Jon joined Watsi on December 31st, 2013. Eight years ago, Jon joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Jon's most recent donation traveled 8,600 miles to support Saw Eh, a 2-year-old toddler from Thailand, to fund hernia repair surgery so he can grow in good health.
Jon has funded healthcare for 107 patients in 12 countries.
Jon has funded healthcare for 107 patients in 12 countries.
Saw Eh is a two-year-old boy who lives with his mother and older sister in a refugee camp in Thailand. Both he and his older sister go to nursery school. His mother weaves and sells traditional Karen clothing to earn extra money in addition to the small amount they receive every month on a cash card. When Saw Eh was two months old, he began crying a lot and his mother noticed swelling in a sensitive area. He received medication at the hospital in the refugee camp, which helped alleviate his discomfort and crying. However, Saw Eh began experiencing pain in the same sensitive area this past June. This pain often causes him to miss school, as well as to cry frequently again. His mother shares that when he cries, she must hold him, meaning she no longer has time to weave clothes. During the short moments when the pain lessens after taking painkillers, Saw Eh loves playing with his friends and his sister. When his family brought him to the hospital, a medic told them that they would have to wait for a doctor to visit the refugee camp. When Saw Eh was finally seen by a doctor in late July, he and his family were referred to our medical partner's care center, Mae Sariang Hospital, for treatment. He was diagnosed with hydrocele in his left scrotum and a left inguinal hernia. Due to his severe condition, the doctor admitted him and scheduled his surgery to take place that same night, August 4th. However, Saw Eh's mother shares that she cannot pay for her son's needed treatment due to financial constraints. Fortunately, she was referred to our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), for financial assistance accessing treatment. On August 4th, surgeons will perform hernia repair surgery to treat Saw Eh's hernia and help alleviate his symptoms. BCMF is requesting $1,486 to fund his surgery and care. Saw Eh’s mother shares, “I feel so sad when I see my son in pain. I love to see him playing with his sister, but if he is in pain, he will cry a lot.”
Simon is a 20-year-old who, since he was a little boy, he has worked selling goods at a nearby open market. He has no stable source of income and is currently unable to work due to his medical condition. His single mother is unable to support him. Fortunately, his friend is allowing him to stay in their single room close to the city market. Two years ago, Simon began experiencing pain in his left knee, causing him to limp as he walked. His pain eventually spread to his hip. He now cannot walk without a walking stick and has an infected hip and knee, which are limiting his mobility. After receiving a CT scan, Simon was diagnosed with septic arthritis, which is inflammation of a joint caused by an infection, and sequelae of the hip. In hopes to help his condition, Simon visited visited Kenyatta National Hospital. He has since been on medical follow-up for septic arthritis at the facility without any surgical intervention. He eventually had to stop attending the follow-up clinics due to a lack of financial resources. Fortunately, a friend told Simon about our medical partner's care center, and he traveled there to receive treatment. Now, Simon is scheduled to undergo a treatment on July 8th. This will hopefully finally help heal his condition and relieve his pain. Our medical partner is requesting $1,500 to fund his treatment. Simon shares, “I can barely move my leg without support from this walking stick. My hip is painful and my knee is just unbearable. I cannot work in my condition and therefore am struggling to survive.”
Rehiwilzahra is a sweet toddler from Haiti. She lives in Port-au-Prince with her mother, father, and three older siblings. Rehiwilzahra likes watching cartoons and playing with her older siblings. Rehiwilzahra has a cardiac condition called Tetralogy of Fallot. This heart condition involves several related heart defects including a hole between the two lower chambers of the heart, and a muscular blockage of one of the valves. These defects prevent blood from circulating properly through the lungs leaving Rehiwilzahra weak and short of breath. The surgery Rehiwilzahra needs to heal is not available in Haiti, so she will need to fly to the Dominican Republic to undergo cardiac surgery to close the hole in her heart with a patch and remove the blockage from her valve. Our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance is helping Rehiwilzahra's family raise $1,500 to cover the cost of labs, medicines, and follow-up appointments. This amount also supports passport obtainment and the social workers to accompany Rehiwilzahra's family overseas. Rehiwilzahra's mother shared, "We have been praying for a long time for a solution to our daughter's heart problem. We are very thankful to everyone who is helping her!"
Emmanuel is a 7-year-old student who is in class two. His favorite school activity is counting numbers, and he also loves to play football. Emmanuel is the oldest child in his family of three kids, and his father works as a driver to help provide for their needs. Emmanuel has clubfoot in both feet. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape, which causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Currently, Emmanuel is having trouble walking and has pain after a long day. Fortunately, Emmanuel's family was able to travel to the care center at our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), for his treatment. On April 22nd, Emmanual will undergo clubfoot repair surgery so that he can walk easily and no longer experience pain. AMH is requesting $935 to fund this procedure. Emmanuel’s mother shared, “Life has become very tough, my husband cannot afford to take him back to the hospital to have his feet correct. Please help.”
Bo is an eighth grader who lives in the school dormitory during the school year. During his free time, he likes to play the guitar, cook, and garden. He recently had his arm is amputated to help treat his bone cancer condition, so he is no longer able to play guitar anymore. His parents and his siblings live on the Thai-Burma border. His brother and his mother are day labourers while his father is retired. In May 2021, Bo began to experience pain in the top of his left forearm, close to his shoulder. In June 2021, the top of his left forearm began to swell until it spread towards his shoulder. The swelling grew very large, encompassing his left shoulder and upper forearm. Bo was in a lot of pain and could not use his left arm. Doctors diagnosed him with bone cancer and amputated his left arm to help stop his cancer from spreading further. He has also undergone chemo treatment after his amputation and now his doctor wants to do an MRI to assess his prognosis and plan for any further treatment that may be needed to protect his health. An MRI is an imaging procedure that uses magnetic fields and radio waves to produce images of bodily organs. This scan will hopefully help doctors diagnose his condition and formulate an appropriate treatment plan. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $814 to cover the cost of Bo's MRI and care, scheduled for March 11th. Bo said, "Since I finished my surgery and finished chemo injection, I am able to continue my studies without any pain. I hope that I will be able to continue my studies until I gradate from school."
Sina is a 36-year-old security guard. He has one brother and one sister, and his father works as a tuk-tuk driver to help support their family. Sina works as a security guard for a non-governmental organization, and enjoys listening to music, watching TV, playing games on his phone, meeting up with friends, and helping his mother in his free time. Three years ago Sina developed pain on his right hip. He has a history of leukemia and psoriasis, which he receives treatment for at Mercy Medical Center Cambodia. It was when Sina came in with hip pain that they referred him to our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC). He was diagnosed with osteoarthritis and now cannot walk due to the pain and instability of his hip. Fortunately, on February 23rd, Sina will undergo a total hip replacement at CSC which will relieve his pain and allow him to walk and work more easily. Our medical partner is asking for $1,087 to help Sina in paying for his procedure. Sina said, "I am thankful that I can return to work once I am healed. I look forward to being free of pain."
Julius is a 44-year-old man with two children. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, Julius used to buy old clothes to sell, but the business was so greatly affected by the pandemic that he has had to search for other work to survive. He now takes on labor jobs at construction sites. Julius was in a hit-and-run accident where a driver lost control of the vehicle and hit him while walking along the side path. Julius was thrown over the car and sustained an open fracture on his left leg. As a result, he is experiencing pain and is at risk of developing an infection or malunion, which occurs when a fractured bone heals in an abnormal position. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), can help Julius heal. On February 7th, he will undergo a fracture repair procedure known as an open reduction and internal fixation. After surgery, Julius will no longer be in pain, and he will be able to walk and work again. AMH is requesting $1,049 to fund this procedure. Julius shared, “I depend on my legs because, for construction work, you have to climb. However, I thank God I am alive. I kindly request help so that my leg can get well. I can then go back to my hustles and sustain myself."
Dom is a 43-year-old woman who married with three daughters and one grandchild. Dom used to be a pottery maker but has been unable to work due to the pain she is experiencing. Dom makes pottery in her province of Cambodai, called Kampong Chhnang, which is known for its beautiful ceramics that are sold all over the country. Dom has been experiencing acute pain in her right hip for several weeks. The cause is unknown but, as a result of the pain, she is unable to walk and must use a wheelchair. Dom shared that she feels unwell, cannot sleep, and has lost her appetite. She visited her local hospital, where doctors diagnosed her condition as a fracture of the femoral neck and referred her to our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC), for treatment. Fortunately, on January 5th, surgeons as CSC will perform a total hip replacement to relieve Dom of her pain and allow her to walk easily. CSC is requesting $1,087 to pay for Dom's procedure. Dom shared, "I hope the doctors will discover why I cannot walk and fix it. I want to be able to walk again, have no pain, and take care of my family."
Poe is a 45-year-old man who lives with his wife in a hut in a village in Myawaddy Township in Burma. Poe and his wife are agricultural day labourers, but he had to stop working two to three months ago, when his condition worsened. The income she earns is usually just enough to cover their daily expenses, but if she cannot find work, they have to borrow money to make ends meet. Around seven years ago, Poe got bamboo splinters in his left foot while working on a farm. He was able to pick out the splinters and applied traditional medicine to his foot, which healed. A little while later, he developed pain where he had the splinters before and went to a nearby clinic. A nurse checked his foot but told him that she could not find anything wrong with his foot. The nurse gave him pain medication and Poe went back home. After he took the medication, he felt better. Six or seven months later, his pain returned, and he also developed an infection. When he went back to the clinic, the nurse checked his foot and told him to go to a hospital since he signs of a severe infection. The nurse also gave him medication. He then went to Myawaddy General Hospital, where he had the ulcer cleaned with an antiseptic solution and was given medication. When he went home, he felt better. Two years ago, the pain and ulcer returned but in a larger area then previously. He went back to Myawaddy General Hospital, where he received an x-ray. He was told that his foot was infected due to his previous injury. His foot was cleaned again with an antiseptic solution, and he was given antibiotics. After he took the medication, he felt better again. Just a few months ago, Poe’s foot started to hurt again. However, he was not worried about his foot because the last time his foot had hurt, he had had the ulcers drained. When the pain and swelling increased in his foot, he was no longer able to work. Although he wanted to go to the hospital, he did not have enough money to go this time since he was not working. His brother then told him to go to Mawlamyine Christian Leprosy Hospital (MCLH) in nearby Mon State since it is more affordable. When Poe arrived at MCLH at the end of November, he was admitted after the doctor examined his foot. He received another x-ray and was told that the ulcers and an infection had spread to multiple areas. He was also told that because of how advanced his condition is, his foot could never heal fully, and the only option at this point was to amputate his foot. “I’ve been to many hospitals and clinics already,” said Poe. “The doctor told me that if I amputate my foot my condition will no longer return. So I am happy to go ahead with the procedure.” Currently, Poe’s left ankle and feet is swollen and painful. The pain is worse at night and when the temperature drops. He has multiple ulcers in his foot with discharge and he feels extremely uncomfortable. Some areas of his foot are itchy and painful while he has lost sensation in the top of his foot and areas around his ankle. Cannot put any weight on his left foot due to the pain and has to be pushed in a wheelchair since he arrived at MCLH. He's hopeful about feeling better soon and getting back to working. Poe shared, “In the future I want to buy one or two cows to breed and rear them to earn an income. I also want to grow and sell vegetables."
Jhonatan Mercado is a creative four-year-old from Venezuela. A year ago his family moved to Medellin in Colombia seeking for a better future for their kids. Jhonatan is an older brother in a family of two children, his little brother is one year old. Jhonatan he loves to play with his mom with Legos. He already loves soccer too. Jhonatan Mercado has clubfoot of both feet. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Fortunately, Jhonatan Mercado's family traveled to visit our Medical Partner Clínica Noel. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on December 20th. Our medical partner, Clínica Noel, is requesting $1500 to fund Jhonatan Mercado's bilateral clubfoot repair. After treatment, he will be able to walk without pain or further complications. His mother said "We are really glad that finally we found help, we have been in different treatments since he was 6 months old but now we have a lot of faith in this procedure and in Doctor Miguel."
Charles is a 73-year-old man with five children who are all grown and have families of their own. He has a banana and coffee plantation on his land, but due to his old age, his productivity on his farm has been decreasing. For three months, Charles has had an inguinal scrotal hernia. The hernia causes him pain and discomfort, especially when he is walking or working on the farm. He had a scan at a government facility before being referred to our medical partner's care center for the treatment he needs. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Charles to receive treatment. On September 14th, he will undergo hernia repair surgery at our medical partner's care center. Once completed, this procedure will hopefully allow him to live more comfortably and confidently. Now, he needs help raising $230 to fund his procedure and care. Charles shared, "I hope to recover from this condition so that I can continue farming and sustain my family."
Duncan is a 28 year old man who is currently single and unable to work due to his condition. Duncan experienced trauma in early 2010 after a road traffic accident that caused spine injury and hearing loss. At the time of the accident, Duncan had a loss of consciousness, memory loss, and was even paraplegic at one point. He also had tinnitus in his right ear but with earlier support from Watsi donors, he got a hearing aid fitted and can now communicate well. Duncan now walks on a crutch, however, his pain worsens with movement, and radiates to his lower limbs. Because of his condition, Duncan has been in and out of hospitals. He is supposed to visit the hospital regularly. For convenience, he currently lives with his relatives nearby in Nairobi. His parents are elderly farmers in his ancestral home in Kisii in rural Kenya. Duncan is currently struggling to walk. An MRI exam identified canal stenosis and bone degeneration, so doctors have recommended surgery. He is scheduled for L4/5, L5/S1 Decompression, and Spine Fusion to avert chances of being immobile for the rest of his life. The hospital is requesting $1,500 to perform his surgery and his health insurance coverage will not cover this care. He currently relies on well-wishers to pay for his medical bills. Duncan told us, “I cannot walk well without support. I am also in pain and very uncomfortable. I hope to get better soon.”