Jon joined Watsi on March 12th, 2013. Six years ago, Jon became the 23rd member to automatically support a new Watsi patient every month. Since then, 6,449 more people have become monthly donors! Jon's most recent donation traveled 8,800 miles to support Khna, a taxi driver from Cambodia, to fund spinal surgery.
Jon has funded healthcare for 100 patients in 15 countries.
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."
Oudam is a 10-year-old student. He is in the third grade at school, and loves to study writing. He lives with his parents and his younger sister. Since his parents separated a few months ago, his mother has been working hard at a factory to support her children. Oudam helps to take care of his sister. They learn and play together. Since he was young, Oudam has suffered from muscle spasms in his legs, causing him to put all of his weight on his toes. This has affected his ability to move his legs normally, and he has difficulty walking, running, riding a bike, or wearing shoes. His mother often has to take him to school on her bike. Luckily, his neighbor told him about Children's Surgical Centre (CSC). He traveled nine hours with his mother to receive treatment. Doctors will perform an achilles tendon lengthening procedure. This will allow him to distribute weight across his whole foot, giving him greater balance and ease of walking. After a physiotherapy program, Oudan will be able to walk normally. Oudan's mother shared, "I am happy we have the opportunity for this procedure and I hope that my son will be able to walk and run after he is better."
Joseph is a father of 9 children, now all grown up and working in small-scale businesses. He lives on his subsistence farm in Nakuru. Joseph started to experience hearing problem 20 years back but he could still hear with difficulties. The condition become severe about four years ago where he was forced to go to a provincial hospital. He was checked and the plan was to wash his ears. Since then he has been going for ear washing regularly when his family heard of our facility through the social media. This is when we had a free clinic for patients with a hearing problem. Joseph was diagnosed with mild to moderate-severe hearing loss. The plan is for him to have hearing aids for both ears so that he can return to a higher quality of life and independence. Currently, Joseph is not working due to his health and is fully depended on his children. He lives with his wife who is also elderly and can’t work either. "I will really appreciate if I can be able to hear clearly and communicate with my family," Joseph said.
Jalen is a lively 6-month-old baby who was born with an anorectal malformation. Over the last six months, he has had three surgeries for his condition and now a PSARP surgery is needed as a final stage. The surgery will allow Jalen to be able to pass stool normally. Jalen’s past three surgeries were funded by the national health insurance system (NHIF), but he has now exhausted the maximum surgical package the insurance offers. His parents are not able to meet the cost of surgery. Jalen’s father is a peasant farmer while his mom a housewife. She recently completed college and is yet to secure a job. Jalen has a 7-year-old sibling and their family lives together in a rented house. Their reliance on seasonal farming limits their income level, leaving too little to meet the cost of surgery. Jalen’s mother says, “My hope is to see Jalen recovering and leading a normal life like any other child.”
Makara is a 15 year-old young student living with his parents and four younger siblings. He likes to play football and other games. Three month ago, Makara experienced a serious motor accident that injured his leg. The right foot became infected and by the time he arrived at Watsi's medical partner Children's Surgical Centre it was causing him much pain and gangrene had set in. The past month his condition has made him feel depressed and upset about his health. He did not want to leave his home and had a hard time eating and sleeping. His parents traveled five and a half hours to bring their son here to get help. Doctors recommend an amputation for Makara. After the amputation, he will not experience pain and discomfort from his foot anymore and will be able to go back to school. "I hope that I can go to school, and do some works to help my parents. When I grow up, I want to be a teacher," Makara said.
Sopheak is a 45-year-old grocery seller from Cambodia. She has three children, two sons and one daughter. She likes to listen to the radio, watch television, and look after her children. When she was young, Sopheak had an ear infection. This infection caused a cholesteatoma, or an abnormal skin growth, to develop in the middle ear behind the ear drum. For this reason, Sopheak experiences ear discharge, tinnitus, and ear pain. She finds difficulty in hearing clearly, and she has trouble communicating with her family members and her customers. Sopheak traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On March 11th, she will undergo a mastoidectomy procedure in her right ear. During this procedure, ENT surgeons will remove the cholesteatoma. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is requesting $925 to fund this procedure. This covers medications, supplies, and inpatient care.
Chan is a 36-year-old woman who lives with her husband and father-in-law in Shwepyithar Town, Yangon Division. Chan’s husband works as a day labourer on a construction site, while Chan is a seamstress who works from home. In 2010, Chan started to feel tired, had a rapid heartbeat and developed joint pain. She went to the clinic in Thaton, where she lived at that time, and received an an echocardiogram (echo) and x-ray. The doctor also told her that, if her heart became too enlarged, she would not be able to control her condition with oral medication and she would not be able to have a baby. She then received oral medication for a week which made her feel better for a while. In September 2019, when she went back for her follow-up appointment, she received another echo. Following this, the doctor explained to her that her condition could no longer be stabilized with medication. As he knew that Chan could not afford to pay for her surgery, he referred her to Pinlon Hospital. On 17th September 2019, she met the staff at Pin Long Hospital and who then referred her to Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF). Currently, Chan suffers from chest pain, has difficulty breathing, has a rapid heartbeat and has lost weight. In her free times Chan likes to sew, cook and do housework. “When I’m fully recovered, I will continue to work as a seamstress, save money and live happily with family,” said Chan. “Once I have enough money, my husband and I have decided to adopt one child. And I want to do charity work and help poor people as much as I can.”
Dalin is a third grade student from Cambodia. She enjoys reading books and playing with her two sisters. When she was five years old, Dalin had an ear infection. This infection caused a cholesteatoma, or an abnormal skin growth, to develop in the middle ear behind the ear drum. For this reason, Dalin experiences hearing loss, discharge, infection, and headaches. She frequently has difficulty focusing in class and has trouble communicating with others. She has undergone five days of antibiotic injections in her ear to attempt to clear the infection prior to operation, and now requires surgery. Dalin traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On January 13th, she will undergo a mastoidectomy procedure in her left ear. During this procedure, ENT surgeons will remove the cholesteatoma. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is requesting $925 to fund this procedure. This covers medications, supplies, and inpatient care. "I hope that my daughter's ear issue will be resolved and that I won't have to worry about her anymore." -Dalin's Mother
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.”
Myat is a two-month-old boy who lives with his family in Hpa-An Town, Karen State, Burma. His father passed away when his mother was two months pregnant with him. Myat’s mother is a homemaker and she takes care of him at home. All of his sister and brothers are students. Myat’s grandfather drives a tricycle taxi. On 6 June 2019, Myat was born without any complications at HGH. Since he was born, his mother noticed that he has been passing white coloured stools, but she did not do anything about it because she thought it was normal. When he was just over a month old, his mother noticed that Myat’s navel was bigger than normal. His mother then took him to HGH. The doctor examined his navel and told his mother not to worry too much and he also told her come back if it becomes bigger. A few days later, Myat’s mother noticed that his navel has become bigger and his mother took him to the hospital again. The doctor again took a look at Myat’s navel and advised his mother to take him to a hospital in Yangon for treatment. However, Myat’s mother did not have money to go to Yangon. On 6 September 2019 Myat received an X-ray at Mae Sot Hospital (MSH) and was given a diagnosis of a bulging navel and biliary atresia, a childhood disease of the liver in which one or more bile ducts are abnormally narrow, blocked, or absent. Currently, Myat still passes white coloured stools. He also has a bulging navel which never goes away. His mother is very much worried for him, especially that she just learned about his liver disease. Myat’s mother said, “I would like him to be like other children. I feel bad for him but at the same time happy that an organization Burma Children Medical Fund will help him for his treatment.”
Richard is a farmer from Kenya. Father of six Richard is a small scale farmer. He plants maize and beans in his farm. Richard doesn’t have a good house to live in. He stays in a two room house roofed with grass. None of his children completed school due to low income in the family. The family has gone through a hard-time that they even lack food some of the days. Two months ago, Richard was involved in a road traffic accident and sustained a complex femur fracture on his left leg. Richard was brought to our hospital where he underwent a successful intramedullary nail femur surgery on 8/08/2019. He was discharged where he has been recovering at home. On his first surgical review, the surgeon realized that Richard is unable to get full extension of the femur. On further examination he realized that Richard had shortened femur and suggested that he needs revision surgery to fix his this condition for previous surgery done that was not successful. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On October 07, Richard will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. This procedure will help him walk easily again Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $968 to fund this procedure. Richard says, “I am really worried about the fate of my leg. I thought it was getting well. I have nothing to offer for my second surgery. Help me raise funds to make it possible and a success."
Judith is a middle-aged woman with lower back pain problem that has persisted for over 8 years. Judith has tried managing the condition with injections, medical pills and physiotherapy sessions. The interventions have not been fruitful as she recently started using a walking stick to attain balance. Judith was referred to our facility by a neighbour and upon MRI imaging, she had spinal fusion surgery recommended. If not treated, the pain will persist which might weaken her walking gait further. Judith is a mother of three children and used to work on their farm for subsistence farming but has since stopped. Her husband is employed as a timber yard operator. The family is not able to raise the total funds needed for her surgery and they appeal for financial assistance.