Matthew Smith
Matthew's Story

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.

Impact

Matthew has funded healthcare for 19 patients in 9 countries.

All patients funded by Matthew

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."

$1,107raised
Fully funded

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.

$1,500raised
Fully funded

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."

$1,016raised
Fully funded

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.

$1,016raised
Fully funded

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.

$1,500raised
Fully funded