Brazil • Born on February 18th
Rafael joined Watsi on September 5th, 2016. Two years ago, Rafael joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Rafael's most recent donation traveled 10,000 miles to support Phwe, a 29-year-old homemaker from Burma, to fund a rod removal.
Rafael has funded healthcare for 70 patients in 10 countries.
Rafael has funded healthcare for 70 patients in 10 countries.
Phwe is a 29-year-old mother of three from Burma. She is a homemaker, who also helps her husband on the farm. In 2017, Phwe started to feel pain in her right lower jaw due to an incoming wisdom tooth. As a result, her jaw became inflamed and red. Eventually, a tumor started to grow in her right lower jaw. She underwent an operation in 2022 at Chiang Mai Hospital to remove the tumor and an infected part of her jaw. This procedure was followed by the insertion of a steel plate to stabilize the bone. Now, Phwe suffers from pain in her jaw again and also experiences facial asymmetry due to the placement of the steel plate. As her fracture has fully healed, Phwe would like to have the steel rod removed from her jaw. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, can help. On May 3rd, Phwe will undergo surgery to remove the rod at Maharaj Nakorn Chiang Mai Hospital. She needs your support to fund this $1,500 procedure. Phwe said: "I feel sad for me and my family because we are now fleeing from the civil war [in Burma]. I want to have the operation soon so that I can go back to be with my family. I want to make a full recovery soon because my treatment has now taken almost a year."
Jasibe, who is only four months old, lives with her mother, grandparents and three older siblings in the mountains above La Paz, Bolivia. Jasibe was born with a hole between the two lower chambers of her heart, and a leak between two of the major blood vessels near her heart. As a result, blood doesn't flow normally through her body, and she struggles to breathe and to gain weight. Fortunately, our medical partner is here to help. On April 5th, doctors at Hospital del Niño Dr. Ovidio Aliaga Uría will perform surgery, and repair both of these defects, so that blood can flow normally through Jasibe's body. Now she and her family need your help to raise $1,500 for this life changing procedure. Jasibe's mother said: "Our family is praying that after this surgery our daughter will become healthy and will be able to gain weight!"
Hser is a 30-year-old midwife from Burma. She lives with her husband and eight other colleagues in the staff housing of the clinic she works at. Hser is a midwife, and her husband is a medic. In her free time, she enjoys going fishing with her husband and friends, weaving Karen clothes, and visiting the villagers nearby. Around June 2020, Hser felt she had a mass. Thinking it was not serious, she did not go to a hospital for treatment until April 2022. At the hospital, a doctor gave her medication for three months, but the mass did not decrease in size. Currently, Hser's experiences uncomfortable symptoms from the mass. Hser sought treatment through our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund. She is now scheduled to undergo mass removal surgery on March 8th. Hser needs help raising $1,500 to cover the total cost of her procedure and care. Hser said, "I am married, but I don’t plan to have children yet because my husband and I are both busy working as health workers for our community. So, I am very worried that I won't be able to have children anymore because of my condition. However, I have a loving and kind husband who understands me in every way, and he told me not to worry and feel sad. We cannot help but stay strong, helping and encouraging each other."
Sam Neang is a 50-year-old Tuk Tuk driver, who lives with his wife and three children in Cambodia. His wife is a homemaker, caring for their children, who are still in school. After he finishes work for the day, Sam Neang likes playing cards with his friends and spending time with his family. In 2008, a large stone fell on Sam Neang's back. Despite the medications he takes, Sam Neang lives in constant pain and would like to find a way to permanently ease his suffering Sam Neang learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, and sought their help. On February 1st, surgeons at Kien Khleang National Rehabilitation Centre will perform an L5-S1 fusion procedure, which will secure Sam Neang's spine, improve his mobility, and decrease his level of pain. Now, Sam Neang needs your help to fund this $1,035 procedure. Sam Neang says: "I don't want to be in pain anymore."
Esther is a 22 year old woman, living in Kenya. She is currently in her final year of school, pursuing a course in hospitality. Esther is supported by her mother, a widow, who runs a small grocery. Two weeks ago, Esther slipped on a staircase and broke her left ankle. At the local facility where Esther was initially taken, she was administered pain medication. An X-ray was performed at a second facility, and it was recommended that Esther undergo surgery to repair the fracture. Esther chose to visit the doctors at our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, and now she is scheduled for surgery on January 5th, at AIC Kijabe Hospital. While Esther is currently unable to walk without support and without pain, the scheduled fracture repair surgery should restore her mobility. Now she needs your help to cover the $979 cost of the procedure. Esther says: “I am unable to go to school due to the fracture. I cannot walk and need the surgery to be able to use my leg again.”
Saw Kyaw is a 25-year-old man living in Thailand. He currently lives with his older sister, younger sister, mother and her niece. He moved from Burma to Thailand for job opportunities three years ago. He was working in a shop and was able to support two younger siblings who are studying in Karen State in Burma. Around the end of July, he was playing football with friends when he slipped trying to kick the ball. His lower right leg was very painful, but he was still able to bear weight lightly on that leg. At the time, Saw Kyaw didn’t have health insurance, so he went to a clinic instead of the hospital. There they examined his leg, gave him some medication for the pain and advised him to go to the hospital for an X-ray if the pain persisted. Saw Kyaw rested for two days and then went back to work. That day at work, Saw Kyaw was carrying a heavy load when he slipped again. This time, the pain was severe, and he was unable to stand on his right leg. He went to a hospital in Bangkok where they X-rayed his lower right leg and told him that the tibia was fractured. The doctor recommended surgery where they would use a metal rod to connect the bones and set them in the correct position to heal. Saw Kyaw was told that the surgery would cost between 40,000 to 50,000 baht (approx. 1,330- 1,660 USD). He told them that he did not have insurance and was unable to afford the surgery, so they gave him pain medication and bandaged up his leg. He returned to the hospital three times and each time the doctor recommended surgery, but Kyaw was unable to figure out how he could get that kind of money. His employer was not helpful and refused to assist with the cost of the surgery. Since Saw Kyaw didn’t have the money, he decided to just rest and see whether the bones would heal on their own. Saw Kyaw recalled that he had fractured his femur when he was young, and he had used a traditional medicated oil to help heal the injury. He hoped that he could use this on his new fracture. But now he cannot walk properly and cannot work since his accident. He is stressed about his condition and his future. With the help of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, Saw Kyaw will finally undergo surgery to reset his fractured bones and ensure proper healing. The procedure is scheduled for December 7th and will cost $1,500. He will able to go back to work after surgery Saw Kyaw said, “I would like to go back to Bangkok and find work again so I can go back to helping my family; my siblings who are studying in Burma, and also my mother who is getting older. I also want to save some money for my future. I will not work at the same place though as they have not been kind or caring since I had the accident.”
Elia is a playful 17-month-old baby from Tanzania who loves to smile. He is the youngest in his family of four children. Elia's father is a small-scale farmer and primarily grows food for the family's sustenance, while his mother cares for children. They shared that their income is limited to cover their basic needs. Elia's mother noticed that his leg was twisted downward and inward, affecting his ability to begin walking. She took him to a local clinic, but there were no improvements in his physical condition. When Elia's mother learned about our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), she brought him to AMH's care center. As soon as he arrived, Eila's charming personality emerged, and he made friends with the other children and played many games. Upon examination, the doctors at AMH diagnosed the condition as clubfoot of the right foot. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape, which causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. On November 18th, Elia will undergo clubfoot repair surgery at AMH's care center. After treatment, he will be able to walk easily and start wearing shoes. AMH is requesting $935 to fund Elia's procedure. Elia’s mother says: "I appeal for your financial support, and I will be glad to see my son start walking normally."
Nicholaus is a young boy from a family of five living in Tanzania. His parents are local farmers who practice subsistence farming. They try to provide for the family, but it has been hard for them to provide the basic needs. They sometimes live on one meal a day, and shared that buying clothes for their children is difficult. When Nicholaus was two years old, he fell into a pit of hot ashes, burning his right hand. The parents applied honey on the wound and left it to heal. They got rid of the open wound, but it left the boy with a burn scar contracture on his right hand. They live in a remote area where it is hard to access social services like medical care. The contractures tighten the area around the burn, and it is now hard for him to move the hand especially around the wrist and part of the fingers. Nicholaus' parents have tried seeking professional medical opinion for their son before, but have not been able to afford the recommended treatment. When they heard about Friends of the Plaster House (ALMC), they were hopeful, and travelled over 600 km to seek assistance for their son. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Nicholaus receive treatment. On October 12th, surgeons at their care center will perform a burn contracture release surgery to help him move his hand easily. Now, he needs help to fund this $874 procedure. Nicholaus’s mother says “We left home with hope that when he comes back, his hand will be okay."
Cho is a 23-year-old woman from Thailand, living with her husband, son and her husband’s cousin in a refugee camp, in Mae Hong Son Province. Her husband works as a medic at the hospital in the refugee camp, and her husband’s cousin goes to school. Cho is a homemaker, and looks after her son. In her free time, Cho loves to play with her son, while on Saturdays, she likes to attend church. Cho is currently expecting her second child. At a recent antenatal visit, Cho's doctors told her that she would need to give birth via Caesarean section, due to complications she experienced when giving birth to her son. A C-section offers the best opportunity for a safe and healthy outcome for both Cho and her new baby. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is helping Cho access the care that she needs. On September 8th, Cho will undergo a Caesarean section at Mae Sariang Hospital. Burma Children Medical Fund is seeking $1,500 to fund this procedure and ensure a safe delivery. “I want to work as a teacher in the future again, when my children are old enough to go to school,” Cho said.
Faith is a beautiful four-month-old baby from Kenya. She is the youngest of two children. To support their family, her mother is a stay-at-home mom, and her father herds and sells cattle. Faith was born at home with several congenital conditions. Her parents took her to a nearby facility for examination, where she was diagnosed with spina bifida, hydrocephalus, and clubfoot. They were referred to another facility where a medical device, called a shunt, was used to help treat the hydrocephalus, draining the excess fluid from her brain. On discharge, the hospital referred her and her family to our medical partner's care center, BethanyKids Kijabe Hospital, where Faith was examined and scheduled for spina bifida repair surgery. Spina bifida is a type of neural tube defect in which the spine does not properly close around the spinal cord. Without treatment, Faith is at risk of lower-limb paralysis, infection of the exposed nervous tissue, development of tethered cord syndrome, and possible developmental delays. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,151 to cover the cost of Faith's spina bifida closure surgery. The surgery is scheduled to take place on July 13th. This procedure will hopefully spare Faith from the risks associated with her condition, instead allowing her to grow and develop along a healthy trajectory. Faith’s father says, “When I saw the problems that my child has, I was worried that she would never receive treatment. I am hopeful she will receive treatment with your help.”
Linda is a beautiful three-week-old baby from Kenya who is the youngest of three children. A few months prior to Linda's birth, her mother became very sick and lost her job as a security guard. Her mother shares that this created many challenges for their family because she was their sole source of income after Linda's father left them. Additionally, they have not had many people nearby to help them since they came from Uganda. Fortunately, a Ugandan friend of Linda's mother heard about her condition and offered to accommodate her. This good Samaritan has since been facilitating hospital transportation and providing Linda’s family with financial support where possible. Shortly after her birth, Linda was diagnosed with spina bifida, a type of neural tube defect in which the spine does not properly close around the spinal cord. Without treatment, Linda is at risk of lower-limb paralysis, infection of the exposed nervous tissue, development of tethered cord syndrome, and possible developmental delays. The public hospital where she was born was unable to offer her any treatment and instead referred her to our medical partner's care center, Bethanykids Kijabe Hospital. Upon arrival, Linda was found to be in critical condition. She was immediately admitted and put on medication. She stayed in the hospital for more than two weeks under the care of the medical team. Once she got better, she was discharged and scheduled to undergo spinal repair surgery. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,151 to cover the cost of Linda's spina bifida closure surgery. The procedure is scheduled to take place on August 25th. This procedure will hopefully spare Linda from the risks associated with her condition and allow her to grow and develop along a healthy trajectory. Linda’s mother says, “I was shocked when I saw her at birth and did not know if she would ever be treated. Now, I have courage to face the future, as I have been told that she will be treated.”
Elkana is a cheerful and friendly man from Kenya. He is the fourth born in a family of seven. He attended school up until class seven but had to end his studies due to financial constraints. He now works as a farmer and has a small piece of land on which he plants maize and potatoes, primarily to feed him and his family. To earn money, he works as a casual laborer, working on people's farms, as well as doing work such as clearing bushes and carrying loads. Until now, his wife has worked alongside him, but she has stopped working because she is currently pregnant. On July 16th, Elkana was brought to our medical partner's care center after being involved in a road traffic accident involving a lorry, or large truck, and a tractor. This accident left many people injured, including Elkana. He experienced a fracture of his left femur and is now experiencing pain. He is also unable to walk or stand. Without treatment, he will not be able to return to work and provide for his family. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On July 19th, Elkana will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. After surgery, he will be able to use his leg again, return to work, and continue providing for his family. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,145 to fund this procedure. Elkana shares, ”My family depends on me for their daily needs, so it is really difficult for them. Kindly help me so that I may lead a normal life once again.”