Caitlin joined Watsi on September 24th, 2016. Four years ago, Caitlin joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Caitlin's most recent donation traveled 8,800 miles to support Chamroeurn, a construction worker from Cambodia, to fund hand surgery for a severe burn.
Caitlin has funded healthcare for 51 patients in 11 countries.
Chamroeurn is a 46-year-old construction worker from Cambodia. He and his wife have three children, all of whom are school-aged. He mainly works in the construction of houses in his local area. In his free time, he likes meeting friends at restaurants, taking his kids on trips, and cooking. In October 2020, his right hand and leg were burned in an electrical accident on a worksite. He immediately went to a provincial hospital, but they were unable to treat him. An infected wound has developed on his right hand, endangering his whole hand and he now cannot use it without severe pain. When Chamroeurn learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, he traveled for four hours seeking treatment. On October 19th, surgeons at CSC will perform a fasciotomy procedure to to save his right hand and allow it to heal. Now, he needs help to fund this $787 procedure. Chamroeurn said, "I am so thankful the doctors can help me here, and I hope that my hand will be healthy when the surgery is over."
Rosaline is a 23-year-old manual laborer from Kenya. When she was only 15 years old, young Rosaline was married and conceived her 1st born. A year later, she left her matrimonial home following constant quarrels and domestic violence from her then-husband. She went back to her ancestral home to live with her elderly mother. She currently has three children ages: 7, 4, and 2 years old. She was not able to complete a formal education. Rosaline lives in a one-room traditional house with her children. She depends on a small income she gets from fetching water for people in her village. On a good day, she makes $2, which she uses to feed her kids and take care of her basic needs. On days when there are no jobs, she relies on her siblings for food. Rosaline is the last born in a family of five. Her siblings do fishing in the nearby lake Baringo and don’t have a stable source of income either. In April 2020, Rosaline's traditional lessos and dress caught fire while cooking in her small makeshift kitchen. She shared that the space around the cooking area is small and can barely accommodate 2 people. As she was turning to pick up salt, her loose lessos and dress caught fire causing severe burns on more than 20% of her body. She now has difficulty sitting and is in pain. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Rosaline receive treatment. On September 22nd, surgeons will perform a debridement and skin graft procedure to this treatment will help her heal properly and she will no longer be in pain. Now, Rosaline needs help to fund this $1,185 procedure. Rosaline shared with us, “I have gone through a lot. Early marriage and break up, teen pregnancy, and now this accident. I have 3 children to feed and raise. I even had to discontinue my little baby from breastfeeding after I sustained the burns. I am in constant pain and at risk of getting infections. I am hopeful I will get to undergo this surgery so that I can take care of my young family.”
Khaing is a 27-year-old woman from Thailand. She lives with her husband and a three-year-old son in a village in Mae Ramat District, Tak Province. Originally from Karen State, Burma, they moved to their current address three years ago in search of better job opportunities. Her husband is a day laborer and she is homemaker. Ten years ago, Khaing felt like her nose was blocked and that she could not breathe well. She also had a runny nose and saw a small mass in her nostril while looking at her reflection in the mirror. She did not go to see a doctor because she could not afford to pay for treatment. She also thought that she would feel better over time. However, four years ago she noticed that the mass had increased in size. She went to her local hospital in Karen State, Burma, where the doctor confirmed she has a mass in her nostril and gave her medication for a week. She did not go back to her follow-up appointment as she had run out of money. She then tried to treat herself with traditional medicine. However, this was unsuccessful as the mass continued to increase in size. In the beginning of May 2020, Khaing developed a severe headache and pain in her nose. The area around her nose also become swollen. She went to Mae Tao Clinic (MTC) on May 15, 2020 for treatment. The medic at MTC checked her nose with a flashlight and told her that she has a large mass in both of her nasal passages. She was then taken to Mae Sot Hospital (MSH) for further investigation. At MSH, she received an x-ray of her nose and the doctor told her that the masses are large and that they were infected. Khaing was told that she would need surgery to remove the masses as soon as possible. Before the surgery however, she would need to undergo a computerized tomography (CT) scan to confirm the diagnosis. Unable to pay for her CT scan nor her surgery, she went back to MTC to ask for help. The medic at MTC then referred Khaing to Burma Children Medical Fund for assistance accessing further treatment. Currently, the area around her nose is swollen and painful. She also feels like her nostrils are itchy. Her nose is blocked and has to breathe through her mouth. Although she still has a headache, the pain is now less severe because she received painkillers from the doctor at MSH. Doctors want Khaing to undergo a CT scan, a procedure in which x-ray images taken from several angles are combined to produce cross-sectional images of the body. This scan will hopefully help doctors diagnose her condition and formulate an appropriate treatment plan. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $414 to cover the cost of Khaing's CT scan and care, scheduled for August 21st. Khaing said, "I am depressed and I feel stressed about my condition. In the future, I want to work and support my parents. I also want my son to receive an education."
Philaris is a farmer from Uganda. She is a wife and mother of three. Phalaris performs different kinds of jobs across her village, such as laundry and working in other people’s farms, to meet her family’s daily needs. On July 18th, Philaris sustained a severe injury to her right leg when she fell from a tree while she was fetching firewood. She is in pain and cannot walk on her own. She has been diagnosed with a right tibia fracture. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On July 22nd, Philaris will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. This procedure will help her walk easily again and no longer be in pain Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $968 to fund this procedure. Philaris says, “I want to get treated because I don’t want these circumstances to determine my future and that of my family. I want to see my children happy and get their daily needs.”
Maxwell is a 3-year-old from Kenya. He is an only child, his father owns a small butchery, and his mother is a stay-at-home mom. Maxwell 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, Maxwell is scheduled to undergo corrective surgery on June 23. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $770 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. “It will be a great joy to see Maxwell’s condition fully treated,” shared Maxwell's mother.
Joshua is a two-month-old baby and the youngest in a family of three children from Tanzania. His parents are small-scale farmers; his father owns a few cattle and they also have a small farm where they plant food for home consumption. Joshua has been diagnosed with hydrocephalus, a condition in which excess cerebrospinal fluid accumulates in the brain and increases intracranial pressure. As a result of his condition, Joshua has been experiencing challenges since birth. Without treatment, Joshua will experience severe physical and developmental delays. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,362 to cover the cost of surgery for Joshua that will treat his hydrocephalus. The procedure is scheduled to take place on May 20th and will drain the excess fluid from Joshua's brain. This will reduce intracranial pressure and greatly improve his quality of life. With proper treatment, Joshua will hopefully develop into a strong, healthy young boy. Joshua's father shared, "Please help treat our baby, he needs to undergo a surgery which due to financial challenges, we are not able to afford. Please help us."
Rollins is a young boy from Kenya who was diagnosed with bilateral undescended testis at six months. His mother noticed something was wrong while bathing him. Rollins parents sought help from various hospitals, wishing to know what was wrong with their son. They brought the boy to BethanyKids where he was diagnosed with undescended testis and a surgical intervention recommended. If not treated, Rollins is at risk of suffering fertility problems, developing testicular cancer and/or inguinal hernia. Rollins parents are peasants. His father is a driver while the mother is a housewife. They live in Nakuru, Rift Valley. Rollins is the second born of two children. They are able to raise $102 which is not enough to pay for the surgery needed. They want, more than anything in the world, for their son to get better so that he will live a normal happy life, one without the pain and discomfort that undescended testes would bring. Rollins will be receiving assistance from our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMHF). Fortunately, he is scheduled to undergo corrective surgery on November 05. AMHF is requesting $542 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. “Please help my son not to suffer infertility in future,” said Rollin’s mother.
Mebruka is a cute baby girl from Ethiopia who loves people and to play with others. She loves eating spaghetti. She has one older sister and she loves to play with her. Her mom is a house wife and her dad is a daily laborer. They live in a rented house and the dad’s income is very much limited for the expenses of the family. Mebruka was born with an anorectal malformation, a congenital abnormality that leads to a complete or partial intestinal blockage. She needs to undergo a series of procedures to eliminate bowel dysfunction. Mebruka is scheduled to undergo surgery to correct her condition on November 5th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of Mebruka's procedure and care. After her recovery, Mebruka will no longer experience bowel dysfunction or be at risk of developing health complications in the future. Her mother said, “It is my hope that my baby will heal and that makes me happy even now.”
Tin is a 20-year-old from Burma. He lives in a nunnery with his mother and aunt, who are nuns, in a village in Katha Township. Tin became a monk 13 years ago when his father passed away. His mother then became a nun. Tin left monkhood two months ago, when he became very ill. He is now unable to work, and he is looked after by his mother. However, sometimes when he feels better, he teaches Buddhist theology to boys from a nearby monastery. As his mother is a nun, she has no income except for whatever she is given during weekly alms collections. Usually she receives dried food staples such as rice in addition to money. Currently, Tin feels tried if he has to walk for a while and if he has to use stairs. Tin was born with 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 his lungs to obtain oxygen, leaving him sick and short of breath. Tin is scheduled to undergo heart surgery on March 15th to correct the condition and improve his quality of life. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of Tin's procedure and care. Tin said, “Sometimes I have chest pain and when I have them, I have difficulty breathing.”
Gracious is a one-month-old infant from Tanzania. Gracious is a first-born child to her young parents. Both Gracious' parents are not permanently employed yet, but they are working as casual laborers. Her father works as a school bus driver and her mother is a teacher who teaches extra classes outside of school hours. Gracious has clubfoot of both her feet. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Fortunately, Gracious traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on February 14th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $890 to fund Gracious's clubfoot repair. After treatment, she will be able to walk easily and wear shoes when she is older. Gracious’ parents say, “Please help us get our daughter this treatment so that she may be able to walk well when she grows up.”
Meet Brian: a four year old boy, he second and last born in his family. Brian recently graduated from pre-school and is to join middle-class this year which he is extremely happy about. His mother told us that he likes carpentry work. “Whenever Brian sees a hammer and nails, he will utilize them to the maximum," his mother told us. The family hails from Maji Mazuri village, Eldama Ravine town in Nakuru county. His mother is a housewife while the father is a farmer. Brian was born with a condition known as genu valgus on his right side. His mother thought he was suffering from rickets and went to a nearby hospital where they were referred to Watsi partner CURE hospital for specialized care. Brian is unable to walk well; his right foot knocks the left and thus hinders his mobility. Surgery will be of great help to him as it will help him walk and he will be able to continue with his studies without any difficulty. The family has applied to the National Health Insurance Fund for funding several times, but all were rejected. “I am kindly seeking for support to help my child undergo surgery,” Brian’s mother told us.
On May 28th 2019, Min was playing tag with his friend in front of his house, when he decided to climb up a tree. Unfortunately, the tree was slippery due to the rainy season, and Min slipped and fell out of the tree. At first, he was able to stand on his right leg, but he was not able to walk. When Min’s mother heard the news, she immediately came to see him. In the morning, his mother and grandmother rented a car and brought him to Mae Tao Clinic (MTC). The staff at MTC then sent him to Mae Sot Hospital (MSH) for an X-ray, which indicated that his left femur was broken. After they received the results of his X-ray, MTC referred Min to Watsi partner Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF) for help in accessing the treatment he needed. On May 31st, Min underwent surgery to place a metal rod into his leg. He was discharged from the hospital on June 5th. Within the past two months, Min returned to MSH for three follow-up visits. At his most recent follow-up, he was told his prognosis was good, and he was scheduled for surgery to remove the metal rod on January 2nd, 2020. “I feel normal again,” he said. “I’m no longer in pain. I can walk, sit, and take a shower by myself again. Before, I couldn’t do anything. I could only lay on my back and watch as people around me had to do everything. After my second surgery I want to work with my older brother in the factory.”