Gustaf joined Watsi on March 12th, 2013. Seven years ago, Gustaf joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Gustaf's most recent donation traveled 8,500 miles to support Allan, a future doctor from Kenya, to fund a life-changing surgery.
Gustaf has funded healthcare for 120 patients in 15 countries.
Gustaf has funded healthcare for 120 patients in 15 countries.
Allan is 17-year-old student and an aspiring doctor. He is the fifth born in a family of six children. He shared that he sadly lost his father in 2011 and his mother is elderly. He depends on his older siblings, but they do not have stable jobs. Their family lives in their ancestral home and does small-scale farming to grow food to eat. Allan has a urethral stricture and is currently on dialysis. He feels unwell and his condition has affected his studies. He has visited several healthcare facilities over the past year in search of treatment. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Allan to receive treatment. On July 1, he will undergo an urethroplasty, or urethra repair. Now, he needs help to fund this $1,144 procedure. Allan shared, "I want to be a doctor and I am determined to do so. I even opted to sit for my exams despite the pain and my condition. I hope this sickness does not stop my ambitions.”
Rachael is a 21-year-old mother with two young children, who are 4 years old and 9 months. Rachael is a homemaker and also does farming in their small piece of land. Her husband has not been able to find other work, so her family has limited income. Rachael’s medical condition started in January 2020, when she was pregnant. She started experiencing pain in the right upper chest region, which sometimes became severe. Rachael has visited many health facilities without seeing much improvement. Eventually, after one of her scans, she was diagnosed with cholelithiasis, also known as gallstones. Upon being examined at Nazareth Hospital, the doctor recommended she undergo a laparotomy. If this condition is not treated, Rachael may have complications like obstruction of the gall bladder, inflammation, obstruction of the bile duct or she may have gall bladder cancer. However, Rachael cannot afford to pay for the surgery and appeals for financial support. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is helping Rachael receive treatment. She is scheduled to undergo a laparotomy to remove her gallstones on May 27th at our medical partner's care center. This procedure will cost $788, and she and her family need help raising money. Racheal shared, "I have small babies and this condition is making it hard for me to care for them. I kindly ask for assistance so that soon I can be able to give all my time to them.”
Sut is a 30-year-old who lives with his family in a refugee camp. His mother is a shop vendor who sells snacks in front of their home. Sut and his brother-in-law used to work as agriculture day laborers, but can no longer leave the camp to find work since the camp is on lockdown after the outbreak of COVID-19. Since then, Sut has been helping out with household chores and looks after his nephew. The income they receive from selling snacks in addition to the food card they receive from a support organization is just enough to cover their daily needs. He and his family receive free basic health care in the camp. Since April 2020, Sut has had an inguinal hernia. This hernia causes him pain in the right side of his groin and he feels a burning sensation when he urinates. If he walks for a longer period of time, he will experience pain in the right side of his groin. Occasionally, when the pain worsens, he is not able to help out with household chores. Fortunately, on April 29th, Sut 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 Sut's hernia repair surgery. The procedure is scheduled to take place on April 29th and, once completed, will hopefully allow him to live more comfortably. Sut shared, "Sometimes I experience such severe pain that I cannot bear it anymore. I cannot do anything and I cannot help my family with anything due to my condition. My wife left me because of my condition and I do not have anyone that can help me. When I learned that a donor could help pay for my surgery, I felt like they had saved me from death."
Rosemary is a 55-year-old woman, who is a very cheerful, talkative, and full of humour. Rosemary has a small kiosk where she sells beauty products. In recent years, she has been supporting her sick mother until her mother passed away last year. Early February 2020, Rosemary started experiencing some pain in her abdominal area. The pain became severe, and persisted for some time before she went to a hospital for a checkup. During the examination, she was found to have helicobacter pylori and gallbladder problems, and was also suspected to have gallbladder stones. Rosemary was given medication, which seemed to work at first but her gall bladder problems eventually worsened. Afterwards, Rosemary was referred to another facility in Nairobi for further treatment, but after going through scans and treatment, she did not notice any change in her condition. Eventually, she came to our Medical Partner Kijabe Hospital in February 2021. After the examination, the doctor recommended that she undergo a curative laparatomy to better treat her condition. However, Rosemary cannot afford the cost of her care. While supporting her mother, she found herself in a lot of debt that she is still trying to clear. Rosemary does not have National Health Insurance Fund coverage, and her condition needs urgent treatment. Rosemary has no extra source of income and is appealing for financial help. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On March 31st, Rosemary will undergo a laparoscopic cholecystectomy to treat her persistent pain. Once recovered, she will hopefully be free of pain and her quality of life will significantly improve. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $616 to fund this procedure. Rosemary shared, “The financial situation I'm in makes it hard for me to raise enough funds for my surgery yet it is worsening as time goes by. Any financial help offered will be highly appreciated."
Nickson is a milk vendor from Kenya. A few months ago, he married his wife and now they are expecting their firstborn baby. His wife is a housewife and they live in a mud house on a farm. Nickson was not able to go to college, so he decided to become a milk vendor so that he could provide for his young and growing family. In December 2020, Nickson was involved in a road traffic accident - he was riding a motorcycle when he collided with an oncoming lorry truck. He was rushed to the district hospital where he had a cast applied and was then discharged home. However, two weeks ago, he started having pain while he was walking. A friend referred Nickson to a local medical facility. Nickson was examined and sent for an x-ray which revealed that he had fractured his knee. Right now, Nickson has trouble standing on his right foot or flexing his knee. Fortunately, surgeons at our Medical Partner, African Mission Healthcare, can help Nickson, and they are requesting $1,016 to fund his procedure. On March 3rd, Nickson will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. This procedure will help him walk more easily again. Nickson says, “My hope is to receive treatment, be well, and continue supporting my young family."
Saw Ki is a 10-year-old boy living with his parents, sister and a brother in Mae Ra Ma Luang Refugee Camp in Thailand. Saw Ki is in grade two and his siblings also attend school in the camp. At school, Saw Ki’s favorite subject is Koraen literature. In the future, he would like to become an agricultural day laborer and work hard like his father. On the morning of January 30, 2021, Saw Ki was playing with his friends when he slipped on some rocks and fell onto his left arm. Right away, his left arm became extremely painful and his left arm looked deformed. Saw Ki was brought to the refugee camp’s hospital run by Malteser International (MI) Thailand. After a medic completed a physical examination, the medic told him that they thought his left forearm was broken. Saw Ki was referred to Mae Sariang Hospital to receive an x-ray. There, the doctor confirmed that his left forearm was broken and referred him to Chiang Mai Hospital for surgery right away. Currently, Saw Ki cannot move his left hand and he is in a lot of pain. He has been receiving pain medication while waiting for surgery. This surgery is costly for Saw Ki and his family. Saw Ki's father used to work as an agricultural day laborer in nearby villages, but he can no longer work since the refugee camp went into lockdown following the outbreak of Covid-19. His mother is a homemaker. Although their household receives a cash card with 2,200 baht (approx. 74 USD) every month to purchase rations, this amount is not enough. Their family struggles to make ends meet without Saw Ki’s father’s income, and they appeal for financial support. With the help of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, Saw Ki will undergo surgery to reset his fractured bones and ensure proper healing. The procedure is scheduled for February 2nd and will cost $1,500. After surgery, Saw Ki will no longer be in pain and he will be able to return home, play with his friends and also continue his studies. Saw Ki shared, "I want to play a lot of games with both of my hands, like before. I am not scared of receiving surgery."
Song Heu is a 28-year-old man from Cambodia. He has three older sisters and to support their family, Song Heu's mother sells vegetables in the market and his father is a tuk tuk driver. In his free time, Song Heu enjoys exercising, listening to music, playing games on his phone, meeting with friends to discuss problems, and doing house work. Last month, Song Heu was attacked by someone trying to steal his motorbike. The thief cut Song Heu's left arm and neck with a knife, causing paralysis. He has been diagnosed with a brachial plexus injury on his left arm side. The brachial plexus is a nerve network that transmits signals from the spine to the shoulder, arm, and hand. Injuries to this nerve network can result in loss of function and sensation. Now, Song Heu has a scar on his left neck and has no control of his left shoulder, elbow, or hand. He cannot lift his arm at all and therefore is unable to work. Fortunately, Song Heu traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On November 17th, he will undergo a brachial plexus repair surgery. After recovery, Song Heu will regain use of his left arm. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is requesting $696 to fund this procedure. Song Heu shared, "I hope I can use my arm again with full function so I can resume my normal life activities."
Yar is a 18-year-old girl from Thailand. She lives with her parents, three younger sisters and three younger brothers in a refugee camp on the Thai-Burma border. Yar and her parents are all too ill to work and are homemakers, while her siblings are students. Her family relies on the monthly food allowance they receive from an organization to get by. They also grow vegetables for themselves to supplement this income. Yar completed grade nine, but felt too ill to return to school this year. In her free time, she likes to weave traditional Karen bags for her siblings and help her mother with household chores. One day in early January 2020, Yar started to experience neck pain, fevers, and chills. When she went to the refugee camp’s hospital, run by the International Rescue Committee (IRC), she was diagnosed with tonsillitis and was given oral paink medication and antibiotics. During her follow-up appointment, the medic gave her more of the same medications. After her follow-up appointment, Yar felt a small growth with her tongue inside her bottom left jaw behind her front teeth. She told the medic about this at her next appointment, but it was not checked out and she received more oral medication each week until the beginning of June 2020. During this time, the mass increased in size. In June, she was referred to Umphang Hospital, which then referred her to Mae Sot Hospital (MSH) for surgery. IRC brought Yar to MSH, where she received a physical examination, a CT-scan, and a biopsy of the mass. The CT result indicated that the mass was benign. In July, when she went back to MSH for her follow-up appointment, the doctor removed the mass in her mouth as well as five of her lower front teeth during surgery. Since the surgery, Yar has experienced swelling where the mass was removed. Daily, she experiences an achy pain in her lower left jaw, her neck and her back. The mass has also returned and is increasing in size. IRC referred Yar to Watsi's Medical Partner Burma Children Medical Fund for assistance accessing treatment in Chiang Mai Hospital. After reviewing a CT scan to confirm her diagnosis, the doctor in Chiang Mai recommended she move forward with surgery to remove the tumor. Now, she is scheduled to undergo mass removal surgery on December 3rd. She is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of her procedure and care. Yar shared, "I am scared to receive surgery but I believe that I will be recovered after that so I am happy."
Nat is a 26-year-old farmer from Cambodia. He and his wife have been married for three years and have one daughter together. His wife is a factory worker. In his free time Nat likes to play football and volleyball, play with his daughter, and go for walks. In April 2019, he was in a motor vehicle accident that caused a fracture in his left tibia. He received treatment at a government hospital including a skin-graft, but the treatment was unsuccessful. He still has a fracture, chronic pain, and cannot walk easily. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, can help. On October 19th, Nat will undergo a fracture repair procedure, which will cost $465. This procedure will allow him to walk easily again. Nat said, "I am excited to heal quickly so that I can start getting around and playing sports again."
Soe is a 13-year-old from Burma. She lives with her parents and two siblings in a village in Taninthary Division. Her brother goes to school while her little sister is still too young to go. Soe was not able to go back to school this year, after she completed grade seven, due to her illness. Her father works as a tenant on Soe grandparents’ farm and gets to keep half of the harvest. Soe's mother used to be a vegetable vendor but has stopped working to look after Soe. In May 2019, Soe fell sick with a high fever and a severe cough. She was brought to a clinic where she received a physical examination. The doctor informed Soe's mother that she has a heart condition and urged them to go to a hospital in Yangon. Her mother followed the doctor’s advice and took her to Bahosi Hospital in Yangon on June 25th, 2019. There she received an echocardiogram (echo), x-ray, and a blood test. After her results came in, the doctor diagnosed her with mitral valve regurgitation, a problem with one of the valves in her heart, and told Soe's mother that she needs to have surgery that will cost 8,000,000 kyat (approx. 8,000 USD). Unable to afford her treatment, Soe instead received medication for the next four months. Although she took the medication, Soe did not feel better. One day, their neighbor told them to bring Soe to another hospital in Yangon. Soe's mother followed their advice and took her to Vitoria Hospital in Yangon. Soe received another echo, blood test, and an x-ray. A doctor at the hospital then told Soe's mother to come back the next month, without explaining why. When they traveled back in January 2020 for her appointment, the doctor told them to meet a cardiac nurse at another hospital in Yangon. When meeting that nurse, she told them about Watsi's Medical Partner Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF) and that they may be able to assist her in accessing further treatment. With the help of BCMF, Soe went to Chiang Mai in March 2020. She was admitted at Lampang Hospital on July 25th, 2020 and received surgery to repair her mitral valve two days later. She was discharged home in August and received a follow-up appointment for a month later. When she returned for her follow-up appointment, she was readmitted to the hospital. She received a number of tests including an echo and an electrocardiogram. Once the doctor reviewed her test results, she was told that the sutures from her surgery were loose and that she would need to receive surgery to replace her mitral valve. Since her first surgery, Soe no longer has a cough. However, she is pale. Her mother is worried because Soe has not gained weight nor has her condition gradually improved like other heart patients after surgery. “After she recovers, I want to send her to school until she becomes a teacher," said Soe's mother. "When she plays with her friends, she pretends she is a teacher and that she is teaching her friends. Even when she felt sick, she would try to go to school and she always studied a lot. Her teacher loves her. But Soe is always worried that she will fail her exams.”
Than is 21-year-old woman from Burma. She is a soldier in Karen State, Burma and lives with the other soldiers in the barracks. On July 21, Than was participating in a drill on top of a mountain. Equipped with a heavy backpack and load, they had to descend the mountain quickly in the rain. While descending, Than’s left foot slipped. While falling, she banged her equipment against her left thigh and heard a cracking noise, before falling. Than's left leg is in a lot of pain and she cannot put any weight on her left leg. If she moves even a little bit, she shared that her pain increases. She can move her left ankle and toes, but she cannot bend her left leg. Her friend has to help her go to the bathroom and to take a shower. She cannot sleep well, her appetite has decreased, and she has noticed that she has already lost weight since the accident. With the help of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, Than will undergo surgery to reset her fractured bones and ensure proper healing. The procedure is scheduled for September 1st and will cost $1,500. This procedure will help Than walk again and allow her leg to heal properly. “I am worried about how my leg will recover, and I am worried about the surgery,” said Than.
Sambo is a 4-year-old student from Cambodia. He has recently started elementary school. He lives with both of his parents and his older brother. His parents sell goods at the local market to earn a living for their family. Sambo shared that he likes to play ball with his friends and go for walks with his family. In July 2019, a snake bit Sambo on his right hand. His mother took him to a local hospital where they performed a fasciotomy and skin graft. However, the wound did not heal properly. The fingers on his hand have contracted and he can no longer easily move them. When Sambo's parents learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, they traveled for seven hours seeking treatment. On July 8th, surgeons at CSC will perform a skin graft procedure to to help him regain good use of his hand and fingers. Now, Sambo's family needs help to fund this $474 procedure. His mother said, "I am worried he will miss a lot of school because he cannot write with his hand that way. I hope this surgery can make his fingers work well again."