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Brandon Smith

MONTHLY DONOR

Brandon's Story

Brandon joined Watsi on May 29th, 2017. Four years ago, Brandon joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Brandon's most recent donation supported Rickshadez, a 9-year-old student from Kenya, to fund testicular surgery.

Impact

Brandon has funded healthcare for 42 patients in 8 countries.

All patients funded by Brandon

Baby of Magdalena

Baby of Magdalena is a 1-month-old baby girl and the only child to her young parents. Both of her parents are small-scale farmers of maize and vegetables. Her father also seeks casual labour jobs on construction sites to help supplement their family's income. Baby of Magdalena was brought in as an emergency case seeking treatment at ALMC Hospital after being born with spina bifida and congenital malformation of her lower limbs. When she was delivered, the clinic doctors covered the spina bifida area with saline gauze, which led to wound contamination and put her at risk of infection. Once she arrived at ALMC Hospital, Baby of Magdalena was scheduled for spina bifida repair to help save her life and ability to use her lower limbs. Given the urgency of her situation, she was able to get funding to cover this surgery, and it was successful in preventing infection. However, Baby of Magdalena has now developed hydrocephalus, a condition in which excess cerebrospinal fluid accumulates in the brain and increases intracranial pressure. This could potentially cause brain damage and cause physical and developmental delays. Now, she needs to have ETV surgery, but her parents cannot afford the treatment cost due to financial challenges. They appeal for financial assistance. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,300 to cover the cost of surgery for Baby of Magdalena that will treat her hydrocephalus. The procedure is scheduled to take place on February 15th and will drain the excess fluid from Baby of Magdalena's brain. This will reduce intracranial pressure and greatly improve her quality of life. With proper treatment, Baby of Magdalena will hopefully develop into a strong, healthy young girl. Baby of Magdalena's mother shared, "My baby’s head is increasing in size and she needs surgery, but we cannot get that amount of money. Please help us.”

100% funded

$1,300raised
Fully funded
Than

Than is a 42-year-old woman from Thailand. She lives with her husband, three daughters, three sons, son-in-law and granddaughter. Than and her family moved from Burma to Thailand ten years ago in search of better job opportunities. Her husband, her oldest daughter, one son, and her son-in-law work as day labourers on their employer’s farm, growing and harvesting tapioca, corn, and cabbage. Her two other sons go to school, while her youngest daughter and her granddaughter are too young to go to school. Than and her second oldest daughter are homemakers. On November 7th, 2020, Than discovered that she had an incisional hernia. Currently, Than experiences abdominal pain throughout the week and has to take pain medication to decrease her pain. She feels uncomfortable when she sits, and when she is in pain, she has to walk or lie down for the pain to ease. Fortunately, on January 28th, she will undergo hernia repair surgery at Mae Sot General Hospital, our medical partner's care center. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund Than's hernia repair surgery. The procedure is scheduled to take place on January 28th and, once completed, will hopefully allow her to live more comfortably and go about her daily activities normally. Than shared, “I was so happy when I learned that I was to go to Mae Tao Clinic [and later Mae Sot Hospital] for treatment. My children are also happy that I will receive treatment with help from donors.”

100% funded

$1,500raised
Fully funded
Myint

Myint is a 52-year-old father from Burma. He lives with his wife, two sons and daughter. Myint used to work as a construction manager, and his wife is a homemaker. In his free time, Myint likes to search for building design ideas on Facebook and likes to read books. He also enjoys helping a charity group that drives patients to hospitals in an ambulance. Myint was diagnosed with a heart condition that involves a malformation of the mitral valve, which is the valve between the left atrium and left ventricle that controls the flow of blood. Malformations of this sort may cause blood to flow backward, or cause the valve to narrow. Currently, Myint has difficulty breathing and chest pains. He cannot sleep well at night and has to take medication to help him fall asleep. He also feels tired when he talks for a long time. Myint needs a mitral valve replacement surgery to improve his quality of life. Since April 2020, he has been unable to work due to his poor health. When his eldest son's university classes did not resume this year, his son found work as a truck driver to make additional money. However, due to government imposed COVID-19 restrictions, his work ceased around August. Myint's family now lives off of their savings and borrow money when needed. They are appealing for financial help for Myint's health. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund a mitral valve replacement for Myint. The treatment is scheduled to take place on October 25th and, once completed, will hopefully allow him to live more comfortably. Myint shared, “After I have recovered fully, I will go back to work. But if I cannot do that same job anymore, I will look for something else that I can do. I will save money for my family’s future. I want my daughter and my sons to successfully complete their studies.”

100% funded

$1,500raised
Fully funded
Aung

Aung is a 15-year-old novice monk from Hpa-An. He lives with other monks in the monastery. His parents own a piece of land where his father and oldest brother grow vegetables and fruits for sale. The family also grows vegetables for their own consumption. He was born with encephalocele and it was the size of a fingerprint. It grew bigger over the years and was the same size for the last three years before receiving surgery in 2015. He also suffers from hydrocephalus and he received ventriculoperitoneal shunt (VP) in 2016. Two months ago, Aung developed headaches and his head has grown bigger on the right side. At that time, his father bought medicine from the pharmacy to reduce his headaches. He took it for two days, but he did not feel better. Later on, his father took him to Hpa-An hospital where he received a blood test and x-ray. The doctor suggested his father to take him to Yangon but his father returned to Mae Tao Clinic (MTC) in Mae Sot instead of going to Yangon. On February 25th, he arrived at MTC and he was referred to Watsi Medical Partner's Care Center Mae Sot Hospital to be seen the next day. At MSH, the doctor recommended a CT scan, which Watsi donors have also generously supported, and with these results Aung's father was told that doctors need to replace Aung's VP shunt as the previous shunt from 2016 is blocked. Aung’s father said, “I am very worried for him as he is my son and I hope that he will be healthy as soon as possible. In the future, I want him to be a monk for the rest of his life. Because I know my other older sons will not take good care of him as he is not a healthy boy. If he stays at the temple, he can be able to sleep and eat regularly."

100% funded

$1,500raised
Fully funded
Chit

Chit is a 39-year-old woman from Burma. She lives with her daughter, mother-in-law, and her sister-in-law’s three children. Her husband has recently left the village to work in Bangkok so he could increase his income, especially since her condition has worsened. Since she became ill, she feels bored because she is unable to work. Around five months ago, Chit started to feel unwell with a stiff neck, headaches, and pain in her right eye. Soon after, she noticed that the black part of her right eye started to move inward toward the middle of her face, becoming crossed eyed. As soon as she noticed a change in her right eye, she went to a hospital to see a doctor about her condition. At the hospital, she underwent a CT scan of her head which showed normal findings. Therefore, the doctor just gave her an injection and oral medications. A week later, she decided to go see a local medic in her village because she felt like the medications were not helping. The medic looked at her medical test results, assessed her and said she might have a neurological condition. The medic gave her oral medication and another injection. She took the medication she received from the medic, and her symptoms subsided gradually. Chit's symptoms disappeared completely about 20 days ago, but this only lasted around 10 days because she noticed that the black part of her right eye had started to become white and the rest of her eye, normally white, started to turn red. She bought eye drops at a local medication stall, but they did not help. A few days later, she learned about Mae Tao Clinic (MTC), a charitable clinic, from one of her nephews. On January 11th, Chit visited MTC regarding her condition, and a medic explained that unfortunately her eye was not functional anymore and that it needed to be removed due to a severe infection. The medic also explained that if her right eye was not removed, the infection could spread to her left eye and cause the same problem. MTC then brought Chit to Mae Sot Hospital (MSH) and the doctor there confirmed that her eye needs to be removed as soon as possible. Chit said, "It's upsetting to know that I need to have one of my eyes removed. But then, I feel that since the eye is bad, there is no sense in keeping it. In the future, if possible, I want to get a prosthetic eye."

100% funded

$1,500raised
Fully funded
U Chit

U Chit is a 55-year-old man from Myawaddy Township, Karen State, Burma. He divorced his wife seven years ago and has two daughters and three sons. His youngest daughter lives with his ex-wife in Yangon and their other children live in Myawaddy Township. In March 2019, he entered into monkhood. Now, he receives alms from laypeople and from his children. In February 2019, U Chit began to experience back pain and a burning sensation when urinating. To treat his symptoms, he bought medication from a nearby pharmacy. However, after taking the medicine, he did not feel any better. He later went to a local clinic where he received more medication for his symptoms. They suggested that he go to Myawadday Hospital to receive an ultrasound scan. However, he did not go to the hospital because he did not think he would be able to pay for the cost of the scan. Instead, he continued taking the medicine that the doctor had prescribed. Unfortunately, his pain when urinating did not get better. Finally, U Chit decided to visit Mae Tao Clinic (MTC), where he got his hernia treated four years ago, to seek treatment. U Chit arrived at MTC on April 24th, 2019, where an ultrasound scan revealed that he had a bladder stone. The next day, he was sent to Mae Sot Hospital (MSH) where he received an injection and oral medication. On May 16th, 2019, he received an Intravenous Pyelogram (IVP) test for further investigation. After the IVP test, the doctor told him that he requires surgery and is scheduled for 20th November 2019. Currently, U Chit experiences back pain and he continues to feel a burning sensation when urinating. Aside from his concerns about his condition, he is worried about financial problems because he is a monk and does not have a regular income. U Chit likes reading Buddhist texts and newspapers in his free time. He said, “I want to cure my condition as soon as possible and I would like to focus on religious activities. After I am cured, I also would like to help find treatment for my daughter who has suffered from a stroke.”

100% funded

$1,500raised
Fully funded