Will joined Watsi on April 7th, 2014. Eight years ago, Will joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Will's most recent donation traveled 8,800 miles to support Thou, a widow from Cambodia, to fund sight-restoring eye surgery.
Will has funded healthcare for 106 patients in 13 countries.
Will has funded healthcare for 106 patients in 13 countries.
Thou is a 69-year-old widow. She has one son who makes furniture in a local woodshop. Her husband passed away a long time ago, and until recently, she supported herself as a fruit seller in her neighborhood. At home, she likes to listen to movies on TV. One year ago, Thou developed a cataract in her left eye, causing her blurry vision. She has difficulty seeing things clearly, including colors and faces, and is worried about falling when walking, so is not able to go places on her own. When Thou learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, she traveled there seeking treatment. On February 28th, doctors will perform a phacoemulsification cataract surgery and an intraocular lens implant in her left eye. After recovery, she will be able to see clearly. Now, she needs help to fund this $229 procedure. "I hope after surgery I can see well and be more independent," shared Thou.
Poe is a 43-year-old man who lives alone in Bangkok and works as a construction contractor. He supports his wife and son in Burma, but has been unable to work for the past four months since his health deteriorated. Currently, he is getting by on money his friends have given him. Poe was diagnosed with a heart condition that involves a malformation of the mitral valve, 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, he has edema (swelling) in both of his legs. If he walks short distances, he feels tired, experiences shortness of breath, and heart palpitations. He cannot sleep if he lays down and has to sleep in a sitting position. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund a mitral valve replacement for Poe. The treatment is scheduled to take place on May 6th and, once completed, will hopefully allow him to live more comfortably. "After I recover from surgery, I will go back to work. I will save the money to pay back my debts. After that I will save money to support my son and wife. I want my son to go to school, and I want him to become an educated man," said Poe.
Lek is a 68-year-old who is married with three sons, three daughters, and many grandchildren. She lives with her husband and one of their sons, and they are vegetable farmers in Kampot Province in rural Cambodia. When she is not cooking, cleaning, or selling vegetables at the local market, Lek finds it calming to listen to the local monks pray on the radio. Two years ago, the retina of Lek's left eye detached, causing her deteriorating vision. She noticed a change in her eye, but could not afford to see anyone to help fix it. When Lek learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, she traveled for four and half hours seeking treatment. On January 12th, eye surgeons will perform a retinal detachment repair procedure in her left eye. After recovery, she will be able to see clearly. Now, she needs help to fund this $648 procedure. "I hope after surgery my eye will get better. I can look after my grandchildren, cook for them, and walk them to school," shared Lek.
Nan Hla is a 65-year-old nun. She lives alone, as she is the only nun in her monastery of monks in Karen State in Burma. Nan Hla shared that she meditates daily, and the community supports her with meals. Her son, who also lives in Burma, can sometimes provide Nan Hla with extra money to buy additional snacks. On February 20th, Nan Hla began to experience severe stomach pains. She visited a local hospital the next day, where she received an ultrasound and x-ray, but her test results were not clear. As a result, she was referred to another hospital for a CT scan a few days later. The CT scan indicated she has common bile duct stones. Currently, Nan Hla is experiencing heartburn, jaundice, and a poor appetite, as she feels nauseous after she eats any solid food. Doctors have advised her to undergo a cholecystectomy, which is the surgical removal of the gallbladder. If left untreated, Nan Hla's symptoms will continue to worsen and put her at risk for further health complications in the future. Fortunately, our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), can help Nan Hla receive treatment. On March 1st, she will undergo a cholecystectomy. BCMF is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of Nan Hla's procedure and care. Nan Hla shared, "I have never experienced these kinds of symptoms before. This is a very bad experience to go through. I pray that all the donors will be healthy. May all your work be successful."
Daw Khin is a 45-year-old woman from Burma. She lives with her parents, who are retired and supported by Daw Khin's sister, who earns an income from renting out their land. Daw Khin used to work as a teacher before her condition made it difficult for her to continue teaching her students. Around June 2020, Daw Khin began to feel very tired and experienced heart palpitations. She shared that it felt like she could not breathe while teaching. Because these episodes happened infrequently, she did not seek treatment at the time; however, in December 2020, her condition worsened, and she went to a local hospital. After receiving an electrocardiogram, doctors determined she has an enlarged heart and an abnormal heartbeat and prescribed medication to help Daw Khin feel better. Since Daw Khin's symptoms continued, her sister brought her to a cardiologist in April 2021. Upon review, Daw Khin's condition was diagnosed as an atrial septal defect, a birth condition in which there is a hole in the wall that divides the upper chambers of the heart. The cardiologist informed her that she would need surgery, but the cost was too high for Daw Khin's family, so they returned home with medications. Daw Khin currently experiences headaches, difficulty sleeping, and fatigue and heart palpitations when talking or walking short distances. Fortunately, a friend visited Daw Khin in June and told her about our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF). Daw Khin contacted BCMF and learned that BCMF will be able to help her finally heal. On February 6th, she will undergo an atrial septal defect (ASD) closure. BCMF is requesting $1,500 to help fund her procedure. Daw Khin shared, "I would like to teach all my students again in the future. I like teaching students."
Choeun is a 68-year-old woman who lives with and is supported by her niece, who is a rice and vegetable farmer. She helps her niece around the house and likes to listen to the monks pray on the radio. One year ago, Choeun developed a cataract in her left eye, causing her poor vision. She has difficulty seeing in very bright or low light and needs support to walk outside, as she is fearful she will fall. When Choeun learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, she traveled for three and a half hours seeking treatment. On January 6th, doctors will perform a small incision cataract surgery and an intraocular lens implant in her left eye. After recovery, she will be able to see clearly. Now, she needs help to fund this $229 procedure. "I hope after surgery I can see well. I want to be able to go outside, and take care of myself and my family," Choeun shared.
Srey Nath is a bright young student who loves to read books and wants to be a teacher when she grows up. She has two older brothers and lives with her parents who are rainy day rice farmers. They also grow vegetables and keep cows and chickens to feed their family and make extra money at the local market. Over the past several years, Srey Nath's back has curved which limits her movement and lung expansion. She has trouble standing up straight or walking, and is easily winded when she is active due to difficulty expanding her lungs. She shared that she feels embarrassed with her friends and very shy about how her back looks. She loves school but doesn't want to attend now because of the abnormal curvature of her spine, and the chronic pain it causes. Srey Nath's neighbors told her family to visit our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre for a diagnosis and treatment. Surgeons have diagnosed her with scoliosis of the thoracic spine. She needs expanding rods in her back to straighten her spine as she grows to avoid any further medical problems. Srey Nath and her parents traveled two and a half hours to seek treatment and need help raising $1,500 for this specialty surgery. Srey Nath's mother said: "My daughter needs this surgery to grow normally and become a teacher. I hope we can raise the money so she can fulfill her dream someday."
Zaw lives with his mother, two sisters, two nephews, and two nieces in Mon State in Burma. His mother is retired, and his youngest niece and nephew go to school. His niece works as a betel nut cutter with his two sisters, while his nephew works as a day laborer. Zaw cannot work right now due to the pain in his foot. In his free time, he enjoys praying to Buddha and watching movies, which also helps him feel better. Around the end of September, Zaw developed pain in his left foot. A few weeks later, three of his toes turned black. Eventually, all of his toes, and his forefoot turned black too. When he went to Mawlamyine Christian Leprosy Hospital (MCLH) a couple weeks ago, he was diagnosed with gangrene and was admitted to the hospital straight away. At first the doctor tried to treat him with oral medication, injections and physiotherapy exercises to increase the blood supply in his left foot. When this did not work, Zaw was told that the best option is to amputate his foot. Unable to pay for surgery, the doctor referred him to our partner Burma Children Medical Fund for assistance accessing further treatment. Currently, Zaw is in a lot of pain. His left forefoot is black and swollen. As the pain is worse at night, he cannot sleep properly. He also has difficulty sleeping because he is worried about his foot and their financial situation. "Once I have recovered from surgery and I have received a prosthetic foot, I want to support my family and become a taxi driver," he said. "Thank you so much to the donors for supporting me. Every day I pray for them."
Lazaro is a 7-month-old baby and the first child of his parents. Lazaro's parents are small-scale farmers who grow maize, beans, and vegetables for their income. His father also seeks out labor work to create extra income for the family's expenses. Lazaro was born with clubfoot in both of his feet, a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape and causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Lazaro's mother experienced this same condition growing up and received treatment through Watsi's medical partner in 2019. As a result, she has first-hand experience regarding the challenges of living with this condition and shared that, before treatment, she experienced discrimination and difficulty walking and carrying out daily activities. However, after her surgery, her self-esteem improved, and she could engage in everyday activities. Lazaro's family traveled to our medical partner's care center, Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre. On October 26th, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery, which will enable Lazaro to walk easily. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $890 to fund this procedure. Lazaro's mother says, "I was sad that he was also born with clubfoot just like me, but I had hope that if I traveled here, you would help correct his feet. Please help."
Joffrey is three years old and the only child of his young parents. He's a playful and curious boy who wants to know and understand everything around him. He is a big lover of football just like his father despite his legs being curved. His mother said she thinks he's too cheeky for his age. Joffrey has not started school yet but he keeps asking his mother to take him to school. Both Joffrey's parents are small-scale farmers who grow maize, groundnuts, rice, and vegetables. They get most of their food from what they grow on their farm. Joffrey was recently diagnosed with bilateral genu varus. His legs bow outward so that his knees do not touch. This condition is typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, which often stems from contaminated drinking water. As a result, he feels pain even after a short walk. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Joffrey. The procedure is scheduled to take place on October 7th. Treatment will hopefully restore Joffrey's mobility, allow him to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease his risk of future complications. Joffrey’s father says: “My son’s legs are worsening as days go by and from how I see it he might not be able to walk or enjoy his play, especially football, if he does not have this needed surgery.”
Kidus is a cute baby boy who loves to walk. His dad enjoys walking with him and holding his hand, and Kidus loves it when his mom carries him on her back. He also loves to watch cartoons. Kidus's dad and mom love each other so much and have a happy life together. Kidus's father is a tailor. His income is very limited and barely enough to sustain the family through the month, but love fills their home, and their lives, with happiness. When Kidus was born his parents learned that he had bladder exstrophy, a rare condition where children are born with an open bladder. His parents faced a challenge that they did not expect in their life, but they are facing it with courage. Kidus needs surgery to perform a procedure to divert his urination to the anal opening & make a pouch bladder from the bowel. He will undergo this surgery on September 28th with our medical partner African Mission Healthcare (AMH) and his family needs $1,500 for the procedure. Kidus's dad said, “For thirteen days after his birth we worked hard to get him treatment but no one in the health centres could help us. Some health workers gave us hope and some health workers did not give us any hope." He is hopeful for after surgery, “After he gets his surgery and recovers I want to tell him the truth about his condition and what we went through as a result of it when he grows up. Also, I want to tell him how he got the treatment, about the people who helped him, how God helped him and gave him this healthy life. I will tell him this so he grows up grateful and he lives to support and help others. I want him to be good and caring and God-fearing. I want him to be there for others. I believe kindness is contagious.”
Channa is an 11-year-old student and an only child. Her parents are farmers who grow rice during the rainy season and vegetables during the dry season. She is in the sixth grade at school and likes to read and do math. Six months ago, she noticed that a mass had appeared on her right arm. The mass was small at first, but has grown quickly. She experiences pain and discomfort in the area where the mass is located and it is difficult for her to write. Channa and her mother traveled to visit our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, to receive treatment. On August 5th, surgeons will remove the mass. Now, Channa's family needs help raising $231 to fund this procedure. Channa’s mother shared, “I hope that the mass can be removed and not come back, so that my child can be comfortable at school. I am excited to see her smiling with her friends again.”