Dean joined Watsi on December 31st, 2013. Six 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 Maung, a father from Burma, to fund surgery for a severe infection on his foot.
Dean has funded healthcare for 69 patients in 12 countries.
Dean has funded healthcare for 69 patients in 12 countries.
Maung is a 43-year-old father from Burma with two daughters. He used to work as a boatman, ferrying people to and from the island across from where they live; however, he had to stop working two years ago when a stroke weakened the left side of his body. Maung's mother supported the family until she developed severe diabetes and can now only provide them with rice. Maung's daughters are students; however, due to the current wave of COVID-19 infections and teachers protesting the country's recent coup, all schools are closed. As a result, his youngest daughter is looking after household chores, while his oldest daughter has found work to support the family. She works as a shop vendor and earns about 80,000 kyats (approx. $80 USD) per month. Maung's family shared that their current income is insufficient to cover daily needs or basic health care. About a month and a half ago, Maung's left toe became very itchy, and, eventually, the skin turned red and darkened further around his toe. Initially, Maung thought the skin was healing; however, the skin became hot, itchy, and painful. The area on his left toe later turned black, with the surrounding skin reddening. Maung was unable to see a doctor due to his family's limited income. Currently, the pain in his left toe makes it difficult to sleep and get around. Fortunately, in mid-September, Maung's relatives came to visit the family. When they saw Maung's toe, they were able to help him visit our medical partner's care center, Mawlamyine Christian Leprosy Hospital (MCLH). On September 21st, doctors examined Maung's toe and ordered a blood test. He was diagnosed with diabetes and gangrene on his left big toe. Maung will need to undergo surgery to clean and remove the necrotic tissue and help him heal. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $694 to fund this procedure. Maung shared, "After surgery, I will no longer be in pain ... I will try to find some work to support my family."
Khom is a 52-year-old farmer. She lives with her daughter and has five other children who live nearby, along with many grandchildren. Sadly, her husband passed away several years ago. She works seasonally and spends most of her time in the off-season taking care of her grandchildren. She also likes making Khmer cakes and listening to the radio. In December 2020, she was in car accident that caused multiple fractures to her left arm and leg. Her family took her to a government hospital where doctors affixed hardware to heal the fractures. However, she could not afford continued treatment and the hardware has caused complications. The hardware on her left leg has become exposed and infected. She cannot walk and she experiences chronic pain. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, can help. On August 18th, Khom will undergo a fracture repair procedure, which will cost $465. This procedure will help the fractures heal completely, and eventually help her walk easily again. Khom shared, "I am glad that these doctors can help me, and I hope that I can recover soon return to my family."
Phoebe is a fruit vendor and a single mother with one daughter, now 27 years old. She moved in with her daughter in December 2018 after she was involved in an accident and broke her leg. She used to sell fruits but has not been able to work since her accident. Since the beginning of January 2021, Phoebe has been experiencing back pains, which have persisted over time and extended to her lower abdomen. Upon examination, doctors found a mass on the cervix which was bleeding, and she has been diagnosed with an early stage cancer. She needs to undergo a hysterectomy, a procedure in which surgeons will remove her uterus. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $794 to fund Phoebe's surgery. On July 15th, she will undergo gynecological surgery at our medical partner's care center. Once recovered, Phoebe will be able to resume her daily activities free of pain and her risk for future spreading of the cancer will be limited. Phoebe says, “Cancer is scary for me. I cannot wait to be declared free of the dangerous cells that I know can end my life. ”
Israel is a one-year-old baby from Colombia who loves animals. His mother came to Colombia from Venezuela to seek better opportunities, where she fell in love with a Colombian man who became Israel's father. Israel loves to play with cars and his dog. Even though he doesn't speak a lot yet, he is constantly looking for a phone to call his grandmother. Israel was born with polydactyly of both feet. This means that he has an extra toe on each foot, which prevents him from wearing shoes and walking normally. On August 17th, surgeons from our medical partner will perform a polydactyly repair procedure to remove the extra digits. Our medical partner, Clínica Noel, is requesting $799 to fund this procedure. After surgery, Israel will be able to start wearing shoes and learn to walk and run. His mother offered advice for other mothers in a similar situation to stay hopeful: “The only thing that worried me was to know if he was going to be able to walk normally and wear shoes. I would tell a mother whose son was just diagnosed with polydactyly to just calm down and let the doctors help her, fortunately, this is not a complex pathology and the treatment already exists.”
Eh is a 16-year-old boy who lives with his parents and cousin in the refugee camp in Mae Hong Son Province in Thailand. His family receives 1,180 baht (approx. 39 USD) every month on a food card from the organization The Border Consortium. This amount is not enough to cover their daily needs despite receiving free basic health care and education in the camp. To help make ends meet, Eh’s father works as a security guard in the camp too, earning 800 baht (approx. 27 USD) in a month. In addition to this, Eh’s mother and cousin work as day labourers whenever they find work. Eh also works with them during his summer vacations. In May, Eh climbed up a ladder to lay down and rest in a bamboo hut on stilts. While trying to sit down, one of the bamboo sticks rolled out from under him and Eh fell through the floor of the hut. Putting out his left arm subconsciously to break his fall, Eh ended up landing on that arm. Currently, Eh's arm is in a sling and he is taking pain medication to control the pain. If he moves his left arm or tries to lift his arm, he feels a lot of pain. With the help of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, Eh will undergo surgery to reset his fractured bones and ensure proper healing. The procedure is scheduled for May 28th and will cost $1,500. This procedure will help Eh be able to use his arm again and he will no longer be in pain after surgery. Eh shared, “I want to become a literature teacher as it is my favorite subject. After surgery, I hope that I can go back to school with my arm healed."
Soriya is a 58-year-old grandmother. Soriya and her husband are farmers, and they live with their youngest daughter. In her free time, she likes to watch Khmer dramas on TV, and listen to local monks preaching at her community pagoda. In late February, Soriya was hit by a motorbike as she stood near the road. She fell on her right elbow, which became swollen and she is now in a lot of pain. She has felt badly since the accident. Her family took her to the provincial hospital, where they took an X-ray to confirm that she had a fracture, but she could not be treated there because her family did not have enough money. As a result of this injury, she is unable to help on the farm and is in constant pain. Her movement is also limited due to the swelling and bruising. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, can help Soriya. On March 2nd, Soriya will undergo a fracture repair procedure, which will cost $465. This procedure will fix her elbow fracture and allow her to use her arm again. Soriya hopes that after the surgery, her right elbow will be fixed and she will have no pain so that she can work as she did before to support her family.
Ngoitumet is a 6-year-old boy and the last born in a family of three children. Despite his legs condition and his difficulty with walking, Ngoitumet is a friendly and jovial boy. If not for his health condition, he would be running around enjoying his playtime and be more involved in daily home activities. Ngoitmet’s father is elderly with no source of income. He was not able to bring Ngoitumet to the hospital and had to be helped by a neighbor. Ngoitumet's family depends on livestock keeping and the milk they get from their cattle to make ends meet. Ngoitumet was diagnosed with "windswept" knees, a condition that started when he was two years old when his father noticed his left leg was slightly curving outward. His father couldn’t take him to the hospital for treatment due to financial challenges, so his left leg kept worsening, and the right leg also began curving inward. This condition is typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, which often stems from contaminated drinking water. Due to his condition, Ngoitumet has not had a chance to join school yet. He is no longer able to take part in daily home activities, like grazing their father’s cattle. Ngoitumet undergoes a lot of pain when he walks over a long distance. Through their church and the outreach program at Plaster House, Ngoitumet's family was referred to seek treatment. He has been scheduled for surgery to help correct both of his legs. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Ngoitumet. The procedure is scheduled to take place on April 20th. Treatment will hopefully restore Ngoitumet's mobility, allow him to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease his risk of future complications. Ngoitumet’s neighbour shared, "Please help this boy as he is having a hard time standing and walking and his parents do not have money to seek treatment for him."
Lon is a 56-year-old cashew farm worker. He has five sons and three grandchildren, and they all live together. His wife and all of his sons are workers at the farm as well. Lon only has one functioning eye; his left eye was eviscerated due to trauma five years ago. When he has time, he likes to listen to the news on the radio. One year ago, Lon developed a cataract in his right eye, causing him blurred vision, trouble seeing in dim or bright lights, tearing and itching. He has difficulty seeing things clearly, recognizing faces, and going anywhere outside. When Lon learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, he traveled for a rough five-hour ride with his wife seeking treatment. On February 3rd, doctors will perform a phacoemulsification cataract surgery and place an intraocular lens implant in his right eye. After recovery, he will be able to see clearly. Now, he needs help to fund this $229 procedure. Lon shared, "I have only one eye now, so I want this eye to see clearly to help my wife earn money to support my family."
Bunthan is a 39-year-old market worker from Cambodia. He has been married for 12 years and has 3 children - 2 sons and 1 daughter who are all in school. His wife also sells things for a living. Currently, Bunthan and his family live with his parents, as they are elderly and he helps to support them. In Bunthan's free time, he likes to exercise, read the news, listen to the radio, and play games on his phone. He also enjoys taking his family outside for walks on the weekend. In November 2020, Buntham was in a motor accident that caused a new fracture of his left femur - he shared that he previously fractured his leg about 12 years ago. Buntham came to Children's Surgical Centre to seek treatment for his fracture, reporting symptoms of chronic pain and inability to walk without support. On January 13th, Bunthan will undergo a fracture repair procedure, which will cost $465. Surgeons plan to exchange the nail on his left femur to help stabilize his leg and assist with healing the new fracture. This procedure will relieve him of pain and help him to walk easily again. Bunthan shared, "I hope that after my surgery that I can fully recover and walk with my family again."
James is a 52-year-old boda-boda driver from Kenya. He is a father to four children, all of whom are adults. His wife is a homemaker, and he is the sole breadwinner for the family. On February 5th, 2021, James was in a road traffic accident and sustained a burst fracture of T12 spinal cord transection. Immediately after the accident, he was aware of the intensity of the injury because he could not use his lower limbs and had a sharp pain in the mid-back. He was assisted by well-wishers and was rushed to Watsi's Medical Partner Care Center Kijabe Hospital, where the orthopaedic team ran x-rays and other tests. Now, James needs to undergo a posterior spinal instrumentation and fusion, a procedure that is aimed at stabilizing his spine and avoiding future complications. However, James does not have medical coverage and is therefore required to raise the full deposit for his surgery. He has raised some financial contributions from friends and relatives, but needs additional support for his care. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping James receive treatment. He is scheduled to undergo a spinal fusion procedure on February 10th at our medical partner's care center. This procedure will cost $1,500, and will hopefully allow James' legs to heal and regain some mobility. James shared, “I hope I will be able use my legs again. I need help both surgically and financially given that the cost of the surgery is high and I am unable to afford.”
Oum is a 65-year-old potato framer from Cambodia. He has three daughters, five sons, many grandchildren. Seven of his children are married. Oum likes to watch the news and Kun Khmer boxing on the TV. Four years ago, Oum developed a cataract in his left eye, causing him blurred vision, photophobia, irritation, pain, and tearing. He has difficulty seeing things clearly, recognizing faces, and going outside independently. When Oum learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, he traveled for six hours with his wife seeking treatment. On December 10th, doctors will perform a phacoemulsification cataract surgery and an intraocular lens implant in his left eye. After recovery, he will be able to see clearly. Now, he needs help to fund this $229 procedure. Oum said, "I just want to see clearly so I can easily go to the field to plant potatoes and take care of my wife and myself."
Innocent is a 10-month-old baby boy from Tanzania. He is the youngest in a family of two children. Both of his parents are small-scale farmers who depend on the vegetables they harvest for their food, and also sell some crops at the market to make a living. Innocent was born a healthy and cheerful baby, and his growth has been normal until last November. Now, his mother says he has became very irritable and cries a lot. Innocent has been diagnosed with hydrocephalus, a condition in which excess cerebrospinal fluid accumulates in the brain and increases intracranial pressure. As a result of his condition, Innocent has been experiencing a growing head circumference, and he cannot support the weight of his head. Without treatment, Innocent will experience severe physical and developmental delays and disability. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $765 to cover the cost of surgery to treat Innocent's hydrocephalus condition. The procedure is scheduled to take place on January 20th and will drain the excess fluid from Innocent's brain. This will reduce intracranial pressure and greatly improve his quality of life. With proper treatment, Innocent will hopefully develop into a strong, healthy young boy. Innocent’s mother shared, “Please save my baby. His condition worsens as days go by, and we are really worried.”