John joined Watsi on September 4th, 2014. Six years ago, John became the 616th member to automatically support a new Watsi patient every month. Since then, 5,392 more people have become monthly donors! John's most recent donation traveled 8,800 miles to support Vanna, a government employee from Cambodia, to fund mobility restoring spine surgery.
John has funded healthcare for 74 patients in 13 countries.
Vanna is a 64-year-old government employee. He and his wife have six children together, all of whom are grown and started their own families. His wife was a rice farmer, but recently retired. He reads a lot of books, and has started to collect books to give to his grandchildren. He also enjoys watching news on TV. Vanna has had chronic back pain for over ten years. He has managed the pain with painkillers and light exercise, but recently it started to get worse. He experiences numbness in his legs, and has difficulty sitting and standing. He came to Children's Surgical Centre (CSC) on recommendation from a friend, and has been diagnosed with lumbar stenosis, a condition in which spinal nerves are pressured by the bone. Doctors will perform a laminectomy in order to relieve that pressure. This will allow him to walk easily with out pain. Now, CSC needs your help to fund this $1,027 procedure. Vanna shared, "I can't imagine life without back pain, so I am simply excited to feel what it will feel like when the surgery is done."
Sean is a 64-year-old farmer who makes a living selling her crops locally. Her husband died four years ago from heart disease, but she has nine children in the area. She lives with one of her daughters, and together they help take care of her nine grandchildren. In her free time she loves to visit the local pagodas and take part in celebrations and ceremonies. 2 years ago, Sean started to experience back pain. She was able to work despite this pain, but the condition got worse over time. She was able to obtain painkillers which helped her continue to function. However, she recently has felt her pain increasing again. She experiences too much pain to be able to walk or stand for longer than a few minutes, and has difficulty sleeping. Luckily, Sean has come to Children's Surgical Centre, for help and doctors will be able to perform a laminectomy to relieve pressure on the nerves in her spinal cord. She will feel immediate pain relief and will have a much easier time doing all of her daily activities. She will also be able to return to her work and take care of her grandchildren.
Horn and his wife have been married for forty years, and have three daughters together. His wife works with him in the fields, while his daughters are all still in high school. He spends free time with his friends raising livestock for sale. Four months ago, Horn started feeling pain in his left hip. He had one previous surgery there, but no trauma. His pain reached the point where he can no longer walk unaided, and he had to stop working. On recommendation from one of his friends, he traveled for nearly ten hours to come to Watsi's Medical Partner CSC to receive treatment. Doctors at CSC will perform a girdlestone procedure in order to alleviate his pain. Once he recovers, he will no longer experience any pain in his hip, but his mobility will be reduced and he will use a cane. He will be able to continue working and doing the same activities he enjoyed before. Horn said, "I am glad my pain will finally be gone after my surgery. I cannot walk or do anything right now, so I am excited for the day I can finally go back to working and supporting my family."
Rachel is a tailor from Kenya. She is a middle-aged woman from the east of the country. Eight years ago, she noted a lump on her right breast and consulted several hospitals. She had FNA tests run and cancer was ruled out. In 2014, she had a lumpectomy but unfortunately, the lump recurred in 2018. She was biopsied in a different hospital and still did not get a cancer diagnosis. Late in 2019, she opted to come to Watsi's Medical Partner Care Center Kijabe Hospital where she had several tests done, including an ultrasound and CT scan. Doctors diagnosed early-stage cancer. Rachel returned to the hospital in April and surgery is advised. If not operated on, she is at risk of cancer metastasis, which might result in an early death. Rachel is a mother of two children, ages 10 and 8 years old. She lives in a two-roomed rental house paying $34 per month. She sustains her family through her small tailoring venture in their house. Living with a disability, where she had a right femur osteomyelitis in 1982, she is not able to move with ease, and this limits her ability to earn a better living and lifestyle. She separated with her husband, making it hard for her to meet the daily cost of living. She left her two children with a neighbor to come for surgery and appeals for financial help. Without treatment, her cancer may spread to other organs. A mastectomy, a surgery to remove breast tissue, has been suggested to rid her body of breast cancer and to prevent the cancer from metastasizing. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $898 to cover the cost of a mastectomy for Rachel. The procedure is scheduled to take place on May 6th. After treatment, Rachel will hopefully return to a cancer-free life. Rachel says, “Thank you for agreeing to support my surgery. I am grateful and look forward to quick recovery.”
Starlex is a student from Haiti. He lives with his parents and two younger brothers in Cap Haitien, a city in northern Haiti. His father is a taxi driver. He is in the second grade and likes going to school and playing with his friends. Starlex has a cardiac condition called Tetralogy of Fallot. This condition involves several related defects including a hole between the two lower chambers of the heart, and a muscular blockage of one of the valves. Starlex will fly to Canada to receive treatment. On April 1st, he will undergo cardiac surgery, during which surgeons will close the hole in his heart with a patch, and remove the muscular blockage from his valve. Another organization, The Herbie Fund, is contributing $25,000 to pay for surgery. Starlex's family also needs help to fund the costs of surgery prep and transport. The $1,500 bill covers labs, medicines, and checkup and followup appointments. It also supports passport obtainment and the social workers from our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, who will accompany Starlex's family overseas. Starlex's father shared, "My family is looking forward to the day when our son can be healthy and normal!"
Lazaru was diagnosed with an anorectal malformation a day after birth. This is a condition where Lazaru was born without an anal opening. While changing his diapers, his mother noticed that Lazaru had not passed stool since he was born. His abdomen was distended and he was quite irritable. A closer look confirmed that their son lacked an anal opening. This was unheard of and discreetly, his parents rushed him to the nearest hospital. Lazaru was further referred and a colostomy put in place when he was three days old. A second surgery would be needed later on to create an anal opening. The funds they had were exhausted and thus could not afford to pay for the subsequent surgery. A previous Watsi beneficiary from their village advised them to visit BethanyKids Hospital where they could get assistance. With hopes high, they set out. The creation of an anal opening is needed without which, Lazaru risks scarring at the colostomy site due to occasional leakages and infection. Lazaru lives with his parents and elder brother in a one-room traditional house in the Rift Valley region of Kenya. His parents are subsistence farmers and own a few goats. His family was also advised to apply for national health insurance to support future needs, which they did not know was possible. They are appealing for help towards their son’s surgical care. “A friend told us that we would get help from here and we are happy even for the warm reception,” says Lazaru’s mother.
Bernard is a father of four from Kenya who came to our facility with a left knee injury he sustained after falling on a rock, a few days ago. Unable to raise funds required, he could not come for orthopaedic review. A week later, Bernard received support from his brother who paid for his transportation to our hospital. He had x-ray imaging done and diagnosed with closed knee fracture of his left patella. He walks in pain and his knee is swollen. Bernard operates a tractor after missing out on studies due to financial constraints. His monthly income is quite negligible to meet the cost of surgery. His wife sells at a grocery shop in the local market to provide for their our children. With the fracture, Bernard is not able to provide for his family. They appeal for help. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On January 22nd, Bernard will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. The surgery will reduce chances of further complications on the fracture and allow him to walk with ease. Bernard was able to contribute $50 toward his treatment, but does not have the funds for the full treatment. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $771 to fund this procedure. Bernard says, “I want to get treated so that I can go out to provide for my family. There is no one to help them now when I am injured. I am looking forward to stepping on my feet again.”
Chheng is a 50-year-old clothes seller from Cambodia. She enjoys cooking for her family, including one son and one daughter, and likes to watch television in her free time. For the last ten years, Chheng has suffered from swelling and pain in her left knee. She was diagnosed with osteoarthritis in her left knee and cannot stand for a long period of time, and now has difficulty walking comfortably. Fortunately, Chheng learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre. At CSC, surgeons can perform a total knee replacement to relieve Chheng of her pain and allow her to walk easily. Treatment is scheduled for January 6th, and Chheng needs help raising $1,087 to pay for this procedure. I hope that I will no longer be in any pain, and I will be able to walk well again and return to my work," Chheng said.
Susan is a young girl from Tanzania. She is the second born child in a family of four children. She is a happy girl and always has a smile on her face. Susan has not had the chance to join school yet due to her feet being wrongly positioned making walking difficult. Her parents are concerned that she will struggle to walk to and from school every day. The school is a long distance from their home and her parents can’t afford to pay for motor bike rides to school. Both her parents depend on small scale farming for their daily life living. Fortunately, Susan traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on November 19th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $890 to fund Susan's clubfoot repair. After treatment, She will be able to walk easily. Susan’s father says, “Please help treat our daughter’s legs we can’t afford the treatment cost.”
Sadvin is a 5th grade student from Cambodia. She has seven sisters, and enjoys reading books in her spare time. Five years ago, Sadvin had an ear infection. This infection caused the tympanic membrane, or the ear drum, in her left ear to perforate. For this reason, Sadvin experiences hearing loss, discharge, itchiness, and headaches. She cannot hear others clearly and has a difficult time communicating well with others. Sadvin traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On October 10, she will undergo a myringoplasty procedure in her left ear. During this procedure, surgeons will close the perforation. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is requesting $423 to fund this procedure. This covers medications, supplies, and inpatient care. Sadvin's mother said, "I hope that my daughter will feel better and that she can return to her studies and be able to hear again."
Thu is a 27-year-old man who lives in Dala Town, Yangon Division, Burma. He lives with his 25-year-old wife, who take care of their five-year-old daughter who goes to kindergarten. Thu works as a security guard in a tower in Yangon. His total income is just enough to cover all their general expenses, such as food and clothing, as well as pay for his daughter’s school fees. Five years ago, Thu started to experience chest pains while he ate lunch. He continued to suffer from chest pains but he worked through the pain until June 1, 2019, when he suddenly developed severe back pain. He was brought to Yangon General Hospital (YGH) and was admitted for 13 days. While he was admitted, he received a blood test, chest X-ray and an injection to help alleviate the pain. When doctor listened to his chest with a stethoscope, Thu was advised to receive an echocardiogram (echo). After he received the echo on June 16th, the result showed that he has aortic regurgitation, a heart condition caused by problems with the aortic valve. Currently, Thu is suffering from chest pains. He has had to temporarily stop working. Thu is looking forward to receiving surgery soon and getting back to work so that he can continue to support his family.
Khoeun is a 62-year-old rice farmer from Cambodia. He has seven children and seven grandchildren, and enjoys watching boxing on the television. Three months ago, Khoeun developed a cataract in each eye, causing him vision loss. He has difficulty seeing things clearly, recognizing faces, and going anywhere outside. When Khoeun learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, he traveled for two and a half hours seeking treatment. On June 3, doctors will perform a phacoemulsification cataract surgery and an intraocular lens implant in each eye. After recovery, he will be able to see clearly. Now, he needs help to fund this $398 procedure. He says, "I hope that I will be able to see clearly again and can go back to my work and go anywhere I want to outside on my own."