Arun joined Watsi on September 13th, 2014. Seven years ago, Arun joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Arun's most recent donation traveled 8,600 miles to support Thu Zar, a 21-year-old woman from Thailand, to fund surgery to remove a large tumor.
Arun has funded healthcare for 104 patients in 11 countries.
Arun has funded healthcare for 104 patients in 11 countries.
Thu Zar is a 21-year-old woman who lives with her parents, three sisters, and three nieces in Mae Sot near the Thailand-Burma border. Her family moved from Shan State in Burma to Thailand in 2008 in search of better opportunities. She used to work at a logistics company until two weeks ago when she quit due to her condition. Her parents run a small shop from their home, and her oldest sister is a cleaner at a restaurant. One of her other sister’s is unemployed and her third sister as well as her three nieces all go to school. In 2015, Thu Zar felt a small mobile mass in her chest. She did not feel any pain at the time and forgot about the mass. In 2019, she attended a workshop about reproductive health at her school, run by Mae Tao Clinic (MTC). During the workshop she remembered the mass and later when she was alone, she checked to see if it was still there. She felt the mass and thought that it had increased in size, but she did not experience any pain. The next day, she told the workshop trainer about the mass. The trainer told her to go to MTC for treatment. However, Thu Zar decided she did not want to take time off from school to go to the clinic, since she thought the mass was not causing her any pain or discomfort. Now, Thu Zar's condition has worsened and causes her great pain. She can only sleep on her back, because if she sleeps in any other position she experiences immense pain. Thu Zar sought treatment through our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund. She is now scheduled to undergo mass removal surgery on June 9th to heal her condition. She is raising $1,500 to cover the total cost of her procedure and care. Thu Zar is very worried about her health and told us, "I feel very sad and depressed with this condition."
Meng Thong is an 11-year-old student with one younger sister. Meng Thong's parents are rice and vegetable farmers. Meng Thong is in the 5th grade and is an outstanding student, in the top 5 in his class! His best subjects are Khmer and math. After school he likes to play football with friends. Thong fell playing football last October and injured his left forearm. Now he has limited mobility in his left wrist and decreased sensation whenever he used his hand. He has been diagnosed with a volkman's contracture of the left forearm. Surgeons will perform a wrist contracture release to heal the bone. When Meng Thong's parents learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, they traveled for four hours seeking treatment. On March 1st, surgeons at CSC will perform a contracture release surgery to to help him move his arm easily again. Now, his family needs help to fund this $477 procedure. His father says, "I hope he can heal quickly and return to school."
Htee is a 63-yeear-old woman who lives alone on near Thai-Burma border. Htee's daughter and son work in Bangkok and send 1,500 baht (approx. 50 USD) each month to help support their mother. Htee also has a good friend who will often help her when she is unwell, bringing her cooked food and accompanying her to her appointments. In her free time, Htee enjoys visiting with her friend, meditating, and going to the local monastery. Htee has a cataract in her right eye causing her vision to be very blurry. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to help fund lens replacement surgery for Htee. This surgery is scheduled for February 14th and will help Htee see clearly and keep her independence. Htee shared, "When I recover from surgery, I will visit my friend. Later on, I want to move into the monastery where my friend's parents live. They are a monk and nun. I will be able to help them with cooking and cleaning and I can meditate there."
Thaung is a 31-year-old man who is married with one daughter. His wife and him work together as agricultural day laborers. Thaung's monthly income is just enough to meet their daily needs. He shared that he had to borrow money for food from his neighbor when he was out of work due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the military coup in Burma, and he is working to pay them back. In October 2021, Thaung noticed a small ulcer and went to see a retired army doctor who lives in his village. He received some medication, and his ulcer healed. However, a few months later, the growth returned. Thuang and his family were able to fundraise through their church to visit a local hospital. Upon review, he was diagnosed with cancer and the doctor informed him that he would need to undergo surgery. Currently, Thaung is in pain and has difficulty working and sleeping. Fortunately, our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), can help Thaung receive treatment. On April 11th, he is scheduled to undergo surgery. BCMF is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. Thaung shared, “When I recover from surgery, I will work hard to pay back my debt to the neighbors we borrowed money from. I want to live with my family for a long time, and I want to support my family as much as I can.”
Eng is a retired rice farmer and has one daughter and three grandchildren. She lives with her husband and daughter, who both farm rice and vegetables to sell at their local market. Because of her age and her worsening vision, Eng now stays home and takes care of her grandchildren. In her free time, she enjoys listening to the monks pray on the radio. Last year Eng developed a cataract in her right eye, causing her blurry vision and photophobia. She has difficulty seeing things clearly, including colors and faces, and is worried about falling when walking. As a result, she is unable to go places on her own. When Eng learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC), she traveled across the country for five and half hours seeking treatment. On January 18th, doctors will perform cataract surgery and an intraocular lens implant in her right eye. After recovery, she will be able to see clearly. Now, she needs help to fund this $229 procedure. Eng shared, "After surgery, I hope my eye can see clearly, and I can be useful to our family. I want to do more again and visit with my neighbors."
Esbon is a three-day-old baby and the fourth born in a family of four. His parents are both farmers, and also do casual jobs in order to sustain their lives and those of their children. Esbon's mother hopes that he gets well soon so they may go back home to be with her other children. Esbon was born with the umbilical cord tied around the calf muscle of his left lower limb, sustaining a wound around it that was deep. He was also born with a congenital condition of the feet, with missing digits in both lower limbs and the left upper limb. His mom is worried that he feels a lot of pain. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is helping Esbon receive treatment. On March 10th, surgeons at their care center will perform a surgery to release the amniotic construction band with a skin graft. Now, their family needs help to fund this $1,478 procedure. Esbon's mother shared, "Kindly help my son so that he can be relieved from pain and be able to live normally in the future."
Yan is a 63-year-old grandmother. She is married, and she and her husband have two sons, two daughters, and six grandchildren. Yan lives with her husband and their oldest daughter. Her daughter makes a living selling groceries to the local villagers. When she is not looking after her grandchildren, Yan likes to watch the news on television. About two years ago, Yan developed a cataract in her left eye, causing her blurry vision. She sees shadows instead of faces and is afraid to walk outside because she might fall. When Yan learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, she traveled there hoping for treatment. On December 10th, doctors will perform phacoemulsification cataract surgery and an intraocular lens implant in her left eye. After recovery, she will be able to see clearly. Now, she needs help to fund this $229 procedure. Yan shared, "I hope I will see better after my surgery. I want to do more around our house and cook for my grandchildren."
Da is a 67-year-old man who lives with his wife and son in a village on the border of Thailand. Da cannot work since his vision deteriorated three years ago. Da's wife is a homemaker, and his son works as a day laborer. In his free time, Da likes to listen to gospel songs. Starting three years ago, Da's right pupil gradually turned white. The vision in his right eye also blurred over time. Later on, the vision in his left eye also became blurred. When he went to Mae Sot Hospital, the doctor diagnosed him with cataracts in both his eyes and told him he would need surgery. However, when Da told the doctor the he had experienced seizures in the past, the doctor ordered a CT scan to check if the problem with his vision is being caused by a brain tumor. Currently, Da cannot see anything and can only perceive light. He needs someone to guide him to the toilet and help him take a shower because he cannot see. Doctors want Da to undergo a CT scan, a procedure in which x-ray images taken from several angles are combined to produce cross-sectional images of the body. This scan will hopefully help doctors diagnose his condition and formulate an appropriate treatment plan. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $414 to cover the cost of Da's CT scan and care, scheduled for November 29th. Da says, "If my vision is restored, I will teach my son how to farm the land and grow crops. I will also volunteer at the Church as much as I can."
Monicah a hardworking mother of six. Some of her children have finished school while the others are still studying. Monicah's husband, who was the sole breadwinner of the family, was the assistant chief of the area where they are living, but he passed away a few years ago. Monicah shared that upon her husband’s death, she had to get out of her comfort zone and figure out how to provide for their family. After a long time of doing some casual jobs where she could find them, she got a job as a house help but her earnings are limited. Her family does not have a National Health Insurance coverage and is not able to raise the funds needed for Monicah’s surgery. In July 2021, Monicah went to the hospital for her regular clinic appointment and heard that there was a free cervical cancer screening centre there. Monicah has been experiencing lower abdominal pain so after the clinic, she went to be screened. The results were not as she expected. She has been diagnosed with cervical cancer. The doctor has scheduled her for total abdominal hysterectomy surgery but she is afraid the cost is too much for her to meet. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1260 to fund Monicah's surgery. On January 7th, she will undergo gynecological surgery at our medical partner's care center. Once recovered, Monicah will be able to resume her daily activities free of pain and hopes to live a life cancer-free. Monicah says, "I did not know that I was sick and since then things have happened so fast. I do not know where the money for my surgery will come from but I know that God will make a way.”
Merida is a 63-year-old small-scale farmer. She has five children ranging in age from 20 years old to 40 years old. Her husband passed away about six years ago. She shared that her children could not attend school beyond class five and that their responsibilities limit them from providing financial support. About ten years ago, Merida experienced swelling in her neck that increased in size over time. Merida is unable to bend down comfortably and experiences airway blockage when she carries heavy loads and has heaviness in her shoulders. She can also no longer breathe well while sleeping. She has used herbs for healing and recently visited the hospital at our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH). The doctors diagnosed her condition as a goiter, which is an abnormal enlargement of the thyroid gland. They recommended a thyroidectomy, which will address her symptoms and prevent the risk that the condition may become cancerous and cause difficulty breathing and eating over time. On November 9th, Merida will undergo a thyroidectomy at AMH’s care center. Surgeons will remove all or part of her thyroid gland. AMH is requesting $333 to fund Merida’s surgery. Merida shared, “I pray that I may be considered for treatment so that I may get relief from the swollen neck that I have carried for a very long time. I hope to look normal again and live a better, happy, and enjoyable life for the rest of my life. I will resume farming as soon as possible.”
Aziza is 14-year-old girl and the second born child in a family of three children. She has just completed her class seven exams and looks forward to joining secondary school once the national examination results are out. She would love to be a teacher when she grows up. Aziza was involved in a fire accident when she was just three years old and she had not been able to use her left hand to hold things or be able to participate in many home chores. Aziza had surgery in February 2020 to release the burn contracture on her hand, which went a long way to enable her to use her hand more. Now, Aziza also needs an amputation of the small finger of her left hand. Her small finger has significant flexion contracture with severe damage to the joint capsules. Aziza is being raised by one of her aunts while her other siblings are being raised by other relatives after their mother passed away three years ago. Their father is not reliable in taking care of the children, and that’s when relatives decided to come in to help since they would miss meals and they didn’t have anyone to wash their clothes or provide them with other needs. Aziza’s aunt has three children of her own and including Aziza she has a total of four children. Aziza’s aunt is a stay at home wife while the husband sells bicycle spare parts and repairs them for a living. The income is not much but just enough to help support the family. Aziza says, “I am scared to lose a part of my hand but I agree with the surgeons that it is necessary and I hope it will help me be able to use my hand more. Please help me get this treatment.”
Mercy is a 28-year-old subsistence farmer from Malawi. She lives in a grass-thatched house with her husband and their three children. Her oldest child is nine years old and attends school, while her youngest is five years old. She and her husband also take care of her 93-year-old grandmother who depends on them. Mercy and her husband farm together and their farm produces enough food to feed the family, but not enough to sell a surplus. To supplement their income, she and her husband also work on other people's farms. In 2018, Mercy noticed a small lump on the left side of her neck. Over the years, the lump has grown and is hard and painful. After having several appointments rescheduled, Mercy finally got a scan and was referred to a lab for thyroid tests and to a surgeon. The lab tests and transportation costs have greatly impacted her family’s income, and it has taken her three years to have all of the required testing. She was finally diagnosed with an enlarged thyroid and surgery was recommended to heal her condition. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH) is helping Mercy to receive treatment. On September 2nd, she will undergo a thyroidectomy at AMH's care center. Now, she needs help raising $1,015 to fund her procedure and care. Mercy shared, "this condition is not only affecting me, but mainly my helpless 93 years old grandmother and also my family. I can no longer draw water for my grandmother and my children are too young to help. My husband is now getting exhausted combining farm work and household chores. Please assist me with this surgery so I can start helping my family again."