Paul joined Watsi on March 12th, 2013. Six years ago, Paul joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Paul's most recent donation traveled 8,600 miles to support Naw Mar, a 35-year-old refugee from Thailand, to fund a cholecystectomy to remove gallstones.
Paul has funded healthcare for 97 patients in 13 countries.
Naw Mar is a 35-year-old woman from Thailand. She lives with her husband, two daughters and two sons in a refugee camp on the Thai-Burma border. Four years ago, Naw Mar started to suffer from pain in the right side of her abdomen. At first, she thought the pain would disappear after she rested. When it did not, she went to the hospital in the camp run by Malteser International Thailand (MI). She received medications which helped for a bit. Two years later, the pain became severe and the right side of her abdomen also became swollen. After more medication and follow-up appointments, she was eventually admitted to Mae Sariang Hospital and received an ultrasound. The ultrasound showed that she had multiple gallstones, and she was given more medication. However, the medication did not help her much. In early June 2020, the pain in Naw Mar’s right abdomen increased. After she went to the camp’s hospital, the doctor referred her to Mae Sariang Hospital again, where the doctor told her that she would need to have surgery to remove the gallstones. Since Mae Sariang Hospital doctors could not perform this surgery, she was again referred her to Chiang Mai Hospital. However, the high cost of surgery proved difficult, so she was referred to our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), for assistance with accessing treatment. Currently, Naw Mar has constant pain in her right abdomen that is only manageable through pain medication. Her right abdomen is also swollen, and she suffers from back pain as well. When the pain in her abdomen is excruciating, she develops a headache and high blood pressure. Naw Mar is a homemaker, while her two daughters and her youngest son go to school. Her oldest son helps her with household chores. Her husband works as an agricultural day laborer, but has been unable to find work for the past month. While their family does receive a cash card each month for food support, it is not enough to cover their daily expenses and they struggle to make ends meet despite receiving free health care and education in the refugee camp. Their family is appealing for financial support. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund Naw Mar's surgery. On October 25th, she will undergo a cholecystectomy at our medical partner’s care center. Once recovered, Naw Mar will be able to resume her daily activities free of pain and her quality of life will improve. Naw Mar shared, "After I receive treatment, I want to work for an organisation [NGO] in the camp so that we [my family] can have an income. Right now, I have no pocket money and I cannot borrow money from any one because we have no way of paying them back. I appreciate any support you can provide.”
Rith is a 58-year-old chef from Cambodia. She enjoys looking after her grandchild and listening to the monks pray on the radio in her free time. One year ago, Rith developed a cataract in her right eye, causing her tearing, photophobia, and blurry vision. She has difficulty seeing things clearly, recognizing faces, and going anywhere outside. When Rith learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, she traveled there seeking treatment. On December 11th, doctors will perform a phacoemulsification 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 $211 procedure. "I hope that I will be able to see so I can help look after my grandchild again," Rith shared.
Stephen is a 3-year-old boy from Kenya. He's a playful boy and runs to grab a seat with his mother’s phone in his hand while meeting with our local Watsi rep. A week after his mother gave birth to him at home, she took him to a nearby clinic for the general examination. The physician diagnosed him with a birth malformation and referred them to BethanyKids Hospital for treatment. Upon arrival, Stephen was reviewed, some tests were done and he had a first surgery to rectify the condition through a hypospadias repair surgery. Later on, additional surgeries and tests were completed as a follow up. In the process, Stephen has developed a right inguinal hernia that the doctor noticed during his follow-up clinical visit. Stephen does not complain of any pain, but the swelling is very evident. The surgery will stop the swelling and any complications that Stephen may experience in the future. Stephen’s mother is a tailor and his father fetches water for neighbors to earn a living. The few surgeries and expensive tests that were done on Stephen have depleted their family of money to fund the surgery. With no extra source of income, their family of three struggles to sustain themselves and Stephen’s mother is appealing for financial help. Fortunately, on September 24th, he will undergo repair surgery at our medical partner's care center. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $554 to fund Stephen's surgery. Once completed, this procedure will hopefully allow him to live more comfortably. Stephen’s mother says, “It is hard for us to raise any money for the surgery. Any financial help to us will be appreciated.”
John is a 46-year-old disabled father of three who needs to undergo a second-stage bone transport surgery. John shared his story with us: In early December 2015, he was attacked by an unknown assailant who robbed him and dragged him along the road causing a serious femur fracture on his left leg. Unconscious, he was rushed to Kenyatta National Hospital where he was admitted and underwent surgery receiving an implant. This marked the beginning of a series of surgeries associated with his fracture and he was later referred to Watsi's Medical Partner Care Center Kijabe Hospital for treatment and management of his condition. Although he has applied for funding through the national insurance scheme, it was not approved due to his previous treatments and he now needs financial support for a bone transport surgery. Previously, John was a matatu driver but quit after a serious accident. He lives in a single room house that a local church offered because of his condition and his children are currently living with his sister. John is ambulating on crutches and if not treated, he might be at risk of not being able to walk freely again. John said, “With my disability, I am unable to cater for my family and live normally. If I get the required treatment, I will be able to raise my 3 kids and live normally again.”
Julia is a widow and practices small-scale farming. Julia's four children are all casual laborers and don’t have stable jobs. She has been using the little income from farm produce to raise her children and pay for her needs. In early February, Julia started complaining of abdominal pains and chronic back pain. A series of CT-scans revealed a malignant mass in her colon. Doctors then advised for an urgent hemicolectomy surgery to treat her colon carcinoma. Fortunately our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, can help. Now, they need your help to fund this $616 surgery. This surgery will hopefully stop the spread of her cancer. Julia shared, “I am now old and weak and my children are unable to pay for the surgery. I need help to fund this procedure so that I can enjoy my old age in peace."
Kyaw is a 23-year-old young man from Burma. He lives with his mother, younger brother, and sister in Mawlamyine City. He and his mother own a small plot of land where they plant different fruit trees, such as mango, rambutan, durian, lime and others. They sell the fruit at the market and in total make around 200,000 kyat (approx. 200 USD) per month. His younger sister is in her final year as a university student, while his younger brother is in grade nine. Kyaw used to work as a day laborer sometimes when he was well, but now his symptoms prevent him from working. In his free time, he loves to read newspapers and listen to music at home. Kyaw was born with a ventricular septal defect, a cardiac condition in which a hole exists between the two lower chambers of the heart. Blood leaks through this hole without first passing through his lungs to obtain oxygen, leaving him feeling sick and short of breath. Kyaw is scheduled to undergo heart surgery on June 14th to correct his condition and improve her quality of life. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of Kyaw's procedure and care. Kyaw's mother said, “My son is a good man and he always works hard for the family. When he gets sick, he hides it because he is worried that I would feel stressed about him. He does not go out much and enjoy himself. He always helps me in the garden.”
Patrick is a motorbike taxi operator from Kenya. He is the firstborn child in a family of 6 children. He lives with his grandmother as his mother’s rented space is too small for the entire family. He did not proceed with higher education due to financial challenges. His mother separated with his father so she is raising their family and Patrick used to rely on his motorcycle business to make ends meet. A week ago, Patrick was involved in a motorcycle accident suffering facial bruises and a right femur fracture. He is in pain and unable to stand on his own. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On May 26th, Patrick will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. This procedure will help him heal and walk easily again. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,500 to fund this procedure. Patrick says, “Thank you for assisting me. I am hopeful that soon my leg will be fixed.”
Gift is one-year-old baby girl and the last born child in a family of two children. When Gift was two months old her parents noticed she was struggling to pass stool and urine, and her stomach would be very hard. They thought it was because she was still a small baby and that she would be ok as time goes by, but as time went on her condition kept worsening. Her parents are small-scale farmers of maize and vegetables for a living, and they are struggling financially. They were able to take Gift to Watsi's Medical Partner Care Center ALMC Hospital, where she was diagnosed with A.R.M. and doctors advised that she would need surgery to correct the problem. She was able to get funding support for the first stage of treatment so Gift had a colostomy placed. She now needs the follow-up stage of surgery of pull through and later a colostomy closure and are seeking $1,500 to support the treatment. Gift’s mother says, “Our baby has been suffering from this condition for a while now but due to financial challenges we can’t afford the cost, please help us.”
Bernard is a bodaboda (motorcycle) operator from Kenya. Bernard and his brother were riding home on the night of March 21st when they were involved in a head-on collision with a lorry truck near his home. He sustained several fractures of his ribs and femur. He also sustained facial abrasions and they were rushed to Watsi's partner medical facility. His brother was admitted in the ICU in critical condition. Bernard requires tractions and an ORIF fracture repair in the coming days. Without the right treatment, he risks complications and being unable to move. Bernard is a father of two. He operates a motorcycle taxi commonly referred to as bodaboda to make a living. His wife is not employed and takes up casual labour like washing people’s clothes to complement her husband’s income. The family is financially strained and with two brothers in the hospital, the burden gets heavier. Bernard’s mother appeals for financial assistance. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On March 30th, Bernard will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. The surgery will allow Bernard walk easily again. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,451 to fund this procedure. Bernard says, “Please help me be treated so I can continue providing for my family.”
Soe is a father of three children from Thailand. He and his family relocated to a refugee camp in 2007 due to conflict between armed groups around their village. Although his family receives a small ration at the camp, it is not enough, so Soe does gardening and farming at a nearby Thai village to bring extra income for his family. Whenever Soe has free time, he loves to play cane ball or helps his wife with their household chores. On January 11th, when Soe was coming home from work with his friend on his friend's motorbike, the brakes failed when they were going downhill. The accident caused a fracture in the small bone located in front of his right knee joint. He is in pain and it is difficult for him to walk without using crutches. With the help of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, Soe will undergo surgery to reset his fractured bones and ensure proper healing. The procedure is scheduled for February 20th and will cost $1,500. After this treatment, Soe will be able walk again without any assistant devices. This will also allow him to get back to work so he can provide for his family. Soe said, “I am desperate to be able walk again and work for my children. I cannot imagine how life would turn out if I could not walk anymore.”
Sitha has one son and one daughter, and enjoys exercising, reading the newspaper, and cooking for his family. Since 2018, Sitha started to experience pain in his right hip and cannot walk well without support. He is unable to work and make a living in order to help provide for his family. Sitha will undergo a resection arthroplasty of the hip, fusing the ball of his thigh bone with his hip socket. Surgery will relieve him of his pain, and allow him to sleep with comfort. He looks forward to returning to his family as soon as possible and said, "I hope that I will no longer have any pain in my hips, and can return to walking and working again."
Htike is 40-year-old father from Thailand. He is a daily laborer who works in construction. In his free time he enjoys playing football and cane ball. He also likes to watch Manchester United play soccer. On December 18th, 2019, while working at a construction site, Htike fell from the roof of a 2nd story building. During the fall, not only did he break both his ankles, unfortunately he also slammed his face against nails, which caused bruising and several deep cuts all over his face. He is in severe pain all the time, he cannot walk or move his ankles, nor can he sleep. With the help of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, Htike will undergo surgery to reset his fractured bones and ensure proper healing. The procedure is scheduled for December 25th and will cost $1,500. This procedure will stop the pain, allow him to walk again, and provide for his family. "After receiving treatment, I am looking forward to working again in construction," Htike said.