Matthew joined Watsi on May 7th, 2013. Six years ago, Matthew joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Matthew's most recent donation traveled 8,600 miles to support Da, a 64-year-old woman from Thailand, to fund a surgery to help her walk again.
Matthew has funded healthcare for 80 patients in 12 countries.
Matthew has funded healthcare for 80 patients in 12 countries.
Da is a 64-year-old woman from Thailand. She lives alone and she is retired. Her daughter, who works as a day laborer, supports her with basic living cost and takes care of her when she is sick. On January 5th, after Da finished taking a shower, she tried to pick her shirt from the bathroom floor and she suddenly slipped. She fell down on the floor and broke her left femour bone. Currently, she experiences pain in her left thigh. She can’t move her left leg and can’t even sit down. She can only slightly move her toes. There is no external wound but the swelling has gotten worse, which is a concern for her. With the help of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, Da will undergo surgery to reset her fractured bones and ensure proper healing. The procedure is scheduled for January 9th and will cost $1,500. This procedure will free Da from her pain, and help her walk and look after herself again. Da said, "I was capable of doing my household activities before the accident. After that, I wasn’t even able to sit properly. I had to lie down all the time because my thigh is so painful. My daughter can't go to work because she has to take care of me." She also added, "After the treatment, I want to take care of myself without anyone’s help. I don’t want anyone to get busy because of me.”
Saw Kyaw is a 25-year-old man living in Thailand. He currently lives with his older sister, younger sister, mother and her niece. He moved from Burma to Thailand for job opportunities three years ago. He was working in a shop and was able to support two younger siblings who are studying in Karen State in Burma. Around the end of July, he was playing football with friends when he slipped trying to kick the ball. His lower right leg was very painful, but he was still able to bear weight lightly on that leg. At the time, Saw Kyaw didn’t have health insurance, so he went to a clinic instead of the hospital. There they examined his leg, gave him some medication for the pain and advised him to go to the hospital for an X-ray if the pain persisted. Saw Kyaw rested for two days and then went back to work. That day at work, Saw Kyaw was carrying a heavy load when he slipped again. This time, the pain was severe, and he was unable to stand on his right leg. He went to a hospital in Bangkok where they X-rayed his lower right leg and told him that the tibia was fractured. The doctor recommended surgery where they would use a metal rod to connect the bones and set them in the correct position to heal. Saw Kyaw was told that the surgery would cost between 40,000 to 50,000 baht (approx. 1,330- 1,660 USD). He told them that he did not have insurance and was unable to afford the surgery, so they gave him pain medication and bandaged up his leg. He returned to the hospital three times and each time the doctor recommended surgery, but Kyaw was unable to figure out how he could get that kind of money. His employer was not helpful and refused to assist with the cost of the surgery. Since Saw Kyaw didn’t have the money, he decided to just rest and see whether the bones would heal on their own. Saw Kyaw recalled that he had fractured his femur when he was young, and he had used a traditional medicated oil to help heal the injury. He hoped that he could use this on his new fracture. But now he cannot walk properly and cannot work since his accident. He is stressed about his condition and his future. With the help of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, Saw Kyaw will finally undergo surgery to reset his fractured bones and ensure proper healing. The procedure is scheduled for December 7th and will cost $1,500. He will able to go back to work after surgery Saw Kyaw said, “I would like to go back to Bangkok and find work again so I can go back to helping my family; my siblings who are studying in Burma, and also my mother who is getting older. I also want to save some money for my future. I will not work at the same place though as they have not been kind or caring since I had the accident.”
Arham is a sweet 7-month-old baby from Tanzania. He has a twin sister. His father works as a mechanic, and his mother stays home to care for the children and household. They shared that their income supports their basic needs and request assistance with Arham’s surgery. Arham has clubfoot of his left foot. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape, which causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Arham’s family visited our medical partner’s care center. On November 15th, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery that will allow Arham to walk easily and wear shoes as he gets older. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $935 to fund Arham’s surgery. Arham’s mother says, “Life has been hard for us these few past months, and I can’t stop thinking about how to solve my baby’s condition. I hope my son grows to have a normal life like his twin.”
John is a 38 year old father of two, living in Kenya. He is separated from his wife, and works as a taxi driver. For ten years, John has experienced difficulty swallowing food and liquid. He tried to treat his condition with traditional medicines, but that has been unsuccessful. When his condition worsened and he found himself losing weight, John decided to meet with doctors from our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation. He was diagnosed with Achalasia, which is usually the result of damage to the esophagus. In order to prevent his condition from progressing, John will require surgery. Thanks to the assistance of our medical partner, John will undergo a curative laparotomy on October 17th, at AIC Kijabe Hospital, which should restore his ability to swallow, and return him to good health. John is requesting your support to fund this procedure, which will cost $1,074. John says: “My neck is paining, and I am unable to swallow solid foods. I have seriously lost a lot of weight. I need this treatment to be able to eat and be well again.”
Safia is a bright student - she is an orphan who is still mourning the loss of her mother who passed on in February 2022. Her father died a few years ago, and she lives with her relatives in Moyale. She has not been able to attend her classes since she started feeling unwell. She is the last born in a family of five children. She does not have medical coverage and is unable to raise the required amount for the surgery. She first experienced a small itch on her leg at the beginning of April 2022. She later experienced swelling in that area, and she did not have any feeling on the infected leg. Over time, the situation worsened and developed pus. She now has a chronic wound on her left leg that requires debridement and skin grafting. Safia was referred to our medical partner's care center Kijabe Hospital by friends after her condition did not improve. She visited the facility and underwent a sequestrectomy on the 8th of September and now needs a debridement and skin graft procedure. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is helping Safia receive treatment. On September 14th, surgeons will perform a debridement and skin graft procedure so she can walk without straining and be able to attend school and continue with her studies. Now, Safia needs help to fund this $1,185 procedure. Safia's aunt says, “She has been away from school for almost five months now. Her condition keeps getting worse that she is unable to walk. We even have to carry her to the bathroom. She needs this surgery, or she will lose her leg.“
Leang is a seven-year-old 2nd grade student. She has one 12-year-old brother. Leang's father is a truck driver and her mother sells soft drinks by their home. At school Leang is good at math and wants to be a math teacher in the future. Four years ago, Leang was in a traffic accident and injured her left hand. She received a month of treatment including skin grafts and wound dressings after the accident at a local hospital. The skin has healed but a contracture formed causing a tightening around her left hand and between fingers. Now it is difficult for her to grasp objects and carry anything with her left hand. When Leang's family learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC), she traveled for two and a half hours seeking treatment. On April 7th, surgeons at CSC will perform a burn contracture release surgery to to use her hand again. Now, she needs help to fund this $477 procedure. Leang's mother says, "I hope her hand heals and she can recover well."
Jeremy is a beautiful five-year-old boy from Kenya who has autism. To support their family, his mother manages their home and cares for her children, and his father currently works as a mechanic. His parents share that their income is just enough to sustain the basic needs of their family of six. On July 7th, Jeremy was playing with his brother when he fell and broke his leg. An X-ray scan showed that he has a fracture of his femur bone on his right leg. Since the incident, he has been experiencing severe pain. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, can help. On July 12th, Jeremy will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. This procedure will allow his injury to heal and help him walk again. Now, our medical partner is requesting $1,049 to fund this procedure. Jeremy’s mother expressed, “I am desperate and worried...I am pleading for assistance so that soon he can be treated. I thank God in advance."
Abdara is a sweet four-month-old Venezuelan girl who was born in Colombia. Abdara's mother moved to Medellin, Colombia around four years ago in search of a better life. Abdara lives with her mother and her four aunts. Abdara's Aunt Gabriela is the sole provider for their family and she works hard to meet all of their daily needs. Abdara has been diagnosed with cereberal cysts that need to be removed. Fortunately, she will undergo surgery on July 13th and our medical partner, Clinica Noel, is raising $785 to fund Abdara's medical care. Her mother shared, "Please help my little princess. I just hope she has a better future than I. Everyday I pray for a miracle, not being able to pay for her treatment is always in my mind. I feel guilty but then I remember that I'm trying my best and continue fighting in this new country to work and move forward."
Agrath is a beautiful seven-month-old baby girl. She is a healthy and happy little girl raised by a single mother and her grandmother. Agrath was born with bilateral clubfoot, a congenital musculoskeletal malformation that causes the foot to twist of our shape, ultimately impairing the ability to walk. She was scheduled for corrective casting once she was given her diagnosis, but it was too expensive for their family to cover. Understanding the financial challenges the family was facing, and the potential dangers associated with discontinuing treatment, the doctors referred Agrath's family to the Plaster House to seek help. Fortunately, on May 13th Agrath will undergo clubfoot repair surgery at our medical partner's care center, Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $935 to fund Agrath's clubfoot repair. After treatment, her legs will be corrected and she will be able to grow up walking, running, and playing like other kids. Agrath’s grandmother says, “I am a widow and my granddaughter’s father is nowhere to be seen. We have no means of affording the surgery costs. Please help us.”
Jane is a happy, talkative farmer and mother of ten. Jane leases out some of her lands to help provide for her children’s education since her health condition has made it too difficult for her to farm. Jane's family has recently had very hard times and she is hopeful that better days are ahead. A few months ago, Jane began to experience troubling symptoms, including difficulty breathing. She visited the hospital, where she was diagnosed with a goiter, which is an abnormal enlargement of the thyroid gland. Jane will need to undergo surgery to prevent her symptoms from worsening. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Jane receive treatment. On April 12th, she will undergo a thyroidectomy, in which surgeons will remove all or part of her thyroid gland. AMH is requesting $936 to help fund this procedure. Jane shared, "The people I looked up to just perished. Kindly help me so that I may get back to work and be able to raise my other children.”
Daw lives with her two sons who work as day labourers getting work where they can. While her sons work, her daughter comes over to do their household chores. The income her sons earn is not enough to cover their daily expenses and sometimes they have to borrow money from their neighbor. Around 15 years ago, Tin was diagnosed with high blood pressure and diabetes. In early January, she noticed that she had developed ulcers on her left soles. She could not even remember injuring her left foot, but she went to a clinic twice to have her foot treated. Unfortunately, her condition worsened and by the end of February, she also developed ulcers an on her right big toe. In March, she was brought to Mawlamyine Christian Leprosy Hospital (MCLH), where she was admitted. She underwent wound debridement surgery on her left foot. A few days later, the doctor told her they would need to do an amputate her right foot so that her infection did not spread further. Our medical partner Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF) is helping Tin and her family raise the financial support for her treatment. Currently, Tin is experiencing a lot of pain in both her left foot and her right big toe. At night, she has a fever and cannot sleep. She cannot walk and needs her son to help her go to the bathroom and take a shower. “Since I learned that donors could help pay for my surgery, I feel very happy,” she said. “I want to say thank you to the donors.”
Agnes is food vendor in the capital city of Nairobi, Kenya. She shared that she usually earns about $5 a day. Agnes is a widow and lives with her two children who are now grown. Together they live in a one-room house costing about $40 per month. Her medical coverage is not active because she has not been able to pay the monthly premiums with her earnings. Agnes has been diagnosed with breast cancer. Without treatment, the cancer may spread to other organs. A mastectomy, a surgery to remove breast tissue, has been recommended to rid her body of breast cancer and to prevent the cancer from metastasizing. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,110 to cover the cost of a mastectomy for Agnes. The procedure is scheduled to take place on February 11th. After treatment, Agnes will hopefully return to a cancer-free life. Agnes says, “The news about cancer is still shocking. I have hopes the disease will be stopped from spreading.“