Dean joined Watsi on December 31st, 2013. Seven years ago, Dean joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Dean's most recent donation traveled 8,300 miles to support Tay, a 6-year-old girl from Burma, to fund atrial septal defect closure.
Dean has funded healthcare for 105 patients in 12 countries.
Dean has funded healthcare for 105 patients in 12 countries.
Six-year-old Tay lives with her mother, sister, and brother in a village in Shan State in Burma. Tay's mother is a teacher. When Tay was three years old, she was frequently ill with a rapid heartbeat and fingertips that would turn blue. Her mother brought her to a nearby hospital, where the doctor told them that Tay had congenital heart disease and would need to be treated in Yangon. However, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Tay's mother did not feel it was safe to take Tay to Yangon. When she turned five, Tay's symptoms worsened, and her mother brought her to a hospital in Yangon in August 2022. At the hospital, Tay was diagnosed with an atrial septal defect, and her mother was told that Tay would require surgery- which the family could not afford to pay for. Fortunately, Tay's aunt referred her to our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, for help. Now Tay is scheduled to undergo atrial septal defect closure at Pun Hlaing Hospital on May 13th. As Tay is becoming progressively more ill- with episodes of rapid breathing and weight loss due to a lack of appetite- this procedure is critical for her health and well-being. Burma Children Medical Fund is seeking $1,500 to cover the cost of Tay's care. “When I learned that my daughter [Tay] needs surgery, I felt very sad and I cried because I cannot afford to pay for her surgery. But when I learned that the organization [BCMF] will support the cost of my daughter’s surgery, I felt very happy and thankful to all the donors and that organization. I want to see her healthy,” said Tay's mother.
Choeun is a 56-year-old rice farmer from Cambodia. He is married with four sons, one daughter, and one grandchild. His children all work nearby in construction and garment factories. When he's not working, Choeun likes spending time with his family, reading the news, and checking his Facebook. About two years ago, Choeun developed a cataract in his right eye, causing him blurry vision and light sensitivity. He has difficulty seeing things clearly, including colors and faces, and is worried about falling when walking, so he cannot go places on his own. When Choeun learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC), he traveled for three hours seeking treatment. On January 5th, doctors will perform cataract surgery and an intraocular lens implant in his right eye. After recovery, he will be able to see clearly. CSC is requesting $253 to fund this procedure. Choeun shared: "I hope after this operation I will be able to be comfortable on the rice farm."
Ashin Mala is a 30-year-old monk from Burma. He became a monk a year ago and currently lives in a monastery in Karen State. He receives two meals a day and cash donations from worshippers. In October 2022, he visited the house of a member of the ethnic armed group in the village. At the home, a child was playing with a pistol and accidentally shot the gun, hitting a wall. Unfortunately, a part of the bullet ricocheted off the wall and hit Mala in his left eye. Immediately, Ashin Mala was brought to a hospital, where an X-ray showed that bullet shards were lodged under his left eye. The doctor removed most of the bullet shards and closed the gunshot wound. Though time has since passed, he still feels pain in his left eye and has lost vision in that eye. He has also developed itchiness and a burning sensation in that eye. Eventually, he was brought to Mae Sot Hospital in Thailand, where, with the help of Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF) and Watsi donors, he underwent a CT scan. The results showed multiple foreign bodies in his left eye, most likely shards left from the bullet, and indicated that his left eyeball was most likely ruptured. He was then referred to Chiang Mai Hospital (CMH), where an ophthalmologist told him they would have to remove his left eyeball. He was then admitted for surgery at CMH on February 22nd. Mala needs help raising $1500 to fund this procedure that will relieve him of his pain. Ashin Mala said, "I believe my pain will disappear after the operation. I want to get rid of the pain. Afterward, I will work hard to attend Dhamma University. I want to become a preacher. I will preach about Dharma [the teachings of Buddha] around my country.”
Geninah is a hard working farmer and a mother of 10 children; five sons and five daughters. Two of her sons run a small-scale business while three sons and all her daughters are farmers. Education was not valued for her generation, so she didn't have the opportunity for school. Her wish was to be a nurse if she had the opportunity to study. She is married and she and her husband were small-scale farmers, but they no longer farm much these days. Currently, they depend on their banana and coffee plantation's seasonal yields for some irregular income. She loves singing and attending church service in her free time. For many years, Geninah has experienced troubling symptoms, including a neck swelling, constant cough like sensation, shortness of breath when lying down, pain during swallowing, and profuse sweating at night. She was diagnosed with a giant goiter. She needs surgery to prevent her symptoms from getting worse. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Geninah receive treatment. She is scheduled to undergo a thyroidectomy on February 28th at our medical partner's care center. Surgeons will remove all or part of her thyroid gland. This procedure will cost $252, and she and her family need help raising money. Geninah says “I hope to get relieved from the pain I have been having and with your support, I hope my surgery will surely be possible.”
Boniface is a 9-year-old student with two siblings. He started school late and enjoys taking part in science classes. Boniface likes to play soccer with his peers, but it is hard for him to play for long because of his leg condition. Boniface was diagnosed with genu valgus. His right knee knocks on his left knee. This condition is typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, which often stems from contaminated drinking water. As a result, he has difficulty walking. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Boniface. The procedure is scheduled to take place on December 8th. Treatment will hopefully restore Boniface's mobility, allow him to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease his risk of future complications. Boniface’s mother says, “It has been hard for him with his leg condition. He wishes to do more, but he is limited."
A cheerful grandmother from Kenya, Susan is blessed with eight children. One of her sons died while he was still young, and the others got married moved away. She is a widow, and lives with her grandson who goes to a nearby primary school. Susana's children, like her, did not go beyond the primary level of their education. She lives in a semi-arid area of the county where they plant millet and sorghum as their main socio-economic activity. The area is affected by insecurity issues and bandits have affected their way of doing things. She took a long time to come to seek medical attention since her home area was not safe at that time. Susana recently fell while carrying firewood and sustained an injury to her left humerus. Susana came into the hospital with her arm splinted in the company of her daughter hoping to find the help she needs to return her normal life. Susana had an X-ray that showed that she had a fracture of the proximal humerus. The splint was removed during the examination, as she had developed a cast sore that got infected. It was thoroughly cleaned and dressed, and she was discharged home with antibiotics. Currently, Susana cannot lift or move her hand due to pain. The fracture is more than a month old and so she needs a complex procedure in order to align her broken bone, allowing her to heal quickly. Her economic status is challenging and she cannot afford to pay for her procedure. She is appealing for help from all well-wishers reading her story. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On February 21st, Susana will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. The treatment will help Susana to do activities by herself. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,145 to fund this procedure. Susana says, "It’s really hard to depend on people in activities such as bathing. I am so disturbed when I see my children leave their houses for my sake. Kindly help me so that I may be able to depend on myself and for them to be able to work and provide for their families.”
Samuel is a 21-year-old talkative young man. He is the second born in a family of five children. His father passed away when he was four years old, so his mother had to raise him and his siblings by herself. She does jobs on tea farms to provide for the family. When Samuel was two years old, his abdomen started to swell, which was very painful for him. His mother took him to the hospital and he was given some medication and sent back home. The medication did not work as expected. He was then taken to a different hospital for examination. He was given more medication and after some time he seemed to be better. The stomachache did not go away completely, however. Samuel and his mother shared that over the years, he has had stomachaches and gotten used to taking pain medication. In 2017 when Samuel was in high school, the pain worsened and his abdomen started to swell again. He had to leave school as a result. His mother took him to a hospital in Meru where he was admitted for three months. While in the hospital, scans and a biopsy were done to determine what the problem was. He was given a colostomy, where the end of the colon is brought through an opening in the abdominal wall, in order to pass stool. This surgery is often performed to bypass bowel malformations, but colostomies are usually temporary and may call for closure. In Samuel's case, his colostomy requires closure in order to restore bowel function and prevent future complications. At that time, his doctors did not manage to treat him and referred him to BethanyKids Hospital in 2018. On arrival, he was examined and admitted, as he was not in good condition. After more scans and tests, he was ultimately diagnosed with Hirschsprung’s disease. Since then, Samuel has undergone several surgeries with the aim of trying to better his condition. The first surgery failed, but the second was successful. He is now scheduled to undergo his last surgery to close the colostomy so that he can pass stool on his own again and live a more active life. Earlier in his treatment, Samuel's parents had enrolled in the national health insurance program (NHIF), which helped them pay for most of his hospital bills. BethanyKids also chipped in on occasion to help with some of the bills. Unfortunately, for his last surgery, NHIF has rejected the request since he is beyond the age to be covered by his mother’s insurance. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping him to undergo treatment and needs $1,084 to cover the cost of a colostomy closure for Samuel. The surgery is scheduled to take place on November 11th and, once completed, will hopefully allow him to live more comfortably and confidently. Samuel’s Mother says, “For years now, I have been very worried about my son, but God has seen us through.”
Chaica is a 13-month-old baby girl from Haiti. She is the youngest child in the family and loves to smile. Chaica 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, Chaica has been experiencing Increasing head circumference. Without treatment, Chaica will experience severe physical and developmental delays. Our medical partner, Project Medishare, is requesting $897 to cover the cost of surgery for Chaica at Hospital Bernard Mevs that will treat her hydrocephalus. This is the only site in the country where this care is currently available and the procedure is scheduled to take place on January 26th. This critical treatment will drain the excess fluid from Chaica's brain to reduce intracranial pressure and greatly improve her quality of life. With proper treatment, Chaica will hopefully develop into a strong, healthy young girl. Her family is looking forward to Chaica being able to grow up healthy and they hope this care will help their daughter.
Sophy is a 38-year-old construction worker who lives with his wife and two children. His wife is a farmer, growing rice and vegetables which feed the family, and which she also sells at the local market. When Sophy isn't working, he enjoys playing football, catching up on current events, and taking his children to the local market. In November 2021, Sophy fractured his right tibia in a motor vehicle collision when he was on his way home from work. He went to a local clinic, where doctors placed hardware in his leg to stabilize the bone and to heal the fracture. While he has good function of his leg and has been able to return to work, Sophy has a nagging ache where the hardware remains, and doctors have told him that he needs to have the fracture hardware removed. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, can help. On October 12th, Sophy will undergo a hardware removal procedure at Kien Khleang Rehabilitation Centre, which will cost $304. This procedure will remove the old hardware, enabling Sophy to continue his rehabilitation while he works full time. Sophy and his family need your support to cover the cost of the surgery. Sophy said: "After surgery, I hope my right leg will be healed completely with no hardware, and I will no longer worry about it."
Samwel, a very social and hardworking Kenyan father of eight children, is an active maize farmer who likes spending most of his time on his farm. He works hard to meet the needs of his family. His wife takes care of their home and helps him in his daily farming activities. Samwel lives with his family in a semi-permanent house in their farm. His elder children are married, and they also work hard to meet their own families' basic needs. Samwel presented to the emergency department with cuts on his left wrist joint and on his knees after an assault with a machete by a person known to him. This was brought up by family conflicts due to land disputes. Doctors diagnosed that he had multiple tendon injuries with nerve injuries in his wrist and an open fracture of his left distal femur in his leg. He is in pain and cannot walk with ease. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help him heal and get active again. On September 5th, Samwel will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. Samwel will no longer experience pain. He will go back to his family and continue with his farm activities. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,145 to fund this procedure. Samwel says, “I have so much pain, but I am happy to be alive. I hope to get treated, go back home and be with my family.”
Sangva is a 42-year-old taxi driver from Cambodia. He is married and has two sons and three daughters. During his free time, he enjoys playing volleyball and spending time with his friends. In February, Sangva was in a motor vehicle accident that caused a fracture of his left humerus, a bone in the arm. He went to an emergency clinic where doctors fixated hardware to heal his injury. The bone is now healed, and the hardware must be removed to prevent future complications. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, can help. On July 18th, Sangva will undergo a hardware removal procedure, which will cost $304. This procedure will allow his arm to be fully healed. Sangva says, "I hope I will be able to return to work soon."
Deborah's baby is a newborn - only a few days old. Deborah and her husband have two more children. Deoborah's husband is the breadwinner of the family, working as a small business operator while Deborah is a stay-at-home parent for their family. Her husband's income provides for their basic needs and school fees. Deborah's baby was born with clubfoot of his right leg. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. His parents are greatly concerned about their baby’s condition. They are worried, but also holding hope that their newborn baby will be ok. Fortunately, the parents brought their newborn to our medical partner's care center, Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on September 6th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is raising $935 to fund the baby's clubfoot repair. After treatment, his leg will be aligned correctly and he will be able to walk easily as he grows. His father shared, “It has been so hard living in doubt for the past three days. I'm grateful my baby will now get help."