Charlotte joined Watsi on November 12th, 2014. Five years ago, Charlotte became the 659th member to automatically support a new Watsi patient every month. Since then, 5,055 more people have become monthly donors! Charlotte's most recent donation traveled 8,300 miles to support Chit, a woman from Burma, to fund eye surgery.
Charlotte has funded healthcare for 64 patients in 11 countries.
Chit is a 39-year-old woman from Burma. She lives with her daughter, mother-in-law, and her sister-in-law’s three children. Her husband has recently left the village to work in Bangkok so he could increase his income, especially since her condition has worsened. Since she became ill, she feels bored because she is unable to work. Around five months ago, Chit started to feel unwell with a stiff neck, headaches, and pain in her right eye. Soon after, she noticed that the black part of her right eye started to move inward toward the middle of her face, becoming crossed eyed. As soon as she noticed a change in her right eye, she went to a hospital to see a doctor about her condition. At the hospital, she underwent a CT scan of her head which showed normal findings. Therefore, the doctor just gave her an injection and oral medications. A week later, she decided to go see a local medic in her village because she felt like the medications were not helping. The medic looked at her medical test results, assessed her and said she might have a neurological condition. The medic gave her oral medication and another injection. She took the medication she received from the medic, and her symptoms subsided gradually. Chit's symptoms disappeared completely about 20 days ago, but this only lasted around 10 days because she noticed that the black part of her right eye had started to become white and the rest of her eye, normally white, started to turn red. She bought eye drops at a local medication stall, but they did not help. A few days later, she learned about Mae Tao Clinic (MTC), a charitable clinic, from one of her nephews. On January 11th, Chit visited MTC regarding her condition, and a medic explained that unfortunately her eye was not functional anymore and that it needed to be removed due to a severe infection. The medic also explained that if her right eye was not removed, the infection could spread to her left eye and cause the same problem. MTC then brought Chit to Mae Sot Hospital (MSH) and the doctor there confirmed that her eye needs to be removed as soon as possible. Chit said, "It's upsetting to know that I need to have one of my eyes removed. But then, I feel that since the eye is bad, there is no sense in keeping it. In the future, if possible, I want to get a prosthetic eye."
Ngwe is a 46-year-old from Burma. She lives with her husband and 16-year-old son in Winkabar Village, Kyain Seikgyi Township, Karen State. Her son studies in grade 6 while her husband works as a day labour tapping rubber trees. Ngwe stopped working three years ago because of her health problems. Ngwe 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, Ngwe feels tired and sometimes she has heart palpitation when she is active. She cannot walk long distances. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund a mitral valve replacement for Ngwe. The treatment is scheduled to take place on October 31st and, once completed, will hopefully allow her to live more comfortably. “When I recover fully, I want to meditate [at the temple]. I also want to help out with household chores and make merit through various activities,” said Ngwe.
Joe is a 12-year-old student from Thailand. He moved to Mae Sot in early 2019, in search for better education. He now lives at a boarding house while studying at a migrant learning center. Joe noticed his blurred vision since he was five years old. Although he told his parents about it, his parents thought it was not that serious; they just told him that his eye sight will get better with time. As Joe did not experience any pain, aside from blurry vision, Joe stopped complaining about his problem to his parents. Joe continue to have a blurred vision, especially in his left eye. After he moved to Mae Sot, he told his uncle about his eye sight. His uncle made arrangements for him to meet with a medic, who later found that Joe has a cataract on his left eye and that it needs to be fixed in order for Joe to regain a clear vision in his left eye. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund lens replacement surgery for Joe. On December 10th, doctors will perform a lens replacement, during which they will remove Joe's natural lenses and replace them with an intraocular lens implant in each eye. After recovery, he will be able to see clearly. Now, he needs help to fund this $1,500 procedure. Joe said, “I don’t know yet of what I want to be in the future, but all I’m looking forward to is to ride a bicycle and play with my friends without any difficulty seeing.”
Jean is a student from Haiti. He lives with his parents and brothers in a neighborhood of Port-au-Prince. He is in the eight grade, and before becoming sick he enjoyed playing soccer regularly. Jean has a cardiac condition called rheumatic mitral and aortic regurgitation. Two of the four valves of his heart were severely damaged by a rheumatic fever he suffered in childhood, and can no longer adequately pump blood through his body. Jean will fly to the Dominican Republic to receive treatment. On October 28th, he will undergo cardiac surgery, during which surgeons will attempt to repair his two damaged valves; if they are unable to do so, they will implant artificial replacements. Another organization, The Mitral Foundation, is contributing $7500 to pay for surgery. Jean's family also needs help to fund the costs of surgery prep. The $1,500 bill covers labs, medicines, and checkup and followup appointments. It also supports passport obtainment and the social workers from our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, who will accompany Jean's family overseas. Jean said, "I am very excited to have this chance to get my heart fixed!"
Samnang currently studies in sixth grade, and enjoys playing with his two sisters, reading books, and listening to music. Samnang was born with scoliosis. Since birth, the curvature in his spine has been slowly worsening over time. Today, he experiences pain when lying down, and difficulty walking, breathing, and sleeping. Surgery will remove the curve in Samnag's spine and realign the bones along his lower spine. Samnang will be able to breathe normally and walk and sleep without difficulty. He looks forward to returning to school and playing with his friends and siblings.
Rashid is a casual laborer from Kenya. He is the first born in a family of three. Rashid comes from a very poor family from Western Kenya, and came to Central Kenya (Limuru) to try and find a living. He has never been to school and so he searches for any casual work available especially in construction sites. About three months ago, when he was up a building he slipped and fell from the third floor of a building they were constructing and sustained fracture of the left humerus and a sprain on the back bone. He is unable to work or use his left hand. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On September 4th, Rashid will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. This procedure will help his hand heal well and he will be able to work again Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $998 to fund this procedure.
Ly is a soybean and corn farmer from Cambodia. He has six children, and in his free time he enjoys having a glass of wine with friends and helping to take care of his children and the housework. In May 2019, Ly was in a traffic accident in Thailand, injuring his right foot and ankle. Ly received treatment at a hospital in Thailand, but since his return to Cambodia, his foot has not healed properly. His foot causes him swelling and pain, and he cannot walk easily without support. When Ly learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, he traveled for eight hours seeking treatment. On August 5, surgeons at CSC will perform a skin graft procedure to allow his foot to heal properly and walk without support.. Now, Ly needs help to fund this $440 procedure. He says, "I hope that my wound will heal and that there will no longer be any pain and I will be able to walk easily again."
Bopha is a teenager from Cambodia. At just 21 days old, Bopha suffered from a severe soft tissue infection that left her back deformed and with thick scarring. Since 2017, she has undergone several skin grafts to expand the skin around the affected area. In March of 2019, she was fitted with a halo gravity traction for three months, which reduced the curvature in her spine. Spinal surgery will help correct the position of her spine, and prevent further worsening of the condition. Surgery is scheduled for June 7 and will cost $1,500. Bopha enjoys reading books, listening to music, and watching television in her free time. She looks forward to returning to school and her friends as soon as possible.
Sovan is a 37-year-old hairdresser from Cambodia. He is the youngest of nine children, and enjoys watching television in his free time. When he was fifteen years old, Sovan had an ear infection. This infection caused a cholesteatoma, or an abnormal skin growth, to develop in the middle ear behind the ear drum. For this reason, Sovan experiences ear discharge, headaches, tinnitus, itchiness, and hearing loss. He has a difficult time understanding and communicating with others. Sovan traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On May 6, he will undergo a mastoidectomy procedure in his right ear. During this procedure, ENT surgeons will remove the cholesteatoma. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is requesting $842 to fund this procedure. This covers medications, supplies, and inpatient care. He says, "I hope that after my surgery, I will be able to hear clearly and my ear infection will heal."
Win is a 54-year-old woman from Burma. She lives with her father, sister, brother-in-law, and two nephews. Since 2016, Win has been experiencing lower abdominal and back pain. She has been diagnosed with an ovarian tumor. She has been advised to undergo a total abdominal hysterectomy, the surgical removal of her uterus and cervix. If left untreated, Win's symptoms will continue to worsen and put her at risk for further health complications in the future. Fortunately, Win is scheduled to undergo her hysterectomy on April 19. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of her procedure and care. After surgery, Win will no longer experience lower abdominal pain. She will be able to walk again without back pain. Win says, "I am afraid to have surgery but I want to get well so that I will go through it. I hope that after surgery, I will no longer experience the pain."
Zaw is a 15-year-old boy who lives with his mother and his 11-year-old brother in Burma. Both Zaw and his brother are students, but Zaw stopped attending when his health deteriorated. Zaw has been diagnosed with atrial septal defect, which means there is a hole in his heart. He needs to undergo heart surgery to treat his condition. Fortunately, surgery is scheduled for March 12. Now, his family needs help raising $1,500 to fund this procedure.
Aung is a 34-year-old from Thailand. He lives with his retired parents and one sister at Thaton Town, Mon State, Burma. Aung 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, Aung feels tired when walks or climbs the steps. He also has poor appetite and difficulty falling asleep. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund a mitral valve replacement for Aung. The treatment is scheduled to take place on February 10 and, once completed, will hopefully allow him to live more comfortably. “I want to open a motorcycle repair shop in Thahton. This is what I plan to do after receiving surgery. I want to support my family as much as I can,” says Aung.