Kirk joined Watsi on May 3rd, 2016. 22 other people also joined Watsi on that day! Kirk's most recent donation traveled 8,300 miles to support Tun, a man from Burma, to fund a leg amputation.
Kirk has funded healthcare for 41 patients in 11 countries.
Tun is a 61-year-old man from Burma. He works as a day labourer at a parking lot and supports his family. He loves listening to music when he has free time. About 18 years ago, Tun's right foot was injured in a road accident. He just self-treated the wound because he could not afford to go to any clinics or hospitals. Although the wound did not cause him any pain or any other problems, it never was healed properly. About 3 months ago, Tun started to experience intermittent pain, especially at night. The pain worsened over time until he could no longer hide it and screamed whenever the pain struck. When his neighbors and co-workers found out about it, they advised him to go to Mawlamyine Christian Leprosy Hospital (MCLH). Once at the hospital, the doctor examined him and said that his leg is in a bad condition. The doctor also explained that, with the failed joint and non-healing ulcer, the best treatment for him is to have a below-knee amputation. Tun said, "I can’t work daily because of my ulcer. That's why I have no money to seek treatment. My children are not able to work as they are still young. I‘m not happy. I am in debt and it's increasing daily."
Yonase is a young boy from Ethiopia. Yonase is a handsome and playful boy who loves playing football. He comes from a humble family. His mother does menial jobs to sustain the family including laundry for wages. Yonase was born with hypospadias, a birth defect that disrupts the normal flow of urine. His mother did not know of the defect and was told by a neighbour. He is not able to pass urine while standing like any other boy. If not treated, Yonase will be at risk of infertility and social stigma. He was reviewed in our facility where surgery to correct the defect was recommended. With limited income, the mother is afraid he will not be able to receive surgery. She is stressed with her son's conditions. She appeals for financial assistance. Fortunately, Yonase is scheduled to undergo corrective surgery on October 17th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,231 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. Yonase's mother says, "I am now hopeful that he will get the surgery and that he will be ok."
Rochel is a school principal from Haiti. He lives with his wife and six children on an island off the coast of Haiti; he is the principal of a local elementary school, and also a church pastor. Rochel has a cardiac condition called degenerative mitral valve disease. One of the four valves of his heart has gradually become weaker and less able to perform his function as he gets older; as a result, his heart cannot adequately pump blood through his body. Rochel will fly to the United States to receive treatment. On September 16th, he will undergo cardiac surgery, during which surgeons will repair the valve so that it functions more normally. Another organization, The Heart Hospital Baylor Plano, is contributing $40000 to pay for surgery. Rochel's family also needs help to fund the costs of surgery prep. The $1,500 bill covers labs, medicines, and checkup and followup appointments. It also supports passport obtainment and the social workers from our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, who will accompany Rochel's family overseas. Rochel says, "I am thankful to God and to everyone who is helping to make this surgery possible for me!"
Suy is a 37-year-old rice farmer from Cambodia. In his spare time, he likes to listen to music, watch television, and help his family with the housework. Three years ago, Suy started experiencing chronic arthritis in his right knee. It causes him pain and it is difficult for him to rotate his knee. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, can help. On August 5, Suy will undergo a fracture repair procedure, which will cost $430. Surgery will help secure the knee bone and allow Suy to walk without any pain or difficulty. He says, "I hope that I no longer suffer from any pain and I will be able to walk normally again."
Steven is a three-week-old infant from Tanzania. His parents are small-scale farmers of maize, beans, vegetables, potatoes and carrots. Steven has clubfoot of both feet. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Fortunately, Steven traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on July 12. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $890 to fund Steven's clubfoot repair. After treatment, he will be able to walk easily. Steven’s mother says, “We would like to see our son grow up and walk normally like his siblings please help our son.”
Begaelle is a baby from Haiti. Begaelle lives in Port-au-Prince with her parents and grandparents; she is her parents' first child. She was born with two holes in her heart: a ventricular septal defect, between the two lower chambers, and an atrial septal defect, between the two upper chambers. As a result, blood cannot circulate properly through her body, leaving her sick and short of breath. Begaelle will fly to India to receive treatment. On August 22, she will undergo cardiac surgery. Another organization, Rotary International, is contributing $8,000 to pay for surgery. Begaelle's family also needs help to fund the costs of surgery prep. The $1,500 bill covers labs, medicines, and checkup and followup appointments. It also supports passport obtainment and the social workers from our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, who will accompany Begaelle's family overseas.
Zaw is a 14-year-old student from Burma. He lives with his parents, grandmother, two aunts, brother, and cousin. Both his parents are middle school teachers. Zaw was diagnosed with a heart condition that involves a malformation of the mitral valve, the valve between the left atrium and left ventricle. This valve controls the flow of blood, but certain conditions may cause blood to flow backward or the valve to narrow. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund a mitral valve replacement for Zaw. The treatment is scheduled to take place on May 22 and, once completed, will hopefully allow him to live more comfortably. “Before he was able to study and memorize his homework well. But now he has difficulty studying and memorizing,” says his father.
Kelly is a young student from Kenya. He is in first grade. Kelly was diagnosed with cryptorchidism, a condition in which one or both of the testicles remains undescended. If left untreated, Kelly has an increased risk of developing hernias, testicular cancer, and fertility problems in the future. Kelly will be receiving assistance from our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMHF). Fortunately, he is scheduled to undergo corrective surgery on April 23. AMHF is requesting $459 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. “I have been worrying about Kelly’s condition since January when I found out. I am hopeful surgery will be successful," Kelly’s mother says.
Georgeline is a baby from Kenya. She was born with spina bifida, a type of neural tube defect in which the spine does not properly close around the spinal cord. Without treatment, Georgeline is at risk of lower-limb paralysis, infection of the exposed nervous tissue, development of tethered cord syndrome, and possible developmental delays. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,097 to cover the cost of Georgeline's spina bifida closure surgery. The procedure is scheduled to take place on March 26. This procedure will hopefully spare Georgeline from the risks associated with her condition, instead allowing her to grow and develop along a healthy trajectory.
Phally is a 26-year-old rice farmer from Cambodia. He likes listening to classical music, watching TV, going fishing, and helping around the house. Two years ago, Phally suffered from a moto accident that injured his left hand. He has been diagnosed with a brachial plexus injury on his left side. The brachial plexus is a nerve network that transmits signals from the spine to the shoulder, arm, and hand. Injuries to this nerve network can result in loss of function and sensation. He is unable to work on the rice farm and his family has to take care of him. Phally traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On February 12, he will undergo a brachial plexus repair surgery. After recovery, he will be able to use the full range of motion in his hand again. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is requesting $637 to fund this procedure. He says, "I hope that after surgery I am able to use my hand normally without any pain."
Rida is a girl from Cambodia. She has one brother and one sister. She likes to play with friends, watch TV, and go for walks with her family. She wants to be a banker when she grows up. Rida was born with scoliosis, which is progressing with age, making it difficult to sit in school for long periods, and causing a lot of discomfort. Surgery can help correct the position of her spine, and prevent further worsening of the condition. Spinal surgery is scheduled for January 21 and will cost $1,500. Her mother says, "I hope my daughter feels better after the operation and does not have any more difficulty sleeping."
Hosea is a motorcycle taxi operator from Kenya. He is a hardworking man. In early December, Hosea was hit by a falling tree while he was riding a motorcycle. He sustained a severe injury to his right leg. He cannot stand or walk with his right leg. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On December 20, Hosea will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. This procedure will help him walk easily again once he is recovered. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $968 to fund this procedure. Hoasea says, “My ultimate dream is to work in the matatu (public transport vehicles) industry in whichever capacity if I can find."