Joyce Hiu Yan FungUNIVERSAL FUND MEMBER
Joyce's Story

Joyce joined Watsi on March 10th, 2015. Nine years ago, Joyce joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Joyce's most recent donation traveled 8,100 miles to support Damaris, a 48-year-old mother from Kenya, to fund a hysterectomy surgery.

Impact

Joyce has funded healthcare for 108 patients in 15 countries.

Patients funded by Joyce

Kelita is a single mother with four children, aged 18,14,12, and 8. Kelita shared that she separated from her husband in 2017 because she would not adhere to cultural chieftaincy rules that wives are supposed to follow. Kelita refused to stop going to church; hence her family broke apart, and her husband married another woman. He does not provide support for his children so Kelita works hard to support her family on her own. Kelita sells cooked green maize in the nearest markets, earning about $37.00 per month. She and her four children live in a three-room house without water or electricity. Kelita does extra work in people’s gardens for her family's support and shared that she enjoys eating nsima (ugali) with vegetables prepared with groundnut flour. Kelita was well until 2011, when, after the delivery of her third child, she noted a fast-growing swelling on her neck. She did not seek medical care as there was no pain. As time passed, the swelling grew, but was not painful. In 2021, Kelita started experiencing neck heaviness and breathlessness, frequent coughs, and pains when carrying heavy items on her head. This affected her daily activities and business since she could no longer carry a basket of maize on her head. Kelita stopped her cooking business and relied on doing piece work in people’s gardens to support her family. However, even this is difficult now, as bending has become a challenge. In November 2021, Kelita visited her nearest hospital and was referred to Kamuzu Central Hospital, where an ultrasound scan revealed a bilateral complex mass in her thyroid. Kelita was sent for thyroid function tests but since she did not have the money required for the tests, she returned home to try traditional medicine, to no avail. In July, Kelita met a Partners in Hope (PIH) beneficiary who guided her to visit PIH for potential support from Watsi. On August 14th, Kelita met the surgeon at PIH. After the required tests were completed, a diagnosis of goiter was confirmed. Kelita was told she needed to have a surgical intervention called thyroidectomy, the removal of part or all of the thyroid gland. Due to her financial challenges, Kelita was referred to Watsi's medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, for support. Kelita could smile much bigger after hearing about the planned surgery and committed to a co-pay $27.64 from her savings. Kelita hopes to be well again after the surgical operation. Kelita looks forward to the peace of mind that will enable her to support her children as a single parent. “I need my peace of mind for me to resume my business and be able to carry items on my head again. Kindly help me,” Kelita says.

$1,015raised
Fully funded

Khin is a 49-year-old refugee living with her father, her daughter and her younger sister in a refugee camp, in Tak Province along the Thail-Burma border. Her family fled from Karen State, Burma to Thailand in 2017 because of the conflict in their area. Khin’s father is retired and her daughter is a student. Khin’s sister looks after their retired father at home. Khin Mar is a day labourer in the camp. However, the job is not available every day. Every month her family receives 1,200 baht (approx. 40 USD) on a cash card from the organization The Border Consortium. This amount combined with her monthly salary is enough to cover their daily needs. They receive free basic health care provided by the International Rescue Committee in the camp but surgical care is not available there. In the middle of 2023, Khin noticed pain in her lower abdomen. Still, she did not go to the hospital or clinic as she thought the process was normal for women who are getting older and close to menopause. However, in the beginning of November, she noticed that the pain worsened and now the pain is constant. She visited the hospital in the camp, where the medic gave her some medication and she returned home. The pain did not resolve and continued. On 13 November, she returned to the hospital in the camp where she met with the doctor and the doctor performed an ultrasound for her and told her that there is a mass in her uterus. The doctor told her that they will refer her to Mae Sot Hospital (MSH) where she received another ultrasound, and the doctor diagnosed her with uterine myoma - a benign tumour in the uterus and also told her that she needs surgery to remove the mass as well as her whole uterus. Khin has been experiencing lower abdominal pain and back pain almost every day now. She cannot sleep as she worries that if she receives surgery, she will not be able to work and will not have income. At the same time, she also feels hard to perform her job well as she feels that her back pain makes it worse for her when she washes clothes. If left untreated, Khin's symptoms will continue to worsen and put her at risk for further health complications in the future. Fortunately, Khin is scheduled to undergo her hysterectomy which will heal her condition on December 4th. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to cover the cost of her procedure and care. After surgery, she will no longer in pain and she will be able to continue her job comfortably like before. Khin said, “if I do not work, I worry that I will not have enough income for my family and also when I heard that I need surgery, I worry about the surgery cost. When I heard that there will be a donor for me, my father and I are very happy as we know we cannot afford to pay for this expensive surgery.”

$1,500raised
Fully funded

Noah is a 3-year-old boy from Tanzania. He is the second-to-last child in a family of 4 children. His family resides in a remote village known in Simanjiro, Tanzania. Noah’s mother is a homemaker and also assists her husband with agricultural activities, given that farming is their primary source of sustenance and income. Noah takes pleasure in helping others and enjoys solving puzzles alongside his friends. When Noah was merely eight months old, he was crawling around the house and ventured into the kitchen alone, just as his mother was occupied with washing chores. Inadvertently, he encountered a pan which slipped from the stove, causing hot water to spill onto the left side of his body, resulting in severe burns on his left armpit and elbow. Noah’s parents swiftly transported him to the nearest medical facility for urgent treatment. After receiving initial first aid, he was subsequently discharged with instructions for proper wound care. Despite these efforts, his wounds took two months to fully heal. Even after healing, noticeable damage to the skin remained on his left axilla (armpit) and elbow, which subsequently restricted the range of motion in his left arm, leading to his discomfort while crawling. The gravity of the situation became apparent to Noah’s parents, who were initially unaware of the necessity for further medical intervention to enhance their son’s quality of life. Noah was diagnosed with burn scar contractures affecting his left axilla and elbow. The contractures tighten the skin around the arm such that he is unable to use his hand without discomfort. Recognizing the significance of their son’s well-being, Noah’s parents humbly seek assistance to ensure he receives the requisite treatment to enhance his quality of life. Fortunately, our medical partner African Mission Healthcare (AMH) is helping Noah receive treatment. On August 14th, surgeons will perform a burn contracture release surgery to enable him to use his hand with ease and improve his quality of life. AMH needs help raising $874 to fund the procedure. Noah’s father says, “We are excited for his treatment as this condition has made him less interactive with his peers, and we are hopeful for a positive outcome from the treatment."

$874raised
Fully funded

Imani is a 4-year-old boy from Tanzania. His family resides in Karatu, a small district located in the Arusha region. He is the second born among three children. His mother, a farmer, takes care of him and his siblings with the invaluable assistance of his grandfather. He has recently started school and enjoys spending time with his new friends there. His fmaily hopes that he can continue with school and do well there as he grows. One of his favorite activities is his art class, where he already likes to draw and paint. Imani was diagnosed with genu varus, also known as bow legs. This condition may present from infancy through adulthood and has a wide variety of causes including excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, which often stems from contaminated drinking water. It causes lateral knee thrusting and a waddling gait. It can also impact his hips and ankles as the condition continues to worsen. As a result, he cannot walk and play like his friends and other students. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), was able to create a treatment plan for Imani. The procedure is scheduled to take place on August 1st. Treatment will hopefully restore Imani's mobility, allowing him to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease his risk of future complications. AMH is requesting $880 to help fund corrective surgery for Imani. Imani’s mother says: “I wish for my son to be able to walk and play without falling repeatedly. I have high hopes that this treatment will significantly improve his life and bring about positive changes for him.”

$880raised
Fully funded