United States • Born on December 25th
Shalene joined Watsi on December 20th, 2014. 40 other people also joined Watsi on that day! Shalene's most recent donation traveled 8,600 miles to support Thu Ya, an earnest young man from Thailand, to fund mitral valve surgery to fix his severe heart condition.
Shalene has funded healthcare for 73 patients in 14 countries.
Shalene has funded healthcare for 73 patients in 14 countries.
Thu Ya is a 24-year-old man who moved to Mae Sot in April to live with his older sister and search for better job opportunities. Thu Ya’s sister works in an electronics factory, and his brother-in-law works as an agricultural day labourer. Thu Ya does not have regular work yet, but he is paid per task for completing miscellaneous jobs for the factory where his sister works. Their monthly income is just enough to cover their daily needs and pay for basic health care. Every month they send money to Thu Ya and his sister’s parents, who look after his sister’s daughter. Thu Ya 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. Currently, Thu Ya experiences shortness of breath when he walks longer distances or whenever he is active. He often experiences rapid breathing and feels tired. He cannot sleep well at night, and he has heart palpitations. He has a poor appetite, and he has not been able to help his sister much around the house since early September 2022. His sister is very worried about his condition. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund a mitral valve replacement for Thu Ya. The treatment is scheduled to take place on November 22nd and, once completed, will hopefully allow him to live more comfortably. His sister said, “I have a few sisters, but Thu Ya is my only brother. When I see him in this condition, I feel sad and worried about him. I hope that he will receive surgery and that he will get better soon."
Monicah is a shy four year old girl who loves being with her grandmother. She is the first born in a family of two. She hails from a village in Machakos county, Kenya. Monicah was diagnosed to have hemiplegic cerebral palsy, a condition that paralyses one side of the body. She also has clubfoot of her right foot. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Fortunately, Monicah's family traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, AIC Cure International Hospital. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on October 25th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,286 to fund Monicah's clubfoot repair. The surgery will be impactful to her since she will be able to walk without pain and finally she will be able to step on the ground with her right foot. “I am pleading support for my daughter to undergo surgery. I would love to see her stepping on the ground confidently,” Monicah’s mother told us.
Grace is a happy 9-year-old from Kenya and the fifth born in her family of six. Grace is close with her mother and helps care for her younger brother. Grace's mother works as a farmer to support her family. Grace is experiencing clubfoot of both her feet. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape, which causes difficulty walking and wearing shoes. Fortunately, Grace's family was able to travel to our medical partner's care center for support. On September 26th, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery that will allow Grace to walk well upon her recovery. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is requesting $1,286 to fund Grace's surgery. Grace's family shared, "I am so grateful to Watsi for the support. May you be blessed and continue helping needier patients.”
Samuel is a nine-year-old student who lives with his parents and three siblings in Haiti's capital city, Port-au-Prince. He is currently in third grade and enjoys studying history and science. Samuel has a cardiac condition called Tetralogy of Fallot, which is a combination of four different congenital heart defects, including a hole between two chambers of the heart and a muscular blockage of one of the valves. Fortunately, Samuel is scheduled to travel to the United States where he will undergo cardiac surgery on September 14th at Akron Children's Hospital. During the procedure, surgeons will sew a patch over the hole in his heart and remove the blockage from his valve. A portion of the cost of Samuel's treatment is being supported by Akron Children's Hospital. Our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance (HCA), is raising the remaining $1,500 to cover the costs of his surgery prep, which includes all labs, medication, check-up and follow-up appointments, and the passports needed for HCA’s social workers to accompany Samuel and his family overseas. Samuel's mother says, "I have been very worried about my son's health for many years. I am looking forward to being able to stop worrying so much after this surgery!"
Thein is a 42-year-old woman from Burma. She lives with her husband, son, daughter, mother-in-law and step-granddaughter in Palu Village, Myawaddy Township, Karen State, Burma. Thein’s husband is still recovering from an illness and is also looking after her as her caregiver. Her mother-in-law has impaired vision and is looked after by her children. Her two children stopped going to school in 2020, when schools closed due to COVID-19. After the coup in February 2021, their school never reopened. Thein works as a day laborer and as a farmer, but she has not been able to plant anything this year. In December 2021, she and her family had to flee their village for a month due to armed clashes in their village. After they were able to return, Thein was too scared to go to her farmland since she had been told that the area around the village is full of landmines. It has been a very difficult time for their family as Thein’s house was also destroyed during the armed clashes in their village. They are currently living with Thein’s mother-in-law, whose house partially survived the recent violence and destruction. Thein's family currently lives off of donations that Palu villagers receive as internally displaced peoples (IDPs), and the rice they harvested last year before they had to flee. Since July 2021, Thein has been experiencing backpain when she sits or lays down. She feels better when she is standing or walking. After she eats, she feels bloated and uncomfortable. She has been diagnosed with large abdominal endometriosis. She has been advised to undergo a total abdominal hysterectomy, the surgical removal of her uterus and cervix. If left untreated, Thein's symptoms will continue to worsen and put her at risk for further health complications in the future. Fortunately, Thein is scheduled to undergo her hysterectomy on July 20th. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of her procedure and care. Once recovered she will no longer be in pain and will be able to sit and lie down comfortably. Despite the hard moment they are in, Thein tries to stay hopeful about rebuilding her life: “When I recover fully, I want to go back to work so that I can earn money. I want to rebuild my house and live there with my family.”
Cristian is a sweet three-year-old boy from Bolivia who has Down syndrome. He lives in a small city in the mountains of central Bolivia with his parents and three siblings. To support their family, his parents operate a small market stall. Some of Cristian's favorite activities include clapping along to music and watching cartoons. Cristian was born with an atrial septal defect, a cardiac condition in which a hole exists between the two upper chambers of the heart. Blood leaks through this hole instead of flowing properly through his body, leaving him weak and short of breath. Fortunately, Cristian is scheduled to undergo heart surgery on July 29th with the support of our long-standing medical partner Haiti Cardiac Alliance, which is now growing and expanding into Bolivia. Surgeons will close the hole with a patch, healing his condition and improving his quality of life. Another organization, Gift of Life International, is contributing $2,500 to pay for a portion of Cristian's procedure costs. Our medical partner is requesting $1,500 to cover the remaining costs, which cover surgical expenses, cardiac exams, medications, and travel fees so Cristian and his family can travel to receive his life-changing cardiac procedure in La Paz. Cristian's mother says, "Our family would like to say thank you to everyone who is helping our son to become healthy!"
Bonface is a 72-year-old gentleman, living alone in a remote area of Kenya. While Bonface works as a laborer on local farms getting small jobs whenever he can, his wife works in Nairobi, and lives with their four children. A week ago, Bonface was assaulted, sustaining injuries to his head and to his left arm. After the assault, Bonface was able to alert his neighbors, who brought him to a local clinic. He received stitches for the wound on his head, and an X-ray of his arm was ordered. The X-ray revealed a fracture of the humerus bone, which will require surgery to heal. Currently, as a result of the fracture, Bonface is unable to use his arm, and is in pain. Bonface visited AIC Kijabe Hospital, where he was scheduled to undergo surgery on June 28th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $1,500 to fund his medical procedure, which will repair the fracture, and enable Bonface to use his arm without pain. Bonface says, “I am old and weak. I strain to work because of my age. It is now worse since one hand is broken. I need this treatment to be able to use my hand again.”
Lydiah is a 39-year-old woman, living with her husband and teenaged child in Kenya. While Lydiah works as a vegetable vendor - traditionally known as a mama mboga - her husband is employed as a clothing vendor. On her way to work in March 2021, Lydiah was hit by a motorcycle. She sustained a fracture of the right femur, necessitating three surgeries and multiple trips to the hospital. Despite the care that she has already received, an infection of the fracture has set in, and if Lydiah doesn't receive treatment soon, she risks losing her leg and becoming permanently disabled. Currently, Lydiah cannot walk, and is confined to a wheelchair. Lydiah is scheduled to undergo surgery for the infected fracture on May 24th, at the AIC Kijabe Hospital. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $1,500 to cover the cost of Lydiah's surgery, which will enable her to walk again. Lydiah says, “I haven’t been able to go to the market to sell my vegetables because of the fracture and multiple infections. I am afraid of losing my leg and being unable to walk. I am in constant pain and need support to get this treatment.”
Daw Nwe is a 61-year-old woman from Thailand. Originally from Mon State, Burma, she moved in with her sister’s family in Thailand in January 2022, when her vision worsened and she did not have anyone to take care of her at home. In her free time, she enjoys watching videos about Buddhism, reading books about Buddhism and praying. She has cataracts and she can can only perceive darkness and light with her left eye. The vision in her right eye is slightly better as she can still see a bit, but her vision is blurry and she needs help from her family for daily personal activities. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund lens replacement surgery for Daw Nwe. On April 25th, doctors will perform a lens replacement, during which they will remove Daw Nwe's natural lenses and replace them with an intraocular lens implant in each eye. After recovery, she will be able to see clearly. Daw Nwe said, “I am very happy when I think about how my vision will be restored. I am thankful to all the donors and the organisation [BCMF] for helping me receive eye surgery.”
Meet Precious: a nine-year-old talkative girl who comes from a small village in Nandi County in Western Kenya. She's a bright third grade student who likes singing at home and at church. She is a second born in a family of two. Precious lives with her brother in their grandmothers’ house since their parents separated due to family conflicts. Precious' father is a casual laborer who works really hard to make ends meet. He is always determined to give what is best to his children and he now requests help so that his daughter can be well and be able to continue with her education without difficulty. Precious visited our medical partner's facility due to recurrent tonsillitis for more than a year. Medication has not improved her recurring infection and the medical team has recommended she undergo surgery to fully heal. With this treatment, Precious will finally have relief from her symptoms. Her family hopes she will be well and be able to concentrate in school and perform well once she is healthy. Precious' father shared, "I would like to see her well. I am motivated to work hard for my children to ensure they get a good education and prosper in life.”
Benzaqueen is a 4-month-old baby and the second born in a family of two children. Her parents work hard to make ends meet for their family. Before she was caring for Benzaqueen, her mother used to do jobs like plowing and house chores for people to earn a living. Her father mostly works in construction sites when he can find jobs to provide for their family. Benzaqueen has been diagnosed with hydrocephalus, a condition in which excess cerebrospinal fluid accumulates in the brain and increases intracranial pressure. As a result of her condition, Benzaqueen has been experiencing an increasing head circumference. Without treatment, Benzaqueen will experience severe physical and developmental delays. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $720 to cover the cost of surgery for Benzaqueen that will treat her hydrocephalus. The procedure is scheduled to take place on February 24th and will drain the excess fluid from Benzaqueen's brain. This will reduce intracranial pressure and greatly improve her quality of life. With proper treatment, Benzaqueen will hopefully develop into a strong, healthy young girl! Benzaqueen’s mother says, “We just cannot wait for our child to be fully out of the hospital and treated. We hope for the best.”
U Than is a 45-year-old man from Burma who lived by himself in a village. He used to look after his neighbor's cows in exchange for rice. However, since January 2022, U Than is unfortunately unemployed, has no income and no permanent address. In mid-January 2022, U Than was on his way to Thailand to find better work. He arrived at a bus station, and, after requesting a ride to a local guest house, he was left on the side of the road and mugged. He visited a local hospital where he had an x-ray of his right arm that showed that both of the bones in his forearm were broken. The nurse there wrapped his arm in a bandage and gave him some pain medication, but told him he would need to get surgery elsewhere. Currently, he cannot use his right arm and has difficulty grabbing things with his right hand. Fortunately, our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), is helping U Than receive treatment. On January 26th, he will undergo surgery to reset his fractured bones and ensure proper healing. The procedure will help him recover and find work again. Now, he needs help raising $1,500 to fund his procedure and care. U Than shared, "I feel very uncomfortable using my left hand when I eat or go to the toilet as I usually never use my left hand. I feel so sad that I have this unexpected problem. I thought that my life will be better when I come here and find work. This was not what I was expecting. I am happy to hear that there will be donors to help pay for my treatment’s cost. Thank you."