Mark joined Watsi on May 8th, 2014. Seven years ago, Mark joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Mark's most recent donation traveled 6,200 miles to support Samrach, a factory worker and loving father of two from Cambodia, to fund nerve surgery to help him use his arm following a road accident.
Mark has funded healthcare for 87 patients in 13 countries.
Mark has funded healthcare for 87 patients in 13 countries.
Samrach is a 27-year-old clothing factory worker. He's is married with two small children. His daughter is six years old and just starting the first grade, and his son is nine months old. His wife is also a factory worker in their province. He likes to play with his children and listen to music. Ten months ago, on his way home from the factory, Samrach was in a motorcycle crash. He suffered fractures of the femur, clavicle, forearm, and multiple other injuries. He lost his left leg below the knee due to the trauma injury, and spent three months in a provincial hospital. A local taxi driver told him about the specialty care at our medical partner Children's Surgical Center (CSC). Doctors have diagnosed him 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 cannot lift his left shoulder, bend his elbow, or use his hand. He feels unwell and shared that he often feels very depressed that he cannot work or support his family. Samrach traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On January 6th, he will undergo a brachial plexus repair surgery. After recovery, he hopes to regain the use of his arm so he can find work in the factory again. Our medical partner is requesting $696 to fund this life-changing procedure. Samrach said: "I hope this surgery will work for me, and I can start working again to have money to feed my children and make sure they go to school."
Jhonatan Mercado is a creative four-year-old from Venezuela. A year ago his family moved to Medellin in Colombia seeking for a better future for their kids. Jhonatan is an older brother in a family of two children, his little brother is one year old. Jhonatan he loves to play with his mom with Legos. He already loves soccer too. Jhonatan Mercado has clubfoot of both feet. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Fortunately, Jhonatan Mercado's family traveled to visit our Medical Partner Clínica Noel. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on December 20th. Our medical partner, Clínica Noel, is requesting $1500 to fund Jhonatan Mercado's bilateral clubfoot repair. After treatment, he will be able to walk without pain or further complications. His mother said "We are really glad that finally we found help, we have been in different treatments since he was 6 months old but now we have a lot of faith in this procedure and in Doctor Miguel."
Arahufu is a two-year-old boy who loves football. He is the youngest child in a family of five children. Aruhufu's father works as a ‘manamba’, where his job is to call passengers onto a bus at the bus stop. When he manages to fill all the sits in the bus, he is then given some money. Arahufu was diagnosed with bilateral genu varus, a condition in which his legs bow outward. This condition is typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, which often stems from contaminated drinking water. As a result, he has difficulty walking and running. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Arahufu. The procedure is scheduled to take place on September 14th. Treatment will hopefully restore Arahufu's mobility, allowing him to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decreasing his risk of future complications. Arahufu’s mother shared, “I can never find the money needed to cover my son’s treatment cost. I am struggling to even put food on the table. Please help him.”
Boaz is a small baby boy and the last born in a family of three children. Boaz’s father is a teacher and his mother is a housewife. Boaz was diagnosed with cryptorchidism, a condition he was born with. If left untreated, Boaz has an increased risk of developing hernias, testicular cancer, and fertility problems in the future. Fortunately, Boaz is scheduled to undergo corrective surgery on September 6th. Boaz will be receiving assistance from our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMHF). AMHF is requesting $646 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care so he can grow up healthy. Boaz’s mother says, “When we heard that we were not in a position to be covered with support for his surgery, we had no choice but to go back and gather some funds which would take a long time. We are grateful for your help.”
Kyarituha is a tailor from Uganda. Kyarituha attended school until reaching secondary school class three, but did not finish her education due to financial constraints at home. After leaving, she enrolled at a tailoring practice. Two years ago, Kyarituha stopped working as a tailor and became a homemaker when business stopped being profitable. Kyarituha's husband is a small scale farmer. Together with their 3 children, the family lives in a three-roomed house. Their two older children are in primary school, which requires school fees that the parents find difficult to supply. During her free time, Kyarituha still enjoys being able to repair clothes for her family and friends. Kyarituha is currently expecting her fourth child. She received full antenatal care at our medical partner's care center, Rushoroza Hospital. When she came to the hospital on July 19th with minor pain, she was reviewed and a caesarean section was recommended by her doctors due to a previous c-section and unfavorable fetus position. The procedure could save her from uterine rupture which puts her and her baby at risk. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMH), is helping Kyarituha undergo a C-Section on July 20th. AMH is requesting support for this $207 procedure that will ensure the safety of both the mother and child. Kyarituha shares her future plans, “I pray for a successful surgery. I will resume tailoring as soon as I gather enough business capital but meanwhile, I plan to start farming to assist my husband in taking care of our family.”
Nurat is a three-week old baby from Tanzania. She is the first child of her young parents at a local hospital in Manyara. Nurat’s mother still lives at her parents’ home while her father lives at a rented house. Before Nurat's birth, her mother sold flowers and cooking pots to earn a living and her father has a small kiosk selling domestic items such as sugar, salt, bread. Nurat was born with spina bifida that puts her at risk of lower-limb paralysis, infection, and possible developmental delays. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,015 to cover the cost of Nurat's spina bifida closure surgery. The procedure is scheduled to take place on June 23rd. This procedure will hopefully spare Nurat from the risks associated with his condition, instead allowing her to grow and develop into a healthy girl . Nuru’s mother hopes the best for her child, "Am still in shock and unsettled due to my daughter’s conditions. I was informed that both conditions could be corrected but we are not in a position to afford any of the treatment costs. Please help save my daughter I don’t know what to do."
Grace is a one-month-old baby girl and the youngest in a family of three children. Both of her parents are small scale farmers, mainly producing maize and vegetables for their food. Her father also seeks other work as a casual laborer, like working on other farms or fetching water to sell to other villages, to supplement the family's income. Grace was born with spina bifida, a type of neural tube defect in which the spine does not properly close around the spinal cord. Without treatment, Grace is at risk of lower limb paralysis, infection of the exposed nerve tissue, development of tethered cord syndrome, and possible developmental delays. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is requesting $1,015 to cover the cost of Grace's spina bifida closure surgery. The procedure is scheduled to take place on June 4th, and will hopefully help prevent some of the risks associated with her condition, allowing her to grow and develop along a healthy trajectory. Grace’s mother shared, "the cost of surgery is too high for us to afford, please help us."
Degenet is an eight-month-old baby boy from Ethiopia and the third child born to his parents. He is curious and loves juice, eggs, and playing with his mom. His father is a day worker and a student, while his mom is a homemaker. Degenet was born with an anorectal malformation, a congenital abnormality that leads to a complete or partial intestinal blockage. He needs to undergo a series of procedures to eliminate bowel dysfunction. Degenet is scheduled to undergo surgery to correct his condition on May 4th. After his recovery, he will no longer experience bowel dysfunction or be at risk of developing health complications in the future. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of Degenet's procedure and care. Degenet's mother shared, “I hope our baby gets as normal as other boys. I hope he will be educated and do good work in the future. And it is my hope he will serve God becoming a good Christian.”
Htoo is a 6-year-old boy from Thailand. He lives with his parents, brother and two sisters in a refugee camp on the border of Thailand and Burma. Htoo and his siblings were born in the refugee camp. Htoo’s mother is a homemaker, while Htoo’s older brother and sisters go to primary school and Htoo attends kindergarten. His father used to work as a day labourer, but has been unemployed since the pandemic began. Currently, they have no income and receive some financial support for their daily expenses. Luckily, Htoo's family receives free basic healthcare and education in the camp. In late October 2020, Htoo was diagnosed with an inguinal hernia. If he stands up for a short period of time, or walks, the right side of his private area will swell. Around twice a week, Htoo shares with his parents that this area is hurting him and he feels uncomfortable. Fortunately, on April 8th, he will undergo hernia repair surgery at Mae Sot General Hospital, our medical partner's care center. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund Htoo's hernia repair surgery. The procedure is scheduled to take place on April 8th and, once completed, will hopefully allow him to live more comfortably. Htoo's father shared, “Most of the time, my son is very active and playful. He will only rest when he complains about the pain.”
Phanith is a 31-year-old photography assistant from Cambodia. He currently lives with his father and his three siblings, and he is the second child in his family. His mother passed away ten years ago. Phanith has been unable to work since his injury. On November 3rd, 2020, Phanith was in a motor vehicle accident that caused injury and paralysis of his right arm. He was taken to a provincial hospital, then transferred due to the seriousness of his injuries. Phanith was released after a month but is still unable to move his right shoulder or lift his arm. He has been diagnosed with a brachial plexus injury on his right 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. As a result, Phanith is unable to lift his hand or flex his elbow, and has no movement in his fingers. Although his arm has no movement, he has paresthesia (burning or prickly sensations) of the hand and forearm, which are often quite painful. Phanith traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On March 4th, he will undergo a brachial plexus repair surgery. After recovery, he will be able to use this hand again and be physically able to find work. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is requesting $696 to fund this procedure. Phanith shared, "I hope after surgery, my right shoulder will return to full function as soon as possible."
Myo is a 16-year-old boy from Burma. He lives with his parents and four brothers in northern Rakhine State. Myo is a student in grade nine and his four brothers also go to school. However, they have been unable to study since the Covid-19 pandemic shut all schools. Myo’s parents are day laborers, and their family's combined income is just enough to cover their daily expenses since Myo and his brothers’ schooling is free. To survive with limited income, they forage for vegetables and fish. If they fall ill, they use traditional medicine, which is more affordable then going to a clinic or a hospital. Myo was diagnosed with a heart condition that involves a malformation of the mitral valve, which is 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, Myo cannot walk long distances or climb stairs because of his tiredness. Sometimes, he cannot breathe very well. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund a mitral valve replacement for Myo. The treatment is scheduled to take place on February 7th and, once completed, will hopefully allow him to live more comfortably. Myo shared, “I am worried about my health and I feel sorry for my parents. Because of my health problems, my father had to work more days to earn more money. Also, my mother cannot work because she accompanies me and has to take care of me. I hope my school will reopen soon so that I can go back to school. One day I hope that I can become a teacher. I want to teach because there are not enough teachers in my village.”
Choeurk is a 64-year-old farmer, proudly married for 42 years and has six children, two sons and four daughters. Four of his children are now married, and he has 4 grandchildren. Choeurk lives with his wife, who is also a farmer. During his free time, he likes to exercise in the morning, care for his grandchildren, listen to the radio news, clean the house, and visit the pagoda. Two years ago, Choeurk was in a motor vehicle accident that caused trauma to his right hip and knee. After the accident, he went to a provincial hospital, where they gave him medications to ease the pain, but his condition did not improve. When he arrived at Watsi's Medical Partner Children's Surgical Centre (CSC), he had a painful right hip and right knee and he was unable to walk. Doctors diagnosed him with avascular necrosis in his hip and recommend a total hip replacement on his right hip and a possible knee fusion procedure as well. At CSC, surgeons can perform a total hip replacement to relieve Choeurk of his pain and allow him to walk easily again. Treatment is scheduled for January 7th, and Choeurk needs help raising $1,087 to pay for this procedure. Choeurk shared, "I hope that after this surgery, my right hip will be free of pain, and I will be able to walk and work again."