Pai can only see objects near to her with her right eye and even then, she cannot see objects clearly. She can only perceive light with her left eye. When she walks, she has to do so slowly to avoid stubbing her toes on stones and other objects. At night, she now needs someone to assist her to get around at all. She also has difficulty cleaning her house and doing other household chores like washing her clothes or cooking. She shared that when she tries to cook on her own, she will sometimes mixed up the ingredients now. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund lens replacement surgery for Pai. On February 22nd, doctors will perform a lens replacement, during which they will remove Pai's natural lens and replace this with an intraocular lens implant. After recovery, she will be able to see clearly. Now, she needs help to fund this $1,500 procedure. Pai said, “I do not want to depend on my sister as she has to look after her family too. However, now I have to depend on her for many things and I feel sad about this.” Pai is thankful to the donors who can help pay for her treatment cost. She is very happy that there will be a donor for her. She said, “I hope that I can see again, and I really want to see the donors and everyone at BCMF’s organisation who was willing to help me. Thank you so much for your kind support.”
Samuel is a hard working and handsome young 17-year-old. He is the second born in a family of four children. As his mother puts it, Samuel is a very obedient, hardworking, and kind boy. Samuel left high school after seeing how his mother was straining with his father being sick, so he started doing any casual work available to try and support his mother's efforts. Their family has encountered many challenges leaving Samuel's mother feeling helpless and frustrated. They shared that this is a hard moment for their family as Samuel's grandmother recently passed away and now Samuel has been in an accident. On January 15th, as Samuel was walking along the side of the road, a car hit him and the driver ran away. Samuel is experiencing pain from the fracture injury that resulted from the accident. If not treated, he may have malunion, where his leg may be permanently impacted and he may never be able to fully use his leg again. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On January 27th, Samuel will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. Following surgery, Samuel will no longer be in pain. His leg will heal and he will be able to walk. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $1,049 to fund this procedure. “I left school to assist my mother, and now this has happened. I feel very frustrated and hope someone can assist me so that as soon as I get well, I can start working again to support my mother and our family,” said Samuel looking very concerned.
Da is a 67-year-old man who lives with his wife and son in a village on the border area of Thailand. Da cannot work since his vision deteriorated three years ago and his wife is a homemaker. His son works as a day labourer getting work when he can. In his free time, Da shared that he likes to listen to gospel songs. Starting three years ago, Da's right pupil gradually turned white. The vision in his eye also blurred over time. When he went to Mae Sot Hospital, the doctor diagnosed him with cataracts in both his eyes and told him he would need surgery to be able to see clearly again. The doctor scheduled him to receive surgery for his right eye first on December 28th. Currently, Da cannot see anything and can only perceive light. He needs someone to guide him to the bathroom and help him take a shower because he cannot see. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund lens replacement surgery for Da. Doctors can perform a lens replacement, during which they will remove Da's natural lenses and replace them with an intraocular lens implant in each eye. After recovery, he will be able to see clearly. Now, he needs help to fund this $1,500 procedure. Da said, "I feel like I am in the darkness as I cannot see now. I hope that I will be able to see after surgery."
Eugene is a 5-year-old student and the second born in a family of two siblings. His older brother is in grade three. His mother shared that she did not manage to further her own studies due to financial problems. Eugene's father passed away last year after a long illness and his mother is the only breadwinner for their family. She farms maize and beans on a rented piece of land. During the harvest, she sells some in order to support her children and their family uses the rest at home. She lives at her late husband’s ancestral home, in a timber-roomed house. She also keeps some hens which provide them with eggs and meat. Since two months ago, Eugene has had bilateral hydrocele. The hydrocele causes him pain and discomfort. Fortunately, on November 11th, he will undergo hernia repair surgery at our medical partner's care center. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $733 to fund Eugene's surgery. Once completed, this procedure will hopefully allow him to live more comfortably and confidently. Eugene’s mother says, "I am the only breadwinner. Kindly, assist me to raise the hospital bill for my son.’’
Naw Blut lives with her husband, toddler son, and parents in a refugee camp in northern Thailand. She is a homemaker, her parents are retired, and her husband works at the Water and Sanitation Department in the refugee camp. Their family's monthly income of 2,694 baht ($89.80 USD) is just enough to cover their daily needs as they currently have to buy formula milk for Naw Blut's toddler. Naw Blut has been receiving a antenatal care at the clinic at the refugee camp. Earlier this month, Naw Blut went for her follow-up appointment and since she was 37 weeks pregnant and had previously had an emergency C-section, she was told she would need to see a specialist about her delivery. The next day, staff from the organization that helps run the camp (Malteser International (MI) Thailand), brought her to Mae Sariang Hospital. After she met the doctor, the doctor said she could not give birth vaginally because of the status of her pregnancy and her last delivery. The team has scheduled her to undergo a c-section to safely delivery her baby. As Naw Blut cannot afford to pay for the procedure, MI staff referred her to our medical partner Burma Children Medical Fund for financial support.
Seth is a sweet baby boy. He is the only child in his family and his parents separated before he was born. His mother moved back to his grandparent’s place to raise him with support. A few months ago, Seth's mother went abroad to work as a domestic helper. Seth is being cared for by his grandmother who does laundry for her neighbors to earn a living, while his grandfather sells cereals in a local market. Seth's mother noticed that he could not pass stool three days after he was born. It was discovered that Seth's lower digestive system had not developed fully and he received surgery to treat this congenital anal malformation. Later additional scans were to be done but Seth's mother did not have any extra money at that time. She went back home, gathered some funds, and brought Seth back to the facility a few months later. A community health volunteer referred his family to our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH) as his family was having a challenging time to cover the cost of his treatment and he needs a anorectoplasty surgery to repair his digestive system. Our medical partner African Mission Healthcare (AMH) is requesting $743 to cover the costs. Seth’s grandmother says, “The past one year has been very stressful for us but we hope that it will be well.”
Fred is a motorbike delivery man from Kenya. He is the last born in a family of five. Fred recently got a job in Nairobi making deliveries using a motorbike. He has only been working for two months at his job. On average, he can make $4 a day. The single young man lives in an apartment costing $30 a month. He does not have active medical insurance coverage do to the cost. His parents are small-scale farmers who grow food crops for home-use on their half an acre piece of land in Kisii. Fred's parents rely on him for upkeep and income since not all his siblings have jobs. To save money, he had travelled to his ancestral home in Kisii (about 500 km from Nairobi) to visit his elderly parents using his work motorbike. He was involved in an accident along Maai Maihiu road while going back to Nairobi. A personal car was on the wrong side of the narrow road and unfortunately hit him. He was rushed to Kijabe Hospital as an emergency case and admitted right away. X-rays revealed that he has a midshaft fracture femur, distal fibular fracture, ulna styloid fracture, Scaphoid fracture, and fracture of his finger.. The Orthopedic team has recommended right femur and right distal tibia fracture repair surgery. He is currently unable to walk or use his right leg and arm. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On August 25th, Fred will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. He will be able to walk again and use his arm again Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,500 to fund this procedure. Fred says, “I am young and have a life to lead, I cannot lose my leg. I recently started working with high hopes for my future and supporting my elderly parents. I also promised my brother to pay for his college fees. Sadly, I now cannot walk or use my legs”.
Jackline is a nine-year-old student who does well in school and enjoys helping with household chores. Her favorite subject in school is Kiswahili. Jackline's mother is a housewife, while her father is a casual laborer who works at construction sites. Three years ago, Jackline was playing at home with friends when she fell and injured her left leg. She was taken to a nearby hospital where her leg was casted, but since then, she has been limping and experiences pain in her hip. She is unable to walk well or play with her friends, and the pain has affected her schooling. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Jackline to receive treatment. She visited AMH's care center for an orthopedic consultation and is scheduled to undergo an osteotomy on July 15th. The procedure will improve Jackline's mobility. Now, AMH is requesting $1,224 to fund Jackline's procedure. Jackline's mother shared, “I would like to see my daughter walking and continue with her normal life."