Canada • Born on May 26th
Matthew joined Watsi on September 24th, 2015. 27 other people also joined Watsi on that day! Matthew's most recent donation traveled 7,800 miles to support Kemirembe, a farmer from Uganda, to fund cervical cancer treatment.
Matthew has funded healthcare for 19 patients in 9 countries.
Matthew has funded healthcare for 19 patients in 9 countries.
Kemirembe is a 50-year-old farmer from Uganda. She came to the hospital with severe lower abdominal pain and other concerning symptoms. The condition has affected her greatly, especially her self esteem. Kemirembe shared that she has been in and out of clinics being managed with treatment regimens that have not been helpful. She finally decided to come to Nyakibale Hospital to see the gynaecologist. The doctor examined her and diagnosed her with a premalignant cervical lesion and recommended her for a total abdominal hysterectomy to best ensure a complete recovery. She explained to the doctor how she is concerned about not being able to pay for the treatment. Kemirembe is a married mother to three children, who are all high school students. She earns a living from farming where she grows food crops for home consumption but sells off the surplus to generate an income for her family. Her husband is also a small-scale farmer and with their income, they aren’t able to afford the cost of her treatment. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $219 to fund Kemirembe's surgery. On October 13th, she will undergo gynecological surgery at our medical partner's care center. Once recovered, Kemirembe will be able to resume her daily activities free of pain. Kemirembe shared: “I expect to get healed from this condition once I receive my surgery. I hope to continue with farming after I have completely recovered.”
Rean is a 54-year-old rice farmer and grandfather who lives in Cambodia. He's married with six children and four grandchildren. He likes to watch the news on TV and listen to monks pray on the radio. About a year ago, Rean developed a cataract in each eye, causing him blurred vision and extreme sensitivity to light. It's hard for him to go out on his own, recognize faces, or do work. Cataracts are very common in Cambodia and are one of the leading causes of blindness in adults. Fortunately, on October 27, Rean underwent cataract surgery with our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre. Surgeons removed the cloudy lenses in his eyes and replaced them with new, clear implants. Now, Rean needs help to fund this $292 procedure. "I hope my eyes can see more clearly," he says, "so that I can continue my work in the fields and easily go anywhere outside by myself."
Meet Gloria, two-year-old girl from Kenya. Gloria is the youngest child in her family, with two older siblings. Her mother is a farmer, while her father is a laborer at a Nairobi-based food company. Gloria lives with her mother in a rural village. When Gloria was learning to walk, she was accidentally burned by hot water. She has already undergone a contracture release procedure on her body and a scalp reconstruction procedure on her head. Still, Gloria is unable to fully utilize her left hand. Without treatment, she would be at risk of permanent disability. Fortunately, Gloria underwent a contracture release procedure on November 9, 2016. Now, Gloria's family needs help to pay for this $1,176 procedure. Gloria’s mother says, “I want my child to be treated and be able to say my parents assisted me at my hour of need when she grows up."
Abelino is a 58 year old man from Guatemala who has nine children, six of whom still live with him. He works sewing leather sandals and as a day laborer at a coffee plantation near his home. However, his true passion is playing the trumpet and the piano. Abelino has a non-cancerous growth on his right eye, due to decades of sun exposure as a day laborer. It has restricted his vision in that eye, and has made it constantly painful and itchy for the past three years. The growth, also known as a pterygium, has made it impossible for Abelino to read. Before his vision got so bad, he used to read the Bible or another book every day. If Abelino does not receive surgery, the growth is likely to get bigger, further restrict his vision, and worsen the burning sensation he feels in his eye. For $1,487 we can fund surgery to remove the pterygium from his eye, restoring his vision and allowing him to read once again. "My life is very valuable to me, and my eyes are an important part of my body. I would like to see with this eye, that I use in every aspect of my life. I ask for your help, and I know that God will bless all you do to help a fellow human," Abelino says.
Meet Andy, an 18-month-old infant from Guatemala. Our medical partner, Wuqu’ Kawoq (WK), tells us, “Andy is the only child in his family and lives with his parents in a one-room adobe house with a tin roof. He enjoys playing with his cat and eating ramen noodles. His mother works at home, cooks, cleans, and takes care of the children. His father is a day laborer in the fields, who makes only a couple dollars per day.” Andy was diagnosed with acute malnutrition. “Andy is below the average height and the average weight for his age,” WK reports, ”He currently is not consuming enough calories and enough quality foods. As a result his physical growth is stunted, and we worry his mental growth will be stunted as well.” As a result of food insecurity and marginalization, indigenous Guatemalan villages have the highest rates of stunting in the world. In addition to growth stunting, malnutrition can lead to lower IQ, heart disease, diabetes, and obesity. $512 will fund the treatment Andy needs to address his nutritional deficit and improve his low energy and subsequent limited mental potential. This involves micronutrient and food supplementation, deworming medication to rid Andy of a parasitic infection, and nutrition education for his parents. With these combined efforts, Andy will recoup his weight and height and strengthen his immune system, laying the foundation for a healthier future.
Jorge lives with his mother, his older brother, and his mother's parents in Guatemala. His mother is raising him without his father, and has been waking up every day at dawn to wash neighbors' clothes to earn enough money to give her children food to eat. Jorge's mother cannot produce breastmilk, leaving one-month old Jorge acutely malnourished. In his month of life, he has lost weight and been getting sick, since he has not had access to the protein and nutrient-rich milk from his mother. His mother has been asking a neighbor with a small baby to help feed her son, but that has not been enough to make him stop crying. She has been giving him boiled water with sugar to calm him down during the night. Jorge was provided with formula to stabilize his condition until he could receive a personalized nutrition plan from our nutritionist and formally begin treatment. During this delicate developmental time, Jorge needs formula to ensure healthy growth, normal brain development, and to prevent seizures and diarrhea, which can result from not consuming formula or breast milk. Although Jorge is very sick, treatment is simple and incredibly effective. Every two weeks, his mother will receive deliveries of formula as well as personalized nutrition classes, so his mother is capable of recognizing future signs of malnutrition and ensure he has a healthy diet. This treatment will save Jorge's life, and put him on track to have a normal and happy childhood. "I want to see my sons grow healthy," Jorge's mother shared. "I worry because I not want him to get sick. I do not have the resources to help my son and feed him with milk, but I appreciate the help that you are going to give my son. I want to see him healthy and go to school to study and become a teacher."
Khet is a 55-year-old woman who has lived in Burma for her entire life. She became a nurse in 1985 and is now ready to retire. Due to her career as a nurse, she traveled frequently and lived in many divisions and states. She owns a home and nine of her family members live there with her. As a nurse, Khet earns approximately $110 per month. Since her health began to deteriorate, her debt has risen and she has had to borrow money from her daughter-in-law’s uncle. The family has sold-off high valued items such as furniture and jewelry. Since 2013, Khet has had high blood pressure and suffered from chest pain, palpitations, dizziness, headaches, nausea, tingling and numbness in her arms and legs, and occasional blurred vision. She has consulted with many cardiologists and has visited several hospitals in Burma. After having angiogram and cardiac catheterization done, doctors advised her for angio PCI (Percutaneous coronary intervention), a nonsurgical technique that uses a balloon or a stent to open the narrow and obstructed arteries of the heart, but she is unable to afford the procedure. Left with no options, Khet only sought for medical care to alleviate her symptoms, not cure her condition. On June 24, 2016, Khet's condition became unstable. She was eventually referred to Watsi's medical partner, Burma Border Projects, for subsidized treatment. With the generosity of Watsi donors raising $1,500, doctors will be able to successfully treat Khet. As a nurse and patient now seeking treatment herself, she sympathizes with patients seeking care at Burmese hospitals where they cannot afford the treatment. She is very happy to learn about Burma Border Projects and the work they do. When she recovers, she would like to become a medical volunteer or try to open her own clinic near home. Khet feels relieved knowing she will undergo surgery. She is looking forward to continuing preparing for her Bible exam and teaching her grandchildren English.
Suman is a seven-year old boy from Nepal. He studies in first standard and stays in the dorms at his school. Being the youngest in the family, Suman is well taken care of, especially when he comes home on his vacations. While his father works in the Nepal Army to support the family, his mother tends to the farm to keep the family going. Suman was playing 'Kabaddi' with his friends when he stumbled on a stone and fell down, fracturing his right elbow. He has been in a lot pain since and has been crying and even had to take medication to control the pain. He has difficulty moving the injured arm and there is some swelling too. To seek medical treatment, Suman and his mother took a four hour jeep ride to reach the hospital. Because of his fractured elbow, Suman needs help with his everyday work like eating, bathing and dressing up and is forced to miss school too. For $541, Suman will receive corrective treatment for his fractured elbow that will reduce the pain and increase his mobility. "We have come from very far, I hope Suman's treatment is successful," shares Suman's mother.
Kuminga is a 55-year-old farmer and father of five from a village in Malawi. Three years ago, in 2013, Kuminga started experiencing symptoms including trouble passing urine. He has been living with a catheter, which can lead to infection, trauma, and have a negative psychological impact on patients. Kuminga is unable to afford the prostatectomy he needs. For $742, he will be able to receive this surgery - after which, he is expected to make a full recovery. Kuminga is eager to be able to work again and get rid of his catheter. "After the surgery, my family will benefit since I will be able to be productive again," said Kuminga.
Andrea is a five-month-old girl from Guatemala, who was born 13 weeks early because her mother had preeclampsia. She had to be on a ventilator the first two and a half months of her life. She has struggled to grow since then, and doctors have been puzzled with her case. First it was believed that she had sepsis, then lactose intolerance, but now her diagnosis is clearer. She has a rare genetic condition called Isovaleric Acidemia. This means that she cannot metabolize certain amino acids, meaning they accumulate in her body, reaching toxic levels. The public health care system in Guatemala in unequipped to handle her case, since her condition is so rare. If she does not receive treatment, she will likely pass away. Andrea is the youngest of two children. Her older brother, Diego, loves her a lot and often plays with her, showing her toys. Andrea's mother says that Andrea is a fighter--in her few months of life, she has spent half of it in intensive care, and has received 7 blood transfusions. Although her parents work hard to give her the best they can, her mother is unable to work because of Andrea, and her father cannot make enough money to purchase the extremely expensive formula that Andrea needs to consume to survive. This treatment, which costs $1016, will save Andrea's life. Right now, she is far too small for her age, and is struggling to gain weight. Not only will her physical strength improve with special formula, but her immune system will grow stronger, giving her body what it needs to fight off potentially-deadly sicknesses in her weakened state. Andrea's improvement will give her family hope that she can one day go to school, and be able to live with and manage her condition. "I hope that God allows the miracle of her recovery from this condition that she has," Andrea's mother shares. "I want her to be like a normal child her age, to be able to eat, go to parties with her friends, and not have restrictions."
Two-month-old Gregorio lives with his parents and older sibling in Guatemala. “Gregorio is acutely malnourished due to his mother's lack of breast milk,” our medical partner, Wuqu’ Kawoq (WK), tells us. “His mother is not able to produce enough breast milk for him to survive, meaning that he weighs even less than when he was born.” While Gregorio’s mother takes care of the children during the day, his father leaves their home early every morning to chop wood on the mountain and sell it in town. Despite the long hours of hard work, his father earns very little money and can afford only very basic foods like tortillas. As a result, the family is unable to buy formula for Gregorio. “Gregorio’s mother has been supplementing the little milk she makes with water, which depletes Gregorio’s electrolytes and puts him at risk of seizures and permanent brain damage,” WK continues. The inability to produce breast milk—known as lactational failure—is a serious condition for a newborn baby without access to formula. Fortunately, treatment for Gregorio is possible. “Formula will give Gregorio the nutrients, calories, and protein he needs to grow,” WK explains, “His mother will receive one-on-one motivational nutrition education to prepare her to give him solid foods and teach her how to prevent future malnutrition.” $1,016 pays for a one year’s supply of formula and six months of micronutrient support for Gregorio. Funding also covers the cost of a case manager and a nutritionist to help Gregorio’s mother coordinate his care, plan his meals, and monitor his progress. With treatment, “Gregorio's immune system will grow stronger, saving his life and helping his family to be much less stressed economically,” says WK.
In December 2015, Maung Shwe was walking on a dirt road when an out-of-control motorbike crashed into him and fractured his leg. He sustained several flesh wounds that healed in the subsequent weeks. He first sought treatment on the day of the incident with a traditional healer but this was ineffective. Next, he visited the local village health worker who could only provide him with injections to relieve his pain temporarily. The care provided by the health worker cost him a lot of money. Treatment at a hospital would have been too costly for him. He has never sought out treatment at a Burmese hospital but heard they are expensive. Maung Shwe’s nephew works for Mae Tao Clinic (MTC) and he encouraged his uncle to visit. In March 2016, he borrowed a mount of money from his friend for food and transportation so he and his daughter could make the trip to Mae Sot. Maung Shwe is a 62-year-old man who has always lived in a village in Karen State, Burma. He is a retired farmer and currently lives with his daughter and son-in-law. His daughter used to be a domestic worker in Bangkok and his son-in-law is a subsistence farmer. They do not generate an income, but when his family needs money, they sell their leftover rice yield or their chickens and pigs. Maung Shwe's current symptoms include pain upon movement and the inability to walk. His daughter had to quit working as a domestic worker in Bangkok in order to care for him. She assists him with tasks like helping him walk, escorting him to bathroom, and cooking for him. There are no wheelchairs in his village, so his daughter must tend to him at all times For $1,500, Maung Shwe will receive the operation he needs to treat his fracture permanently. This cost includes surgery, casting, and rehabilitation. Following surgery, Maung Shwe should no longer suffer from pain upon movement, and he should be able to walk again.