Jon joined Watsi on December 31st, 2013. Seven years ago, Jon joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Jon's most recent donation traveled 8,800 miles to support Dom, a traditional pottery maker from Cambodia, to fund hip replacement surgery so she can walk again.
Jon has funded healthcare for 100 patients in 12 countries.
Jon has funded healthcare for 100 patients in 12 countries.
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.”
Queen is a six-year-old girl and the first born child in a family of two children. She and her younger brother are cared for by their grandparents as their mother sadly passed away in 2018 and their father is absent. Queen has been happily helping her grandmother with little home chores like washing dishes, sweeping the compound, and sometimes cooking. Both grandparents depend entirely on small scale farming of maize, vegetables, and bananas. As her name suggests, Queen is a nice and charming student who was to join first-grade early this year but unfortunately during the December holidays last year, she was involved in a painful fire accident. One day, Queen was helping her grandmother prepare porridge on a three stone fire place. Unknowingly, her dress caught on fire and badly injured her legs. Her wound healed, but burn scar contractures developed because of the tightened the skin around her legs. As a result, this has limited her ability to stand, walk, and enjoy her daily activities with her grandmother. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Queen receive treatment to relieve her pain. On August 5th, surgeons at their care center will perform a burn contracture release surgery to help her walk again. Now, she needs help to fund this $874 procedure. Queen’s uncle says: “She used to be the one helping her grandmother who has already aged up but with her condition right now her grandmother has to help her do everything. Please help my niece.”
Nuriya is 2-year-old toddler from Ethiopia who loves his mom and dad very much and always wants to be with them. Nuriya enjoys chatting and playing with his parents. Now he also has a three-month-old baby sister. His parents are working hard to raise them both. They shared that they went through a lot as a previous immigrant in Saudi Arabia and their family now decided to stay in their home country to raise a family and support it from their homeland. Nuriya's grandparents gave his parents a small piece of land that they are now farming. However, the fruit that they farm is only enough to maintain the daily needs of the family. Nuriya was born with hypospadias, a congenital abnormality that causes urinary dysfunction. Without treatment, he will continue to experience uncomfortable symptoms and will be at risk of infertility. Fortunately, Nuriya is scheduled to undergo corrective surgery on July 6th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,293 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. Nuriya was also born with another birth condition that Watsi donors supported for treatment and his family is tremendously grateful for support. Nuriya's mother is inspired by the care he is receiving, “I hope he will be a doctor in the future. Just as the doctor who treated him and changed his health in the past, I want him to grow and treat so many kids with sickness and disability.”
Justine is a talkative 18-year-old laborer from Kenya. He is the second-born child in a family of five children. He dropped out of school in grade eight after his parents were unable to pay his secondary school fees. Now, Justine drives a motorcycle taxi to help support his siblings. One week ago, Justine was involved in a road accident and fractured the second, third and fourth metatarsals on his right foot. He experiences pain and he cannot walk. He was told that his fracture would require surgery, and in the meantime, he is in a cast. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), can help. On June 3rd, Justine will undergo a fracture repair procedure called an open reduction and internal fixation. Justine will no longer be in pain, and he will be able to walk and work. Now, AMH is requesting $1,016 to fund his procedure. Justine shared, “if I could be walking now, I could be out there looking for a job and supporting my family. I have faith that I will walk again."
Degenet is an eight-month-old baby boy from Ethiopia and the third child born to his parents. He is curious and loves juice, eggs, and playing with his mom. His father is a day worker and a student, while his mom is a homemaker. Degenet was born with an anorectal malformation, a congenital abnormality that leads to a complete or partial intestinal blockage. He needs to undergo a series of procedures to eliminate bowel dysfunction. Degenet is scheduled to undergo surgery to correct his condition on May 4th. After his recovery, he will no longer experience bowel dysfunction or be at risk of developing health complications in the future. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of Degenet's procedure and care. Degenet's mother shared, “I hope our baby gets as normal as other boys. I hope he will be educated and do good work in the future. And it is my hope he will serve God becoming a good Christian.”
Htoo is a 6-year-old boy from Thailand. He lives with his parents, brother and two sisters in a refugee camp on the border of Thailand and Burma. Htoo and his siblings were born in the refugee camp. Htoo’s mother is a homemaker, while Htoo’s older brother and sisters go to primary school and Htoo attends kindergarten. His father used to work as a day labourer, but has been unemployed since the pandemic began. Currently, they have no income and receive some financial support for their daily expenses. Luckily, Htoo's family receives free basic healthcare and education in the camp. In late October 2020, Htoo was diagnosed with an inguinal hernia. If he stands up for a short period of time, or walks, the right side of his private area will swell. Around twice a week, Htoo shares with his parents that this area is hurting him and he feels uncomfortable. Fortunately, on April 8th, he will undergo hernia repair surgery at Mae Sot General Hospital, our medical partner's care center. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund Htoo's hernia repair surgery. The procedure is scheduled to take place on April 8th and, once completed, will hopefully allow him to live more comfortably. Htoo's father shared, “Most of the time, my son is very active and playful. He will only rest when he complains about the pain.”
Phorn is a 40-year-old construction worker with three children: two sons and one daughter. They all are now in school. Phorn is not working now but his wife is a factory worker. His parents live with his family and he supports them. For over two years, he has had pain in both hips. He feels his left side is much worse than the right. He describes his current health as generally very poor because he is in such pain. When he has pain, he has traditionally been able to buy pain medication from the pharmacy, but it has lately become unbearable. Doctors diagnosed his condition as avascular necrosis (death of bone tissue due to lack of blood circulation) of both hips. Fortunately, Phorn learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre. At CSC, surgeons can perform a total hip replacement to relieve Phorn of his pain and allow him to walk easily. Treatment is scheduled for February 9th, and Phorn needs help raising $1,087 to pay for this procedure. He hopes after surgery, his left hip will not have pain, he can walk without help, and go back to work as before.
Myo is a 16-year-old boy from Burma. He lives with his parents and four brothers in northern Rakhine State. Myo is a student in grade nine and his four brothers also go to school. However, they have been unable to study since the Covid-19 pandemic shut all schools. Myo’s parents are day laborers, and their family's combined income is just enough to cover their daily expenses since Myo and his brothers’ schooling is free. To survive with limited income, they forage for vegetables and fish. If they fall ill, they use traditional medicine, which is more affordable then going to a clinic or a hospital. Myo was diagnosed with a heart condition that involves a malformation of the mitral valve, which is 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, Myo cannot walk long distances or climb stairs because of his tiredness. Sometimes, he cannot breathe very well. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund a mitral valve replacement for Myo. The treatment is scheduled to take place on February 7th and, once completed, will hopefully allow him to live more comfortably. Myo shared, “I am worried about my health and I feel sorry for my parents. Because of my health problems, my father had to work more days to earn more money. Also, my mother cannot work because she accompanies me and has to take care of me. I hope my school will reopen soon so that I can go back to school. One day I hope that I can become a teacher. I want to teach because there are not enough teachers in my village.”