Zachary joined Watsi on September 8th, 2014. 72 other people also joined Watsi on that day! Zachary's most recent donation traveled 9,000 miles to support Grey, a farmer from Malawi, for prostate surgery.
Zachary has funded healthcare for 35 patients in 9 countries.
Zachary has funded healthcare for 35 patients in 9 countries.
72-year-old Grey lives in Malawi, and his life has been interrupted by the painful symptoms of an enlarged prostate. Because of his condition, Grey couldn't participate in the recent farming season, bringing food insecurity to his family. Grey supports his family as a subsistence farmer in Malawi. With his eight children and 14 grandchildren, being able to tend to his crops is incredibly important. To treat his condition and let him return to his daily life, Grey needs a prostate resection surgery to remove a part of his prostate and let him life without pain. The procedure costs $742 and Grey and his family are looking forward to the success of the operation, because he has suffered for so long. "Once the operation is done I will be a hopeful person and a happy person," Grey shares. "It has been a downfall in everything I do because of the situation."
Di Par is a 14-year-old boy who lives with his mother and three brothers in Burma. He enjoys playing marbles, snapping rubber bands with his younger brothers, listening to music, and visiting with his friends. Di Par enjoys school, but he is only in grade five since his health condition makes it difficult for him to keep up with his classes. Di Par did not present with symptoms until he was five years old. He was easily tired, especially after playing, but his mother did not think it was out of the ordinary and did not seek medical attention for him. When Di Par was 10 years old, the symptoms worsened as he began having difficulty breathing in addition to the fatigue. His mother took him to the clinic where they listened to his heart and detected abnormal heart sounds. He was prescribed medication that seemed to improve his condition, so his mother did not seek further evaluation. In March of 2016, Di Par appeared to go into shock and lost consciousness, and he was brought to the hospital. Although a definitive diagnosis was not made, the physicians thought Di Par might have meningitis and treated him medically. While he was in the hospital, he received a battery of exams: blood tests, urinalysis, CT scan, and X-rays. He also received an echocardiogram, which provided the diagnosis of congestive heart disease — severe tricuspid regurgitation with severe pulmonary stenosis. Di Par was in the hospital for 12 days, and family members helped his mother and brothers pay the hospital costs. Since his hospitalization, Di Par has been experiencing palpitations, fatigue, and difficulty breathing. He is at Mae Tao Clinic (MTC) in the children’s inpatient department. He is also cyanotic with a bluish tinge to his lips and fingers. After evaluation by the medics at MTC, he was referred to Burma Children Medical Fund for surgical consideration. Di Par and his family have lived in their current village for three months; they moved there to be closer to his mother’s sister and to improve chances for employment. Di Par's father passed away several years ago, so the family's financial support comes from his mother, who sells vegetables and flowers in the market, and his older brother, who works as a day laborer. Despite their hard work, the money they earn does not cover daily expenses, savings, or health care costs. His mother has to borrow money at 10 percent interest to meet those costs and is currently in debt. Di Par’s mother is very concerned about him, as he is falling further and further behind with his studies and, more importantly, his condition is becoming more severe. His mother and older brother alternate caring for Di Par, and his younger brothers help with family chores. This arrangement has not yet affected their work schedules, but Di Par's condition will only complicate the family's needs as further care is needed. For $1,500, Di Par will undergo surgery to replace the damaged heart valve and restore proper blood flow through his heart and lungs. Funding also covers the cost of 12 pre- and post-operative consultations, transportation to and from the hospital, and nine days of hospital care after surgery. Di Par's mother looks forward to a successful operation for her son. "My son enjoys teaching his brothers," she shares, "so when he grows up, he may become a teacher in the village."
Phyu is a 37-year-old woman from Burma who is a mother to 15-year-old-son and 13-year-old daughter. Phyu's husband works as a carpenter to support their family. Phyu has a heart condition called mitral stenosis. She "suffers from fatigue and heart palpitations," explains our medical partner, Burma Border Projects (BBP). "These symptoms made her stop working as a day laborer. Presently she works as a housewife because her medical condition precludes work outside of the house." Mitral stenosis is a disorder in which a valve of the heart does not open fully, restricting the flow of blood through the heart. This has lead to another condition, called mitral regurgitation, which causes the backward flow of blood in the heart. The complex cardiac surgery to treat Phyu's condition costs $1,500. BBP tells us, "After surgery, she should be able to work and could provide an income for her family." Phyu tells our medical partner, "I want to recover and work with the traditional medicine shop, selling medicine in my village. I want to make money to support my children and my parents."
Meet Hezron, a 19-month-old boy who lives with his mother and older sibling in Kenya. “Hezron was born with an abnormal urethral opening, forcing him to pee with a lot of difficulty,” explains our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMHF). “His mother sought treatment when he was six months old, but she could not raise the required funds for his treatment.” Hezron’s condition, known as hypospadias, is characterized by a urethral opening on the underside of the penis instead of at the tip and often contributes to other health issues. “If not treated,” AMHF explains, “Hezron is likely to suffer urinary tract infections. He will also not be able to pass urine normally.” To treat hypospadias, a surgeon takes tissue grafts from the foreskin or from the inside of the mouth to extend the length of the urethra so that it opens at the tip of the penis. After surgery, “Hezron will be able to pass urine normally,” explains AMHF. “The risk of urinary tract infections will also be minimized.” Hezron’s mother, who sells second-hand clothes to support her family, has not been able to raise the total funds required to pay for the surgery that Hezron needs. $655 pays for Hezron to undergo surgery to repair the hypospadias as well as 10 days of hospital care after surgery. Family and friends have contributed $215 to cover additional costs associated with his care. “I try to give my children the best,” Herzon's mother says. “I have no one to look up to, and I’ll appreciate any support.”
The only child of his family, two-year-old Charles lives with his mother in Kenya. As a single parent, Charles’ mother works hard to support him by washing clothes for families in their community. Due to a neurological condition called hydrocephalus, Charles faces the possibility of experiencing developmental delays, our medical partner African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMHF) reports. Hydrocephalus results when part of the brain becomes blocked and causes fluid to build up. When this occurs, the brain swells and the head increases in size. AMHF explains that Charles’ condition leads to frequent headaches and irritability. According to AMHF, Charles first showed signs of hydrocephalus at seven months old. Unsure what to do, Charles’ mother eventually sought medical help and was informed that surgical intervention was necessary to allow Charles to lead a healthy childhood. With $600, Charles will receive surgery to treat his hydrocephalus and provide him the opportunity to grow normally. Using a widely practiced shunt procedure, the excess fluid in Charles’ brain will be drained out. In addition to surgery, the total cost of this operation includes five days of intensive hospital care as well as all of the necessary laboratory tests to closely monitor Charles’ recovery. AMHF states, “Charles’ surgery will help eliminate the pressure impact on his brain, and allow him live quality life.” “I feel helpless when I hear my two-year-old son crying and screaming ‘Mama, Mama’ holding his head. His pain because of his headache resonates in my mind. Please help him get treated,” shares Charles’ mother.
Meet Sera, a 46-year-old mother of five from Kenya. “Sera sells roasted maize and washes clothes to earn a living,” shares our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMHF). “She lives with her two youngest children who are fully dependent on her.” Sera has fibroids, which cause her severe abdominal pain. “The pain is so bad that Sera often has to miss work,” says AMHF. “She started having lower abdominal pain and back aches some time ago. When the pain became too much and over the counter medication no longer helped, Sera sought medical care.” “After a scan showed that she had fibroids and would need surgery, Sera has been working hard to raise the money needed for her treatment, but she is unable to raise enough money needed for this surgery,” says AMHF. With $800, Sera will be able to receive a total abdominal hysterectomy. The surgery will stop the pain and allow Sera to return to work and care for her family. "The pain causes me to miss work and turn down cleaning jobs,” shares Sera. “I want to be able to work well again.”
Bye Kon, a 56-year-old woman in Cambodia, lives with her husband and son. Bye Kon and her husband fish to make a living, and her son works as a religious education teacher. According to our medical partner, Burma Border Projects (BBP), Bye Kon noticed an unusual mass in her abdomen about eight months ago. When the mass began to grow and become more painful, Bye Kon went to the clinic and was diagnosed with a uterine myoma. A uterine myoma is a non cancerous growth on the uterus that causes severe abdominal pain. Bye Kon's clinic was unable to perform surgery and instead administered medicine and sent her home. Since then, Bye Kon has been constantly worried about her condition and unable to eat or sleep very well. "She said in the past she was big and now she has lost so much weight. Bye Kon says that she does as best as she can with her condition, but it has become considerably more difficult for her lately," BBP adds. "She says that she wants to be healthy." With $1,500, doctors will be able to remove the mass in Bye Kon's abdomen so that she can return to a fully healthy and active life. "I cannot wait for the surgery; I want to be better soon," says Bye Kon. "I am so grateful for the treatment."
Meet Louise, a 75-year-old grandmother from Kenya! When she was younger, Louise worked very hard to save enough money to purchase a small plot of farmland. According to our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMHF), Louise now uses this land “to plant potatoes for her own consumption and sell any surplus at the local market.” However, due to breast cancer, Louise is no longer able to farm as much as she would like to. After discovering a growing lump in her right breast, Louise visited AMHF’s clinic and was diagnosed with breast cancer. Breast cancer is the most common form of cancer among women, although the exact causes of the disease are not known. This cancer—which usually originates in the innermost part of the breast (where milk is produced)—may present itself in the form of a lump, a rash, redness or other unusual changes in the breast area. In addition to her cancer, Louise is also experiencing shoulder pain that “makes it difficult for Louise to work on the farm,” AMHF states. “Luckily, tests have shown that the cancer has not progressed aggressively over the last few years,” AMHF reports. “If treated soon, there is a very high chance that all of the cancer can be removed and Louise will not be at risk of the cancer spreading to her other organs.” With $740, Louise will receive a mastectomy to remove her right breast. As Louise has locally advanced breast cancer, this is an effective treatment to remove the cancerous tissue and prevent the problem from returning. Included as part of her treatment, Louise will receive six days of intensive hospital care to ease her into a safe recovery. Following her treatment and recovery, “We expect that Louise will be able to work on her farm again,” states AMHF. Indeed, after regaining her strength, Louise fully plans to return to farming her land once again. She shares, “I like being able to take care of myself. However, with this increasing shoulder pain, I can no longer work on my farm.”
Meet Jane, a 45-year-old woman from Kenya. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMHF), tells us, “Jane is a joyful mother of five children. Two of her children are in school, while three have cleared high school and are in casual employment. Jane works as a clothes seller specializing in selling sheets and bedding.” AMHF explains, “Jane found a lump in her left breast during a self-examination three months ago. Since then she has been referred to three different hospitals in search of treatment. ” AMHF determined that the lump is cancerous, and Jane thus requires an immediate mastectomy to remove the cancerous tissue. Following surgery Jane will also need chemotherapy and/or radiotherapy. Even before getting sick, AMHF reports, “Jane’s business was very small and barely enabled her to pay rent, buy food and educate her children.” Now that she is ill, Jane has not been able to work often and has spent all of her savings on doctors’ visits. Thus, she cannot afford the lifesaving care she needs. With $740 in funding, Jane will receive the full scope of treatment she requires. Jane shares, “The breast is not painful but I know cancer is dangerous and it should be treated fast. I really hope to get well so that I can concentrate on my business and work with my older children to make our family better.'' AMHF adds, “Jane's children are very determined to see their mother get the treatment she needs.”
Meet Chansy, a 32-year-old mother of three living in Cambodia. Chansy loves watching Khmer TV movies and often listens to popular Khmer music. "Chansy got into an altercation three months ago that left her with a broken forearm. She is constantly in pain and she cannot carry things around the house or go to work,” shares our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC). “She had been receiving treatment in her provincial hospital for two months but her arm didn't heal at all." Doctors have recommended an open reduction and internal fixation (ORIF), a two-part surgery that will repair Chansy's fractured forearm. The area around the bone will be “opened” and the broken bone will be re-aligned using a metal internal fixation device. Due to the severe pain in her forearm, Chansy tells us that she cannot carry things around the house or cook for her children. With $405, we can provide treatment that will allow Chansy to regain mobility and care for her kids!
Meet Thavy, a 30-year-old woman from Cambodia. For the last five years Thavy has lived with chronic otitis media. As our medical partner, Children’s Surgical Centre (CSC), explains, “Thavy has had both of her eardrums perforated.” A perforated eardrum means that there is a hole in the eardrum caused by infection or injury. As a result of living for so long with a perforation, Thavy has constant discharge from her ear and cannot hear well. CSC shares, “Thavy lives alone usually, but now she lives with her mother. She spends most of the day helping her mom cook and clean. She had bought some medications from the pharmacy but they did her no good.” Thavy needs a myringoplasty—a surgical procedure in which skin from another part of the ear is used to patch the eardrum. With $399 in funding, she will receive the surgery she needs to stop the discharge from her ear and restore her hearing.
“John is a beautiful little boy living with his father,” shares our medical partner in Haiti, Project Medishare (PM). Just eight years old, John is in severe respiratory distress. “Twelve months ago John fell on a rock while biking in his neighborhood, and his parents did not take him to the hospital because they did not have money and it was not severe,” PM explains. “A few days later John started having difficulties breathing and his belly, face and foot started swelling.” When his father saw this, he took John to the hospital where he was given oxygen. However, pus in his right lung is still preventing him from breathing normally. In order for John to recover, he must receive surgery to remove the pus. “John's father is working very hard to raise money for him,” PM tells us. “He has to walk under the hot sun of Haiti every day, selling used stuff.” John’s father shares, “I fix stuff I find to sell in order to get money to feed my kid. I only came to the hospital with John hoping to receive free care because he was very sick; when they said to me that it is a private hospital and that I have to pay, I thought about going back home because I have no money. ” Thankfully, John’s father does not have to take his son home. With $1,500 in funding, PM explains, “Treatment will consist of a thoracic drainage by surgical intervention.” First, the pus will be drained from John’s lung. Second, John will be given antibiotics to treat the infection. Finally, he will rejoin his family and resume his healthy life. “This surgery will save John’s life,” PM shares. Let’s fund this life-saving treatment and allow John to live a normal childhood—without pain and respiratory distress.