abbas joined Watsi on August 8th, 2014. Five years ago, abbas joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. abbas' most recent donation traveled 8,600 miles to support Mo, a refugee and future medic from Thailand, to fund hydrocephalus treatment.
abbas has funded healthcare for 39 patients in 11 countries.
Mo is 22-year-old student from Thailand. Mo lives with his father in a refugee camp on the Thai-Burma border. In the camp, Mo finished high school and is now completing his post-high school education. Their household receives 480 baht (approx. $16 USD) each month as part of their food support from an organization called The Border Consortium. However, this amount is not enough to cover their daily needs. Mo's father also works as a seasonal agricultural day laborer in a nearby village to earn an extra 350 baht (approx. $12 USD) each month. However this amount is still not enough and they struggle to make ends meet despite having free basic health care and education in their camp. Mo was recently diagnosed with a mass in his brain and hydrocephalus, which has caused fluid to build up in his brain. Watsi supporters are helping to fund his brain mass removal surgery, but without immediate surgery to treat his hydrocephalus and alleviate the intracranial pressure that the excess fluid is causing, he is at risk of developing severe, potentially fatal medical complications. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund the insertion of a ventriculoperitoneal shunt for Mo, which will drain the fluid that has accumulated in his brain. The procedure is scheduled to take place on October 9th, and, once completed, will greatly improve Mo's quality of life. "I dream of becoming a great medic after I finish my post-high school education, but for now I am in the care of the [hospital’s] medical team," said Mo.
Gift is a young child from Kenya--a playful and lively boy. His mother told us that he likes reading and playing with other kids. Gift is the last born in his family that hails from Mathare neighborhood in Nairobi County. His mother does casual jobs of washing clothes and cleaning. His father passed on two years ago after an accident. The family lives in a one-roomed ironsheet house in Mathare. Gift 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, Gift traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, AIC Cure International Hospital. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on September 14th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,286 to fund Gift's clubfoot repair. After treatment, he will be able to walk easily and wear shoes. “I am appealing to people of goodwill to help my son undergo surgery so that he can be able to walk like other children. God bless you," his mother told us.
Min lives with his wife, son, and daughter in a village in Tak Province, Thailand. He moved from Burma to Thailand nine months ago in search of better job opportunities. His daughter is still too young to go to school and his wife and son work as day laborers on a farm, each earning 150 baht (approx. 5 USD) per day. Min had to stop working with his wife and son three months ago because of his condition. Their monthly household income of 3,000 baht (approx. 100 USD) is not enough to cover their daily expenses. Sometimes, they have to borrow money from their relatives to meet their basic needs. Four years ago, Min used to work as a construction worker in Bangkok. One day, he started to experience pain in the left side of his abdomen. He went to a clinic twice and was diagnosed with a kidney stone in his left kidney after receiving an ultrasound. The doctor told him that he would need to undergo laser treatment at a hospital to break up the stone. The next day, Min went to a hospital in Bangkok. He received another ultrasound and underwent laser treatment which he did not have to pay for because he had health insurance at that time. When he returned for his follow-up appointment, he underwent another round of laser treatment, followed by more oral medications to take home. Min was not able to return to the hospital because his father passed away before his next appointment and he had to go back to Burma for the funeral. Before he had a chance to return to Bangkok, his mother also passed away. After spending money on the two funerals, Min did not have enough money to return to Bangkok. He moved back in with his wife and children and started working as a day laborer on a farm with his wife in their village. In May 2019, Min started experiencing pain again in his left lower abdomen. He would also pass small stones about twice a month while urinating. He went to a clinic where he received oral medication as well as an ultrasound. The doctor told him that he has a stone in his left kidney as well as small stones in his urethra. Min went back to the same clinic several times for his follow-up appointments, where he received oral medication each time for his abdominal pain. By September 2019, he was feeling much better and was no longer in pain. He was also no longer passing stones when urinating. Min then stopped going back to the clinic and stopped taking medication. Later in December 2019, Min and his family moved to their current home in Thailand and in May 2020, the pain in Min’s lower abdomen returned. He has pain when urinating and has started to pass small stones again about every two weeks. He went to a local hospital in the beginning of May with his wife, and he received an ultrasound. The ultrasound showed that he now has stones in both of his kidneys in addition to a bladder stone. The doctor referred him to Mae Sot Hospital (MSH) for treatment, but his family was not able to afford the estimated cost so he returned home. At home, Min told his friend about his condition and his lack of funds to pay for it. His friend told him to seek help at Mae Tao Clinic (MTC) and with Watsi's Medical Parter Burma Children Medical Fund. Surgery is now scheduled for August 14th. Min shared, “I had to sell my phone to pay for my treatment [the ultrasounds and oral medications] and my transportation when I sought treatment. For the past few days, we don’t have enough rice and we also don’t have any money to buy more food. So we have to eat rice porridge. I feel so sad for my family.”
Veasna is a 26-year-old construction worker from Cambodia. He and his wife have been married for six years and have two young children. His wife is a factory worker. Since his children do not go to school yet, he takes them out to play everyday. In his free time he likes listening to music and helping his wife with housework. In March 2020, Veasna was in a motor accident in which he suffered an injury to his left shoulder. He went to a local hospital for treatment but they did not perform any surgery. 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. Now he cannot move his left arm without pain and has numbness in his hand. Veasna traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On July 9th, he will undergo a brachial plexus repair surgery. After recovery, He will be able to easily move his arm, hand and fingers with no pain. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is requesting $696 to fund this procedure. Veasna shared, "This shoulder pain is very bad, so I hope that the surgery stops all the bad feeling. I hope I can go back to work soon."
Pauline is married and a mother of 5 children who are in school in Kenya. She and her husband do casual work in the neighboring flower and coffee farms. Two years ago, Pauline began to experience troubling symptoms, including a swelling on her neck, headache and chest pain. She was diagnosed with a goiter, an abnormal enlargement of the thyroid gland. She needs surgery to prevent her symptoms from getting worse. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Pauline receive treatment. She is scheduled to undergo a thyroidectomy on June 15th at our medical partner's care center. Surgeons will remove all or part of her thyroid gland. This procedure will cost $688, and she and her family need help raising money. “Nowadays this swelling is giving me a lot of pains and headache. I am not able to go for work and I kindly request assistance,” said Pauline.
Florence is a Form Three student from Kenya. Florence is the oldest child in a family of five girls. She lives with her mother and siblings in a two-roomed house, relying only on their mother for daily upkeep after her father neglected them. Three years ago, Florence was involved in a road accident. While going to school, she was hit from behind by a passenger van, fracturing her right femur. Since then, she has had multiple surgeries to correct the fractures. She suffers severe pain and persistent infection. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Florence receive treatment. On May 15th, surgeons will perform a debridement and skin graft procedure so she will no longer be in pain and her risk of infection will be reduced. Now, Florence needs help to fund this $1,242 procedure. Florence says, “My greatest wish is to go back to finish school and at least help my mother.”
Ryan is a young boy from Kenya who is an only child. He lives with his mother, grandparents, uncles, and aunts in a two-room house in Central region of Kenya. His mother is a college student and they all rely on his grandmother who practices farming to fend for the family. Ryan’s father left them when Ryan was only four months old. His grandfather is sickly, thus cannot work. Ryan was diagnosed with cryptorchidism, a condition in which one or both of the testicles remains undescended. If left untreated, Ryan has an increased risk of developing hernias, testicular cancer, and fertility problems in the future. Ryan will be receiving assistance from our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMHF). Fortunately, he is scheduled to undergo corrective surgery on February 21st. AMHF is requesting $542 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. “I really appreciate my neighbor for bringing us here. I wouldn’t have known or thought of a way to get help,” shared Ryan’s grandmother.
Delvin is a baby boy from Tanzania, and is the second born to his parents. Delvin’s mother has another child who stays with his father in a different region after they separated. She got married to Delvin's father who also had another child. His parents depend on small-scale farming for their living thus their income is very little. Delvin 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, Delvin has been experiencing seizures. Without treatment, Delvin will experience severe physical and developmental delays. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,238 to cover the cost of surgery for Delvin that will treat his hydrocephalus. The procedure is scheduled to take place on March 11th and will drain the excess fluid from Delvin's brain. This will reduce intracranial pressure and greatly improve his quality of life. With proper treatment, Delvin will hopefully develop into a strong, healthy young boy. Delvin’s mother says, “Kindly help my son please, we are unable to afford the treatment cost and his health is worsening each day."
Immaculate is fast asleep on her mother’s lap. She was woken quite early to come to the hospital. A little bump, almost invisible, sits on her fontanel. Following results from CT scan, little Immaculate has been diagnosed with a dermoid cyst, a sac-like growth, that is present at birth and a craniotomy surgery is recommended. According to the doctor, the cyst sits on a very sensitive vein and if it ruptures Immaculate risks death. Surgery to close it will minimize such risks especially as she grows older, is more active, and playing with children who may accidentally hit the bump and cause the rupture. Immaculate lives with her parents and siblings in a one-room house in Central Kenya. The surgery is a cost that Immaculate’s parents cannot bear. They both are employed casually in a neighbor’s farm with an irregular daily wage of around Kes200 each. Immaculate’s elder brother is a student in class one and doing fine. With a very menial income, they are not able to raise the funds needed. “I will be glad if we get help,” says Immaculate’s mother.
Sophea is a 29-year-old tailor from Cambodia. In her free time, she enjoys listening to music and watching movies on television. When she was three years old, Sophea had an ear infection. This infection caused a cholesteatoma, or an abnormal skin growth, to develop in the middle ear behind the ear drum. For this reason, Sophea experiences hearing loss, headache, ear infection, discharge, and itchiness. She is unable to hear others and finds it difficult to communicate with those around her. Sophea traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On November 18th, she will undergo a mastoidectomy procedure in her right ear. During this procedure, ENT surgeons will remove the cholesteatoma. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is requesting $842 to fund this procedure. This covers medications, supplies, and inpatient care. Sophea said, "I hope that after the operation, my hearing will improve and the ear infection will stop."
Mary Wambui, a widow, is a 79-year-old retired primary school teacher who depends on her pension to earn a living. She is suffering from hearing loss and requires bilateral hearing aids to improve her hearing. Her hearing challenges began two years ago when her hearing ability dwindled and she could no longer attend church or gatherings as she could barely hear. Mary lives on her own since her husband passed on six years ago. She has no children, thus has no one to depend on. Mary can barely afford the hearing aids with just her pension as she needs funding for the fitting to be completed as well. Mary gets an average of Kes. 5,000 per month but that can barely cater for her basic needs leave alone pay for the hearing aids she so badly needs. She appeals for financial assistance.
Jean has a cardiac condition called ventricular septal defect and pulmonary hypertension. A hole exists between the two lower chambers of his heart; blood leaks through this hole without passing through his lungs to obtain oxygen, leaving him weak and short of breath. Earlier this year, he underwent a procedure called a cardiac catheterization to confirm that his condition can be repaired, and now he is ready to have surgery. Jean lives with his parents and two siblings in a mountain village in northern Haiti; his parents are both farmers. He is in the fourth grade and enjoys going to school. Jean's mother said, "I am very happy that after many years of hoping and praying, Jean can finally have this operation!"