Doug Winter
Doug's Story

Doug joined Watsi on June 20th, 2015. 13 other people also joined Watsi on that day! Doug's most recent donation supported Asaph, a farmer from Malawi, for prostate surgery.


Doug has funded healthcare for 12 patients in 8 countries.

All patients funded by Doug

Asaph is a 64-year-old farmer and father of eight children who lives in Malawi. Two years ago, he started experiencing difficulty passing urine and increased nighttime urinary frequency—symptoms related to an enlarged prostate. The prostate gland surrounds the urethra, the tube that carries urine from the bladder out of the body. An enlarged prostate—known as benign prostatic hyperplasia—is a common condition in older men due to hormonal changes. As the prostate gets larger, it squeezes the urethra, causing problems with urination. Asaph has been unable to sleep restfully and has had difficulty providing for his family due to pain and discomfort associated with the catheter he uses to empty his bladder. For $742, Asaph will undergo surgery—transurethral resection of the prostate—in which doctors insert an instrument into the urethra to remove the part of his prostate that is blocking urine flow. After surgery, a catheter will be inserted temporarily to remove urine from the bladder. When the urine is free of blood or blood clots, the catheter will be removed, and Asaph can urinate on his own. Funding for Asaph also pays for a three-night hospital stay, lab tests, medicine, and transportation to and from the hospital for him and two caregivers. It is expected that, after his surgery, Asaph will make a full recovery and be able to live catheter- and symptom-free. "Before I had to go to the bathroom four to five times every night," shares Asaph. "Now I will be able to live a normal life again."

Fully funded

Nine-year-old Khu is the youngest of six children and lives on her family’s farm in Burma. “When Khu was a year old, she first developed jaundice, fever, and a distended abdomen,” our medical partner, Burma Border Projects (BBP), tells us. She was prescribed medicine from a local clinic to treat her symptoms, and at age six, she was diagnosed with thalassemia. Thalassemia is a genetic condition in which the body does not make enough red blood cells, and the existing red blood cells do not transport oxygen efficiently. This is problematic because red blood cells carry oxygen to all of the body’s organs. When an organ’s oxygen supply is inadequate, the organ cannot function properly, and symptoms such as fatigue, pallor (pale skin), and slow growth rates can result. “Khu needs a blood transfusion every month, and if [she does not receive it], she becomes pale and tired,” explains BBP. “Khu no longer goes to school as her illness continually forces her to miss classes, and she falls behind the rest of the class.” Khu also has an enlarged spleen—known as splenomegaly— which is common in individuals with thalassemia. The spleen is responsible for destroying old and defective red blood cells. In thalassemia, the rate of destruction is increased in response to the abnormal and transfused red blood cells in circulation, and the spleen grows larger due to the increased activity. “With thalassemia, a splenectomy [removal of the spleen] is often required to alleviate symptoms,” BBP continues. The family’s farm work—growing rice, selling livestock, fishing, and collecting wild fruits and vegetables—provides sufficient income for their day-to-day expenses, but they can afford only the most basic medications for Khu. For $1,015, Khu will undergo a splenectomy and receive seven days of hospital care and follow-up appointments after surgery. “Following the surgery,” says BBP, “Khu should be able to go back to school, and she will no longer need blood transfusions.” "Hopefully, my girl can regain her health, return to school, and possibly become a medic in her future," shares Khu’s mother.

Fully funded

Meet Diego, a two-year-old baby boy from Guatemala. “Diego is the youngest of seven children, and his mother is eight months pregnant with her eighth child,” reports our medical partner, Wuqu’ Kawoq (WK). “His father works as a tractor driver on a large farm, while his mother takes care of the household, washing clothes and cooking.” “While all of Diego’s siblings are in school, his parents have a hard time affording study materials, uniforms, and proper nutritious food,” continues WK. “His parents value education and are trying to give all of their children the chance to study and graduate from school, but admit it is extremely difficult to ensure each child’s future at this time.” Diego has acute malnutrition, marked by a below average weight for his height. “Without intervention, Diego will continue to not receive the nutrition and calories needed to thrive, his height will continue to not improve, and his weight will decline,” explains WK. “Diego will suffer from limited mental growth and a weakened immune system, consequently leading to fatigue, decreased ability to concentrate and learn, and limited long-term success.” For $535, Diego can be fully treated for acute malnutrition. This includes food supplementation, micronutrient support, travel/lodging, laboratory studies, medications, and several sessions with a nutritionist. “Micronutrient and food supplementation will increase his vitamin, mineral, and overall caloric intake, while deworming medication will rid him of any potential parasitic infections and allow him to digest and absorb vital nutrients,” explains WK. “Diego’s immune system will strengthen and he will avoid the devastating long-term effects of malnutrition, such as increased risk of chronic disease, decreased performance in school, and lower economic productivity later in life.” “This treatment will give Diego’s family the tools they need to help him thrive,” continues WK. “Intensive nutrition education will benefit not only Diego, but also his seven and soon to be eight other siblings, as his parents will have the educational tools necessary to prepare nutritious meals for all their children and be able to recognize signs of malnutrition in the future.” “I love my children and want them to do well, but sometimes I am overwhelmed by how many I am responsible for,” says Diego’s mother. “And now with this next little one on the way, I am afraid I will not be able to give all of them the food and education they want.” Let’s help Diego grow and reach his developmental milestones.

Fully funded