Brooke joined Watsi on October 21st, 2015. Seven years ago, Brooke joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Brooke's most recent donation supported Chit Htun, a 21-year-old man from Burma, to fund surgery to place a shunt for his hydrocephalus condition.
Brooke has funded healthcare for 88 patients in 14 countries.
Brooke has funded healthcare for 88 patients in 14 countries.
Chit Htun is a 21-year-old man from Burma who lives with his mother, two sisters and a brother. His mother is a homemaker, while Chit Htun and his siblings are students. They are supported financially by two aunties and Chit Htun's former teacher. Chit Htun was born with spina bifida as well as hydrocephalus. When Chit Htun was just over a month old, he had a shunt inserted in his brain to control hydrocephalus. In October 202, Chit Htun fell down the stairs in his home and hit his head during the fall. Since that time, he has been experiencing headaches and dizziness with occasional loss of consciousness. Chit Htun's mother brought him to a hospital in Yangon, where he received a CT scans showing that the original shunt was in place. A second shunt was inserted to help with the loss of consciousness, but the headaches and dizziness continued to be a problem. In October 2022, Chit Htun had a seizure, accompanied by nausea and vomiting. Chit Htun's mother brought him to Mae Sot Hospital, where he received a CT scan on November 28th, 2022 with the help of Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF). The doctor diagnosed Chit Htun with severe chronic hydrocephalus and suspected shunt malfunction. BCMF is now fundraising $1,500 to help cover the cost of surgery to replace Chit Htun's current shunt. Chit Htun's mother shared, "My son and I have been in Mae Sot for the past two months and we are homesick already. I hope that he will receive surgery soon and recover from his symptoms."
Mathew is a teenager from Kenya. Currently, he is not in school and herds the family cattle as part of his daily activities. He is the fourth-born in a family of nine children, and his first-born brother is the breadwinner. He does bodaboda business (motorcycle taxi) and has a pool table in the community where he charges a few shillings per game. Mathew was born at home, and a few days later his older brother noticed that he was not passing urine properly. His parents didn't take any action, thinking it was normal. His brother didn't know what to do at the time because he was not old enough to take Mathew to the hospital. Now 17 years later, Mathew's brother decided to take him under his wing and take him to the hospital despite not being subscribed to any health insurance program. They visited several hospitals, but nothing was done. A neighbor then referred them to a nearby clinic. Mathew was examined at the clinic and referred to BethanyKids for further review. His brother gathered some funds and managed to raise enough to bring Mathew for examination. Mathew was born with hypospadias, a congenital abnormality that causes urinary dysfunction. Without treatment, he will continue to experience uncomfortable symptoms and will be at risk of infertility and cancer. Fortunately, Mathew is scheduled to undergo corrective surgery on December 14th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $847 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. Mathew's brother says, "I want my brother to be in good health and I know that this surgery will help boost his self-esteem."
Queen is an adorable 4-month-old baby from Tanzania. Her mother is a sole proprietor who has recently started a new small business, while her father works as a security guard. Queen has an older sibling. While their current income is limited, her mother is confident that her new business provide for their family's basic needs. Queen has clubfoot of both feet. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape, which causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Queen's parents took her to a nearby hospital, but they lacked the needed specialized medical staff. Concerned about waiting a long time for a consultation, Queen's father visited another hospital but experienced the same issue. Queen's father then visited the hospital of our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), where the doctors were able to diagnose the condition and recommended surgery. On November 18th, Queen will undergo clubfoot repair surgery that will allow her to learn to stand and walk as she grows. AMH is requesting $935 to fund this procedure. Queen's father shared: "We have been traveling far and wide in pursuit of a cure for our daughter. We're determined to see her feet get back to normal. We appeal for your financial support to help our daughter receive treatment."
Kyaw is a 80-year-old man who lives with his wife and his sister-in-law in Mon State, Burma. Kyaw and his wife are retired, while his sister-in-law is paralyzed. They are supported by Kyaw’s brother-in-law, who is a monk, and his niece, who owns a small food shop. In his free time, Kyaw likes to meditate while using prayer beads and he enjoys going to the temple. He also likes to listen to old Burmese songs and the news. During the first week of October, Kyaw began to experience severe pain in the sole of his right foot and now he cannot put any weight on that foot. He has to use a stick when he walks, and his wife has to support him. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is helping Kyaw receive treatment to heal his condition and help him walk again. On October 13th, he is scheduled to undergo a procedure to drain the abscess. This procedure will cost $760, and he and his family need help raising money. His wife said, "Thank you to the donors and the organisation (BCMF) for paying for my husband’s surgery.”
Hla is a 43-year-old woman from Thailand. She lives with her husband, daughter and son in a village in Thailand. They fled from across the border in Burma seven months ago because of fighting in their area. She used to be an agriculture day labourer but stopped working a month ago since her condition is worsened. Her husband is also an agriculture day labourer and her son is a student. Two years ago, Hla felt a small mass in her breast. The mass was not painful so she need not seek treatment. A few months ago, the mass started to increase in size and became painful. Currently, Hla still feels pain and feels stressed about her condition and also worries if her condition can be treatable or not. Fortunately, Hla sought treatment through our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund. She is now scheduled to undergo mass removal surgery on September 11th. She needs $1,500 to cover the total cost of her procedure and care. Hla said, "I am very happy that I will be able to receive surgery soon. I hope that I will be able to work again after my surgery."
Devid is an active 18-year-old from Cambodia who is in 12th grade. He lives with both his mother, who works as a tailor, and his grandmother in Cambodia. During his free time, he enjoys learning more about fitness via the internet, as well as exercising with friends. He shares that his best subject in school is Khmer literature, and he aspires to become a teacher in the future. At the end of 2019, Devid was in a motorcycle accident that caused injuries to his right arm. Although he had his wounds treated after the accident, both his right shoulder and elbow currently have no movement, and he has no wrist flexion or extension. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner's care center can help. They will perform a functional free muscle transfer gracilis of his right arm so he can regain movement. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC), is requesting $991 to fund Devid's repair surgery. Once completed, this procedure will hopefully allow him to restore mobility and continue his daily activities with less difficulty. Devid says, "I am grateful that I can return to school and regain my strength after this surgery."
Josias is a three-year-old boy from Haiti. He lives with his parents and older brother. He is a happy and playful toddler who loves to smile and play! Josias 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, Josias has been experiencing developmental delays. He cannot walk or talk yet. Without treatment, Josias will continue experiencing severe physical and developmental delays. Our medical partner, Project Medishare, is requesting $957 to cover the cost of surgery for Josias at Hospital Bernard Mevs to treat his hydrocephalus. This is the only site in the country where this care is currently available. The procedure is scheduled to take place on July 20th. This critical treatment will place a shunt to drain the excess fluid from Josias's brain to reduce intracranial pressure and greatly improve his quality of life. With proper treatment, Josias will hopefully develop into a strong, healthy young boy. Josias's family has shared that they hope this surgery will allow him to be more independent.
Meet Sok Kieng, a 21-year-old man with one brother and two sisters. Their parents are both rice farmers. In his free time, Sok Kieng enjoys playing football, fishing at the lake, listening to music, and helping his family at home. On June 1st, Sok Kieng was in an accident at work, where sharp metal cut his Achilles tendon. After the accident, he went to a local health center for first aid. While there, he was referred to our medical partner Children's Surgical Centre for more extensive treatment, as he had an infected open wound on his right heel, swelling, pain, and difficulty walking. On June 13th, surgeons at Kien Khleang National Rehabilitation Centre will debride the wound, and reconstruct his Achilles tendon. Children's Surgical Centre is seeking $991 to fund this procedure, which should enable Sok Kieng to resume working, and to doing all of the things which bring him pleasure, free from pain. Sok Kieng says: "I hope after surgery my right foot is healed and I am able to walk without pain."
Loserian is a student and the youngest of six children in his family in Tanzania. For over six years, Loserian experienced pain and discomfort when he walked, because his legs bowed inwards, forcing him to use a walking stick for support. Four years ago, he received surgery through Watsi funding, that helped to correct the inward bowing of the legs. This enabled him to walk with ease and to carry out his daily activities, like going to school and playing. However, Loserian was recently diagnosed with bilateral femoral varus, which causes his legs to bend outward at the thighs. This condition typically results from contaminated drinking water. Once again, Loserian is experiencing pain and difficulty walking. His parents, who are subsistence farmers, do not earn enough to be able to afford Loserian's treatment, and therefore, they are seeking help to cover the costs of his care. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Loserian. The procedure is scheduled to take place on May 10th. Treatment will hopefully restore Loserian's mobility, allowing him to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decreasing his risk of future complications. Loserian says: "After I had my surgery, walking became easy and normal and I was not having any challenges. But for the past few months, I have been feeling pain when walking and my legs are now bowing at the thighs."
Esther is a sweet 2-year-old from Haiti. She lives with her parents, grandparents, and several siblings and cousins in a neighbordhood of Port-au-Prince. Esther's parents are both market vendors. Esther was born with down syndrome and later diagnosed with a cardiac condition called ventricular septal defect. This means there is a hole between the two lower chambers of Esther's heart. Blood leaks through this hole without passing through her lungs to obtain oxygen, leaving her weak and short of breath. On April 20th, Esther will fly to Dominican Republic to undergo cardiac surgery to close the hole in her heart using a patch. This surgery is not available in Haiti and her family has been waiting for her to be able to travel for this life-saving care. Haiti Cardiac Alliance is contributing $8,000 to pay for her surgery. Esther's family needs additional assistance covering $1,500 for labs, medicines, and follow-up appointments. This amount also supports passport obtainment and the social workers who will accompany Esther's family overseas. Esther's mother shared, "We are very hopeful that after the surgery, our daughter will have more appetite and less weakness."
Rachhan is a 12-year-old student with five siblings. His parents are construction workers in their province. Rachhan enjoys playing football and riding bikes with his friends. Six years ago, Rachhan 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, Rachhan experiences ear fullness, headaches, hearing loss, and ear discharge. He shared that he does not want to go to school because he is ridiculed by his friends when the teacher scolds him for not listening. As a result he has poor grades and it is difficult for him to communicate with other people. His parents are worried, but cannot afford expensive treatment for him. Rachhan traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On March 10th, he will undergo a mastoidectomy procedure in his 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. Rachhan was excited that he will start to feel better soon. He told us, "I hope that I can hear well and go back to school."
K is a 46-year-old homemaker from Burma. K lives with her husband, son and two daughters in a refugee camp. K and her husband are small scale vegetable farmers. K's eldest daughter is a nurse in the refugee camp's hospital, while her other daughter and son are students. In her free time, K enjoys cleaning her house and weaving traditional Karen shirts. K has a cataract in her left eye that causes blurred vision. K's challenged vision has prevented her from weaving, and causes her to walk slowly so she does not get injured. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to help fund K's lens replacement surgery on February 16th. After recovery, K will be able to see clearly again. K shared, "After surgery, when I can see again, I hope to go back to weaving and helping with all the household chores.”