Andrew ShultsMONTHLY DONOR
Andrew's Story

Andrew joined Watsi on March 12th, 2013. Eight years ago, Andrew joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Andrew's most recent donation traveled 8,300 miles to support Saw Myo, a 14-year-old boy from Burma, to fund surgery to remove a spinal tumor so he can live without pain and go to school.

Impact

Andrew has funded healthcare for 95 patients in 13 countries.

All patients funded by Andrew

Saw Myo is a 14-year-old boy from Burma. He lives with his grandparents, parents, two sisters and a brother in a village in Karen State in eastern Burma. His grandparents are retired, and his father is a farmer who grows paddy and rubber trees on their own land. Saw Myo’s mother is a homemaker, while his two sisters and his brother go to school. The family income is just enough to cover their daily expenses. They cannot afford to pay for basic healthcare. Saw Myo used to go to school but stopped attending since his condition worsened in 2021. Saw Myo has had a lump at his lower spinal cord since he was nine years old, when he was hit by a slingshot in that area. He was given a medicinal ointment by a traditional healer which appeared to stop the lump from growing and helped with the stiffness temporarily. When Saw Myo was 12 years old, he fell off of his bicycle. He did not have any cuts or bruises but felt stiffness along his spinal cord. Afterwards, the lump appeared to be growing in size again. He was seen at a local clinic and then at a clinic in Hpa-An in January 2021, where he had an X-ray. The doctor suspected a spinal cord problem, so they encouraged Saw Myo and his mother to follow up with a computerized tomography (CT) scan at the Yangon Orthopedic Hospital in Yangon. Due to Covid-19, Saw Myo was unable to get in for a CT scan. Saw Myo’s parents did not want to give up, so they went to the Asia Royal Hospital, also in Yangon. Again, they were told that Saw Myo’s condition could not be treated locally. Finally, they returned to their home without receiving treatment. Saw Myo’s mother then contacted a medic who works at Mae Tao Clinic (MTC) in Mae Sot, Thailand, who is originally from their village. The medic told her to bring Saw Myo to the clinic as soon as possible. They spent the next few months trying to raise money, borrowing from family and neighbours. Doctors recommended Saw Myo to undergo an MRI, an imaging procedure that uses magnetic fields and radio waves to produce images of bodily organs. After analyzing the MRI, the doctors recommended Saw Myo undergo surgery to remove the tumor on his back. The tumor is cancerous, and Saw Myo will need to undergo chemotherapy after his surgery. Currently, Saw Myo is suffering a lot. He has to be careful when sitting because his whole back along his spinal cord is painful if he does not sit down slowly, and he can only sit for short periods of time before his back begins to ache. The lump is not painful to touch, but when he lays down on his right side, he has to support the lump with a pillow, making it difficult for him to sleep. He also has backpain if he has to walk for more than 15 minutes. Saw Myo sought treatment through our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund. He is now scheduled to undergo mass removal surgery on November 24th and his family needs $1,500 to cover the cost of his procedure and care. Saw Myo said, "I enjoy going to school and my favourite subject is mathematics. I hope that I will be able to go to school after my treatment. I would also like to raise chickens and cows to help my family in the future."

$1,500raised
Fully funded

Dismas is a boda boda taxi driver from Kenya. He is a bright and hardworking young man from a highland region in Elgeyo Marakwet County. Dismas is the third born in a family of four. He studied up to the 7th grade in primary school, but then had to stop attending due to the school fees. Now he lives in a rental house with his wife and their son. His parents live in a place far from him in a semi-arid area, and he moved to look for work and to earn a living. Before his recent accident, Dismas was employed as a motorcycle driver and his limited wages enabled him to sustain his family and give his parents a little support. After a severe road traffic accident about three weeks ago, Dismas was taken to the hospital on a stretcher and is still unable to walk. The bill for his care has been accumulating and he had no funds to pay due to his current state and inability to work. Well-wishers helped him pay the bill and he was discharged home with his fracture stabilized on a splint. One of his brothers reached out to a friend who knew of our medical partner's care center, Kapsowar Hospital, and he was brought in to see if they could help him. An x-ray found that he sustained fractures of the distal tibia and fibula. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On April 26th, Dismas will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. After he heals from this surgery, he will be able to walk easily again. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $1145 to fund this procedure. Dismas says, "It really hurts when I see my family suffering. I am worried about their future if my condition doesn’t change. Kindly help me get well so that they may not be impacted even more.”

$1,145raised
Fully funded

San is a 38-year-old woman who lives with her daughter and two sons in a village near Mae Sot, Thailand. San’s two sons work as agricultural day labourers on a farm. San’s daughter is a second grade student. San stopped working on the farm about four months ago when she first developed problems with her vision. The money that her two sons earn is not enough to cover their household expenses and pay for her daughter’s school fees since she stopped working. They have had to borrow money to pay for basics like food. San has cataract and glaucoma. Currently, San has lost most of her vision in her right eye. Her right eye is painful and always waters. If she tries to focus her vision to make out someone’s face, her eyes will hurt, and she develops a headache. In her free time, San like to clean her house and plant vegetables. She said, “I hope that I will get better soon so that I can go back to work and pay back my debts. I want to support my daughter so that she can become an educated person. I want to live happily with my family for the rest of my life.” Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund lens replacement surgery for San. On February 22nd, doctors will perform a lens replacement, during which they will remove San's natural lenses and replace them with an intraocular lens implant in each eye. After recovery, she will be able to see clearly. Now, she needs help to fund this $1,500 procedure. San said, “I am so upset that my condition worsens every day. I cannot sleep well because I am worried about what will happen if I do not get better. I am upset that I cannot work and my two sons have to work and support me. I feel so sad for my two sons.’’

$1,500raised
Fully funded

Velonica is a 43-year-old woman and a mother of three living children. She shared that she lost a set of twins just a few days after birth some 15 years ago but still holds fond memories of her lovely tiny twins. Her children are aged between 25 and 8 years old and they are all in school. The oldest daughter is at a teachers' training college and the youngest in 4th grade in primary school. Velonica lives with her children and husband in Dowa about 40 kilometers away from the city of Lilongwe in Malawi. She and her husband are subsistent farmers, although they usually don’t have enough food for the year and they seek support from her husband’s relatives that live in the same village. In 2013, Velonica developed a swelling on her neck. She visited different hospitals and finally was referred to Kamuzu Central Hospital (KCH) where a diagnosis of goiter was made. A partial thyroidectomy was done at the facility in 2014. However, in 2019 her neck swelling resurfaced again. She started feeling pain, having sleepless nights, difficulties in swallowing, feeling neck tightness, and headaches. She reported again to Kamuzu Central Hospital and a rescan was recommended but unfortunately, it was not done at the time. While seeking alternatives, Velonica came to Partners in Hope Medical Center. She was seen by a surgeon who, after laboratory tests and a scan, concluded that her goiter has recurred. He recommended surgery to remove the enlarged thyroid gland in a procedure called a total thyroidectomy. Velonica is currently unable to help her husband on the farm and has challenges in performing daily duties. She is unable to lift water on her head or to carry other heavy loads. Velonica feels the condition is interfering with her life and is looking forward to living her normal life again soon. Velonica said, “I live at my husband’s village among my in-laws and it has been about 2 years now of failing to do the things that every woman does, this is threatening my marriage and makes me feel bad. I hope this operation will bring an end to all this and I will be able to do my household chores again.”

$1,015raised
Fully funded