Greg joined Watsi on February 23rd, 2014. Eight years ago, Greg joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Greg's most recent donation traveled 1,900 miles to support Jaebets, a future doctor from Haiti, to fund prep and travel for heart surgery.
Greg has funded healthcare for 84 patients in 13 countries.
Greg has funded healthcare for 84 patients in 13 countries.
Jaebets is a 13-year-old, eighth grade student from Haiti, who aspires to study medicine when he is older. He lives with his parents and two sisters in Port-au-Prince. Jaebets has a cardiac condition called ventricular septal defect, which means that 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. Another organization, Have a Heart Cayman, is paying for the cardiac surgery that Jaebets needs to correct the defect. However, Jaebets' family also needs to be able to cover the $1,500 that it will cost for pre-surgical preparation, laboratory tests, medicines and follow-up appointments. The money is also needed to pay for the social worker from our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, who will accompany Jaebets and his family when they travel to the Cayman Islands for Jaebets' surgery, which is scheduled for November 17th. Jaebets said: "I am excited to have this surgery so that I can focus on school instead of on my heart."
Thet is a 35 year old husband and father, who lives with his wife, son and in-laws in Mon State in Burma. Both Thet and his wife work in his uncle's grocery store, while his in laws are farmers. When he isn't working, Thet enjoys spending time with his son and reading. In November 2018, Thet started to experience tiredness when working, and frequent headaches. He also had a rapid heartbeat, and he couldn't sleep well. He went to a hospital in Mawlamyine, where he was referred to a different hospital in Yangon for further treatment. At the hospital in Yangon, Thet was diagnosed with mitral valve regurgitation and stenosis, which would require surgery to correct. Thet was sent home with medications to manage his condition. In March 2022, Thet went back to the hospital in Yangon, because of continuing fatigue, headaches, coughing and fever. The doctor told him they would contact him to schedule his surgery in May, but Thet never heard back from the hospital. When Thet told his neighbor about this, his neighbor gave him the phone number of a heart patient who had been helped by our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF). Thet followed up, and thanks to the assistance of Burma Children Medical Fund, he is finally scheduled for surgery to replace the valve in his heart on October 13th, at Pun Hlaing Hospital. Now Thet needs your help to fund the $1,500 to cover the cost of this surgery. "I have sold all my jewelry to pay for the cost of traveling to the hospital. I feel less stressed since I met the BCMF staff,” said Thet.
Nu is a 57-year-old woman from Thailand. She lives with her husband and two sons in a refugee camp. Her sons go to school. She and her husband raise chickens and grow vegetables both for their own consumption and for sale. She has cataracts and her vision is blurry. She is often worried that she might slip and fall due to her poor vision, and she has to walk slowly and carefully. Sometimes, she will have a headache and a stiff neck. Since her vision has become blurry, she can no longer read, which she shared she especially likes to do to read the Bible or the lyrics for new hymns. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund lens replacement surgery for Nu. On September 15th, doctors will perform a lens replacement, during which they will remove Nu's natural lenses and replace them with an intraocular lens implant in each eye. After recovery, she will be able to see clearly. Now, she needs help to fund this $1,500 procedure. “When I go to church, I feel sad because I cannot participate, like reading passages from the Bible," she shared.
Francis is a helpful and supportive son who lives with his single mother and eight siblings. His family lives together in a rental house. Together, he and his mother work tending farms to support their family. Francis has been a great source of support for his family, especially in helping his mother raise his siblings. However, Francis experiences frequent convulsions, or uncontrollable muscle contractions, preceded by dizziness, nausea, and headaches, which have affected his lifestyle and his family. Francis first experienced a convulsion at the end of 2020 after being hit in the head by a ball and losing consciousness while playing football with his colleagues. This marked the beginning of his health troubles. Although he has been seeking treatment at a local health center, he decided to seek out specialized care at our medical partner's care center, AIC Kijabe Hospital, once the intervals of his convulsions began to increase. After receiving a CT scan, it was revealed that Francis has a brain tumor, which is the cause of his convulsions. Fortunately, he is scheduled for a craniotomy for tumor resection. This procedure will help remove the tumor and stop its spread. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $1,500 to fund Francis's tumor removal surgery. The procedure is scheduled to take place on August 22nd. Once completed, he will hopefully be able to live more comfortably and confidently. Francis says, “My work is to tend farms so that I can help my mother and siblings. I sometimes experience many convulsions that are affecting my livelihood. I hope for treatment to end these discomforts.”
Ivy is a hardworking 24-year-old mom from the Philippines. Her husband works as a construction worker, and she shared that his income is only enough to sustain their basic needs. For the past five years, Ivy has been monitoring a birthmark on her face, which she noticed is growing in size. However, despite her desire to consult a physician, her financial constraints have prevented her from doing so. Over time, she began experiencing troubling symptoms, such as pain, uncontrollable itchiness, and bleeding from the lesion. Fortunately, Ivy found her way to our medical partner, World Surgical Foundation Philippines (WSFP). They are helping Ivy receive treatment. On July 16th, she will undergo surgery at WSFP’s care center. This procedure will remove her lesion and alleviate her symptoms, allowing her to return to supporting her family free of discomfort. Now, she needs help raising $1,196 to fund her procedure and care. Ivy shares, "Everywhere I go, I feel like people always notice my lesion, and it has started to affect my self-confidence. With Watsi and World Surgical Foundation Philippines helping me get this surgery, I know I can regain my confidence. I am really thankful to them, and I hope they help more people like me."
Thi is a 37-year-old woman who lives and works at a garment factory in Tak Province near the Thai border with Burma. Through her work, she receives free meals and board in addition to 4,000 baht (approx. 133 USD) per month. In her free time, she likes to watch political news and read books. She is also learning Thai to help her communicate with others in Thailand. Since April 17, Thi has been experiencing severe pain due to a mass in her ovary. She feels very unwell and often has a headache. She has been diagnosed with an ovarian tumor and has been advised to undergo a total abdominal hysterectomy, the surgical removal of her uterus and cervix. If left untreated, Thi's symptoms will continue to worsen and put her at risk for further health complications in the future. Fortunately, Thi is scheduled to undergo her hysterectomy on June 14th. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of her procedure and care. Once recovered, Thi will be no longer in pain and will be able to work without feeling pain. Thi said, "I want to receive surgery as soon as possible so that I can return to my work after I am fully recovered."
Robert is a 16-year-old teenager who is a sociable and talkative boy with five siblings. Robert enjoys helping his parents with their work. Their family lives a nomadic life, herding his father's cattle. During the dry season, Robert can spend two to three months away from home, walking long distances with his cattle, in search of pastureland and water. However, walking has gotten more difficult for Robert now. He was diagnosed with left genu valgus and right genu varus. His left leg bends inward at the knee, while the right leg bends outward at the knee. This condition is typically caused by excessive fluoride in contaminated drinking water. As a result of his condition, walking is exhausting and painful, and he has stopped taking his father's cattle out to graze. While he is scheduled for surgery to help correct his legs, his parents cannot afford the treatment cost, and are asking for help. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is raising $880 to fund Robert's corrective surgery. It is hoped that this procedure, which is scheduled for May 13th, will restore Robert's mobility, allowing him to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decreasing his risk of future complications. Robert says: “Staying at home all day without participating in daily life is very boring and it makes me feel bad, because I cannot work and help.”
Joan is a 36-year-old woman and a mother of three teenage children. Joan used to help tend a farm, but the work availability was inconsistent and could not support her family's needs. Her fracture makes it impossible for her to work at this time, and she is currently staying with her mother. Joan's husband works on a construction site. In January, Joan slipped while doing chores outside her home and broke her hand. She was rushed to a local hospital, where she was given a cast for six weeks, followed by an arm sling. Since her pain never subsided, she visited Kijabe Hospital for further review. The doctors noticed a deformity at the fracture site and conducted an X-ray, which revealed a fracture in her upper arm. They determined that Joan will need to undergo surgery to heal. Currently, Joan cannot use her left arm, and it's affecting her family's livelihood. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), can help Joan receive treatment. On April 13th, she will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation, that will allow her to use her arm again. AMH is requesting $1,500 to help fund this procedure. Joan shared, "I have been in prolonged pain for a lengthy period of time. My hand is broken, and I can no longer use my hand to work. This surgery will help me get back to my work and raise my family."
Thein is a 56-year-old man who lives with his family in a refugee camp. Two of his daughters and his son-in-law work as seasonal workers outside of the camp, while Thein and his wife look after their three grandchildren, send them to school, and care for the household chores. In January, Thein was diagnosed with a cataract in his right eye and an early cataract in his left eye. Currently, he cannot see with his right eye, as his vision is blurry, and the vision in his left eye is also beginning to blur. As a result, Thein cannot walk easily and relies on a bamboo staff to help stabilize him as he tries to avoid tripping on any objects in his path. He shared that he feels discomforted and like he is living in darkness. Fortunately, Thein was able to visit our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), and they can help him heal. On March 8th, doctors will perform a lens replacement. After recovery, he will be able to see clearly. BCMF is requesting $1,500 to fund this procedure. Thein shared, “When I recover from surgery, I will help my family plant and water vegetables around the house. It can save us money from buying the vegetables. I can help send my grandchildren to school and pick them up in the evening. I will also be able to visit my friend.”
Meet Jonah, a 31-year-old quiet man. Jonah is the 2nd eldest in a family of three. His siblings and him were raised by a single mother who makes a modest living as a farmer. Earlier, Jonah left secondary school studies to find work to help support his family. Jonah has a history of a growing cheek mass that has recently increased in size. Jonah's condition is uncomfortable and often causes people to stare, which Jonah finds upsetting and is impacting his self esteem. Jonah received a scan of his cheek at AIC Kapsowar Hospital and was subsequently diagnosed with a submandibular tumor. Doctors recommended that the mass be removed and the procedure is scheduled for February 14th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare is helping Jonah raise the $1,196 he needs to undergo this life altering surgery. Jonah shared, “I have waited for this moment in my life for so long. My mother has tried to take me to so many hospitals but we lacked means because they requested too much from us.”
Neila is a beautiful, smiley, and charming three-year-old girl. She is the second born child in a family of two children. Her family shared that she is a very friendly and loving little girl. Neila was diagnosed with genu varus, where her 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, she cannot walk easily. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Neila. The procedure is scheduled to take place on January 11th. Treatment will hopefully restore Neila's mobility, allow her to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease her risk of future complications. Neila’s mother says, “I am struggling to make ends meet I won't be able to afford the treatment cost. Thank you for your help."
Myat lives with his elderly mother. He stopped working two years ago after a stroke left the right side of his body weak. He is now unemployed and relies on his mother’s support. His mother is a street vendor, selling foraged vegetables and plants as well as sticky rice that she makes. The income she earns is not enough for their daily needs. They survive thanks to the generosity of their neighbors, who support them with food and allow them to live on their land in a hut rent-free. Starting three years ago, Myat has experienced pain in his lower right abdomen whenever lifting something heavy and now the pain is more regular. At the beginning of December, the pain in his lower right abdomen increased and became constant. His neighbor lent him 50,000 kyat (approx. $50 USD) and told him to seek treatment at Mawlamyine Christian Leprosy Hospital (MCLH). Myat traveled to the hospital and was admitted right away. A doctor completed a physical examination, diagnosed him with an inguinal hernia, and told him that he would need surgery. When Myat told the doctor that he cannot afford to pay for it, the doctor referred him to our medical partner Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF) for assistance accessing treatment. “When I recover, I want to sell traditional medicine again,” Myat shared with a renewed sense of hope that he might be able to finally have surgery.