Berton joined Watsi on March 12th, 2013. Six years ago, Berton joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Berton's most recent donation traveled 8,300 miles to support Thein, a 33-year-old man from Burma, to fund a mitral valve replacement surgery.
Berton has funded healthcare for 104 patients in 14 countries.
Thein is a 33-year-old man from Burma. He lives with his wife in Yangon, while his daughter lives with his aunt. He and his wife are vendors at the main bus station. In his free time, Thein likes to go to the tea shop with his friend and talk about work. In the future, he would like to become a motorcycle broker, where he believes he could earn a more steady income. Unfortunately, Thein has been unable to work since March 2020. At the time, he often felt too tired or unwell to work. Upon seeking care, Thein was diagnosed with a heart condition involving 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, Thein has difficulty breathing and feels tired when he does not receive oxygen or an intravenous drip. He cannot sleep well at night and has to take sleeping pills to help him get rest. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund a mitral valve replacement procedure for Thein. The treatment is scheduled to take place on November 13th and, once completed, will hopefully allow him to live more comfortably and improve his quality of life. Thein shared, “After I have recovered fully, I will go back to work. I will try to search for a job that pays better so that I can pay off my debt. After I have paid back my debt, I will save money for my family’s future. I want my daughter to complete her studies.”
Joseph is a 10-month-old baby boy and the last born in his family to his mother who has eight other children. His father is polygamous with two wives, and the second wife has five children making them a large family of fourteen children. Four children in his family have been able to join school, but the rest have not had a chance to join yet. Joseph's older siblings who do not go to school help their parents look after their herd of five cows and five goats. Both parents depend on small-scale farming of maize, beans and vegetables for their food and are able to sell a goat once in a while to be able to get money to buy other commodities. Joseph was born at home earlier this year with the help of midwives since their nearest local hospital is a long distance from home. At birth , the midwives noticed Joseph had a swell with an open wound along his spine and advised his parents to take Joseph to hospital and seek medical care. They were able to get a small amount of money and took Joseph to a local hospital where he had his wound dressed and were referred to Watsi's Medical Partner ALMC Hospital. At the hospital, Joseph's parents were informed that their son would need to undergo surgery to help correct his Spina Bifida. Without treatment Josep was in danger of getting his spine infected, which could lead to him losing limb movement making him permanently disabled or even lead to death in case of a serious infection. Through Watsi donors' incredible support, Joseph was able to have this life-saving surgery. Unfortunately, he has since acquired hydrocephalus which is putting him in danger of brain damage due to the fluids accumulating in his head, increasing head size and pressure. His parents cannot afford the treatment cost thus they are asking for help. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,300 to cover the cost of surgery for Joseph that will treat his hydrocephalus. The procedure is scheduled to take place on October 12th and will drain the excess fluid from Joseph's brain. This will reduce intracranial pressure and greatly improve his quality of life now and in the future. With proper treatment, Joseph will hopefully develop into a strong, healthy young boy. Joseph’s mother says, “After my son had his first surgery he was so well, but now his head is increasing in size and he is vomiting a lot accompanied with fevers. Please help save my baby.”
Jalen is a baby from Kenya. Jalen’s father is a smallholder farmer while his mom takes care of the house. She recently completed college and is yet to secure a job. Jalen has a 7-year-old sibling and together they all live in a small, rented house. To help treat his anorectal condition, Jalen underwent a colostomy, in which the end of the colon is brought through an opening in the abdominal wall. This surgery is often performed to bypass bowel malformations, but colostomies are usually temporary and may call for closure. In Jalen's case, his colostomy requires closure in order to restore bowel function and prevent future complications as he grows and develops. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $650 to cover the cost of a colostomy closure for Jalen. The surgery is scheduled to take place on September 15th and, once completed, will hopefully allow him to live more comfortably and confidently. Jalen’s mother says, “It will be great joy to us as a family when Jalen undergoes his last surgery.”
Khna is a 31-year-old taxi driver from Cambodia. He got married only five months ago, and his wife is a farmer. In his free time he enjoys playing volleyball with his friends, going for walks with his wife, and making improvements to his home. In August 2020, Khna fell out of a tree from a height of five meters. He was able to get up and walk home, but later that night he started feeling pain in his back. Now he is experiencing numbness in his legs and an inability to control urine flow. He has come to our partner facility, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC), where doctors will be able to perform a spinal implant procedure which will alleviate the pressure on the spinal nerves. This will allow him to regain feeling in his legs and walk easily again. Khna told us, "I hope that this surgery will go well, and that I can recover quickly. I will work hard to regain strength and walk like normal."
Ohmar is a 36-year-old woman from Thailand. She lives with her husband and two children in a town along the Thai-Burma border. On July 4th, Ohmar was trying to cross the highway to go to a grocery store. She was on her bike on the side of the road when a car sped past, causing her to fall off her bike and land on top of her right arm. A man who saw her fall put turmeric powder on her injured arm and wrapped it in a cloth. But Ohmar did not go to Mae Tao Clinic right away because she did not have enough money. She was only able to seek treatment two days after the accident. Now, Ohnmar's she is in pain, her right arm cannot be extended and her fingers are also swollen. With the help of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, Ohmar will undergo surgery to reset her fractured bones and ensure proper healing. The procedure is scheduled for July 16th and will cost $1,500. This procedure will help make Ohnmar's right arm become functional again and she will no longer be in pain. "I am happy that I can have surgery with the support of the Burma Children Medical Fund and Watsi donors. I have to look after my two children so I need to be strong for them," shared Ohmar.
Pauline is married and a mother of 5 children who are in school in Kenya. She and her husband do casual work in the neighboring flower and coffee farms. Two years ago, Pauline began to experience troubling symptoms, including a swelling on her neck, headache and chest pain. She was diagnosed with a goiter, an abnormal enlargement of the thyroid gland. She needs surgery to prevent her symptoms from getting worse. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Pauline receive treatment. She is scheduled to undergo a thyroidectomy on June 15th at our medical partner's care center. Surgeons will remove all or part of her thyroid gland. This procedure will cost $688, and she and her family need help raising money. “Nowadays this swelling is giving me a lot of pains and headache. I am not able to go for work and I kindly request assistance,” said Pauline.
Suleiman is an elderly man from Central Kenya. He and his wife are subsistence farmers, relying on their small piece of land to earn a living. They get support from their 7 children and, from time to time, the national government funds for the elderly, which are unreliable. About 19 years ago, his hearing started to deteriorate and, overtime, has worsened. Suleiman tried managing the loss with ear drops, but they were not working. He had learned to live with a partial loss. His right ear is worse so he has to turn to the left for him to hear with clarity. When he came to Watsi's Medical Partner Care Center Kijabe Hospital, doctors recommended he receive hearing aids. With the aids, his hearing clarity will be greatly improved. Suleiman said, “I have been struggling for a long time but I hope that my hearing will improve significantly with the aids.”
Morch is a 60-year-old rice farmer from Cambodia. She has two sons, two daughters, and two grandchildren. When she is not busy at home caring for her family, she enjoys spending time with her friends at the local church. Two years ago, Morch developed a cataract in each eye, causing her pain, tearing, and blurry vision. She has difficulty seeing things clearly, recognizing faces, and going anywhere outside. When Morch learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, she traveled for eight hours seeking treatment. On February 26th, doctors will perform a phacoemulsification cataract surgery and an intraocular lens implant in each eye. After recovery, she will be able to see clearly. Now, she needs help to fund this $425 procedure. "I hope that I can get better after my surgery and that I will be be able to see clearly and go places on my own again," she shared.
Lewis is a playful and social student from Kenya. Lewis is the brother to Jonah, who also needs clubfoot repair, and is the 6th born in a family of 8 children. He aspires to be in the Special Forces as a Military Officer in future. The family hails from Iteria village in Meru County. His single mother used to be farmer but she currently stays at home. She recently underwent an amputation on her leg after suffering from diabetes. Lewis has clubfoot of both of his feet. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Fortunately, Lewis traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, AIC Cure International Hospital. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on March 16th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,224 to fund Lewis's clubfoot repair. After treatment, he will be able to walk well and no longer be in pain. “We request your support. I cannot be able to raise the estimated bill. Please help,” Lewis’s mother pleaded with us.
Paw is a 62-year-old widow from Thailand. She lives with her older brother in Thaw Lae Hta Village, Mae Sariang Town, Mae Hong Son Province. Paw has works as a homemaker taking care of her brother who cannot work due to congenital mental and physical disabilities. Paw has a younger sister in the same town who supports her financially and is her main source of income. Since 2014, Paw has been experiencing some abnormal pain in her right lower abdomen. She has been diagnosed with a myoma. She has been advised to undergo a total abdominal hysterectomy, the surgical removal of her uterus and cervix. If left untreated, Paw's symptoms will continue to worsen and put her at risk for further health complications in the future. Fortunately, Paw is scheduled to undergo her hysterectomy on November 19th. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of her procedure and care. Once recovered, Paw will no longer abdominal pain and she will be able to take care of her brother. Paw said, "Since 2019, I have been experiencing increased levels of pain in my right lower abdomen, increased back pain, and difficulty sleeping. Riding a motorbike aggravates the pain even more. I also experience dysuria and sometimes it takes me longer to use the bathroom. My appetite is good, but I cannot eat as much as I want because I experiences abdominal tightness, difficulty breathing, and fullness in my stomach when I eat too much."
Kheang has one son, and enjoys playing soccer, feeding the animals, helping cook food, and listening to the radio. Six days ago, Kheang fell four meters off the roof of his house and fractured his lower spine. He has lost sensation of his lower limbs and he is now unable to take care of himself on his own. Surgery will help to fuse his fractured spinal vertebrae into place, securing the bones and allowing them to heal together. Surgery will give him the chance to return to his normal activities again without difficulty. He shared, "I hope that I will be able to walk again and work the same as before."
Magdaline is a farmer from Kenya and a talkative mother of seven. Magadline hails from Kisoko Village, a stony and hilly area in Elgeyo marakwet with low socioeconomic status and the main occupation for the people living around the village is raising goats and planting millet. Magdaline’s husband is deaf and hasn’t found a job. He spends his days helping his wife in the farm or help take care of goats they have at home. On 6th December, Magdaline had just left her house to attend a ceremony when she slightly fell on a hard surface sustaining injury on the left femur. She is not able to work since she can not walk and this is affecting the family because she is the main breadwinner. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On December 11th, Magdaline will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. This procedure will help her walk again. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $968 to fund this procedure. Magdaline says, “I want to receive treatment, get healed, and continue supporting my family.”