Tina joined Watsi on November 9th, 2018. Two years ago, Tina became the 4469th member to automatically support a new Watsi patient every month. Since then, 1,539 more people have become monthly donors! Tina's most recent donation traveled 8,300 miles to support Kham, a teenager from Burma, to fund cardiac surgery.
Tina has funded healthcare for 23 patients in 6 countries.
Kham is a 14-year-old student from Burma. She lives with her father, paternal grandparents, four paternal uncles, an aunt-in-law, and a cousin in Kachin State. Kham is in the ninth grade and her cousin also goes to school. Her grandmother is a seamstress. Her grandfather is retired, and her father is unemployed and looks after her. All of her uncles are mechanics in an automobile repair shop, but they do not share their income with the rest of the family. During her free time, she helps her cousin with his homework, and she loves teaching. Kham was born with 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 her sick and short of breath. Kham is scheduled to undergo heart surgery on August 9th to correct her condition and improve her quality of life. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of Kham's procedure and care. “I would like to become a teacher because I feel happy teaching children that I know,” Kham shared with us.
Susan is married and a mother of two who are still in school. Currently, she sells food to neighbors and drivers. Susan shared that the last five years have been very challenging because her husband has been serving jail time for something which he did not do. He was released in January of 2020 and was not able to find work before the COVID-19 lockdown. Over the last two years, Susan has been experiencing pain and fullness in her abdomen. At times the pain gets severe and causes vomiting. She has been diagnosed with gallstones. Her doctor adviser her that she needs a cholecystectomy. If Susan is not treated she will continue to experience pain, her vomiting may get worse, and she may also experience gall bladder inflammation. Fortunately our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, can help. They are requesting $788 to help fund the cost of this surgery. Susan shared, “My husband is currently recovering from his time in jail and so I have no one to turn to. I pray that I may get help so that I am able to support my family and help my husband find a job. Then, we can support each other. I would appreciate Watsi's support."
12-year-old Joy Nyagathu is in the hospital. Joy came accompanied by her father. She is a polite girl and likes playing with other friends at school. She shared that reading storybooks is her favorite hobby. Joy is the oldest in a family of 3 children and a seventh grader at Ol Donyo Sabuk Academy. Her family hails from Mountain View, near Thika Town in Kiambu County, Kenya. Joy was born with clubfoot which was corrected when she was an infant. She has lived well until last year when the parents noticed an unusual curve on her back developing. Her father heard about Watsi's Medical Partner Care Center CURE Hospital and came for a consultation. Joy was diagnosed with congenital scoliosis and was scheduled to undergo an instrumented spine fusion surgery. Currently, Joy experiences a lot of pain and discomfort while at school. She sometimes needs to skip her studies as a result of pain. Surgery will be of great help to her as she will be able to continue with her studies and her life without any difficulty. Joy's father is a businessman as a greengrocer, while her mother is a housewife. The surgery is expensive for their family and they cannot raise the amount needed. “I would like to be assisted because I am not able to raise the funds on my own. My desire is to see my daughter walking and pursuing her studies like other girls without any hardship. God bless Watsi for what they are doing,” Joy’s father expressed with gratitude.
Kruy is a 40-year-old rice farmer from Cambodia. She has two sons, two daughters, her husband is a fisherman. She likes to make food for her children and take care of their family's house. Fifteen years ago, Kruy had an ear infection. This infection caused a cholesteatoma, or an abnormal skin growth, to develop in the middle ear behind the ear drum. For this reason, Kruy experiences hearing loss, ringing, and ear discharge. She cannot hear clearly when she communicates with other people, and she cannot work outside the house independently. Kruy traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On May 7th, she will undergo a mastoidectomy procedure in her right ear. During this procedure, ENT surgeons will remove the cholesteatoma. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is requesting $925 to fund this procedure. This covers medications, supplies, and inpatient care. Kruy said, "I hope that after my operation, the infection will finally be gone, and I can feel what it is like to have clear hearing again."
Phyo is a two-year-old boy from Thailand. He lives with his parents and sisters and a brother in Fo Fai Village. His parents are originally from Bago Division in Burma and moved to Thailand in search of better job opportunities around 10 years ago. Both of his parents are agricultural day laborers. Phyo’s parents cannot afford to send him or his siblings to school and they are looked after by his six-year-old sister when his parents are working. Phyo was born a healthy baby boy at Mae Tao Clinic (MTC). In June 2019, Phyo’s mother noticed that both of Phyo’s testicles were swollen. At first she thought that the swelling was caused by an insect bite and that the swelling would come down on its own. However, the swelling never reduced. Busy with work and since Phyo did no complain of any pain and looked otherwise healthy, his mother did not take him to a clinic or a hospital. In the beginning of November 2019, his mother realized that his testicles were increasing in size and he was uncomfortable. His mother decided to have this checked and brought him to MTC in early November. When they arrived at the clinic, the medic completed a physical examination and gave him antibiotics. The medic also told Phyo’s mother that they could not treat him further because the medic was not completely sure what his diagnosis was. They were told that Phyo would need to receive an x-ray at Mae Sot Hospital (MSH) so that they could diagnose him properly. Since his mother did not have enough money to pay for the x-ray and she had work she had to do at home, she brought Phyo back to their village. At home, Phyo took the antibiotics the medic had given him, which seemed to reduce the size of his testicles. However, on April 7th, 2020, Phyo’s mother noticed that his swelling was increasing in size again and that he could not pass urine nor stool; she became worried when she noted that he ate and drank a lot the whole day. The next day, his mother asked her pastor if they could take them back to MTC, as she did not have enough money to pay for transportation. Their pastor agreed to help them and drove them to the clinic. At MTC Phyo received a physical examination and the medic explained to Phyo’s mother that he might have a hernia. The medic diagnosed him with incarcerated inguinal hernia and told them that he would need to receive surgery at the nearby hospital. Phyo has an inguinal hernia and currently cannot pass urine nor stool. He cannot walk or stand for the past two days as his swelling is severe and uncomfortable. Fortunately, on April 8th, he 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 Phyo's hernia repair surgery. The procedure is scheduled to take place on April 8th and, once completed, will hopefully allow him to live more comfortably. Phyo's mother said, “I feel very stressed and worried about my son. I can’t help him any further as I don’t have money. His father has also not come back since he went back to Burma [a month ago to take care of his sick parents]. I cannot work and I have no income as we have less work during this time of the year. Sometimes our neighbors have to give us a meal. Now I have a debt of 600 baht (approx. 20 USD) already from my neighbor, without interest.”
Jane is a farmer from Kenya who was well until Friday night, February 28th, when she fell on a hard ground while carrying a bunch of firewood. She visited a nearby health centre but was referred to our facility for specialized treatment secondary to severe pain and inability to stretch her hand. Upon review, x-ray imaging indicated a radial head fracture and a radial head excision with Open Reduction Internal Fixation (ORIF) recommended by doctors. The surgery will allow her to stretch/flex her hand and continue with her normal life duties. Jane is a peasant farmer in the upcountry, planting millet and sorghum on her farm located along the valley. The mother of 8 and a grandmother to several children, she has always worked hard to meet her children's needs. Despite her hard work, Jane faces a lot of social challenges at home. Since her husband was murdered four years ago by unknown persons, Jane developed depression that led to partial psychosis. Due to this condition, Jane is unable to attend to her home duties like before. She no longer does farming like she used to do, now she is left in the hands of her daughter who takes care of her needs. Jane's family is able to raise $98 only. She is requesting the rest of the funds to undergo ORIF. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On March 6th, Jane will undergo a fracture repair procedure. The surgery will reduce further complications and allow Jane be able to utilize her hand with ease. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $771 to fund this procedure. “I hope that I will get well soon. I am missing my home,” says Jane with sweet laughter.
Nurudini is a four year old boy from Tanzania and the last born child to his parents. He was healthy until the age of one and a half years when his legs seemed to curve by the lower side and seemingly weak. His mother, concerned, took him to the hospital for review and had calcium medications prescriptions. She hoped that the calcium would strengthen his bones preventing further curving. Through a poster advertisement, his mother learnt of our services and brought Nurudini for treatment. He was diagnosed with genu varus and surgery is recommended. With the successful surgery, Nurudini will be able to walk with ease and reduce the chances of further disabilities. He had his left leg corrected and now Nurudini requires correction of the right leg. Nurudini's mother sells vegetables at their local market while his father works at construction sites. Their combined income does not make ends meet and with the ability to retain some money for medical expenses. They appeal for financial assistance. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $838 to fund corrective surgery for Nurudini. The procedure is scheduled to take place on January 28th. Treatment will hopefully restore Nurudini's mobility, allow him to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease his risk of future complications. Nurudini’s mother says, “My son’s walking has gotten better after having his left leg corrected though he is still limping due to the right one which he couldn’t have it corrected earlier.”
Ezra is a four-year-old from Tanzania who is the first born to a family of three children. His parents are small scale farmers who depend on what they harvest for their daily living. Ezra 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, Ezra traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on January 7th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $890 to fund Ezra's clubfoot repair. After treatment, he will be able to walk easily. Ezra’s mother says, “We had no idea that our son’s condition was treatable but through education and seeing other children who had similar condition getting treatment, this has given us hope but our biggest challenge now is that we can’t afford the treatment cost please help us.”
Meet Josephine, a 15-year-old girl from Mbembani Village in Kenya. Josephine likes socializing and playing with her friends both at home and at school. Josephine is the 3rd born in a family of 6 children, 2 of her siblings (Musau Muasya & Maureen Mwikali) have physical impairments and have been previously supported by Watsi. Josephine was born partially blind and with additional congenital abnormalities. She is a class four student at Joy Town Special School in Thika. Besides being partially blind, Josephine walks by herself, she seems not to like people who pity her but those who play with her and encourage her. Her mother does household and farm work at their neighbor’s home. This job entails fetching water, washing clothes, as well as going to the shamba. Her husband fled home 3 years ago and has never returned leaving his family in a very difficult state. Treatment will be of great benefit to her as she will walk without straining. Her mother cannot afford to pay for surgery and hence requested for support. Her mother shared, "First, I wish to thank Watsi for the help they have rendered to my two children Musau and Maureen, God bless you so much for the support and I hope you will not get tired in helping my daughter Josephine as well. God bless you so much.”
Soe is a 48-year-old man from Burma. Soe lives with his wife, a son and four daughters in Mon State. His wife used to work but now stays home to look after their youngest daughter, who is just six months old now, and their son, who is suffering from a severe type of congenital heart disease. Soe’s eldest daughter also stays home and helps her mother with household chores. Soe’s two other daughters are students. Soe Myint has another daughter and she works as a domestic worker in Yangon. Last two years ago, Soe experienced persistent twitches in his left lower eyelid. About 15 days later, he noticed that the vision in his left eye had deteriorated to the point that he could hardly see things. He then went to a clinic, but he just received oral medication and eye drops. However, the treatment he received at the clinic had no effect on his condition. He also had slight pain in his left eye. In 2018, when Soe was traveling on a motorcycle, he passed out and fell off from the motorcycle. People nearby saw him and took him to the local hospital. He regained consciousness when he arrived at the hospital. Not long after the incident, Soe noticed that the vision in his right eye has also started to become blurry. He then went to an eye clinic in Yangon where the doctor examined his eyes. There he was provided with oral medication and eye drops. However, Soe did not feel any better even with the medication. Doctors want Soe to undergo a CT scan, a procedure in which x-ray images taken from several angles are combined to produce cross-sectional images of the body. This scan will hopefully help doctors diagnose his condition and formulate an appropriate treatment plan. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $414 to cover the cost of Soe's CT scan and care, scheduled for October 08. Soe said, “I am worried for my son and I want to him get better soon. I am also worried for my daughters who are left behind at home because they don’t have any money to buy food.”
Zin is a 37-year-old woman from Burma. She lives with her husband, son and two daughters in Myawaddy, Karen State. Her 17-year-old son and 13-year-old daughter go to school while her youngest daughter stays home as she is still very young. To make a living, Zin used to make different Burmese snacks and sell them at the nearby villages. But she recently stopped working due to her health condition. Sometimes, her husband works as a day labourer but Zin said she does not know how much he earns from that. Six months ago, Zin started to experience stomach-ache so she went to a clinic. The doctor there did not do any investigations, instead, just prescribed her oral medication. Although Zin felt better with the medications she received at the clinic, her symptom returned after two months and she went back to see the same doctor. The doctor again prescribed her medications, but they only relieved her symptoms for a short time. In early September, Zin felt like her stomach-ache has worsened. She had it more often and the medications that she received at the clinic did not help her anymore. On 12 September 2019, Zin had a severe stomach-ache and for the last time, she returned to see the same doctor. On this visit, the doctor performed an ultrasound and said that there are stones in her common bile duct (CBD), a duct that carries bile from the gallbladder and liver into the duodenum (upper part of the small intestine). Zin has been advised to undergo a biliary obstruction repair, a procedure to repair the blockage of the bile ducts, which carry bile from the liver to the gallbladder. If left untreated, Zin's symptoms will continue to worsen and put her at risk for further health complications in the future. After seeking treatment through our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), Zin is scheduled to undergo her biliary obstruction repair on October 03. BCMF is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of Zin's procedure and care. Zin said, “I cannot do anything now. I want to get well soon and start working again. If not, my family will not have enough food”.
Paw is a 34-year-old woman from Burma. She lives with her parents, five sisters, two brothers and one nephew in Kyain Seikgyi Township, Karen State. They all work as subsistence farmers growing rice on their own farm. This year her older sister started to work as a cow herd, looking after her aunt’s buffalos. In her free time, Paw likes to work on the farm with her family. Once she has fully recovered, she will go back home and continue to work on their farm and help her family. In May 2019, Paw has been experiencing sharp pain in her lower abdomen as well as back pain and dizziness. She has been diagnosed with dermoid cysts. She has been advised to undergo an oophorectomy, a procedure in which surgeons will remove her ovaries. Fortunately, Paw is scheduled to undergo her oophorectomy on August 29. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $913 to cover the total cost of her procedure and care. Paw said, “I want to receive treatment and get better soon. I don’t want to suffer from this pain anymore and I don’t want my family to worry about me. I worry for my family as well, because one of my sisters is unwell.”