Olaf joined Watsi on March 22nd, 2014. Six years ago, Olaf joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Olaf's most recent donation traveled 3,300 miles to support Toryeb, a hardworking father from Cambodia, to fund surgery to help him recover from a serious accident.
Olaf has funded healthcare for 78 patients in 12 countries.
Olaf has funded healthcare for 78 patients in 12 countries.
Toryeb is married with a fifteen-year-old son in grade eight. His wife is a rainy day rice farmer and grows potatoes to sell at the local market. Because there was not enough work for Toryeb to support his family in their rural province, he moved to Thailand for five years to be a hotel gardener. Five months ago, Toryeb was climbing a tree at the hotel to cut branches that were tangled in electrical wires. He was electrocuted, lost consciousness, and suffered electrical burns to his hands and legs. He spent three months in and out of Thai hospitals and underwent amputations of some of his fingers, skin grafts, and treatment to help with his infections. He is now back in Cambodia and cannot walk and has a lot of pain. A neighbor told him to visit our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, for specialty burn treatment. Now surgeons have met with Toryeb and developed a treatment plan to help him heal. His family needs help to pay for his care, which will cost $446. Toryeb told us: "I thought I would die, but I am hopeful I will recover after this surgery and work again to support my family. It is important for my son to stay in school."
Poe is a 45-year-old man who lives with his wife in a hut in a village in Myawaddy Township in Burma. Poe and his wife are agricultural day labourers, but he had to stop working two to three months ago, when his condition worsened. The income she earns is usually just enough to cover their daily expenses, but if she cannot find work, they have to borrow money to make ends meet. Around seven years ago, Poe got bamboo splinters in his left foot while working on a farm. He was able to pick out the splinters and applied traditional medicine to his foot, which healed. A little while later, he developed pain where he had the splinters before and went to a nearby clinic. A nurse checked his foot but told him that she could not find anything wrong with his foot. The nurse gave him pain medication and Poe went back home. After he took the medication, he felt better. Six or seven months later, his pain returned, and he also developed an infection. When he went back to the clinic, the nurse checked his foot and told him to go to a hospital since he signs of a severe infection. The nurse also gave him medication. He then went to Myawaddy General Hospital, where he had the ulcer cleaned with an antiseptic solution and was given medication. When he went home, he felt better. Two years ago, the pain and ulcer returned but in a larger area then previously. He went back to Myawaddy General Hospital, where he received an x-ray. He was told that his foot was infected due to his previous injury. His foot was cleaned again with an antiseptic solution, and he was given antibiotics. After he took the medication, he felt better again. Just a few months ago, Poe’s foot started to hurt again. However, he was not worried about his foot because the last time his foot had hurt, he had had the ulcers drained. When the pain and swelling increased in his foot, he was no longer able to work. Although he wanted to go to the hospital, he did not have enough money to go this time since he was not working. His brother then told him to go to Mawlamyine Christian Leprosy Hospital (MCLH) in nearby Mon State since it is more affordable. When Poe arrived at MCLH at the end of November, he was admitted after the doctor examined his foot. He received another x-ray and was told that the ulcers and an infection had spread to multiple areas. He was also told that because of how advanced his condition is, his foot could never heal fully, and the only option at this point was to amputate his foot. “I’ve been to many hospitals and clinics already,” said Poe. “The doctor told me that if I amputate my foot my condition will no longer return. So I am happy to go ahead with the procedure.” Currently, Poe’s left ankle and feet is swollen and painful. The pain is worse at night and when the temperature drops. He has multiple ulcers in his foot with discharge and he feels extremely uncomfortable. Some areas of his foot are itchy and painful while he has lost sensation in the top of his foot and areas around his ankle. Cannot put any weight on his left foot due to the pain and has to be pushed in a wheelchair since he arrived at MCLH. He's hopeful about feeling better soon and getting back to working. Poe shared, “In the future I want to buy one or two cows to breed and rear them to earn an income. I also want to grow and sell vegetables."
Saray is a beautiful baby girl who lives in Colombia. Her parents moved from Venezuela two years ago seeking for a better place to raise a family. Even though Saray is only one year old, she is already really sympathetic and enthusiastic, she loves celebrating everything. Saray has clubfoot of her left foot. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This will cause difficulty walking and even wearing shoes as she grows older. Fortunately, Saray's family traveled to visit our Medical Partner Clínica Noel where they can offer life-changing treatment. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on December 6th. Our medical partner is requesting $1,422 to fund Saray's clubfoot repair. After treatment, She will be able to walk, wear shoes, and play like any other kid. "Thank you so much, being in a foreign country and finding out that our little girl needs surgery is really stressful for us. I was really sad because in this moment we can't pay for the surgery but finding out that there are people that can help me with this really gives me hope that my little girl will be okay."
Grimina is a 59-year-old small scale farmer. She is a mother of eight children and lives in a two room semi-permanent house with her husband. Their oldest child is 40 years old, while their youngest is 18 years old. 30 years ago during her fifth pregnancy, Grimina began to experience troubling symptoms, including a painless swelling in her neck that continues to grow. She is unable to carry heavy loads on her head and has to sleep with a special pillow to prevent airway blockage. She has been diagnosed with a nontoxic goiter and surgery was recommended to treat her condition. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Grimina receive treatment. On September 14th, she will undergo a thyroidectomy at our medical partner's care center. Now, she needs help raising $333 to fund her procedure and care. Grimina shared, "I pray for a successful surgery. I hope to look normal and live a healthy life once again. I look forward to resume farming and be able to continue taking good care of my family."
Sarafina is a small scale farmer and a mother of six, with five living children. She shared with us that she attended school up to the first grade when she was young and since has farmed, while her husband is a retired soldier. They own a three-room semi-permanent house for shelter. Their oldest child is now 45 years old and dropped out of school due to mental illness while their youngest recently got married. Sarafina receives a little support from her children and relies on her farm produce to meet her daily needs. For two years, Sarafina has been experiencing lower abdominal pains along with itchy arms. She used herbal medication for the itching but she never got relief. She visited Rugarama Hospital and the scan showed uterine fibroids. Sarafina has stopped farming because she can no longer bend down, and has had to miss some follow-up appointments due to limited funds. Her symptoms have worsened and she has been diagnosed with large uterine leiomyoma. An exam revealed a cervical mass highly suspicious of cervical cancer. If not treated, Sarafina could develop chronic pelvic pain and there is a risk of cancer spreading, poor quality of life due to chronic pain and organ failure. She needs to undergo a hysterectomy, a procedure in which surgeons will remove her uterus, but her family cannot afford the surgery. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is requesting $319 to fund Sarafina's surgery. On September 4th, she will undergo gynecological surgery at our medical partner's care center. Once recovered, Sarafina will be able to resume her daily activities free of pain. Sarafina says, “I pray that I may be considered for treatment because I am in severe pain and my condition could get worse. I hope to be normal again so that I may get back to farming and taking care of my family.”
Lightness is a hard-working student and the ninth born child in a family of ten children. Lightness loves to help her mother with home chores and looking after her nieces and nephews. Lightness is currently in technical college where she is studying to be an electrician. Lightness's parents are small-scale farmers and livestock keepers, and her mother also sells vegetables and mandazi, a type of fried bread. Three years ago, Lightness was at the fireplace helping her mother cook mandazi when she lost conscious and fell into the pot of hot oil. Her mother rescued her and rushed her to the hospital. The accident has left Lightness with contractures as a result of the burns around her neck. Contractures are a condition in which the muscles are shortened and hardened, and in Lightness's case they limit her neck movement. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMH), is helping Lightness receive treatment. On August 5th, surgeons at their care center will perform a burn contracture release surgery to help her move her neck freely. However, Lightness's family needs help to fund this $639 procedure. Lightness says, "I feel bad seeing myself in this condition, I try to cover my neck because I don’t like how people feel sorry for me. I will be happy and grateful if I can have my neck corrected."
Joseph is a two-year-old boy and the youngest child in a family of four children. The family lives in a small timber house and his father sells vegetables to provide for the family. His mother often does laundry work for their neighbors, however, sometimes work is difficult to find and she works on neighbors' farms to supplement the family's income. Joseph was diagnosed with cryptorchidism, a condition in which one or both of the testicles remains undescended after birth. If not treated, Joseph will have an increased risk of developing hernias, testicular cancer, and fertility problems in the future. Fortunately, Joseph will be receiving assistance from our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH). He is scheduled to undergo corrective surgery on July 5th and now, AMH is requesting $569 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. Joseph’s father shared, “since we visited the last facility, I have never had peace in my heart after the doctor told us what will happen if the testes did not descend and he was not treated. Now, I’m more troubled that I cannot do anything for his surgery as we cannot raise any amount close to what is required. I really need support for my child's surgery."
Justine is a talkative 18-year-old laborer from Kenya. He is the second-born child in a family of five children. He dropped out of school in grade eight after his parents were unable to pay his secondary school fees. Now, Justine drives a motorcycle taxi to help support his siblings. One week ago, Justine was involved in a road accident and fractured the second, third and fourth metatarsals on his right foot. He experiences pain and he cannot walk. He was told that his fracture would require surgery, and in the meantime, he is in a cast. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), can help. On June 3rd, Justine will undergo a fracture repair procedure called an open reduction and internal fixation. Justine will no longer be in pain, and he will be able to walk and work. Now, AMH is requesting $1,016 to fund his procedure. Justine shared, “if I could be walking now, I could be out there looking for a job and supporting my family. I have faith that I will walk again."
Jovin is a beautiful one-month-old baby boy from Tanzania and the first child born to his young parents. Jovin's parents are small scale farmers of maize and vegetables for their family's food and for their living. Since birth, Jovin has had a right inguinal hernia. If not treated, the hernia could result in intestinal tissue death or damage. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Jovin to receive treatment. On May 5th, he will undergo hernia repair surgery at AMH's care center. Once complete, this procedure will hopefully allow him to live more comfortably and confidently. Now, AMH is requesting $566 to fund Jovin's surgery. Jovin’s father shared, "the cost of treating our son’s condition is too high for us to afford and he is suffering. Please help if possible."
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.
George is an 11-year-old boy and the third child in his family. George is in grade six and loves playing football a lot. Both of his parents are farmers. To earn a living, his mother sells the farm produce, which makes them some income. To supplement these earnings, his father completes any informal jobs he can find. George was diagnosed with cryptorchidism, a condition in which one or both of the testicles remains undescended. If left untreated, George has an increased risk of developing hernias, testicular cancer, and fertility problems in the future. George will be receiving assistance from our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH). Fortunately, he is scheduled to undergo corrective surgery on March 3rd. AMHF is requesting $561 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. George’s father shared, “It is very difficult for us as a family to raise the required amount for his surgery. We are grateful and appreciative of any help offered to us."
Myo is a 16-year-old boy from Burma. He lives with his parents and four brothers in northern Rakhine State. Myo is a student in grade nine and his four brothers also go to school. However, they have been unable to study since the Covid-19 pandemic shut all schools. Myo’s parents are day laborers, and their family's combined income is just enough to cover their daily expenses since Myo and his brothers’ schooling is free. To survive with limited income, they forage for vegetables and fish. If they fall ill, they use traditional medicine, which is more affordable then going to a clinic or a hospital. Myo was diagnosed with a heart condition that involves a malformation of the mitral valve, which is the valve between the left atrium and left ventricle. This valve controls the flow of blood, but certain conditions may cause blood to flow backward or the valve to narrow. Currently, Myo cannot walk long distances or climb stairs because of his tiredness. Sometimes, he cannot breathe very well. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund a mitral valve replacement for Myo. The treatment is scheduled to take place on February 7th and, once completed, will hopefully allow him to live more comfortably. Myo shared, “I am worried about my health and I feel sorry for my parents. Because of my health problems, my father had to work more days to earn more money. Also, my mother cannot work because she accompanies me and has to take care of me. I hope my school will reopen soon so that I can go back to school. One day I hope that I can become a teacher. I want to teach because there are not enough teachers in my village.”