Zack joined Watsi on November 25th, 2013. Six years ago, Zack joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Zack's most recent donation traveled 8,700 miles to support Godwin, a toddler from Tanzania, to fund hernia repair.
Zack has funded healthcare for 83 patients in 12 countries.
Zack has funded healthcare for 83 patients in 12 countries.
Godwin is a two-year-old baby boy and the first born child in a family of two children. Godwin's parents are small scale farmers of maize and vegetables, which is what their family relies on mainly for food. Earlier this year Godwin's father traveled to Kenya to try making a living by selling Maasai sandals, belts and beads. He is able to send back some money once in a while. In the past three weeks, Godwin's mother noticed that Godwin has not been himself. He's having pain and cries a lot. Godwin has been diagnosed with inguinal hernia, a condition in which soft tissue bulges through a weak point in the abdominal muscles. Fortunately, on July 4th, Godwin is scheduled to undergo hernia repair surgery at our medical partner's care center. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is requesting $566 to fund Godwin's surgery. Once completed, this procedure will allow him to live more comfortably. Godwin’s mother shares, "My baby is usually in pain when the area swells up. Please help him get this treatment for we are not able to afford the cost."
Phat is a 55-year-old woman who is a rice farmer along with her husband. Together they have one son. These days Phat cannot go to the rice field because her vision is too poor. Instead, she stays home and enjoys listening to the news and Khmer shows, and hearing the monks pray on the radio. Three years ago, Phat developed a cataract in her right eye, causing her burning, photophobia, and blurry vision. She has difficulty seeing things clearly, recognizing faces, and going anywhere outside. When Phat learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC), she traveled for two hours with her husband seeking treatment. On June 16th, the doctors will perform a phacoemulsification cataract surgery and an intraocular lens implant in her right eye. After recovery, Phat will be able to see clearly. Now, she needs help to fund this $229 procedure. Phat shares, "I hope my eye irritation can finally stop and I can see clearly so I can return to farming and getting around more easily on my own."
Zikereta is a 29-year-old woman and a married mother of three children. Her oldest child is five years old and in school, while her second and third children are three and one years old, respectively. She and her husband are small scale farmers and they own a three-room semi-permanent house for shelter. Eight years ago, Zikereta began experiencing troubling symptoms, including swelling at the front of her neck, and airway blockages. She was diagnosed with a goiter, or enlarged thyroid. She is unable to carry heavy loads on her head and struggles to even carry her child around. She visited our medical partner's care center seeking treatment and surgery was recommended. If not treated, her symptoms will persist and the goiter could become cancerous. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Zikereta receive treatment. She is scheduled to undergo a thyroidectomy on June 2nd at AMH's care center, where surgeons will remove all or part of her thyroid gland. Now, Zikereta needs help to fund this $293 procedure. Zikereta shared, “I pray that I may be considered for treatment. I hope to get back to farming afterwards.”
Mary is a 78-year-old woman and a married mother of ten children. Since her husband is elderly, she depends on her children for day-to-day support. Mary used to have a small business selling cereals, but now that she is older, she mostly stays home and does some farming. In the mid-2020, Mary began experiencing pain in the upper left part of her abdomen, abdominal fullness and lack of appetite. She was taken to a few different hospitals, but the medicines prescribed did not help her condition. An ultrasound scan showed that Mary has gallstones, and a cholecystectomy was recommended to help her fully heal. If not treated, she could experience complications like gall bladder inflammation or blockage. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Mary to receive treatment. On May 6th, surgeons at AMH's care center will perform a cholecystectomy to remove Mary's gallbladder. Now, AMH is requesting $788 to fund Mary's surgery. Mary shared, "if that is the only way to make me well, I plead for your help so that I can be ok and continue mentoring my children and taking care of my husband."
Abdela is a 23-month-old boy from Ethiopia. He is a strong boy who loves to tease, run, and play with others. He is an only child, and his mother lost her husband in a car accident when she was eight months pregnant. Abdela's mother was a housewife and when her husband passed, his friend bought her a Tuk Tuk. She stays at home and she raises Abdela with the income she gets from the Tuk Tuk. The family lives in a rented house. Abdela was born with hypospadias, a condition that causes urinary dysfunction. Without treatment, he will continue to experience uncomfortable symptoms and will be at risk of infertility. Fortunately, Abdela is scheduled to undergo corrective surgery on April 6th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $1,293 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. His mom shared, “after the treatment, I hope my boy will heal. I am sure he will be smart and reach a big position. His mind is very quick and he is smart.”
Socheata is a 2-year-old girl from Cambodia. Her mother works as a guard for a private company and her father works in IT. Socheata is the first child in her family, and lives with her grandmother in their home province while her parents work in the city to earn for their family. Her grandparents are both farmers. Socheata likes to play with toys, watch TV, color cartoon figures, and go to the market along with her grandmother. Socheata was born with a congenital hip dislocation. As a result, when she tries to walk or run, it hurts her and makes a clicking sound. Socheata's parents were referred to our Medical Partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC), and traveled 2.5 hours to seek treatment. At CSC, she was diagnosed with developmental dysplasia of the hip. Socheata has difficulty walking and feels sad when she cannot keep up with her family and friends when they play. On March 3rd, surgeons at CSC will perform capsulorrhaphy of Socheata's right hip in order to relocate and secure her hip and restore of range of motion. Now, Socheata needs help to fund this $518 procedure and help her move around more easily. Socheata's parents hope that after this procedure, their daughter will be able to grow and walk normally.
Monny is a five-year-old first grade student from Cambodia. He has one sister who is two years old. His father repairs motors, and his mother is a soft drinks seller. Monny likes playing with toys with his sister, playing games on the phone, watching TV, and painting pictures with his teacher. His favorite foods are fried rice and milk. In September 2020, Monny was involved in an accident where a van ran over his left foot while he was playing with his friend. A scar contracture developed on his foot, which caused tightening and stiffness of the ankle joint. The bones in Monny's toes were also crushed, and he was unable to walk. At the time, Monny was taken to the hospital and had surgery and a skin graft, and spent one month in Kantha Bopha Hospital. Later, his family brought him to Children's Surgical Centre, where he was diagnosed with a contracture on the left foot, an equinus deformity, stiffness of his ankle joint, and toe joint deformity of several of his toes. Surgeons plan to do a scar release, a full-thickness skin graft, and apply a cast for him. When Monny's family learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC), they traveled there hoping for treatment. On January 21st, surgeons at CSC will perform a burn contracture release surgery to to help him walk again. Now, he needs help to fund this $477 procedure. Monny's parents shared, "We hope our son will walk again after surgery. Thank you for your support."
Thea is a 39-year-old gendarmerie (military policeman) from Cambodia. He has been proudly married for 7 years and has 3 daughters. Thea's first two children are in school. In his free time, he likes to exercise, play football, listen to music and news, read books, and take care of his children. Five years ago, Thea had a severe fall and subsequently developed right hip pain. He was diagnosed with avascular necrosis of the hip, a painful condition that occurs when the blood supply to the head of the femur (thighbone) is disrupted. Because bone cells need a steady supply of blood to stay healthy, it can ultimately lead to destruction of the hip joint and severe arthritis. After his accident, he was given pain medication, but the medication only helped for a short time. He continues to have chronic pain and needs to have his condition treated. Fortunately, Thea learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC). At CSC, surgeons can perform a total hip replacement to relieve Thea of his pain and allow him to walk easily. Treatment is scheduled for January 6th, and Thea needs help raising $1,087 to pay for this procedure. Thea shared, "I hope that after my operation, I will be able to walk without pain and can do my job easily again."
Diana is a baby from Tanzania. She is the firstborn to her young parents and her mother delivered her at home by the help of a midwife. Diana's parents are small-scale farmers of basic food crops like maize and vegetables. Diana was born with clubfoot of both feet. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Fortunately, Diana's family traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on December 4th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $935 to fund Diana's clubfoot treatment. After treatment, she will be able to walk well, run, and play when she grows up. Diana’s mother says, “Please help my firstborn child get this treatment, I had never seen a child born with clubfoot before, I was scared when I first saw her legs until I was assured that this can be treated.”
Margaret is a 65-year-old woman from Kenya. She is a happy lady with two adult sons, whom she raised as a young, single mother. Margaret initially sought care due to excruciating pains in her knee and right leg. Her knee problems started back in late 2017, and she visited a health facility in her hometown, Kiambu, for medical attention. However, after that first treatment, her condition has only deteriorated. After visiting several health centers, she was referred to our medical partner's care center, Kijabe Hospital. In early October, she was reviewed by their orthopedic team, who recommended a total knee replacement surgery. Margaret underwent a knee replacement procedure and was finally discharged after a lengthy stay in the hospital. Unfortunately, during her follow-up clinical review visits, her doctors continued to discover infections and fluctuant swelling that require further attention and treatment. Margaret has undergone additional treatment including draining and debridement on the area that was operated on during her total knee replacement surgery. Now, she will need another debridement and skin graft procedure, in addition to a total knee implant hardware removal, to prevent possible infections that could result in amputation or even death. She is currently ambulating on crutches. In the past, Margaret relied on national health insurance funding to support her medical and surgical treatment costs. However, the money has been depleted over time, and they are unable to cover any additional surgical bills for her. Margaret does not work and has been relying on her sons for physical and financial support. They do not have have stable jobs and are responsible for monitoring her treatment and care. Margaret and her sons have tried to raise funds from friends and relatives, to no avail. They are appealing for financial help. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Margaret receive treatment. On November 4th, surgeons will perform a debridement and skin graft procedure to heal the infection and allow her to walk more easily. Now, Margaret needs help to fund this $1,185 procedure. Margaret shared, “I have been through a lot with this leg. Anytime it heals, the pain starts again. I can’t even sleep because of the pain. I appreciate any support you can provide."
Keang is a 37-year-old factory worker from Cambodia. She is married with a daughter and her husband works as a construction worker. She enjoys doing her housework, cooking, and taking care of her daughter. Ten years ago, she went to the river to look for snails for food. When she was dunking in deep water her right ear filled with water. Since that day she has had ear discharge and pain. Keang also had a serious ear infection. This infection caused the tympanic membrane, or the ear drum, in her right ear to perforate. For this reason, Keang experiences ear discharge, tinnitus, and hearing loss. She cannot communicate clearly with others or fully perform her job at the factory. Keang traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On April 23rd, she will undergo a myringoplasty procedure in her right ear. During this procedure, surgeons will close the perforation. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is requesting $464 to fund this procedure. This covers medications, supplies, and inpatient care. "I hope that my sister will able to hear clearly with no infection so she can feel better and do her job well," Keang's sister said.
Khin Htay is a 26-year-old-Araknese woman who lives with her younger sister in Yangon, Burma. She is in her final year of university. Her sister works as a seamstress in a shop and earns 200,000 kyat (approx.200 USD) per month. Their parents and their eldest sister are rice farmers in Rakhine State. Every year, they sell half of their harvest to earn an income. Htay's sister in Yangon sends their parents money occasionally, while their parents support Htay's medical expenses. The income that Khin Htay's sister earns is enough to cover their daily expenses and pay for basic health care. In 2018, Khin Htay started to feel very tired and could not sleep well at night. She also experienced chest pains if she walked anywhere far. She took traditional medicine which helped her feel and sleep better. However, she continued to feel tired and experience pain. One day in 2019, a neighbor who has a heart condition, told her that she could have a heart disease like her; the neighbor had also experienced the same symptoms. The neighbor advised her to seek treatment at Pinlon Hospital in Yangon, where the neighbor had undergone heart surgery. She decided to follow the neighbor's recommendation and also moved in with her sister in Yangon for extra support. In December 2019, Khin Htay went to Pinlon Hospital to see a cardiologist. After receiving an echocardiogram (echo), the doctor told her that two valves in her heart no longer work and that she would need to receive surgery to replace those valves. The doctor also told her that because her condition is not severe, she did not need surgery yet. She received six month's worth of medication and a follow-up appointment for June 17th, 2020. When she came back for her appointment, she received another echo and an x-ray. After checking her results, the doctor told her that her condition had progressed and she now needed surgery, which would cost 15,000,000 kyat (approx.15,000 USD). When they learned about the price of the procedure, Khin Htay and her sister lost hope of ever getting Khin Htay treatment; they could not afford to pay such a large sum of money. When she told a nurse at the hospital called Sandar Ko about their financial situation, the nurse told her about an abbot who might be able to help her. The abbot heads Kyaung Gyi Parahita Monastery and is a partner of Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF). Khin Htay called the abbot and asked for help accessing surgery. The abbot then referred Htay to Watsi's Medical Partner BCMF for assistance receiving treatment at Pinlon Hospital. Currently, Khin Htay feels tired and suffers from chest pains when she walks a lot. She cannot sleep very well at night and she feels short of breath at least twice a week. To try and cope with her symptoms mentally, she prays or recites Dhamma. She also tries to help her sister with household chore such as cooking and sweeping. She hopes that she will be able to continue her studies after surgery and she would like to work for the government as a civil servant once she graduates. Khin Htay shared, “When I graduate, I will work and support my parents because they are getting old and they will not be able to work on the farm in the future.”