Neal joined Watsi on March 16th, 2015. Seven years ago, Neal joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Neal's most recent donation traveled 8,600 miles to support Thi, a 37-year-old factory worker from Thailand, to fund a hysterectomy to heal her ovarian tumor.
Neal has funded healthcare for 87 patients in 12 countries.
Neal has funded healthcare for 87 patients in 12 countries.
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."
Elinipa is a beautiful two-year-old girl. She is an incredibly friendly child who loves to play with her five older siblings. At birth, she was a healthy child. It wasn't until she was learning to walk however, that her mother noticed that her legs were slightly curved, yet even so they did not seek treatment assuming it was a minor problem that she would outgrow. Elinipa has now been diagnosed with bilateral valgus, which is a condition caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, which often stems from contaminated drinking water. As a result of her condition, Elinipa's legs bow inward to the point that her knees touch. This makes walking persistently more difficult as she continues to grow. Through our medical partner's outreach program her parents learned that their daughter needs surgery to correct her legs. Elinipa's parents are small scale famers who depend entirely on what they harvest to make a living. As a result, their income is not enough to afford to take Elinipa to the hospital to treat her condition. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Elinipa. The procedure is scheduled to take place on May 13th at our medical partner's care center, Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre. With this treatment Elinipa's mobility will hopefully be restored, thus allowing her to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decreasing her risk of future complications. Elinipa’s father says, “I am worried with how her legs continue to bend inward. Please help us.”
U Chit is a 42-year-old husband and father from Burma. He lives with his in-laws, wife and son. His father-in-law works as a day laborer, while his wife and his mother-in-law are homemakers. U Chit used to work with his father-in-law, and also as a motorcycle taxi driver for extra income. However, he stopped working in January when his health worsened. When schools reopen, his son will begin kindergarten. A little over a year ago, U Chit began experiencing dizziness, fatigue, tightness in his chest and difficulty breathing when he exerted himself. A month later, he visited a local clinic where he was diagnosed with high blood pressure. However, in December 2021, U Chit lost a lot of weight and experienced night sweats in addition to his other symptoms. He was diagnosed with aortic valve regurgitation, mitral valve regurgitation and tricuspid valve regurgitation, and was placed on a waiting list to receive surgery. Because his condition is severe, the doctor recommended that he undergo surgery as soon as possible. Fortunately, our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), is helping U Chit access treatment. On April 8th, he will undergo mitral valve replacement surgery at BCMF's care center. After recovery, his symptoms should improve. Now, he needs help raising $1,500 to fund his procedure and care. U Chit shared, "I gave up and I was ready to die before. There are a lot of heart patients waiting to receiving surgery. Since I heard that I could have surgery with the help of donors, I feel like there is hope that I will survive. I have to look after my family because my son is still young. I will always remember everything the donors did for me."
Khoem is a loving grandmother and a widow with two sons, two daughters, and several grandchildren. Her husband passed away several years ago, so she lives with her youngest daughter, who works in a local factory and supports her mother. Over the past several years, her greatest joy is playing with her grandchildren when they come to visit. Due to her age, she mostly stays home and listens to the radio. Earlier this month, Khoem tripped in her house and fell, fracturing her left hip. Although she experienced a lot of pain and was not able to walk, she did not seek any medical help because she was worried she could not pay. A relative visited her and suggested she go to Children's Surgical Centre (CSC) for diagnosis and treatment. She is in constant pain and cannot walk so is using a wheelchair to get around. Fortunately, Khoem took her relatives advice and came to CSC. There surgeons can perform a surgery to relieve Khoem of her pain and allow her to walk more easily again. Her treatment is scheduled for March 15th, and Khoem needs help raising $1,087 to pay for this procedure. "I hope that I can walk without pain, and play with my grandchildren again," shared Khoem.
Agnes is food vendor in the capital city of Nairobi, Kenya. She shared that she usually earns about $5 a day. Agnes is a widow and lives with her two children who are now grown. Together they live in a one-room house costing about $40 per month. Her medical coverage is not active because she has not been able to pay the monthly premiums with her earnings. Agnes has been diagnosed with breast cancer. Without treatment, the cancer may spread to other organs. A mastectomy, a surgery to remove breast tissue, has been recommended to rid her body of breast cancer and to prevent the cancer from metastasizing. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,110 to cover the cost of a mastectomy for Agnes. The procedure is scheduled to take place on February 11th. After treatment, Agnes will hopefully return to a cancer-free life. Agnes says, “The news about cancer is still shocking. I have hopes the disease will be stopped from spreading.“
Mercy is a hardworking laborer and a widow. Her husband died 17 years ago when she was pregnant with her only child. The same year she gave birth to her son prematurely. She has worked hard to raise her son alone and he is currently in secondary school. Mercy doesn’t have a stable job, but engages in casual jobs within her village where she does cleaning to provide for her son. She likes being in the company of her son and they live in a small rented room in their small town. Around 17 years ago, Mercy began to experience troubling symptoms, including a neck swelling that developed when she gave birth to her son. She has had a difficult journey looking for treatment for her condition and has been to different hospitals where doctors have recommended surgery. She has never gotten the chance to have the surgery due to a lack of finances. Mercy has muscle weakness and gets fatigued easily. She was diagnosed with a multinodular goiter for which she reported to Kapsowar Hospital seeking support. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Mercy receive treatment. She is scheduled to undergo a thyroidectomy on January 12th at our medical partner's care center. Surgeons will remove all or part of her thyroid gland. This procedure will cost $936, and she and her family need help raising money. Mercy says, "I have lost weight, I am weak and cannot work like before. My hope in life is to get treated and continue supporting my son. He is the only family I got.”
Bancy shared with us that she has been a widow since 1990 when her husband passed on. She raised her children on her own and they are all adults now. Bancy does small-scale farming on her one-acre ancestral piece of land. Bancy looks uneasy and eager to get treatment. She's had stomach pains for the last ten years. She says the prolonged stomach upsets are making her uncomfortable and in pain. The pain has been on and off but worsened this year. She was diagnosed with Pyloric Stenosis, a condition in which the opening between the stomach and small intestine thickens. Last month before visiting Kijabe Hospital, she had a series of painful instances. She visited a national referral hospital in Nairobi where she was reviewed and an endoscopy requested. She was scheduled for surgery but the cost was too high. She opted to try our medical partner's care center Kijabe Hospital where the same surgical operation can be carried out. There she can undergo a procedure called gastric antiectomy to finally heal her condition. Bancy is appealing for financial assistance. She shared, "For the last ten years, I have had prolonged stomach pains that are so uncomfortable. I have sought several interventions but so far have not received any help. I'm hopeful this surgery is my likely solution to my decade-old problem."
Ananiya is a 5-year-old boy from Ethiopia. He loves playing football and playing with toys. Ananiya is the firstborn in a family of two children. Ananiya's father passed away five years ago so his uncle helps to take care of them. His mom is worried and concerned about her son's wellbeing and is seeking financial assistance to help Ananiya get the second-stage surgery that he needs to be healthy. Ananiya was born with hypospadias, a congenital abnormality that causes urinary dysfunction. Without treatment, he will continue to experience uncomfortable symptoms and will be at risk of infertility. Fortunately, Ananiya is scheduled to undergo corrective surgery on November 16th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,293 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. His mom is feeling a renewed sense of hope for the future. She said, “I hope my child goes to school after the treatment. If it's God's will, he may even be a doctor in the future."
Yee is a 48-year-old woman from Thailand. She lives with her husband, her daughter and a granddaughter in northern Tak Province. Yee's husband works in a rose farm and she is a homemaker as well as a caretaker of her granddaughter at home. Their family income is enough for their daily expenses and they are able to pay for basic healthcare but not for major treatment like Yee now needs. Currently, Yee feels that the right side of her head is achy and she experiences on-and-off pain around her right eye. When Yee feels the pain, she takes a pain medication, but she is worried because she cannot see anything with her right eye. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund lens replacement surgery for Yee. On October 12th, doctors will perform a lens replacement surgery, during which they will remove Yee's natural lenses and replace them with intraocular lens implants. After recovery, Yee will be able to see clearly. Now, she needs help to fund this $1,500 procedure. “When I recover from surgery, I want to raise chickens and pigs for my family to eat and sell some too. I will also be able to plant vegetables for my family to eat and sell some of those,” said Yee.
Hai lives in Kandal province in southern Cambodia. He is married and has a son who is one year old. Hai's wife was a factory worker, but she stopped when their child was born. Hai enjoys playing football and listening to music in his free time. Hai was involved in a motor accident in October 2020 and experienced trauma to his back and lower limbs. After the accident, Hai went to a government hospital where he received X-rays and medications and was then sent home. Hai still feels poorly, continues to feel pain in his back, and has difficulty walking. He remains in a wheelchair and cannot work. Surgeons plan to use posterior instrumentation to stabilize his spine. A posterior instrumented fusion involves the placement of screws and rods in the spine. This procedure will provide realignment and stabilization of the spine allowing fusion to occur. Hai is seeking $1,500 to fund his surgery, as he is unable to pay for this treatment on his own. Hai shared, "I hope that I will walk again and can get my job back to support my family."
Robert is a 37-year-old matatu taxi driver with two children. Recently, Robert was involved in a traffic accident where he sustained multiple fractures in his legs. He has difficulty walking and can no longer work as a driver. Fortunately, with the support of Watsi donors he was able to have his first surgery and now surgeons at our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), are able to help with his final repair. On August 5th, Robert will undergo a second fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. This procedure will allow Robert to walk with more ease. AMH is requesting $1,500 to fund this procedure. "I am hopeful I will be able to walk again. I am halfway there. I know with this surgery, I will be able to use my legs and get back to working again,” shared Robert.
Thunchey is am 11th grade student and the youngest of five children in his family. At school, Thunchey's favorite subject is mathematics. Outside of school, he loves to play football and wants to start a Youtube channel to share about life in Cambodia. One year ago, Thunchey had a severe ear infection, causing his eardrums in both ears to perforate. Thunchey experiences pain, pus discharge, and hearing loss. He cannot communicate clearly with others and often has to miss school. Thunchey traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On July 13th, he will undergo a myringoplasty procedure in both ears so that the surgeons can repair his eardrums. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC), is requesting $913 to fund this procedure. This covers medications, supplies, and inpatient care. Thunchey is eager to recover, "I hope that I can hear well after this surgery and understand my friends better. I can become a better friend and soccer player."