Mary-Lynn joined Watsi on January 13th, 2017. Five years ago, Mary-Lynn joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Mary-Lynn's most recent donation supported Saw Myo, a 14-year-old boy from Burma, to fund surgery to remove a spinal tumor so he can live without pain and go to school.
Mary-Lynn has funded healthcare for 66 patients in 10 countries.
Mary-Lynn has funded healthcare for 66 patients in 10 countries.
Saw Myo is a 14-year-old boy from Burma. He lives with his grandparents, parents, two sisters and a brother in a village in Karen State in eastern Burma. His grandparents are retired, and his father is a farmer who grows paddy and rubber trees on their own land. Saw Myo’s mother is a homemaker, while his two sisters and his brother go to school. The family income is just enough to cover their daily expenses. They cannot afford to pay for basic healthcare. Saw Myo used to go to school but stopped attending since his condition worsened in 2021. Saw Myo has had a lump at his lower spinal cord since he was nine years old, when he was hit by a slingshot in that area. He was given a medicinal ointment by a traditional healer which appeared to stop the lump from growing and helped with the stiffness temporarily. When Saw Myo was 12 years old, he fell off of his bicycle. He did not have any cuts or bruises but felt stiffness along his spinal cord. Afterwards, the lump appeared to be growing in size again. He was seen at a local clinic and then at a clinic in Hpa-An in January 2021, where he had an X-ray. The doctor suspected a spinal cord problem, so they encouraged Saw Myo and his mother to follow up with a computerized tomography (CT) scan at the Yangon Orthopedic Hospital in Yangon. Due to Covid-19, Saw Myo was unable to get in for a CT scan. Saw Myo’s parents did not want to give up, so they went to the Asia Royal Hospital, also in Yangon. Again, they were told that Saw Myo’s condition could not be treated locally. Finally, they returned to their home without receiving treatment. Saw Myo’s mother then contacted a medic who works at Mae Tao Clinic (MTC) in Mae Sot, Thailand, who is originally from their village. The medic told her to bring Saw Myo to the clinic as soon as possible. They spent the next few months trying to raise money, borrowing from family and neighbours. Doctors recommended Saw Myo to undergo an MRI, an imaging procedure that uses magnetic fields and radio waves to produce images of bodily organs. After analyzing the MRI, the doctors recommended Saw Myo undergo surgery to remove the tumor on his back. The tumor is cancerous, and Saw Myo will need to undergo chemotherapy after his surgery. Currently, Saw Myo is suffering a lot. He has to be careful when sitting because his whole back along his spinal cord is painful if he does not sit down slowly, and he can only sit for short periods of time before his back begins to ache. The lump is not painful to touch, but when he lays down on his right side, he has to support the lump with a pillow, making it difficult for him to sleep. He also has backpain if he has to walk for more than 15 minutes. Saw Myo sought treatment through our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund. He is now scheduled to undergo mass removal surgery on November 24th and his family needs $1,500 to cover the cost of his procedure and care. Saw Myo said, "I enjoy going to school and my favourite subject is mathematics. I hope that I will be able to go to school after my treatment. I would also like to raise chickens and cows to help my family in the future."
Shem is a 14-year-old student from Kenya who is studying in class seven. He is the youngest in his family of eleven. Shem's parents practice small-scale farming of maize, and his older siblings work labor jobs to help provide for the family. A few weeks ago, Shem was injured playing football and fractured his lower tibia and fibula. He is experiencing pain and cannot use his leg, which is preventing him from being able to go to school, play with friends, and help his family at home. Shem needs to undergo surgery to heal, and his family requests assistance with the surgery costs. Happily, Shem was able to visit our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), for assistance. On November 1st, he will undergo a fracture repair procedure called an open reduction and internal fixation. Upon recovery, Shem will be able to use his leg again, allowing him to attend school and participate in activities with friends and at home. AMH is requesting $1,145 to help fund this procedure. Shem shared, "It has been hard to carry out my normal duties, especially going to school. I really look forward to getting well so that I can fully depend on myself as before."
Joyce is a 54-year-old wife and mother of three. She is a subsistence farmer who grows crops and raises farm animals mainly for food for their family. She lives in a corrugated iron house with her husband and her youngest son. Her oldest son is currently employed and married, but her middle son lost his job due to the COVID-19 pandemic. She proudly shared that her youngest son just sat for the Malawi School Certificate Examination and he is awaiting the results. Joyce's oldest son helps to pay the school fees for his younger brother because he is the only one currently working in their family. Last year Joyce noticed a lump on her breast. Her sister advised her to go to Kamuzu Central Hospital (KCH) where she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Surgery was recommended, but the waiting list for an operation has been too long. A KCH doctor advised her to come to Partners In Hope because her condition needs urgent attention. The Partners in Hope surgeon recommended Joyce get a mastectomy. A mastectomy is a surgery to remove all breast tissue from a breast as a way to treat or prevent breast cancer. Due to her financial status, she was referred to our medical partner African Mission Healthcare and has also contributed $19.40 herself to support her treatment. Joyce is fearful of what may come next because she has been reading and has learned of the impact of breast cancer on an individual. Hopefully, having the surgery will erase all these fears and allow Joyce to live her normal life again. Joyce says, “It will be great for me to live a life without a lump on my breast. This thing kills my self-esteem and my hopes to live.”
Meet Djounailena, an 11-year-old girl who lives with her parents and two sisters in a small city on the west coast of Haiti. Djounailena is currently in fifth grade and shares that she aspires to become a teacher when she grows up! As a result of a bout of rheumatic fever, Djounailena developed a cardiac condition called rheumatic mitral regurgitation. Since her rheumatic fever was not treated quickly enough, one of the four valves of her heart was severely damaged. This now causes her to experience weakness and shortness of breath because her heart cannot adequately pump blood throughout her body. Fortunately, Djounailena is scheduled to fly to the Cayman Islands where she will undergo cardiac surgery at Health City Cayman Islands on September 13th. Surgeons will initially attempt to repair her damaged valve; however, if they are unsuccessful, an artificial replacement valve will be implanted. A portion of the cost of Djounailena's treatment is being supported by Have a Heart Cayman. Our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance (HCA), is raising the remaining $1,500 to cover the costs of her surgery prep, which includes all labs, medication, check-up and follow-up appointments, and the passports needed for HCA’s social workers to accompany Djounailena and her family overseas. Djounailena's mother says, "Our family is all praying for our daughter's heart to be healthy after the surgery is finished."
Alison is a sweet 6-year-old from Bolivia who loves princesses and coloring in coloring books! She lives with her parents in a small town on the border between Bolivia and Argentina. Her father is a minibus taxi driver, and her mother is currently finishing her university studies. Alison also attends school and recently finished first grade. Alison was born with a ventricular septal defect, a cardiac condition in which a hole exists between the two lower chambers of the heart. Blood leaks through this hole without first passing through the lungs to obtain oxygen, leaving her feeling weak and short of breath. Fortunately, Alison is scheduled to undergo heart surgery on July 26th with the support of our long-standing medical partner Haiti Cardiac Alliance, which is now growing and expanding into Bolivia. Surgeons will close the hole with a patch, allowing blood to properly flow through her body and improving her quality of life. Another organization, Gift of Life International, is contributing $2,500 to pay for a portion of Alison's procedure costs. Our medical partner is requesting $1,500 to cover the remaining costs, which funds surgical expenses, cardiac exams, medications, and travel fees so Alison and her family can travel to receive her life-changing cardiac procedure in La Paz. Alison's mother shares, "Our family is so grateful for this opportunity to save our daughter's life!"
Agnes is a quiet, 49-year-old farmer and mother of six, living in the Rift Valley region in Kenya. Currently, her family lives on a small piece of land that was given to them, after they were displaced from their original home. The family depends on Agnes, as her husband is unable to work. In order to provide for her family, Agnes does casual jobs within the community, and also travels to neighboring villages to do farm work. While carrying a heavy load on one of her jobs, Agnes fell, fracturing a bone in her ankle. She suffers from joint pain and swelling, and is unable to bear weight on her right leg. This injury prevents Agnes from being able to work, which jeopardizes the well being of Agnes and her family, as she is the sole breadwinner for them all. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, can help. On June 28th, Agnes will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation, at AIC Kapsowar Hospital. African Mission Healthcare is requesting $1,145 to fund this procedure, which will enable Agnes to continue to support her family, and to resume her life as it was prior to her injury. Agnes says: "I am living because of my children. They always look up to me for their needs. My hope is to be well again and continue supporting my family.”
Mercy is a hard working 46-year-old mom who lives with her two grown children. Because she is long separated from her husband, Mercy has taken care of their children by herself, doing whatever work she can find to support her family. Currently, her daughter is unemployed, while her son works doing jobs for a small hotel in their village. In May, Mercy was injured by a neighbor after a disagreement. She sustained an open fracture of her tibia/fibula, resulting in pain and difficulty walking. Mercy requires surgery to heal the fracture, to prevent an infection of the bone in her leg, and to avert other complications which might cause her to lose the use of her leg. Fortunately Mercy went to Nazareth Hospital, where a surgeon reviewed her case, and advised her to have surgery. However, Mercy and her children cannot raise the required fee for her medical care. Surgeons at our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, can help. On May 26th, Mercy will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation, at Nazareth Hospital. After treatment, Mercy will be able to walk and to work again. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare is requesting $1,049 to fund this procedure. Mercy said: “I use my legs and my strength to work and make ends meet. My leg is very important for me. I am pleading for assistance so that I may have surgery and be well again so that I can resume my work to support my family.”
Debora is a young student and the last-born child to a single mother of two. She is charming and friendly. Her father left her family when Debora was very young. Debora’s mother has worked hard to raise her two children by herself ever since. She practices small-scale farming and grows bananas, maize, beans, and other vegetables as food for her children and to sell to others for money. Debora has clubfoot on her right leg. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Fortunately, Debora and her mother traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre (ALMC). There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on April 22nd. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $935 to fund Debora's clubfoot repair. After treatment, she will be able to walk easily when she heads back to school. Debora’s mother shared, “I have watched my daughter turn from a normal child to a disabled child and all because I cannot afford her treatment cost. Please help.”
Daw Moo is a 58-year-old woman. She moved to Thailand from Burma and lives with her daughter, son-in-law, and granddaughter. She helps with household chores and looking after her granddaughter. She has three other children that study in schools in Burma. In her free time, Daw Moo loves to meditate and pray for her children and her family. In late December, Daw Moo was diagnosed with a cataract in her left eye. She has blurry vision and it is difficult for her to do her daily activities, like cooking, cleaning and washing clothes. Fortunately, our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), is helping Daw Moo receive treatment. On March 2nd, doctors will perform a lens replacement, during which they will remove Daw Moo's natural lens and replace it with an intraocular lens implant. After recovery, she will be able to see clearly and go about her daily activities. Now, she needs help raising $1,500 to fund her procedure and care. Daw Moo shared, "I feel uncomfortable seeing with only one eye. I will be very happy to do my daily chores after I have regained vision in my left eye. Thank you to the organizations who found donors for me. Without your help, I could never afford to pay for my surgery. My daughter also cannot pay for me as she has to support her younger siblings’ school fees."
Ann is a 33-year-old single mother with two children— a 14-year-old and a one-year-old. She works at building sites whenever she can get small jobs to support her family. She and her children live in a single-room rental home. In July 2021, Ann noticed a small lump on her neck that gradually grew more painful. She sought treatment at a local health facility and was diagnosed with a non-cancerous mass. The mass affects her breathing, along with her ability to eat, sleep, and work. She requires an urgent surgery called a CBT (carotid body tumor) excision. The procedure will help relieve her symptoms and prevent further tumor growth. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Ann receive treatment. On February 23rd, she will undergo mass excision surgery at AMH's care center. Now, she needs help raising $1,500 to fund her procedure and care. Ann shared, "my kids are my source of joy. They rely on me for everything and this sickness is making it so hard for me to take care of them."
Twel Tar is a two-year-old girl who lives with her parents in northern Thailand. Their family is originally from across the border in Burma, but moved to Thailand for a better job opportunities. Her parents are both factory workers. Twel Tar was recently diagnosed with hydrocephalus, which has caused fluid to build up in her brain. Without immediate surgery to alleviate the intracranial pressure that the excess fluid is causing, she is at risk of developing severe, potentially fatal medical complications. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund the insertion of a ventriculoperitoneal shunt for Twel Tar, which will drain the fluid that has accumulated in her brain. The procedure is scheduled to take place on January 30th, and, once completed, will greatly improve Twel Tar's quality of life. “When my daughter recovers from surgery, I want to send her to school like other children. I want her to become an educated woman,” shared Twel Tar’s mother as she hoped for a better future for her daughter.
Zin is a 15-year-old boy who lives with his parents and two younger sisters in Tak Province in Thailand. He and his sisters are all students. His father is an agriculture day laborer and his mother is a homemaker. In his free time, Zin likes to play football with his friends. He also helps his father with his work when he has time to earn pocket money. Early morning on December 28th, Zin and his friend rode out on his friend's motorcycle to the field to help Zin's father. While driving on the dirt road, Zin's friend suddenly lost control and their motorcycle slide off the road. Zin, who was sitting behind his friend, hit his leg against a metal post beside the road andthey both fell off the motorcycle. Currently, Zin is experiencing a lot of pain in his left thigh and hip. He cannot move his leg, walk, nor go to the bathroom by himself. With the help of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, Zin will undergo surgery to reset his fractured bones and ensure proper healing. The emergency procedure is scheduled for December 28th and will cost $1,500. This treatment will help Zin heal, regain mobility in his left leg, and live pain free. He will be able to take care of himself again without requiring help from others. Zin's mother said, "I was very worried when I learned that I would need to deposit a large amount of money so that my son could receive surgery. We do not even have enough money to buy enough food to last us until the end of the month. I really needed your help and I was extremely happy when I saw your staff and was told that donors could help pay for my son's treatment! Thank you in advance to all the donors and the organization for helping my son!"